In 2007, a comic book company was formed that set out to make something different– comics about whatever the fuck. Bluewater (who later changed their name to StormFront who later learned that was a Nazi name who later changed their name to TidalWave) published adaptations of ancient novels, profiles of celebrities, reimaginings of 80-year-old science fiction movies, and an entire series about politicians and right wing propagandists called ★Political★Power★. Which means they published an illustrated biography of serial sex criminal Bill O’Reilly.
You’re probably thinking, “A comic book about the cranky guy known for saying racist things from behind a desk and nothing else? How does it open? With him saying cranky, racist things from behind a desk?” W-whoa. That’s exactly how it starts.
This non-fiction tale of heroism opens with the main protagonist screaming at Geraldo Rivera about how America needs to deport a specific drunk Mexican. Geraldo tries to explain to our hero how exile is not how you punish a misdemeanor, but Bill won’t listen. Geraldo tries to ask why Bill is so mad about this guy being Mexican, but Bill won’t listen.
It’s a good example of how subtle modern racism can be. When our grandparents were on the lookout for bigotry, they could simply ask, “I saw the WHITES ONLY sign on your STRAIGHTS ONLY asbestos store… is there any wiggle room there? Because I’m almost positive one of my kids is half Italian.” Today you need to pay closer attention. No one comes right out and says “I’m racist” anymore. They might do something more understated like go on TV and tell a Latino man, “I don’t care what the rules say. Those laws are for white people and Mexicans should go back where they belong.” I mean, it’s sneaky. You have to really be watching for it.
By the way, the first seven pages are like this. Seven pages of Bill O’Reilly arguing with guests on his TV show, getting most of the details wrong, but being noisier. Here’s his interview with Barney Frank where after several minutes of screaming they disagree to disagree about which word they’re fighting about:
Look, adaptation is a difficult skill. Taking something from one media and translating it to another requires a deep understanding of both. And say what you will about this being a dumb idea from the very concept, as an adaptation, it’s maybe not possible to fuck up more than this. These people were turning a cable news show into a comic and their idea was “Maybe a verbatim transcript of an argument furiously scribbled into dozens of word bubbles? Over a picture of them sitting?” It fucking sucks. I dare anyone to read this panel of Bill O’Reilly’s interview with Al Sharpton:
As the only person who will ever live to read that, let me sum it up. Some study came out about fourth graders in Sudan being bad at reading, and Bill O’Reilly blamed Al Sharpton because he’s also black. Well, not “blamed” exactly. Bill was just pointing out how he’s a hypocrite for protesting some black issues while ignoring what’s going on in Sudanese grade schools. Again, it’s “racist,” but only after it’s “stupid,” “insane,” and “belligerent.” The point is, Bill O’Reilly thinks he’s proven he cares more about Sudanese kids than Al Sharpton and he’ll never listen to how he’s wrong, which means blacks shouldn’t be allowed to protest, so who’s the real racist now?
It’s a terrible argument, made even worse when you consider it was chosen as one of his greatest hits for this biography. How empty and meaningless has this guy’s career been that they included the time he screamed at Al Sharpton to ignore Burger King’s civil rights violations because of African elementary teachers? So, yeah, okay, it’s the bigoted trolling of a delusional idiot, but would a delusional idiot also add this detail to the story?
Al Sharpton secretly, after the cameras were off, privately admitted Bill O’Reilly was right.
But so far the comic has only shown us the Bill O’Reilly we knew from TV. He’s a bad listener. A bully. An idiot. A total asshole. A full-blown racist. Smugly confident he’s not any of those things. I was starting to suspect this was a sarcastic hit piece so I looked up the author, Jerome Maida.
Jerome isn’t a prolific comics writer and these batshit ★Political★Power★ books seem to make up most of his work. He focuses mainly on right wing nutbags like Glenn Beck, Laura Ingraham, and Donald Trump, so it’s safe to say these aren’t sarcastic. Jerome Maida was just the only freelance writer who said yes to the question, “Are you available for a 3 hour contract adapting white nationalism for kids?”
