Download color pdf of this artwork here: Buchanan artwork 2023.
Decoder for 2023 Year-in-Revue Holiday Card
1. The Thrill of Unboxing and a Makeover. Ken, the most popular of all the briefcakes in Barbie Land a couple years ago, begins experiencing an existential crisis after his term ends as State Bar President. He must return to the real world in order to understand himself and discover his true purpose of helping wrongfully injured people. His kinda-sorta-in-person office co-workers come along for the ride with Ken because their own existence depends on finding new folks to help. The swank squad discovers harsh truths – and makes new friends – along the road to enlightenment.
2. Roasting the Perfect Marshmallow. From late January to early February, an innocent white Chinese weather balloon gathering meteorologic data over China gets blown off course and flies across the United States. F-22 fighter pilots “Rooster” Bradshaw and “Maverick” Mitchell scramble to intercept the jumbo marshmallow and toast it off a beach in North Carolina.
3. Lost in Lahaina. In August, a wind-driven wildfire started by burning brush swept through the Maui town of Lahaina in the night, destroying everything within minutes. The death toll was the largest for a wildfire in the last century. We pay tribute to all the people lost in Lahaina.
4. The Sounds of Siren’s. The 149-stop Eras Tour is the must-see, jaw-dropping spectacle of the year. Taylor Swift causes seismic cultural and economic quakes, week after week, city by city, making her every stadium stop for a concert or an NFL football game, wilder, louder, and more jubilant than it has to be. Here, we see the siren nestled on an island of cash, luring yet another boatload of now-penniless Swifties with her music and voice to near-certain shipwreck.
5. Frankenstein 2.0. We saw the debut of ChatGPT, Bing Chat, and other artificial intelligence chatbots this year. They are the fastest-growing software applications in history and fueling amazing innovations. Because they are change, outspoken naysayers fear they will enable plagiarism, empower villains, and displace humans. Here, we see a few of the new bots just arriving in town by horse.
6. Writers’ Block. From May to September, Hollywood screenwriters go on strike halting movie and television productions. They refuse to write anything before the dispute settles. Fortunately, those new bots have arrived just in time to save the entertainment industry and every student’s 500-word essay for English class.
7. Original Barbie Zebra Swimsuit is High-End Fashion. The first Barbie doll in 1959 wore a black-and-white zebra striped swimsuit, had a ponytail, and was available either as a blonde or brunette. With the blockbuster success of the Barbie movie, the vintage, now all-gender swimwear is all the rage in high-end fashion. Here, we see business millionaires Congressman George Santos, Former President Donald Trump, and cryptocurrency CEO Sam Bankman-Fried sizing up the swimwear for a Shark Tank Celebrity Special. Though it appears Santos got too close to an open flame, so under store policy he will have to pay for the damaged trunks.
8. The End of a Big Adventure. In July, comedian Paul Reubens, who portrayed the impish geek Pee-wee Herman, died. Pee-wee showed us all it was okay to be weird. His heavily accessorized Schwinn DX cruiser awaits the next rider.
9. The Tab Please! In April, just minutes before opening statements, Fox News agreed to pay Dominion Voting Systems $787.5 Million to settle a defamation trial over false 2020 election claims the network had aired. It was the largest defamation settlement in US history.
10. Take Me to Your Leader. . . . What do you mean, you don’t have one? In July, three former military officials told Congress that the Pentagon has been concealing evidence of known UFOs for decades. One had worked for a secret program that captured UFOs and alien pilots from crash sites. Here, we see a visitors’ craft up in the sky picking up some burgers and milkshakes, and one of the visitors standing in the turnaround cleverly disguised as a local.
11. Snow Spotted at the White House. In July, Secret Service found a small clear plastic bag of cocaine inside the White House. After exhaustive investigation, Special Agent J. Quincy Magoo announced that detectives had narrowed the list of suspects to 500 people who had been in that area. We believe the happy dust belongs to Commander Biden, the President’s canine son. Also in snow news, seven months earlier “The Avengers” actor Jeremy Renner was run over by his own 14,000-pound snowcat at his Reno home and amazingly survived.
12. Luxury Travel Excursions End in Disaster. In June, the OceanGate submersible Titan imploded while taking tourists down to the wreck of the Titanic. The four tourists onboard each paid $250,000 for the adventure. Also this year, we learned that US Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has been treated to dozens of luxury vacations by a billionaire Republican donor for over 20 years and he did not disclose them. Here, we see Thomas and a rich friend heading down the ladder for a luxurious underwater excursion.
13. The Crossing Gourds. Texas has rolled out long strings of orange, wrecking-ball sized buoys on the Rio Grande to block migrants crossing from Mexico to the US.
14. The Drone Ranger. Defying all odds, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky continues valiantly leading his nation’s all-out war against Russia for its survival. Here, Zelensky gives wartime directions to Ukraine’s Air Force.