With a U.S. presidential election in 2016, many candidates are currently seeking the nation’s highest office. One such candidate is the fearsome cosmic deity (and regular Nothing But Comics contributor) Cthulhu. The independent candidate’s website presents Cthulhu’s vision for a strong economy, global conquest, and a steady climate change agenda. As the candidate takes a leave of absence from our site to pursue the presidency, Nothing But Comics examines public reaction to the Cthulhu campaign, as well as Cthulhu’s legacy as a comics journalist.
Appealing to Republicans, Democrats, and independents, the Cthulhu campaign is already making bold moves. On December 5, 2015, Cthulhu and his supporters crashed a Washington, DC Krampusnacht event, where the candidate declared “War on Christmas” and apparently destroyed several attendees who heckled him.
Across the country, people are taking stock of the unorthodox candidate and his agenda.
“Finally, a candidate I can relate to,” says Lucas Brumfield-Rodriguez, a student at the University of Colorado Boulder. A self-described “cannabis activist” who supports Cthulhu, Brumfield-Rodriguez is doing what he can to help the campaign: “In the dorm, I organize readings of the Necronomicon. My friends and I discuss politics and get high.”
When asked why he favors Cthulhu, Brumfield-Rodriguez cited the candidate’s proposed drug legalization policies, as well as Cthulhu’s status as a political outsider: “He isn’t bought and paid for like all the other politicians.”
Brumfield-Rodriguez says he is unbothered by the opposition’s claims that Cthulhu’s proposed policies may have a catastrophic effect on the planet: “If Cthulhu destroys the world, maybe the world has it coming. I just hope voters give him a chance.”
While there is currently no polling data on how Cthulhu’s political agenda and non-human appearance will impact voters’ perception of the candidate, supporters claim that his appearance is not an issue.
“Personally, I find Cthulhu’s tentacles less disturbing than Trump’s hair,” says Patty White in Peoria, Illinois. White is a receptionist at a Chevrolet dealership and a registered Democrat; although she voted for Barack Obama in 2012, this time White plans to vote for Cthuhlu. “I think Cthulhu will keep us safe from the terrorists.”
Not everyone is eager to support Cthulhu. “Where’s the birth certificate?” asks Tyler Johnson, a retired school bus driver in Knoxville, Tennessee. “I refuse to vote for a walking octopus. And I won’t support nobody that wasn’t born in this country.”
Johnson, a Republican, says he wants Senator Ted Cruz to be president.
Johnson is not the only voter asking questions about Cthulhu’s citizenship and eligibility to serve as president. However, the Cthulhu campaign maintains that the candidate is “quintessentially American” and has had close connections to the United States for centuries.
This month, a Florida-based hate group targeted Cthulhu and his supporters. On December 20, 2015, in Jupiter, Florida, the militia group Silver Cross Militia attacked a Saturnalia holiday campaign party with firearms and explosives. Although no party guests were harmed, several event security staff were injured. All eleven of the militia members participating in the attack were found dead, their bodies mangled.
Although voters have mixed opinions about the candidate and his platform, everyone agrees that Cthulhu’s candidacy is unprecedented in American politics.
“Some of these candidates think they are God, but this year, there’s actually a god in the race,” says Seldom Wise, a Louisiana State University political science professor and a conservative blogger in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. “That’s a huge shakeup in the status quo.”
“The media keeps talking about Hillary and Trump, but Cthulhu is the one to pay attention to,” says Kenyatta Oates, a liberal blogger, community activist, and political consultant in Brooklyn, New York. “He’s ancient, powerful, and dangerous. Plus, he’s got charisma.”
While the American electorate prepares itself for Cthulhu’s candidacy, comics blog Nothing But Comics abides his departure. Cthulhu contributed to the site for the past year, interviewing 35 comics creators, such as Mark Millar, Ming Doyle, and Fiona Staples. In November 2015, Cthulhu took a leave of absence from the site to focus on his campaign.
At Nothing But Comics, Cthulhu was an uncompromising comics journalist, with a reputation for asking tough, hard-hitting questions that most comics bloggers are afraid to ask. When offered an exclusive interview with Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad to discuss Assad’s favorite comics, Cthulhu cancelled the interview when Syria’s propaganda minister insisted that the deity not ask Assad about Marvel Comics’ Secret Wars event.
“He has a bad rep, but Cthulhu works hard and doesn’t take shit from nobody,” says Patrick Hess, Editor-in-Chief of Nothing But Comics. “The dude knows how to party, too.”
But some of Cthulhu’s colleagues are critical of the deity. Speaking on condition of anonymity, a former Nothing But Comics contributor complains about Cthulhu’s behavior.
“Weird, unhealthy things happen around Cthulhu,” says the source. “You don’t want to be near him when he’s angry. And he tried to kiss me at an office party last year. Or eat me. I’m not sure.”
Asked to comment on Cthulhu’s presidential aspirations, the source says, “If Cthulhu wins, I’m moving to New Zealand to enjoy what little time we all have left. If I’m going to die, it should be where they filmed The Hobbit.”
This source was not the only Cthulhu detractor. Several attendees at a recent Kansas City Comic-Con, which Cthulhu covered for Nothing But Comics, filed lawsuits against both Cthulhu and Nothing But Comics for Cthulhu’s alleged harassment.
“One of Cthulhu’s tentacles brushed against my girlfriend’s Princess Leia costume and she was upset,” says Donald Landry. “Then the bastard bumped into me and made me drop the vintage Batman action figure I had just purchased. I cried for weeks.”
Lawyers for Cthulhu and Nothing But Comics argued that these and similar incidents were accidental due to Cthulhu’s large size and odd physiology, which the packed convention hall did not accommodate. The plaintiffs countered that this was not an excuse, as the convention hall did not accommodate the large size and odd physiology of most convention attendees; eventually the lawsuits were withdrawn after one of the plaintiffs spontaneously combusted.
A British comics creator – speaking on condition of anonymity, and that Nothing But Comics states that this creator is “definitely NOT Neil Gaiman” – also expresses concern: “I refused to be interviewed by Cthulhu because I am frightened of him. An ancient, malevolent god that bestrides the boundaries between horror and kitsch should not be a journalist, and he certainly should not be president.”
While this British comics creator – who is definitely NOT Neil Gaiman – has a negative opinion of Cthulhu, it remains to be seen what America will make of the god as he hits the campaign trail in 2016.