Ronald Reagan

A Graphic Biography

Written by Andrew Helfer; Art by Steve Buccellato and Joe Staton

Hill and Wang

Download Image Written by Andrew Helfer; Art by Steve Buccellato and Joe Staton Ronald Reagan

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Some Presidents Were Just Meant To Be In Pictures
 
It confronted evil empires, planned Star Wars missile defense systems, and advocated supply-side economics. Let’s face it: Ronald Reagan’s presidency is tailor-made for comic-book art. Whether explaining how the onetime Franklin Roosevelt New Dealer became the conservative right’s standard-bearer, how a B-list actor became General Motors’s pitchman then governor of California, or how a union president became an anti-union President, this graphic biography does what no other biography can: visually narrate the life of a man who relied on stage directions and political theater to become America’s “Great Communicator.” The blended genius of Andrew Helfer (onetime group editor at DC Comics), Steve Buccellato (whose artwork has been published by Epic, Marvel, DC, and Dark Horse), and Joe Staton (artist for E-Man, Green Lantern, and most recently Scooby-Doo) makes Ronald Reagan: A Graphic Biography an absolutely original, absolutely factual, and absolutely unforgettable history of America’s fortieth president.

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A book trailer for author Andrew Helfer's graphic biography of Ronald Reagan. Art by Steve Buccellato and Joe Staton.

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Praise for Ronald Reagan

“As compelling as it is serious and objective.” --Esquire

“Looking for insights into the phenomena of the Reagan presidency, its resilience in the face of one imbroglio after another disaster? Turn not to Edmund White’s authorized whimsy, but rather to Andrew Helfer’s graphic biography, which wraps astute political reporting in brightly entertaining artwork from Buccellato (Joey Berserk and Claire) and Staton (E-Man) . . . Helfer tells a smooth story washed with facts about a slick political operator who never let facts get in the way of a good speech.”   --Kirkus Reviews, Graphic Spotlight

“RONALD REAGAN: A GRAPHIC BIOGRAPHY . . . does what many traditional tomes couldn’t do: it illuminates Reagan’s achievements and foibles in sharp literary cinema. A unique take on one of America’s most controversial presidents.”  --Christian Science Monitor

“It’s fitting, perhaps, that a man who first became famous in image-conscious Hollywood is now getting a visual biography treatment . . . whimsical, informative and entertaining—whatever your political leanings.”  --Sacramento Bee

“To portray the story of Reagan’s road to and life in the White House as a comic strip may seem a trivial means for imparting a grand political message, but the effort turns out to be both ingenious and fair minded, showing with admirable impartiality how a poor boy from Tampico, Ill., became president via commentating on football matches, acting in Hollywood pictures, as a celebrity spokesman for General Electric, and becoming governor of California . . . the Reagan graphic biography lifts the ambition of the form to a new plane.”  --New York Sun

"Part primer, part polemic, this graphic biography scratches the surface of what its creators depict as a comic-book presidency.  Though the life of Ronald Reagan has previously inspired a number of longer biographies, even some of those have suggested that the challenge of coming to terms with the "Great Communicator" is that there wasn't much intellectual depth beneath the actor's engaging facade. Written by Helfer (Malcolm X: A Graphic Biography, 2006, etc.), a former group editor at DC Comics, this hit-and-run graphic narrative reinforces that position . . . In Hollywood, [Reagan] made more of an impression as a union activist and corporate pitchman than through most of the roles he secured as an actor, while failing at a first marriage that seemed more like a career convenience. It was in politics he found his greatest success, the role of a lifetime, as long as he kept things simple and stuck to the script. (When he went off-message, he was likely to make claims that had no basis in fact.) The narrative touches all the high points: his transformation into conservative crusader and election to the governorship of California, the adoring Nancy, the striking contrast he presented to the ineffectual Jimmy Carter, a presidency marked by an assassination attempt and the Iran-Contra, arms-for-hostages scandal (one of the controversies that the Teflon president deflected with a convenient lapse of memory), the long fade into the Alzheimer's sunset.  Gives credit where due."—Kirkus Reviews

 


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About the Author

Written by Andrew Helfer; Art by Steve Buccellato and Joe Staton

Andrew Helfer has written everything from Batman to Malcolm X: A Graphic Biography. Steve Buccellato is an award-winning cartoonist and Joe Staton has drawn for everyone from Charton Comics to DC Comics.

Andrew Helfer
Steve Buccellato
Joe Staton

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Available Formats and Book Details

Ronald Reagan
A Graphic Biography
Written by Andrew Helfer; Art by Steve Buccellato and Joe Staton

Hardcover

Hardcover
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Hill and Wang
September 2007
Hardcover
ISBN: 9780809095070
ISBN10: 0809095076
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 112 pages, Includes Black-and-White Illustrations Throughout, and Further Readings
$16.95
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