Pettigrew for President Treasure Chest Series Now OnlineOctober 9th, 2009 by Dr. Maria Mazzenga
Responding to an appeal by the Commission on American Citizenship at Catholic University, George A. Pflaum of Dayton, Ohio began publishing a bi-monthly comic book, the Treasure Chest of Fun & Fact, for distribution in Catholic parochial schools. Intended as an antidote to the perceived immorality of popular comic books, Treasure Chest contained educational features, narrated the lives of saints, and presented adventure stories featuring realistic characters with what were considered wholesome values, like patriotism, equality, faith, and anti-communism.
By the early 1960s, the Treasure Chest was at the height of its popularity. In 1964, Joe Sinnott, the illustrator of Marvel Comics’ “The Fantastic Four”, teamed up with writer Berry Reece to produce a story depicting a U.S. presidential election. It was set in the future: the presidential election was supposedly that of 1976, the year of the nation’s bicentennial. “Pettigrew for President” lasted for ten issues, following the campaign trail of the fictional Tim Pettigrew from the announcement of his candidacy through the national convention of his party. The candidate’s face was carefully hidden in every panel, until the final page of the final issue of the story, when Pettigrew is finally revealed: the first black candidate for president of the United States!
This site presents the full Pettigrew series in its entirety for the first time. It also features biographical material on the series’ author and illustrator, a question and answer interview with Berry Reece, and background information contextualizing the series.