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Writer signs Michelle Obama comic book

Posted: May 10, 2009 9:55 p.m.
Updated: May 11, 2009 8:00 a.m.

Pamela Dilworth, left, gets her 32 copies of "Female Force: Michelle Obama" signed by the author Neal Bailey at the Brave New World comic store on Saturday.

Canyon Country resident Pamela Dilworth never collected comic books - that was until Barack Obama became president.

Dilworth had 32 "Female Force: Michelle Obama" comic books signed by writer Neal Bailey on Saturday at Brave New World Comics in Newhall.

"I picked them up, left them in my car and didn't touch them until I could get them signed," said Dilworth, who plans to give some signed copies to her children, grandchildren and under-privileged children who can't afford to buy a Michelle Obama comic book.

Dilworth also owns multiple copies of the Amazing Spider-man comic, from Marvel Comics, starring President Obama on the cover.

Bailey, writer of the Michelle Obama comic book, travelled from Portland, Ore., to sign copies of the piece which came out April 28.

It is the third in the Female Force series from Bluewater Comics. Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin were the subjects of the first two and Caroline Kennedy will be the fourth, Bailey said.

"Female Force: Michelle Obama" is biographical, Bailey said. Readers can learn about her first movie date with President Obama, her decision to leave an established entertainment firm to work with lower income communities, the raising of daughters Sasha and Malia, and much more.

"I want people who are adversarial to her to have a deeper understanding of who she is, to enjoy her accomplishments and at the same time not be afraid to challenge their potential biases because it's very important to scrutinize the things you hold dear," Bailey said.

He said it would be his only signing in California and was grateful for the support he received from fans in Santa Clarita.

Portlyn Freeman, co-owner of Brave New World, said the news that Bailey would be signing the books elicited excitement from a new crowd of comic book readers.

"It's really an interesting series of biography comics ... there are no capes, explosions or superpowers beyond being smart, strong and in the public eye," she said. "It's getting people into reading comic books who have never picked up a comic book before, simply based on the subject matter."

The first lady was invited to the comic book signing, but Brave New World had not heard from her, Portlyn said.

While President Obama earned his guest spot in the Marvel Comics' Spider-man comic book earlier in the year, Michelle Obama gets an entire comic book all to herself.

"Anybody can read about how this woman went from the South Side of Chicago to the White House," said Portlyn, who refers to herself by first name only. "Biographies are hard to get into because there's not that element of fantasy, action or adventure, but this really is an accessible way to learn about current history."

Dilworth said the very reason she has begun collecting Obama comics is because of their historical factor.

"I mean, the first black president and first lady that's black," said Dilworth, 58. "I'm black and no one ever expected to see a black president in my lifetime."

Paula Mazzoli, of Canyon Country, said she held out on reading her comic book until she could get it signed.

"I have a little piece of history in my hand, that's what makes it so special," Mazzoli, 26, said.


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