I adore Thomas Paine. If this comic weren’t about Frederick, I probably would have lobbied hard for it to be about Tom. As we’re catching up with him here, it would have been right around the time his second part of Rights of Man was published, which was when he started getting really noticed in France as a thinker in his own right rather than as a clever propagandist. It’s the honeymoon period when he is elected an honorary citizen of France, before the whole machinery of Revolution turned against him as it would on so many other of its original friends.
I wonder though, is it true that every schoolboy knows who he is these days? Granted, for Lincoln the Revolution was just on the borders of living memory (my favorite scene in Zanuck’s “Young Lincoln” is when the carriage full of Revolutionary veterans pass by and all of the shenanigans of the parade just stop as Lincoln and everybody else takes off their hat to watch them pass). But still, THOMAS PAINE! He was in very real danger of being totally elbowed off the pantheon of founding fathers, but luckily he had a staunch champion in Robert Ingersoll, who used his own massive draw to bring attention back to the pen of the Revolution. Anyway, I couldn’t be happier to get a chance to draw and write him at last. We’ll see what all he does!
– Count Dolby von Luckner