Every U.S. Vice President with an Octopus on His Head: Kickstart The Veeptopus Book

Two years ago on this very site, I unveiled to the world my insane project: hand-drawn por­traits of every U.S. vice pres­i­dent with an octo­pus on his head, from John Adams to Joe Biden. The series start­ed as a gid­dy, over-caf­feinat­ed 3 o’clock-in-the-morning sort of idea that I took way too far. And to my sur­prise, peo­ple seemed to like the weird project. My work was fea­tured on sites like Boing Boing, io9 and Buz­zfeed. So this week, I launched a Kick­starter cam­paign to put all 47 veeps–plus the guy who wins the cur­rent election–into one beau­ti­ful­ly-designed book.

I’ve always been qui­et­ly obsessed with the vice pres­i­den­cy. It is, after all, the fifth wheel of the Exec­u­tive Branch. The U.S. Con­sti­tu­tion has lit­tle to say about the actu­al duties of the veep aside from pre­sid­ing over the Sen­ate and won­der­ing about the president’s health. The word­ing of the Con­sti­tu­tion was so vague that when William Hen­ry Har­ri­son died of pneu­mo­nia after a lengthy and ill-advised inau­gur­al speech, it wasn’t imme­di­ate­ly clear that his veep, John Tyler, would ascend to the pres­i­den­cy or serve under the title of “act­ing pres­i­dent.” The ambi­gu­i­ty wasn’t cleared up until 1967 with the rat­i­fi­ca­tion of the 25th Amend­ment.


Vice pres­i­dents were all ambi­tious men who could see the pin­na­cle of pow­er but, save for a few, nev­er quite got there. Instead, for much of Amer­i­can his­to­ry, they were polit­i­cal after­thoughts — ignored and for­got­ten. Woodrow Wilson’s wife and close advi­sors kept Thomas Mar­shall in the dark for 18 months about the president’s inca­pac­i­tat­ing stroke, thus deny­ing him the pres­i­den­cy. FDR only met with Tru­man once before he died in the mid­dle of WWII. And LBJ so relent­less­ly teased Hubert Humphrey dur­ing cab­i­net meet­ings that the veep report­ed­ly broke down and cried. No won­der then that John Nance Gar­ner, FDR’s first VP, said that the job wasn’t worth a “warm buck­et of piss.”

Octo­pus­es are very smart inver­te­brates able to open jars and use tools. As hats, how­ev­er, they are lack­ing. They are uncom­fort­able, slimy and they make you look sil­ly. In oth­er words, they make per­fect head­gear for a job as absurd and pub­lic as the vice pres­i­den­cy.


If you ‘d like to make the Veep­to­pus book a real­i­ty, please vis­it my Kick­starter page. I need to raise $9500. If you decide to be become a backer you not only can get a hand­some book that will be a great con­ver­sa­tion starter for years to come, but you can also get a Veep­to­pus poster and even an orig­i­nal por­trait of you by me with an octo­pus on your head. So why delay, help Kick­start my project now.

Relat­ed Con­tent: 

Por­traits of Vice Pres­i­dents with Octo­pus­es on Their Heads — the Ones You’ve Always Want­ed To See

Watch a Wit­ty, Grit­ty, Hard­boiled Retelling of the Famous Aaron Burr-Alexan­der Hamil­ton Duel

Jonathan Crow is a Los Ange­les-based writer and film­mak­er whose work has appeared in Yahoo!, The Hol­ly­wood Reporter, and oth­er pub­li­ca­tions. You can fol­low him at @jonccrow.  And you can check out his online Veep­to­pus store here.

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  • Jorge Enrique Gonzalez Reyes says:

    I Think how the Peo­ple find­ing great New Projects to share
    with the world.
    Some are sup­port­ing a new effort inspired by a New Idea.
    A Plan for how their Project will be com­plet­ed, and how
    the Creator´s Project is the Great respon­s­abil­i­ty for
    their Project.

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