Comic Book Elections: Gorilla our dreams

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Gorilla at Large (1954)
Gorilla at Large (1954)

MagillaGorilla_3_1964A few days ago it was reported that the deceased gorilla, Harambe, who was tragically killed at the Cincinnati Zoo last May, is getting 5 percent of the vote in a recent presidential election poll; and considering the amount of excrement that is being flung in the 2016 campaigns, it’s not surprising that the simians are looking to steal the election.

This is the Chinese “Year of the Monkey” after all, so why shouldn’t apes get in on the presidential election action? Grodd knows it wouldn’t be the first time, in fact the Flash’s old nemesis, Gorilla Grodd, was dreaming about a White House run clear back in 1962, in Flash #127 (read about it in the Classic Comic Cover Corner archive.)

But Grodd isn’t the only comic book ape to consider getting into politics. In 1964, in Gold Key’s Magilla Gorilla #3, Yogi Bear went up against the titular Magilla in a race for the presidency. There’s even a vintage 45 RPM record containing their respective campaign songs. [See a full length article about the Bear v Gorilla comic over at CartoonResearch.com.]

And while we’re talking about presidential apes on vinyl, let’s not forget country singer Tom T. Hall’s “The Monkey That Became President” hit single from back in 1972, which is probably as timely today as it was 44 years ago.

The original Planet of the Apes book (La Planète des Singes by French author Pierre Boulle) actually had a gorilla president that resides over Ape City; and you can’t think of apes and politics without conjuring up the vision of the iconic “20th Century Fox wants you to go Ape” poster that was designed in 1974 to promote the re-release of the Planet of the Apes Films.

Now in the Planet of the Apes movies it was not the gorillas but the orange-haired orangutans that were the wisest and most level-headed among all of ape-kind. Too bad it’s not like that in our current real-life election.

GoApe

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About the author

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Bob Leeper

Bob Leeper is the co-owner and manager of "Arizona’s Pop Culture and Alternative Art Network," Evermore Nevermore. He is the co-creator of the pop culture events Steampunk Street and ENCREDICON, and is a member of the Phoenix Film Critics Society. He also curates the Facebook fan site The Arizona Cave – AZ Fans of Edgar Rice Burroughs, and is one of the few brave and bold fans of Jar Jar Binks.

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