So he’s a bit of a Nazi apologist for money, but Jerome’s real passion is martial arts.
Specifically, Jerome is passionate about The Martial Arts Kid, a 2015 film starring Don “The Dragon” Wilson and Cynthia Rothrock. It very much sounds like a fake movie where a caterer was murdered on an episode of CSI, but The Martial Arts Kid is real, and all 47 articles Jerome Maida wrote for martialartsentertainment.com are about it. Jerome wrote a feature article on every casting decision, press release, and soundtrack choice. One of them was simply called “The Martial Arts Kid Will Be Great Movie.” I’ve extremely never seen anything like it:
I’ve been on the Internet a long time and I’ve seen a lot of articles built from IMDB searches, but I’ve never seen anyone write forty seven articles based entirely on a single IMDB Full Cast and Crew list. It’s unthinkable. It’s a fake mental disorder you’d make up to explain why the killer targeted The Martial Arts Kid on an episode of CSI. It’s also very distracting from why we’re here– to talk about Bill O’Reilly’s heroic origin story:
Bill had an angry and abusive father, but in a… let me see if I’m understanding this comic’s tone properly… a cute way? “MY FATHER WAS THE KUNG AND I WAS THE FU!” jokes Bill O’Reilly, who I was starting to have more sympathy for until he said that.
Starting from the whimsy of a father beating his son, Bill’s journey starts to get darker. Let me show you one of the pages they chose to represent Bill O’Reilly’s childhood:
It’s relentless images of rage, torment, and fascism coming together to make an angry, bitter, fascist. It’s Bill O’Reilly’s origin story, so I don’t know what else I expected. I guess I only find it interesting because my expectations were met so precisely.
This panel of young Bill having a shitty meal actually helped me understand him. Bill O’Reilly finds this strange pride in his misery. It lets him complain constantly while thinking of himself as a tough guy who never complains because he thinks he’s bragging. For instance, his family rarely went out to restaurants, and when they did, they were awful and had no appetizers. This obviously isn’t interesting enough to tell anyone, much less include in a comic book. Bill tells it because he thinks it taught him the quiet dignity of meatballless spaghetti, but what it really did was teach him to hate decadent spaghetti cowards, humiliating America with every calamari for the table. It’s stupid, right? This is a guy who, multiple times, has dropped millions of dollars trying to jam a thumb up a co-worker’s butt and here he is judging you for wasting $4.99 on jalapeño poppers. Shut the fuck up and suck your sad spaghetti, sex pest.
As if you needed to be told this, there are a lot of panels of young Bill O’Reilly alone and angry.
For pages and pages we see how sad, bitter, antisocial, and constantly violent Bill was, but we also learn how self-reflective he can be. For instance, the angry, racist young dick was kicked off his little league team because the coach didn’t like him “for reasons unknown to Bill to this day.” What a mystery! We may never know why this likable team player spent another baseball season alone and angry.
Bill’s childhood story continues through more random images of trauma and fascism…
I didn’t doctor that. This page of Bill O’Reilly’s origin story really does go from Mussolini to child abuse to vandalism to snowballs to the time Bill yawned in church. In storytelling, this is what’s known as raising the stakes.
Bill’s life story just keeps fucking going like this. Like all true patriots, he attacked a kid for trying too hard in school, blew up his neighbor’s house, assaulted a kid with a firearm, and even gave his father a dirty look. And maybe it’s because Bill O’Reilly is a known liar, but it’s hard to believe a lot of these things happened when they’re categorized together like this. No one tells a story like “I once threw a bomb at my neighbor” and then adds “I didn’t give a shit– I’d yawn in church, shoot people, look my dad in the eyes! By the way, my dad was a Nazi who punched my arm and I have a little joke about it: he was the kung and I was the fu. Do you get it? Because I don’t! I say it a lot, but is it a pun? Maybe some kind of unformed racism? This is how you put together a biography, right?”
