Sh*t My President Says: The Illustrated Tweets of Donald J. Trump
Shannon Wheeler’s Sh*t My President Says illustrates a selection of Donald Trump’s voluminous Twitter catalog. And while the collection has value as a snapshot of a very particular and very unprecedented moment in American history, I’m not sure that the book really offers much value beyond that.
Some illustrations appear to add very little comedic or analytic value to tweets that by themselves already achieve Kafkaeque levels of absurdity. The series of illustrations accompanying Trump’s various Mexico-wall-related tweets, for example, simply depicts Trump progressively building a wall around himself. But while there are illustrations that fall flat or miss the mark, there are also those that succeed in being genuinely funny or incisive. For example, Trump’s self-congratulatory tweet that “many are saying I’m the best 140 character writer in the world” appears next to a drawing of a book amusingly titled The Old Man and the Tweet.
Overall, the book sometimes tiptoes the line of unoriginal and perhaps even derivative. The title is an obvious riff on Justin Halpern’s book/blog/TV show Sh*t My Dad Says, but it’s not clear what Wheeler hoped to convey with the allusion, if anything. The final page of the book, maybe tellingly, lists various authors whose works the book either draws from or inadvertently mirrors, including the aforementioned Halpern, Bill Plympton (who has illustrated Kanye West’s tweets), and Robert Sikoryak (who has also illustrated Trump quotes). Is it inevitable that the idea of illustrating the things Trump says and does for comedic effect will occur to multiple people? Almost certainly. But does Sh*t My President Says bring a freshly original voice or vision to the concept? Alas, not really.
Top Shelf Productions