Minnesota based publishing house 2D Cloud is starting to corner the Midwest market on interesting comics and their latest release, Ablatio Penis, continues this march. Written and illustrated by Isotope Award winner Will Dinski, this book uses the political arena to comment on matters of the heart and ultimately asks the question: if a politician has no penis, can he still fuck us?
Ablatio Penis is about Andre’ St. Louis, who, having secured the Republican nomination, is running for Governor. St. Louis is an affable sort who seems honest (to a fault) and is either really concerned about the plight of his constituents or is expertly superficial and devoid of any true empathy. Either way, he comes across as the ultimate political construct (a Mitt Romney without the robotic limitations). Dinski characterizes his main character as everything that could be good about politicians, yet he’s thick with the stink of why they are not.
And of course there is the title. If you are unfamiliar with what an ablatio penis is, once you look it up you will understand the metaphoric lengths to which Dinski is willing to go to make his political point. But amidst the ham-fisted politics of this book, there is a human story too. Dinski’s St. Louis is flawed and his limitations turn on him in a way that should garner your sympathy to a degree. Dinski displays a deft touch with his character and allows his complexities to be laid bare.
This book, while only 40 or so pages, is dense with each page shoved full of Dinski’s blue ink panels, small in scale, and interwoven with a pacing conceit of a small blank page between scenes. The art goes from thick and detailed to open and airy as the mood fits, and Dinski obviously knows what he is doing in this regard.
While Ablatio Penis is a political comic, it brings to the fore our own fascination with political personalities to the detriment of substantive issues. After the long election cycle we’ve just been subjected to, this book may make you reexamine your politics.