If you haven't heard about "Tea Party Comix" -- a series of self-published comics purportedly made by a Tea Party supporter, filled with inflammatory racial imagery and bizarre superhero parodies -- then consider yourself lucky. But either way, the third and most recent issue will be its last, as the creator has announced that the series is coming to a close.

The comic recently ignited a firestorm of controversy directed at the conservative Tea Party Movement, when scanned copies of the black and white title -- and its disturbing caricatures of President Barack Obama -- found their way onto the web. However, despite the title, various Tea Party leaders have come forth claiming they had no knowledge of the publication, "unequivocally" denounced it, and even went so far as to claim "Tea Party Comix" was a plant by the left in the run up to their "Uni-Tea Rally" in Philadelphia.

Now someone claiming to be the creator of "Tea Party Comix" (whose name was withheld) has stated in an e-mail to blogger Ethan Persoff, that what he was doing was not racist and no different than what other political cartoonists have been doing for decades:

I have taken all TEA PARTY COMIX OFF of [Internet marketplace]. I hope you are happy and I hope the world is a little bit better better place in which to live now. ...I do not understand the connection with "big ears" and "racism", and I do not understand how a "dark face" implies racism... The accusation of "Hate" is true, but it is the hate of an IDEOLGY, not a of race of people... Cartoonists have historically drawn "the enemy" in a negative light... Please search cartoons of Reagan and Bush for instance ( and please see my caracature of Janet Napolatano in Tea Party Comix #2!)..... Think, and you will have to admit there was NO LIMIT placed upon these depictions.... But somehow, ANY negative drawing of Presient Obama is automatically "racist"...

The Maddow Blog
also featured correspondence with a man named Tom Kalb who had been selling the "Tea Party Comix" on eBay, but declined to say whether he was the creator. However, the Maddow Blog says that Persoff identified him as the same person, and quotes an email where Kalb denies the accusations of racism and discusses his political influences:

I am no longer selling them on Ebay or anywhere. I do not consider them "racist", and probably over one hundred million other Americans wouldn't consider them "racist". In YOUR circles I'm sure everyone does. ..Should the artist have portrayed him as a "Greek God"? I'm sure even then, it would be "racist" to many... You are free to edit this as you will. Hopefully you are not as "evil" as I think you may be. I myself listen to Rush Limbaugh, Dennis Prager, Michael Savage, Mark Levin and others EVERY day, so you can understand MY trepidation....

[Via TPM]

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