Once in a while there comes a politician who you just look at and say, “Wow, there’s a Leader”. You know, like Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill and Jed Bartlett. This hasn’t been the case in Toronto’s current 37-month mayoral campaign as some people (a lazy writer’s way of saying me) have bemoaned the lackluster candidates. But change is coming as there’s someone new who has (sort of but not really) entered the race.
Newspaperman/cartoonist Steve Murray/Chip Zdarsky is just as unqualified as the other candidates, except he is a leader of humour, as seen on his excellent website. His campaign, “Murray for Mayor” (or M4M, which has curiously seen a lot of support in classified ads) is kind of like Ross Perot’s- alternately angry, funny and bizarre. The only difference is that Perot had $4 billion whereas Murray only has some perspective.
His site does not take contributions,  but I hear he does accept cupcakes sent to the National Post.

Looking to secure the coveted independent Canadian comics enthusiast demographic in Toronto, Steve graciously answered some questions by e-mail:

Steve Murray/National Post/Chip Zdarksy/Todd Diamond

Given that the comics community is a core constituency, how can we expect you to pander to them as mayor?
As mayor, I fully intend to declare a day for free comics, where citizens can go to their local comic book establishments and get a wonderful selection of comics featuring characters that they love, like Aqualad, Cindy Cinderblock, Mister Good, Green Lantern, Johnny Lad, Prince Tickle, The Wonderful Squirrel, Library Thomas and Thundermuscle! Or even comics featuring fan favourites like Vincent Man Go, Rocket Raccoon, Stretch X, The Domestic Abuser, Iron Man, Terry Boyorgirl, Garfield, Sarah The Unusual Witch, and more! I would call it Free Comic Book Day. This is my promise to the comics “community.”
As a Professional Artist Guy, do you believe you have an advantage given that your main four competitors are cartoon characters ? (UPDATE: Since this interview, Rocco Rossi has dropped out to make it 3 competitors. This is presumably due to Murray’s campaign.)
Ah, yes. The cutting caricatures (left) I did of my cartoonish challenger candidates. The pen, as they say, is mightier than the sword. They also say that a picture is worth a thousand words. Also, every dark cloud has a silver lining. Can a rolling stone gather no moss? We’ll see come October 25, when I illustrate my way across the finish line and roll into the mayor’s seat, ready to begin mayoring.
Given your momentum in the mayor’s race (coverage in the National Post, Toronto Star, Torontoist, as well as winning the 4Square mayoralty of your campaign office, Rob Ford’s and Joe Pantalone’s), you must be thinking about who you would bring with you to city hall as your brain trust. Can you give us an indication of who you’re considering?
There are some people, yes. I don’t feel comfortable listing them here, but I’m going to do it anyway, because I trust you to not publish this.
Chester Brown: Head a committee to observe the sex trade industry and its rules & regulations. Will keep a close eye on his office budget.
Dave Sim: In charge of street repair. Specifically filling potholes, which he keeps referring to as “street voids.”
Seth: Something to do with heritage, I guess.
Ryan North: In charge of revamping the City of Toronto website. At the very least, taking what’s there and adding exclamation marks and references to “sexy times.”
Warren Ellis: Minister of Executions. Obvious, really.

Seeing as the special G20 laws proved to be very popular, how will you extend your far-reaching political superpowers to affect change in the world of comics?
I’ve already had some high-level talks with publishers and cut back the prices of many comics from $3.99 to $2.99, simply by slashing the number of pages. When I get into office, you can expect 8-page, 99¢ comics by 2011.
How does your experience working on your Advice Column, Monster Cops and Prison Funnies translate to being mayor?
Well, the Advice column is a no-brainer. I help people. Every week. It’s who I am, it’s what I do. But helping one person a week is inefficient considering that in my day-to-day life I’m probably harming at least a dozen people a week. So, becoming mayor is the easiest way to help the most people until I become Prime Minister.
And my comic book work experience will aid me greatly, for sure.  Being a comic artist is all about working hard, with limited resources, for people that will complain about the final product. Just like being mayor.
Lastly, other than having the necessary ego and narcissism, what quality will make Steve Murray the great leader Toronto needs?
My ability to answer questions with another question?
You can contact Steve about your pressing issues on Twitter, FourSquare, LiveJournal, Last.FM, FlickR, Facebook, StumbleUpon, YouTube, Myspace, Friendster, Plurk, Purrsonals, Hi5, TumblR, Orkut, Ryze, VK, Multiply, Hyves, VK, LinkedIn and Badoo. Seriously, none of those were made up.

1 Comment

  1. Ya but does he have legs to equal Enza Supermodel’s?

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