Thursday, July 24, 2008

July 26: Comic book presidential debate at Fantom Comics

This press release rolled in today from Fantom Comics, which is located in both Tenleytown and Union Station. My daughter Claire voted in this on Free Comic Book Day. I didn't realize they had a blog, but will add the link to their store site on the side.

Local Comic Book Store hosts Super-Hero Presidential Debate

Washington, DC – It's not Gotham, where Batman hangs his hat, or New York, the city Iron Man calls home. Nonetheless, this Saturday, July 26, DC is where the two men will meet to debate which of them should be the next president of the United States.

Nearly 3 months ago Fantom Comics asked its customers: If super-heroes were running in the 2008 presidential election, who would earn your vote? The primaries offered people the option of 8 Marvel Comics heroes (Ms. Marvel, Nick Fury, Daredevil, Green Goblin, Mr. Fantastic, Iron Man, She-Hulk, Professor X) and 8 DC Comics heroes (Commissioner James Gordon, Steel, Lois Lane, Dr. Will Magnus, Green Arrow, Green Lantern, Batman, Amanda Waller). Voters were asked to chose one favorite from each publisher to run for President.

Bruce “Batman” Wayne and Tony “Iron Man” Stark came up on top. Said Fantom Comics employee Jimmy Meritt, “Interesting election. Two fascists going up against each other for president.” This view isn’t held by all comic book fans, however. Fantom Comics owner and former think tank employee Matthew Klokel feels the candidates come from two very different places. “Iron Man generally wants to get things done within the system, while Batman typically wants to work outside it.” Even Meritt, a professional comedian who will be playing Tony Stark at this Saturday’s debate, gives the comic book characters a break. “When I said fascists, I was being a bit facetious. These are good guys, after all.”

Over the past 3 months debates have raged between fans over who would make the better Chief Executive of the USA. Op-eds were written on the Fantom Comics blog and fiery debates ensued at the Fantom Comics stores. Said customer Brandon Baker-Rice, “Who’d have thought Batman/Iron Man would be more decisive than Obama/McCain? Maybe it’s because we’ve known the comic book characters so much longer than we’ve known the politicians.”

At 12 O’clock noon this coming Saturday, July 26th Fantom Comics Tenleytown will host a town-hall style debate between the two super-heroes whose playboy lifestyles make them seem outwardly similar, but whose approach to policy differs so greatly. Fantom Comics manager Jordan Kessler urges attendees to bring along questions for the heroes. “Got a pet policy issue? Ask Batman how he’d handle it.”

Klokel points out that "between Batman and Iron Man, you’ve got a combined experience of well over 100 years. These characters have touched on a lot of subjects over the years, so the guys playing them have a pretty good idea how they’ll react to security, privacy, and a host of other issues.” There are other areas in which the debate might break new ground, though. Says Klokel with a shoulder shrug, “How does Iron Man feel about welfare reform, or Batman about free trade? I guess we’ll just have to find out on Saturday.”

Further information on the Fantom Comics super-hero debate can be found on the Fantom Comics 2008 Super-Hero Presidential Election blog.

Media Contact: Matthew Klokel, Owner, Fantom Comics, 949-278-3466,

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