and Bella Abzug. His most notoriousnwork, Myra Breckenridge, leaves mencold. He is disrespectful of, er, familynvalues that I hold dear.nNo matter. Vidal’s novels and essaysnwill outlast his carping contemporaries.nBurr and Lincoln and Empire andneven “The Empire-Lovers StrikenBack” will be read long after backnissues of The New Republic moldernforgotten. But it remains for conservativesnof some future generation to readnGore Vidal as a discerning critic of thenempire that Abraham Lincoln, byncrushing the localist Confederate rebellion,nsired so many years ago. Maynthe blind give birth to the sighted!nSomeday the American Empire, likenall empires, will collapse. The republicnwill probably be buried under the debris.nAnd in the ruins of what oncenconstituted mankind’s finest politicalnachievement, archaeologists will discovernin the witty dissections of GorenVidal a prolonged and heartfelt jeremiad.nThe pity, you will understand, isnthat he was not heeded.nBill Kauffman’s novel, Every Man anKing, is forthcoming from SohonPress.nPOP CULTUREnBam! Thwap!nProle! Comics GonPoliticalnby Evans JohnsonnFans of George Bush pulled annunusual weapon from their politicalnarsenals in the 1988 campaign —ncomic books. Delegates and hangers-onnat the Democratic Party National Conventionnin Atlanta reportedly were upsetnwhen handed copies of a cartoon magazinenridiculing the public record ofnMassachusetts Governor MichaelnDukakis. The appearance of the “attack”ncomic book, entitled MagicalnMike, was indicative of a trend —nfunny books are no longer produced ornread simply for entertainment.nMagical Mike was created by DicknHafer, who bills himself as the “Com­nics Commando.” Hafer has built anreputation within conservative Americannpolitical circles for his featurelengthneditorial cartoon satires aboutnliberal causes. Quoting heavily fromnboth liberal and conservative newspapers,nHafer lampooned Dukakis. Henalso urged readers to “make this book ancollector’s item,” by “getting Mike tonautograph your copy when he comesnto your area to perform his quickchangenact. Just ask him . . . he’ll benhappy to oblige.”nDukakis supporters struck back,ndrawing on the talents of mainstreamnfantasy comic book writers and illustratorsnworking for the third largest producernof such magazines in the UnitednStates, Eclipse Comics. Their comicnbook, Brought to Light, was availablenin time for the November elections.nAccording to an employee at VillagenComics in New York, who had seennadvance copies of the 72-page magazine,nit publicized “the incredible recordnof the Reagan administration’snA page from Brought to Light, the Christie Institute-funded comicn(or “graphic docudrama,” as its authors call it) about the 1984nattempt to assassinate contra leader Eden Pastora.nnnMARCH 1989/49n