Kirk Anderson's new book.Kirk Anderson

My brilliant cartoonist buddy, Kirk Anderson, just sent me a copy of his new Banana Republic book.  Kirk writes an altie strip where a “Banana Republic” is an allegory for the Bush administration.  That’s Kirk’s cool book on the right, buy it here.  We have an archive of Kirk’s Banana Republic strips on our site here.  

Kirk tells me that he was commissioned to design a tattoo for some guy who wanted the Chinese guy standing in front of a tank in Tiananmen Square on his arm (I’m guessing the guy doesn’t plan to travel to China).  That’s the art on the right – and its pretty cool.  What Kirk wrote to me about his tattoo job amused me:

I guess tattoos can’t replicate quite the same detail and subtlety as, say, Photoshop. Who would have guessed? So when I sent him four sliiiightly altered final designs to choose from, they were all the same to a tattoo artist! I suppose it’s like if the chef asked you if you prefer the lasagna with or without the pinch of cardamom. “A pinch of what? A pinch?!” But I think it’ll turn out pretty cool. He wanted the protester standing in front of the line of tanks in Tiananmen Square, done in a soviet propaganda style, like he had seen in some older work of mine (The Busheviks’ Great Leap Forward). I sketched some roughs with the full line of tanks, and was kindly informed his forearm wasn’t THAT big, thanks; and so it was pared down to one tank. Fun project! My drawings on human flesh!

Tiananmen Square tattoo design by Kirk Anderson

Tiananmen Square tattoo design by Kirk Anderson

I was wondering how Kirk would make the transition from Bush to Obama, and whether Bush’s absence would leave the Banana Republic metaphor ringing a little hollow, and Kirk sent me this:

America’s financial house, it turns out, is made of dung and straw, like that of a small, backward Third World nation. Our foreign debt is unsustainable and our currency is unstable, like those of a banana republic. Our rich-poor divide is being super-sized and our banks are being nationalized, like those of equatorial backwater dictatorships. How can anyone make sense of this in anything but a cartoon?

I stand corrected.  It looks like the Banana Republic metaphor is with us to stay.  See a great collection of Banana Republic cartoons by Kirk here.

Banana Republic Force Feeding by Kirk Anderson

Banana Republic Force Feeding by Kirk Anderson