You’re going about your day when, out of nowhere, you’re overcome with an overwhelming sense of sadness and longing. Diagnosis? You probably miss Barack Obama.
If you’re Jory John or Alyssa Machle John, that’s the kind of experience you can turn into creativity, in this case a book of 44 postcards to celebrate our 44th president.
“To this day,” the pair explains via email, “we’ll be taking a walk or sitting in the park and out of the blue, one of us will say, ‘Remember when Obama _______ (insert any one of his countless accomplishments or inspiring speeches or endearing interactions)?’ And then the other person will say, ‘Yeah.’ And then we’ll both sigh wistfully and stare off into the middle distance for a while.” That’s love, man.
Jory is a children’s book writer and Alyssa an illustrator with a background in art history and landscape architecture. The Portland couple already had plenty of experience working together, too, with the web comic Animals Got Problems and a project called “One Nice Thing Today” (check it out on Instagram), which offers daily suggestions of nice things to do for other people. So they combined artistic forces again to make I Miss You, Barack Obama, a collection of Obama-themed postcards for every occasion: from an anniversary card that reads, “You two are a regular Barack and Michelle!” to a more general, “Have a magical day!” featuring our former leader riding through the clouds on a unicorn. The last card in the book is (conveniently) pre-addressed to the ex-pres himself, pleading, “Could you please be our president again? There’s got to be a way. Think about it.”
Even with so many other possible mediums, postcards were the clear choice for the Johns and for Knock Knock, the project’s publisher.
“We liked the idea of creating something that would not only be entertaining, but could foster connections and promote good will among our fellow humans,” they explain. “We figured that a lot of people would be able to relate to and bond over missing Obama, so making that the focus of the postcards was in keeping with our goal of bringing people together.”
Postcards are available from Knock Knock’s website. Have a magical day!