Thomas Fuchs and Felix Sockwell's 'Deconstructing Dumbo'

I tried hard to pick a favorite (the sheep-skinned wolf? the colorblind test crossbones?), but each one tells too good a story: illustrator Thomas Fuchs and designer Felix Sockwell have put together 100 iconic mini-tales of a GOP in disarray for their 'Deconstructing Dumbo' book, self-published and available via Fuch's site. For more good icon-talk, see Sockwell's post-mortem on creating the icons for the New York Times' iPhone app, including his unfortunately unused skull-flowers for the obit section. GOP100 - Deconstructing Dumbo


  1. Know who are silly? People who visit blogs about topics they aren’t interested in and complain in the forums.

  2. ironically, there is more ugliness in that first comment than in the post itself.

    But it does suggest a need for an equally clever take on the donkey. Who will fill this need?

  3. I read this blog everyday. I wasn’t trolling, and nothing inappropriate was said in my initial comment. I just wish we could move beyond the pettiness and take a look at some things that aren’t politics. Or possibly when we look at things that aren’t politics not interject politics into them. There are plenty of forums out there to fill this niche.

  4. I think the Deconstructing Dumbo was fun and funny. I’d like to see the Jackass Jerked Around too.

  5. Why do Democrats hate Republicans so much? I mean I can’t stand Nancy Pelosi and Michael Moore, but I’ve never had the type of animosity for them that Liberals seem to have for pretty much every Republican. I can see myself hating only the worst people – like serial killers, child molesters, or evil dictators like Saddam Hussein. Lenin, Stalin, and their ilk.

    1. Why do Democrats hate Republicans so much?

      You mean like Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh? Oh wait, they’re Republicans who hate Democrats. Never mind.

  6. because people who call themselves republicans keep wishing death and destruction on people they call democrats?

  7. @tom hale

    Republican media star Bill O’Reilly on his nationally syndicated radio show:

    “And if Al Qaeda comes in here and blows you up, we’re not going to do anything about it. We’re going to say, look, every other place in America is off limits to you, except San Francisco. You want to blow up the Coit Tower? Go ahead.”

  8. You mean like Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh? Oh wait, they’re Republicans who hate Democrats. Never mind.

    You mean like Al Franken and Nancy Pelosi? Oh wait, they’re Democrats who hate Republicans. Never mind…Fixed.

    1. You mean like Al Franken and Nancy Pelosi?

      If you wouldn’t mind just providing a quote from Nancy Pelosi to justify that statement?

  9. Limbaugh and Coulter are just out to make a buck – though I agree that their BS probably creates hatred. I can’t stand to listen to Coulter talk, she sounds like a moron when she’s debating someone. She is a cutie pie though. I’m off to go find some naughty pics of her online. brb

  10. She is a cutie pie though. I’m off to go find some naughty pics of her online. brb

    Her skinny legs give me the jibblies, and I’m not one to complain about women looking “too thin”.

    Also, she seems like the type who’s into that whole “no means yes” mindfuck.

  11. “Americans will no longer tolerate the Republicans’ continued abuses of power and catering to corporate special interests.” N. Pelosi

    The difference between these characters is Pelosi is an elected official, the others are all out to make a buck.

    Would you like me to provide a few more colorful quotes from Franken?

    1. “Americans will no longer tolerate the Republicans’ continued abuses of power and catering to corporate special interests.” N. Pelosi

      Yeah, that’s pretty gosh-darned hateful. Nearly took the skin off my eyeballs just reading it.

  12. Tom Hale, Because my spouse and I are of different political affiliation, and we both are on many mailing lists, I get all the propaganda from both sides delivered to my house. I have compared it extensively.

    At the national level, Republicans are both more likely to run smear campaigns and use hate speech (including indirect incitements to violence along the lines of “these liberals would get the tar kicked out of them in any VFW hall”) and more likely to claim that their opponents are using hate speech against them. Democrats are definitely much less hateful and more issues driven, at least in their official propaganda.

    At the local level, in my own community, the individual candidates are all over the place. The nastiest recent race was two Democrats against each other, and the cleanest local race was run by a Republican seeking a county office. There was also a smear campaign run by a Republican against an Independent. I don’t see that there’s been any party-level pattern, although generally you can say races in the southern part of the state are dirtier than in the north.

    Incidentally, I’m a registered Republican. I would have voted for McCain if he hadn’t picked Palin.

  13. Politics aside, these are amazing treatments of a form. Excellent work.

    A funny side note: The captcha I had to type to post this was “unite elections.”

  14. I want the propaganda captcha concession! Of the billions of captchas typed out every day there must be a cumulative subliminal effect. I see “molluscmasters”, “takekidstobeach”…

  15. I’m neither a Republican nor a Democrat (though I have to play one in the voting booth), but I think “conservative” rhetoric is more hateful than that of “liberals”. There are demagogues on both sides of course, but it has been my experience that Republicans are more likely to make ad hominem attacks than Democrats.

    Of course now that I’ve written that, I’m remembering all of the “stupid” jokes about Bush. Maybe I’m more sympathetic to “liberal” bias than I thought.

  16. It is clever logo manipulation…but yeah, the mongers are on both sides, on that there is no debate. The left has Michael Moore, Franken, Maher, Sean Penn, Tim Robbins etc…the right has Limbaugh, Colter, Hannity to an extent.

