Robot 6

Straight for the art | Bill Sienkiewicz’s Friendly Dictators trading cards

General Francisco Franco, President of Spain, by Bill Sienkiewicz

General Francisco Franco, President of Spain, by Bill Sienkiewicz

Man, they made trading cards out of everything in the ’90s, didn’t they? Case in point: Written by Dennis Bernstein and Laura Slydell and illustrated by Elektra: Assassin genius Bill Sienkiewicz, the Friendly Dictators Trading Cards set from 1990 represented a rogues’ gallery of tyrants who were on good terms with the good ol’ U.S. of A. Okay, so Hitler’s a bit of a stretch. But from Papa Doc Duvalier in Haiti to Augusto Pinochet in Chile to Ngo Dinh Diem in South Vietnam, there’s no shortage of creeps, goons, and outright monsters with whom America traded the occasional Christmas card and/or oodles of military and monetary aid, and Sienkiewicz brings them all to ghoulish life. I particularly appreciate the “CANCELLED” stamp applied to the autocrats who eventually fell out of our favor. Poor Manuel Noriega, he never saw it coming.

(Via John Barber)


One Comment

You are correct, Sean, Hitler is a real stretch. There were certainly elements in American society before Pearl Harbor who were openly sympathetic with fascism in general, and Naziism in particular (these folk would have been very much opposed to President Roosevelt and the New Deal.) FDR took a decidedly anti-fascist foreign policy stance long before the US entered WWII.

Still, Sienkiewicz was doing some really amazing work back then.

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