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The last best stand against a culture that can’t decide whether it wants to be aggressively woke or suffocating in its political correctness might just look like an adorable little bun-bun with a Trump hairdo.
Thump is the creation of artists Timothy Lim and Brett R. Smith and writer Mark Pellegrini, and he’s the bushy-tailed star of Thump: The First Bundred Days, a tongue-in-cheek 56-page long children’s book version of the 45th President’s ascent to the White House. While deliberately cute, its targeting of children is a clear challenge to the President’s enemies.
“In a marketplace of ideas and entertainment, it was shocking to see no one capitalizing on what was arguably half the country if not more,” Lim said to The Post Millennial.
With over 13,000 Twitter followers, Thump represents a definitive, if diminutive, victory for conservative cultural warriors.
Since he hopped his way into this subsection of the cultural consciousness in 2017, his creators have found other ways to stretch the joke, with the anime-influenced My Hero MAGA-demia and its sequel, Wall-Might, and Trump’s Space Force, a graphic novel homage to big-budget alien-blasting 90s action flicks.
Jumping on the Trump train is one way to subvert the culture, but there’s only one problem: Trump’s expiration date is 2024, if not 2020. Other creators- novelists, comic book creators, and designers of board and video games share the Thump-iverse’s geek culture bona fides, but aim at deeper and more structural cultural critique and change.
Some, like steampunk enthusiast author and comic book creator Jon Del Arroz, “The Leading Hispanic Voice In Science Fiction”, or Brian Niemeier, whose tastes run more to cosmic horror and giant robots, are outspoken in their Christianity. (At one point, Del Arroz endorsed white nationalist Toronto mayoral candidate Faith Goldy.) Others are of a more libertarian bent, such as fantasy author Robert Kroese, who blends dark comedy with space opera, tales of interstellar daring, and more traditional fantasy.
They also differ on where contemporary culture went off the rails, and how to fix it. Members of the Pulp Revolution, or #PulpRev, seek to recapture the heroic spirit of the ancient pulp magazines- Conan, John Carter of Mars, The Shadow. The “superversives” try to create narratives that uplift and inspire the reader—and the culture more broadly—in the vein of Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy.
And others, such as Nick Cole and Jason Anspach, just want to save Star Wars from itself with the Galaxy’s Edge series, novels that are Star Wars in everything but name.
Whatever your ideological or artistic bent, if you’re a conservative culture creator of any repute you’ll likely find yourself invited to chat on Geek Gab!, the almost-weekly podcast/stream where bombastic game designer and Twitter pundit Jasyn “Daddy Warpig” Jones and his board-game enthusiast pal John “Dorrinal” Glynn discuss the latest gaming, movie, scif-fi/fantasy and comic book news.
Authors from Vox Day’s Castalia House publishing have guested on Geek Gab, and Jones has maintained a blogging presence on the publishing house’s site. The Hugo Award-nominated Day, aka Howard Robert Beale, lends sci-fi credibility to the enterprise, but also controversy due to his associations with and his own views sometimes falling under the far right.
If the free-flowing discussions and critiques on Geek Gab! can be boiled down to one basic point, it is this: Modern cultural offerings lean hard on realism, and are trying to tear down basic norms of storytelling, character development, and even physical beauty, but they have no staying power as a result. Nothing illustrates this better than the modern Star Wars movies, which seem confused as to whether they should “kill the past” or continue to draw from it.
It is also worth noting that these creators have relatively little to say about traditional literature, poetry or stage drama, and they pay almost no attention to outsized literary icons like Margaret Atwood and the cultural impact they have. For them, mass culture is where the battleground is, as it’s the place where the masses can have the most impact.
It’s a sentiment that Timothy Lim certainly supports. “Millennial readers must realize the central tenet of voting with their wallets,” he said to The Post Millennial. “We encourage them to selectively support those things which are culturally enriching and reinforce their values.”