    Clearly, BoingBoing has chosen which side they wish to get behind. I suppose we’ll have to deal with it.

  17. @ FFBSU – About bOING bOING choosing sides – I read the other day that only 9% of reporters are conservative. I’d bet that there’s a similar percentage for lawyers, journalists, college professors, doctors, artists, teachers, and – care to add any others? I see some things in common with these professions – definitely the BBers. It only makes sense to have more articles like this one than some taking an opposite side. And I’m OK with that – what kind of collection of wonderful things would a bunch of staunchly republican editors make? Not one I’d like to read.

  18. Tom Hale, the point is the cleverness of the iconography.

    There are a huge spectrum of political messages in these, some fairly coarse (the blowing-up-the-world-one, skull-and-crossbones and wolf-in-sheeps-clothing), while others fairly accurately reflect both the policies of the neocon-led GOP (pro-war, pro-torture, anti-environmentalist, pro-fundamentalist Christian, pro-Hollywood, pro-big business) and its current state of disarray as a result.

    These don’t represent hate, nor are they targeted at Republicans. They represent clever graphic design, and witty political criticism of the Republican Party. It would be completely fair play to do this in reverse.

    And incidentally, a statement like “Why do Democrats hate Republicans so much?” is a perfect example of poisoning the well.

  19. KIERAN O’NEILL – poisoning the well? I read the link. Surely no one here thinks I know a single thing about debate techniques.

    I admit the icons are pretty clever.

  20. I have one more theory why this kind of clever artwork tends to have a liberal slant- how many Republican artists do you know? As a Graphic Design major (BFA & MFA) I can attest that I didn’t meet many.

  21. The interesting thing about a blog or a magazine is that it reveals the tastes, interests, fetishes and biases of its editors. They make no promise of objectivity; no pretense of fair play. And God love them for it.

  22. So is your implication that educated people are not conservative? The fact of the matter is a) I am conservative b) I am educated c) I, myself am a graphic designer.

    I supposed applying labels is what this post is really about and the comments have proven it.

  23. FFBSU -absolutely not – the professions I listed all deal directly with people – without clients or readers, those jobs would not work.

    Scientists, engineers, architects, and a hundred other jobs I don’t feel like thinking of atm are highly educated, yet you don’t automatically associate them with liberal democrats.

    Maybe I’m generalizing people, but I was just saying certain professions draw or help make liberals. You said, “Clearly, BoingBoing has chosen which side they wish to get behind.” I was just saying that its natural for a group of paid professional bloggers to be liberal.

  24. Tom Hale, I’m sorry if you took it that I implied you were doing that deliberately – I was only commenting on your words, knowing nothing about yourself. Anyway, if you read the article you know at least a few things about debate techniques now :)

    (And you’ve been keeping a cool head, which is probably the most important thing in keeping any discussion productive.)

    FFBSU, he said “not many” not “none”. To be fair, though, I would take it all with a pinch of salt until someone can show hard evidence (i.e. a well-structured, statistically rigorous survey).

    Here’s one for med students.

  25. Ugh! – My last comment was half assed written. Hopefully Antinous, Takuan, minT, Foetusnail, Arkizzle and a few others whose opinion I care about will be able to interpret what I meant.

    Honestly, it takes me quite a bit longer to write anything that makes sense that it takes you guys. I think I’m getting a little better though.

  26. Is that a Jolly Roger, inside the elephant, on the dot-test one? I have the kind of color blindness that plays tricks with those kinds of patterns…I can’t tell for sure…

  27. Tom Hale – it can be very uncomfortable while your opinions are in flux. We have to trust, (and I do), that the people here have enough understanding and intelligence to see you as a fellow groper for teh trooth.

  28. I don’t know if your comment on bloggers holds water or not…however, I do like despite the transparent “leanings”. I do wish there to be a bit less political speak on here or at least a bit more objectivity, however. I’m currently on my second username, because I was apparently banned from posting prior (not because of profanity or any such thing, but for disagreeing)

    Wouldn’t be overly surprised to see this post end up in the bin.

  29. “Americans will no longer tolerate the Republicans’ continued abuses of power and catering to corporate special interests.”

    That’s hateful? Seriously? Try these on for size:

    “I think a baseball bat is the most effective way these days (to talk to liberals).” – Ann Coulter

    “(Obama) is someone who sees America it seems as being so imperfect that he’s palling around with terrorists who would target their own country.” – Sarah Palin

    “I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People For the American Way — all of them who have tried to secularize America — I point the finger in their face and say “you helped this happen.”” – Jerry Falwell, blaming gays for 9/11.

    There are literally hundreds of examples of hate speech from Republicans (elected officials, members of the “religious right”, and “entertainers”). The Media Matters and Orcinus archives are a good place to start, if you’re interested.

    Dems are not perfect, but the entire GOP strategy and philosophy is one of division and hate. The only reason Republicans are pretending that insults, strawmen, and manufactured cultural division are bipartisan problems is because that kind of nonsense is no longer enough to win elections outside of rural, less educated areas.

    Voters are looking for competence, which GOP leaders do not have. The past 8 years have proven that.

  30. jrg – Do you really believe the extreme Republican TV and radio personalities represent what Joe Normal republican wants? You have more sense that that.

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