10/2/2008   2004 VILLAGE VOICE COVER MAKES CAMEO ON HBO VAMPIRE SERIES

by Matt Haber

Viewers of True Blood, HBO's Southern vampire gothic, may have noticed a politically loaded piece of background art this past weekend.

Prominently featured in a scene set at Fangtasia, a vampire bar, was a painting of George W. Bush sucking blood from the neck of the Statue of Liberty. (A version can be found here.) The image was created by comic book artist and illustrator Alex Ross and ran on the cover of The Village Voice in October 26, 2004 to accompany an article by Nixonland author Rick Perlstein. At the time, the image struck some on the right as offensive.

A query about HBO's use of the image sent through Mr. Ross' site was answered by Sal Abbinanti, a comic illustrator and editor who wrote: "We send posters and files of images to production companies all the time. (Upon their request) HBO asked us for some images quite a while ago. [I] Wasn't sure what it was going to be used for." Since the show's airing on Sunday night, Web sites like Rope of Silicon and the Italian language Movieplayer.it and commenters on Flickr have begun to take note of the image. Maybe it's another clever viral marketing campaign?






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