Thursday, January 11, 2018

Book-A-Day 2018 #11: The Secret Door at the White House by Rick Geary

I can't remember if I bought this from Rick Geary's webstore along with some other things, or if it was some kind of freebie/reward from one of his Kickstarters (of which I've backed a bunch over the past few years). What I can say is that it's a weird little book, probably only available directly from the creator.

The Secret Door at the White House is a 52-page book, in a small format with covers only a little heavier and brighter than the interior pages. Like some of Geary's odder projects, each page is a single illustration with a short typeset caption below. It's narrated by a young woman, presumably on the White House staff, and, after three brief pages introducing her, the bulk of the book is made up of full-page portraits of the Presidents of the country, with her memories of her time with each of them.

The reader, depending on how sensitive one's innuendo detector is, will eventually realize that this unnamed young lady is describing her sexual encounters with all of these men, tastefully and in a veiled manner. And that reader will realize she can't be all that young by even the middle of that string, as shown by an image of the now-elderly woman at the end of the book, upon her retirement.

Geary has done comics that are series of related images -- items in one particular motel room, various dull-looking apartment buildings, etc. -- without much commentary, though that was mostly in the early, zany years of his career. Secret Door has a similar premise, but the execution is even quirkier. One could read political commentary into the Presidential descriptions, but, except for the very last one, I don't see any basis to do so.

I suspect that this book was mostly an excuse to draw all of the Presidents, but the unifying theme is pretty weird and uniquely Geary as well. The portraits are good likenesses, all in that particular Geary style. Again, this is a weird little book, but the world needs more weird little books.

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