FEBRUARY 14, 2019
THIS FEBRUARY MARKS 20 years since the Senate voted against the impeachment of President Bill Clinton, which had passed the House the previous December. In the two decades since a 22-year-old White House intern fell in love with “Handsome,” Monica Lewinsky’s name for the president with whom she had an office affair, piles of books have been published about her, most of them casting her as a ditz from Beverly Hills.
I pulled a moment from each of nine books and sources about Lewinsky that have appeared since the scandal, and created a drawing to go with each one. I hadn’t realized that Lewinsky put an ad in the Washington Post anonymously expressing her love for the president on Valentine’s Day, or that the affair started during a government shutdown when there were fewer employees at work. Lewinsky, who was already unpaid, offered to volunteer to be at the White House for extra hours. These details are fascinating to me, and they’re important because they portray someone who became a national punching bag as human.
Katie Fricas is a cartoonist and bibliophile in New York City. Her comic series Checked Out, about almost a decade spent working in New York City’s oldest library, appears regularly on the website Spiralbound.