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John Hickenlooper inaugurated as king of cartoons in 2001: Kenny Be's Time Machine

Hickenlooper's crowning achievement.
Hickenlooper's crowning achievement.

John Hickenlooper officially became Colorado's governor at today's inauguration. As the drawing above illustrates, I crowned King John nearly a decade ago in a comic prediction. Look below to see the full comic, as well as the ten-year evolution of Hick as a political cartoon character...

The newest King of cartoons.
The newest King of cartoons.

The panel above is from "Predictions 2001," in the January 4, 2001, Worst-Case Scenario comic in Westword. The prediction below the picture read:

Having transformed himself from "the geologist that no one would talk to" into "the unofficial Mayor of LoDo," tepid suds-slinger John Hickenlooper will begin to parlay the name recognition he's gained from being the media's most over-used quote source into an "unofficial" run for office. (Look out, Cathy Reynolds!)

Cathy Reynolds has been all but forgotten, but below, Hick's rise to power brings back some awkward memories...

Kickin' back with the (nearly) new Mayor Hickenlooper.
Kickin' back with the (nearly) new Mayor Hickenlooper.

The panel pictured above was the last from the May 1, 2003 Worst-Case Scenario comic titled "The Morning After." The comic predicted what each of the seven candidates for Denver Mayor would be doing the morning after the upcoming run-off election.

As seen below, John's ex-girlfriends would often pop up in his administration and my comics...

Hickenlooper's revolving Rolodex of ex-girlfriends was always at the ready.
Hickenlooper's revolving Rolodex of ex-girlfriends was always at the ready.

The panel above was from the July 31, 2003 Worst-Case Scenario titled "Mayor Hickenlooper's First Nine Days." The comic detailed the bumpy start of a political career that has nearly become legend. The second panel showed John looking through his address book for ex-girlfriends to staff his new administration. Devany McNeill was one of the original owners of the Wines Off Wynkoop boutique liquor store adjacent to the downtown Tattered Cover.

By 2005, Hickenlooper had found his stride and was out to conquer Denver, if not the world. Look below to see "Superhick."

Superhick's scooter had wings.
Superhick's scooter had wings.

Superhick was a continuing comic series that ran in the summer of 2005. In the series, superhero John Hickenlooper was called to save Sanctuary City from an evil Tom Tancredo, who has invented a "doomsday deportation device" to rid Denver of illegal immigrants.

While Superhick battles with Tancredo, Ward Churchill enters the lab and turns the dial to the anti-immigrant time machine all the way back to the year 1615 A.D., in an effort to rid America of everyone but tribal ancestors. A quick-thinking Superhick throws tiny Tom Tancredo at Ward Churchill and saves the day.

Superhero Hickenlooper throws evil Tom Tancredo to knock out Ward Churchill.
Superhero Hickenlooper throws evil Tom Tancredo to knock out Ward Churchill.

Below, Hickenlooper goes from regional celebrity to international superstar...

Mayor Hickenlooper escorts Posh Spice and Beckham through Commerce City.
Mayor Hickenlooper escorts Posh Spice and Beckham through Commerce City.

The panel pictured above was printed in the July 19, 2007 Worst-Case Scenario titled "Beckham and Posh in Commerce City." The Internationally famous couple was in town for the 2007 Soccer All-Star Game at Dick's Sporting Goods Arena. Here, Mayor Hickenlooper takes the opportunity to give the visiting couple a tour of his Rocky Mountain Arsenal Urban Wildlife Reserve for the homeless.

Below, John Hickenlooper's luck was predicted again in the 2010 Colorado Political Tarot Card deck...

The magic surrounds John Hickenlooper.
The magic surrounds John Hickenlooper.

I had no idea of the events that would conspire in the 2010 Governor's race when I drew John Hickenlooper as The Magician card for my Colorado Politics 2010 Tarot Deck. He had just announced his candidacy when the card was made. Perhaps at the same time he cast a spell to render his political opposition powerless.

More from our Kenny Be/Comics archive: "Harvey Pekar tribute features a galaxy of Denver comic art stars."


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