Interview: "Vladimir Putin Action Comics" Creator Sam Derse

By Chuck Sudo in Arts & Entertainment on Jan 12, 2011 7:00PM

Vladimir Putin Action Comics first came to our attention through Facebook, and we were immediately fascinated by the strip's tone and the way it skewered the staged propaganda photos of Russian leader Vladimir Putin as a virile leader for the Motherland. The strips also bring to mind the absurd and caustic satire of similar strips like "Get Your War On," "This Modern World," and "Red Meat."

Turns out that's by design. Creator and Chicago resident Sam Derse is a huge fan of those strips. The Putin photos also are ripe for satire. "I'm a big fan of Putin's 'man of action' persona," Derse said. "Those photos of him are so great."

We took the time to have a brief chat with Derse about "VPAC" and his expectations for the strip as it gains readers.

Chicagoist: How long have you been working on "Vladimir Putin Action Comics?"

Sam Derse: I started the strip in late October, early November. I'm putting out about three strips a week

C: And what has the response been to the strip?

SD: So far, people have been really positive about the strips. I've even heard from Max Cannon ("Red Meat" creator) and David Rees ("GYWO" Creator) and they like the strip,

C: Besides your Tumblr and Facebook pages, do you have any other plans to grow the strip?

SD: The strip can also be found at Funny or Die, and I have a store set up for t-shirts.

C: Any plans on possibly syndicating the strip?

SD: Not at the moment. It's still pretty new.

C: Since you're using "Action Comics" in the title, has the strip reached the radar of Time Warner? You know, for copyright infringement of the 'Action Comics" term?

SD: Not at all

C: Where are most of your readers coming from?

SD: Right now the site analytics show that a lot of readers of the strip are coming from Russia, Poland, the Ukraine and Eastern Europe. I though "Chicago has a very large Polish and Ukranian population. How can I reach them?"