Life in the Stupidverse, out now from IDW Publishing, is a wonderful collection of satire highlighting Donald Trump’s flawed presidency that is certain to give you a chuckle.
Welcome to the Stupidverse! Although I’m not sure, I need to say “welcome.” Many of us have been living in the Stupidverse these past four years. In this collection, the Pulitzer-nominated cartoons of Tom Tomorrow poke fun at the presidency of Donald J. Trump in a diverse variety of entertaining ways. The collection is filled with so many different strips with so many references that you will have to take time to remember all the political chaos that has happened during the current administration.
The writing in the book is phenomenal. Life in the Stupidverse is filled with so many well-executed points and hilarious satire, and that all goes without mentioning just how much content is in the book. Each page has a point to be made. The points may overlap, but the way that Tomorrow makes his points through heavy satire is always entertaining. He also creates satire through many fun ways, such as comparing Trump to a baby, saying this world must be a simulation because of how crazy it is, or by making charts that illustrate circular reasoning.
The pencils and inks of Life in the Stupidverse go well to serve the purpose of his cartoons, and Tomorrow does a good job of varying what is on the page so that his cartoons are still visually interesting. Tomorrow is never afraid to go too crazy with the ideas for his jokes, so each page is its own spectacle of what Tomorrow has used to illustrate his point. There are several strips where the same faces are used repeatedly, which can create a bland feeling, but that is his point. The main focus in nearly all political cartoons is the writing, and Tomorrow certainly delivers on that.
The colors in Life in the Stupidverse are incredibly simple and make the comic strip come to life much more than if it were in black and white. There isn’t anything about the coloring that will necessarily leave you in awe, but it does nothing but add to the writing, which is the most important aspect.
Life in the Stupidverse features lots of interesting uses of lettering, and it greatly adds to the satire of Tomorrow’s work. Whether it be a bold font to establish what a scene is, a calligraphic font to parody Valentine’s Day cards or a wavy font to title a strip, Tomorrow makes fantastic use of lettering to add fun to his political cartoons.
Reading Life in the Stupidverse is a fun, but also slightly painful experience. Tom Tomorrow’s work is brilliant and incredibly funny, but each strip discussing moments of Trump’s presidency feels like reliving trauma. The collection is definitely well worth the read, and well worth the money for that matter. If you are a staunch Republican that loves every word that comes out of Trump’s mouth, you probably won’t enjoy Tomorrow’s satire, but nearly everyone else is sure to enjoy this collection and get a good laugh out of this country’s most recent administration.