An L.A. Artist's "Buff Bernie" Sanders Is Whimsical, Disturbing, Hunky

An L.A. Artist's "Buff Bernie" Sanders Is Whimsical, Disturbing, HunkyEXPAND
Courtesy Nicole Daddona

At this point in the presidential race, Bernie Sanders' supporters have grown used to rejecting all sorts of naysaying: Bernie isn't really electable, what with his being a Democratic Socialist and all. "Wrong." Bernie's proposed economic policies aren't enactable. "Pshaw." Bernie isn't a 6-foot-5 beefcake with rippling abs and a pair of engorged anacondas for arms. "Fuck you."

In that spirit, L.A.-based artist Nicole Daddona created the coloring book Buff Bernie, featuring illustrations of the 74-year-old Vermont senator as the virile mass of muscle and flesh his most fervent fans see in their minds' eyes. 

A freelance illustrator, Daddona is also the co-founder of Magic Society Productions, the banner under which she and boyfriend/creative partner Adam Shenkman make weirdo short videos and other visual content for outlets such as BuzzFeed and MTV. They also recently developed a show with Cartoon Network. She got the idea to draw a coloring book from her father, who clued her in to the "adult coloring" trend. "[My dad] said that I should make one over a year ago, but I put it on the back burner until now," she says. "I wanted to do something to support Bernie Sanders, and a coloring book seemed perfect."

It probably goes without saying, but Daddona is a Sanders supporter. "He is the most refreshing politician I have ever encountered. I love what he stands for, and I will be voting for him," she says. She's also donating a portion of the self-published coloring book's proceeds to Sanders' campaign, and already has a second book in the works. "I actually had so much fun making Buff Bernie that I decided to make a second Bernie Sanders coloring book called Bernie & Chill, which features over a dozen classic movie posters starring Bernie Sanders."

From conception to publication, Daddona says the project took about two weeks: "We live in such a cool do-it-yourself time!" Ultimately, she hopes Buff Bernie helps to lighten the discourse in an era when politics get nasty and quick. "Politics can get so serious and heated, and they definitely are serious, but I hope this coloring book helps to lighten things up and make people laugh," she says. "Sort of in the realm of an SNL sketch starring Larry David as Bernie Sanders."

The book's available for $9 on Amazon. Accessible to everyone, just the way Bernie would want it.


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