We're still over one year away from the United States' next presidential election, which is hard to believe based on what we see and hear in the media. The Republican party has yet to select a candidate to oppose President Barack Obama in 2012, but the GOP's primary campaign very quickly made itself unavoidable in virtually every channel through which we ingest information, including entertainment. Many comics fans will no doubt recall the days of the last election, when we endured a torrent of lurid stunt comics based around Barack Obama, including the President's appearance in a massively popular issue of Amazing Spider-Man (I preferred the Obama vs. Palin issue of Archie, myself). We try to dismiss this material as base and cynical, but like pornography glimpsed briefly in the static frenzy of an unactivated Pay-Per-View channel, we cannot look away.

Decision 2012 is a new initiative devised by BOOM! Studios to engage the body politic with a series of biographical comic books spotlighting President Obama and his potential opponents in the Republican primary (and beyond - citizen Sarah Palin is also included). While the much maligned Bluewater Productions has enjoyed considerable success with similar material, BOOM! has, as ever, an innovative twist on the idea. The publisher has positioned its Decision 2012 books as players in a comic book straw poll whose winner will be determined by pre-orders.Like the actual straw polls that take place during elections, the winning book/candidate is awarded only the distinction of being more popular amongst voters than the others, and it appears that the losers' books will still be published, and those candidates earning fewer than 1,500 pre-orders will have to "drop out." While inconsequential in the actual election, the winner of BOOM!'s comic book straw poll would earn the right to issue a particularly cute press release detailing their victory in the comic book market, which would no doubt direct some attention to BOOM! Studios and, hopefully, other comic books in its catalogue.

It is that strategic angle that makes Decision 2012 something a little more than just the kind of cash-grab we witnessed in the days of the Obama variant cover. As was the case with its Elric and Planet of the Apes projects, BOOM! has designed Decision 2012 as a kind of comics outreach apparatus. The initiative's website includes a helpful FAQ explaining many confusing details about the comic book business, including "What is a comic book?" and "How do I pre-order the book?" and "How do I find a comic book store?" The Decision 2012 press release also includes similar instructions, as well as more information about the comics themselves:

"The DECISION 2012 line of comic books has something for everyone," said Marketing and Sales Director Chip Mosher. "For those political junkies that love a good horse race, we have comic book's first straw poll. For those voters and our young soon-to-be-voters, we have some great non-partisan biographical comics on all the major candidates - announced and waiting to be announced - in the presidential 2012 race. And finally, for the comic book collector we have a fantastic once-in-a-lifetime collectible. The DECISION 2012 comic line and comic book's first straw poll is a great way to spotlight the upcoming 2012 election and get people excited about voting!"

The DECISION 2012 line of comics and comic book's first straw poll isn't just a contest, but also a great way for voters and students to educate themselves on the candidates running in the 2012 Presidential election. This series of biographical comic books details the history and political lives of the candidates for the 2012 Presidential Election, giving non-partisan background on President Barack Obama and such presidential hopefuls as Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Jon Huntsman, Sarah Palin, Ron Paul, Rick Perry, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum! The DECISION 2012 line of comic books are aimed at anyone of any age who enjoys reading and discussing U.S. politics.

While these sorts of zeitgeisty bio-comix will most likely not impress existing comics fans, we are impressed with BOOM!'s diabolical plan to leverage the ferocity of the political junkie into pre-ordering the hell out of these books in support of their favorite candidates and hopefully drive potential sales of BOOM! comics we do endorse, including Mark Waid's Irredeemable, Shannon Wheeler's Eisner-winning I Thought You'd Be Funnier, and Michael Moorcock's Elric by Chris Roberson.

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