Anyway, here’s a probably mostly fake story about the time young Bill O’Reilly tormented a kid so much the boy’s father chased Bill into his own house. Right in front of Bill’s dad.
I bet you know what happened next! Bill O’Reilly’s father, the abusive Mussolini of Hitlers who never bought appetizers… calmed the man down! Asked him to leave! Told Bill he needs to stop being a bully! Wait, something doesn’t– holy shit, wait, is the dad not the villain? Ohmygod, is Bill O’Reilly the bad guy in this Bill O’Reilly comic?
The next story is about Bill assaulting yet another kid.
Bill O’Reilly famously called his show the “No Spin Zone,” so I think he’ll appreciate how I’m not spinning this story. Some guy said, “NICE JACKET, BILL!” and then didn’t finish his next sentence before Bill punched him in the face. This is a poorly made book by a disinterested karate master, but his decision to give young Bill the same face, shirt, and haircut as his father is a pretty good way to artistically represent a cycle of abuse. It was definitely an accident, but maybe Jerome Maida is also starting to figure out Bill O’Reilly is the villain.
The next story is one of betrayal.
Bill couldn’t find a date to a high school dance, so he asked some guy to go with him “so the girls would think he’s cool.” The guy said no, but then that “so-called friend” went to the dance anyway. Doing “the twist” like a madman! How could this so-called friend do this!? It’s a real question! Before you read the next panel, guess! Guess why this so-called friend told Bill O’Reilly he wasn’t going to the dance!
You were right! They weren’t friends and he didn’t want Bill around because he didn’t like him and nobody else liked him. Honestly, if this happened to me I wouldn’t tell anyone about it, much less my biographer. How empty is this fucking piece of shit’s life that we’re 23 pages into his story and he’s still sharing every last teenage drama? These sound like the stories of a loser who peaked in high school after you take out all the sports, academics, popularity, drugs, and girls. You’d think a wealthy TV personality who has publicly spent $45 million in sexual harassment payouts would have led a more interesting life than this.
As if you needed to be told this, Bill O’Reilly had trouble getting laid. But actually? A-actually, he’s glad! Yeah, he is glad he had no “moves” and waited until he was more mature to have sex. But enough about Bill being a violent, lonely incel and how honorable that is when you think about it. Let’s move on to the origin story of Bill’s racism.
As if you needed to be told this, content warning: Bill O’Reilly’s comic about himself from 2010 has several hard-r n-words.
Growing up around only whites, Bill didn’t really have a chance to be racist. In fact, since he attacked, shot, and tried to explode many of those whites, he’s statistically less racist than Liberty Medal-winner, Muhammed Ali, who punched a much higher percentage of black m– hold on. I went into that sentence sarcastically, but I think I accidentally wrote a real Bill O’Reilly argument? Do I now “get” Bill O’Reilly?
Bill knew of blacks from his television and was such a champion of civil rights he liked Willie Mays even more than “the white New York Yankees superstar” Mickey Mantle. Bill loved Willie Mays so much he was known around his all-white town as the non-racist, and out of respect for Bill’s famous “No Spin Zone,” I won’t try to spin this story. When the local children accused him of liking black people, Bill O’Reilly would punch them in the goddamn face. How could that be bad, everyone? Why, it’d be almost vulgar to call that racist.
Please remember, this story was proudly told by Bill and included in his biography to demonstrate his dislike of bigotry. And like all colorblind champions of equality, he includes an exact headcount of all the blacks in his stories:
I’m not leaving anything out of this one. This is the whole Bill O’Reilly adventure. He once met four black guys and got to know half of them. If a person had weird issues with skin color would they waste 5% of their biography on that story? Ridiculous. So this person who saw all people as equals but still kept careful track of how many times he met blacks and how many there were on each occasion, tells the story of the second time he encountered non-whites:
The second “experience with race” Bill had was when he met Nate, who didn’t like Bill as much as two of the four first blacks he met (who were funny guys if you can believe it).
