To call our prideful POTUS “polarizing” would be an exercise in understatement. While President Trump certainly has a conservative constituency of devoted supporters, the dedicated opposition on the left has never been more vocal in their oft apt vitriol of the billionaire-real-estate-developer-turned-realitys-tar-turned-leader-of-the-free-world. The list of satirical outpouring regarding the Don ranges from SNL sketches featuring a spray-tanned Alec Baldwin to 7-Eleven troll dolls replete with Trump’s trademark combover. The atmosphere is ripe for presidential paraphernalia that uniquely undermines our lecherous leader at every turn. Enter Ann Telnaes.
Political satirist and Pulitzer Prize winner Ann Telnaes is a graduate of California Institute of the Arts whose rather extensive work history includes being a designer for Walt Disney Imagineering
as well as editorial cartoonist for The Washington Post. Published by Pomegranate Press and the Library of Congress in 2004, Telnaes’ first book, Humor’s Edge, received no short measure of positive attention. Aside from the Pulitzer, Telnaes’ numerous other accolades include The National Cartoonists Society’s Reuben for Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year (2016), The National Press Foundation’s Berryman Award (2006), The Maggie Award and The National Headliner Award (1997), just to name a few.
In her latest book, Trump’s ABC, Telnaes tenaciously delivers one scathing takedown of Donald J. Trump after another, all behind the humorous guise of a children’s alphabet book. Telnaes illustrates the book herself and her colorful caricatures of Trump are matched only by her witty rhyming captions. “E is for ego, so bigly and brash. F is for fake news created for cash. G is for grabbing pussies with ease. H is for helping elect such a sleaze.”
When assessed within the pantheon of other children’s books intended for adults, Trump’s ABC may fall short of, say, Edward Gorey’s Gashlycrumb Tinies, however it ranks well above Adam Mansbach’s Go the Fuck to Sleep. Each of Telnaes’ panels could potentially function as their own individual political cartoon, yet when tethered together, create a poetic perspicacity wholly unique to the medium.
If you’re a Trump supporter, this volume will offer little to appease you as you’re well outside the book’s target market. However, if you’re among the many left leaning, liberally minded, critics of the current commander in chief, Trump’s ABC is a novelty item you won’t want to pass up.