Back in February, when we were trying to decide on a theme for the Indy's fourth annual Comix Issue—the very issue you're holding in your hands—Donald Trump's campaign manager-turned-presidential-counselor Kellyanne Conway had recently appalled and confused thinking people everywhere by telling Meet the Press host Chuck Todd that White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer had merely offered "alternative facts" when he claimed, in his very first press briefing, that the crowd at Trump's inauguration "was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period."
It was of course not, by any available measure, the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, no matter what punctuation is deployed for emphasis, and Spicer's statement was not, of course, an "alternative fact" so much as a flat-out lie. But give Conway the credit she's due. The brazen inventiveness and bald deceptiveness of her head-fake sent the fact-checkers into such a frantic tizzy that the size of Trump's crowd (it was, in fact, roughly proportionate to the size of his hands) became almost immediately beside the point.
The point was that Trump's brain trust—such as it is—would not be shamed by facts or accuracy. They were perfectly comfortable simply making stuff up.
- cover illustration by Lauren Norby
And look, we get it! It's an incredibly seductive concept, this idea that all things are precisely as I wish them to be, all evidence to the contrary be damned. Say it and it shall be so.
Let's try this at home:
I am 24 years old, independently wealthy, cut like a CrossFit coach and emotionally unscarred by a lifetime of small failures.
See? It just doesn't work that way, not for me and not for Trump. I'm not even presenting "alternative facts." I'm just lying.
But you know who alternative facts actually might work for? Comic artists.
Comic artists aren't like you and me. (And they're especially not like Kellyanne Conway or Donald Trump). They're actually not bound by reality. They really can just make stuff up, and then there it is: a whole new world, composed of graphite and ink and pixels and paper.
So we decided we'd ask them to take a swing at the theme "Alternative Missoula Facts." The following pages are what they came up with. We hope you enjoy them as much as we do. And we hope you'll join us on First Friday, May 5, from 5 to 8 p.m. at Zootown Brew, where this work will be displayed for an artists reception and show.
Come say hi. It'll be a good time. No lie.
CHECK OUT THE COMICS HERE!