Nate was right to hate Bill, who sat next to Nate as part of an undercover sting operation to expose “reverse racism.” See, Bill “heard a rumor” there was a teacher who gave a B+ to every black student which means someone on campus, for some reason, was keeping track of the black people and their suspiciously white grades. I have a suspect, but for now let’s assume it was not angry racist loner Bill O’Reilly, but one of his many friends who uncovered this suspiciously racist data. “Please look into this, bitter liar who tried to grope my roommate! You’re the only one I can trust with my shameful secret prejudice!” they probably said.
So anyway, the bad races were getting B+s in a compulsory course, and College Bill was on the case!
Sure enough, the “sensitive” teacher gave Nate a B! Oh, a B? The “rumors” said he was supposed to get a B+, so never mind. I guess the “rumors” were wrong. You know what, though? Maybe Bill should write a column for the school newspaper about how black people don’t deserve Bs even without the plusses. It’s what any non-racist would do.
Later, off the record, Nate sort of admitted he didn’t enjoy the “jive-ass” class. Busted! From his own account, Bill was more right about race than one of the races again! Ever the journalist and storyteller, Bill kept track of Nate after he dropped out of school and yadayada he EVENTUALLY MURDERED A POLICEMAN.
Over the course of a person’s life, there should be at least a few incidents where, especially with this level of embellishment, they were a hero. Like maybe you only called in a noise complaint when your neighbors started arguing, but if you tell that story right, the cops got there just in time to stop a murder. My point is, Bill has been alive more than two decades at this point and -in his own opinion- the closest thing he’s come to heroism is working to ensure one black guy couldn’t get an education. And when offered the opportunity to make up any details he wanted, he said, “That guy I harassed out of school, I can’t remember what color he was, he went on to… I don’t know… kill a cop, probably? All I know are the facts: twenty percent of blacks go on to murder policemen. Forty percent are funny guys, though.”
After a successful(?) college career, Bill O’Reilly got a job as a teacher.
Once the bitter, stupid asshole arrived, there was an outbreak of graffiti. It wasn’t about Bill, though! It was about a whore named Susan and Mike O. who… what did those rascals say about their fellow teen, Mike O.? Oh, right, he “takes it in the keister.” What I’m saying is the sudden graffiti did not focus on the smug, unloved bigot who has ruined every life he’s touched since he was born.
So what did Bill do? He did what any obvious sex expert would do: he told them there are studies proving people who write graffiti can’t fuck.
“What a genius you are for making up those sociological studies linking graffiti to sexual confusion!” marveled the students and teachers.
“I didn’t fucking make them up!” said the man who made them up to characters he made up.
In many ways it’s the perfect story to end on. It’s dumb, it didn’t happen, and it wouldn’t happen, but it shows how Bill O’Reilly’s mind works. He starts off by making up a story where he solves a complicated issue with his brand of no-nonsense verbal abuse. He then creates straw men who adore him and praise his craftiness, but then he gets mad at them because he’s not playing some game! It’s basic, no-frills, white wisdom! Later, all of the vandals would go on to be immature about sex and murder a policeman.
And that’s the tale of Bill O’Reilly! He attacked many children, has a lot of holes in his stories, wasn’t good at anything, met five blacks, got most of one of them kicked out of college, and told some kids they can’t fuck. And nothing could have trained him better for a life of right wing media. The comic wraps up with a few panels on unrelated tragedy, unexplained deaths, and two soldiers getting torn apart by bullets in a war Bill did not attend? I don’t know why.
After waiting until the last page of his biography and their deaths to describe his five closest loved ones, Bill leaves us with one last thought:
“I was a fucking dick, I did some great racism and punching, my only friends were lost in Vietnam or ‘found dead from some rare illness,’ and I’ll die alone. Bye!” – Bill O’Reilly
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