Nathan Fox Illustrates Cory Booker for Politico
In his latest collaboration with Politico Magazine, illustrator Nathan Fox took United States Senator Cory Booker and raised him to super-human status for a non-fiction comic strip.
Finding his passion for cartoons and graphic novels at an early age, Nathan is no stranger to creating comic strips. “Cory Booker is a real-life figure who is just as flawed and fantastic as fictional heroes. People have a very interesting and exciting and rich and very dramatic past, so the story was there. I wanted to find a balance between a real figure as well as somebody who kind of has that charisma and aspiration of something fictional, beyond human. A lot of elements in his opening image are directly relevant to the story: the Newark skyline, dog leash, and shovel,” explained Nathan.
Politico first reached out to Nathan before Christmas, with the hopes of creating a comic strip to be debuted in print in the New Year, before Cory announced his candidacy for the 2020 Presidency. When Politico decided to go digital, that meant that Nathan would not only be switching mediums, and figuring out the in’s and out’s of a digital comic, but that the original 6-page comic strip could be extended to an infinite scroll. “That's when we started pushing the format, trying to use the right space and infinite scroll aspect of a mobile device. We were able to expand the story, so it was much more in-depth. It definitely went from what would have been a text-heavy, dense comic to a bit more of a fluid and organic showing of the legend of Cory booker, digitally,” explained the illustrator.
While the illustrator enjoyed comics in his own childhood, he didn’t always feel a connection to the classic narrative of larger than life superheroes. “It was hard to believe in superheroes in my childhood because they weren’t real. I never really latched onto them. I was initially interested in the visual storytelling in a bit more of an Indiana Jones or Robin Hood direction. There’s something that’s more tangible with real people doing extraordinary things.”
Inspired by the character and heroism of real people, Nathan brings a feeling of tangible authenticity to his illustrations. “One of the challenges was adding in real quotes and not fictional ones. We didn’t want to go too far into dramatizing his story. We tried to stick with reality. It was a real challenge not to go too far into fiction and over dramatization of his life, ‘cause it's much easier to do that. This account is as close to what really happened as what we could possibly get.”