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Order The Licensable BearTM Big Book of Officially Licensed Fun! All four issues, plus additional stories - $14 postpaid!
  • Where can I get Licensable Bear™ issue 4?
    • This long after the release of Licensable Bear™ issue 4, I can no longer know of any store with copies in stock. The stories from the issue are reprinted in The Licensable Bear™ Big Book of Officially Licensed Fun!, which can be ordered through better comic book stores or via Amazon. Individual copies have been offered on eBay.
  • Is Licensable Bear™ issue 4 the first comic book appearance of Barack Obama?
    • To the best of our knowledge, yes. The issue hit stores on July 17th, 2007, more than a year before the Obama appearance in Savage Dragon, IDW’s Presidential Material biography, or any of the ensuing appearances.
  • How rare is Licensable Bear™ issue 4?
    • The print run was only 1050 copies. There was a special second printing done as a fund raiser for The Hero Initiative, which was only 60 copies (50 signed-and-numbered copies, plus 10 Artist Proof copies) and has a different cover.The only other reprinting of the story has been in The Licensable Bear™ Big Book of Officially Licensed Fun!, which itself had a print run of under 900 copies in its first printing (October, 2008), and as of this writing (June 17, 2009) has had no second printing.

  • Why have I seen three different cover images for issue #4 on the Web?
    • The issue was the subject of a charity auction, with the winning bidder getting to place a message on the issue’s cover. Because the auction had not yet taken place when the book was being solicited and the auction was being promoted, an image was created with placeholder text in the word balloons (if the words in the first word balloon are green, then you’re looking at this image.) The book was never actually printed with that cover. The actual published cover includes the name of auction winner “Steve Borock” on it. Any similarity between “Borock” and “Barack” is coincidental; the appearance of the name “Borock” is not what we mean when we say the comic book has Barack inside it. Then there was Hero Initiative edition done in 2009, which has the cover inspired by the iconic Obama poster.
  • Why have I seen three different cover images for The Big Book on the Web?
    • Similar (but even more boring than) the last answer: at the time that the book was solicited, the cover had a rainbow-hued background. After that image got sent around electronically, it was decided to replace the rainbow with a less garish purple, which is how the book originally saw print. When the book switched to print-on-demand, a new, yellow cover design was used.
  • Is the character actually Barack Obama, or just some unnamed politician?
    • The character is specifically refered to as “Senator Obama”, and is seen on two pages. A couple of other then-candidates for president are mentioned in the story (Clinton, Guiliani), but unlike Obama, they are not seen.
  • Was the inclusion of Obama a publicity stunt?
    • No. The inclusion of Obama was not promoted at the time this was published (although there was some promotion of the election theme of the story). When the issue was published, Obama was 19 points behind Clinton in the polls, so he wasn’t even the probable Democratic contender, much less the likely winner of the presidency.
  • Is this a professional comic, or a fanzine?
    • Despite the low print run, this is a professional comic. The publisher, About Comics, has been in business for more than a decade and has published work by such comics bigwigs as Scott McCloud, Kurt Busiek, and Charles Schulz. The issue was written by Nat Gertler, two-time Eisner Award nominee, who has been published by DC Comics, Image, Archie, and over a dozen other publishers. While the issue does have some first-time artists, it also includes art by Mark Lewis (credits at DC and Image) and Rusty Haller (substantial credits at Marvel and Archie).

Licensable BearTM is trademarked and copyright 2003 by Nat Gertler. All rights reserved. Website content copyright 2003-2005 Nat Gertler.