As some of our institutions continue to be redefined in the crucible of new and returning social pressures, new Twitter owner Elon Musk made an emotional appeal to former president Donald Trump to return to Twitter, following the latter’s reinstatement over the weekend. Musk’s vehicle was a sexy drawing by famed Italian artist (and hall of famer) Milo Manara. 

In the meme, Trump, who encouraged his followers to launch a deadly insurrection against the US government when he lost the 2020 election, is represented by a holy man. Twitter, the social media platform that Musk recently purchased for $44 billion, is represented by a naked young woman with her nethers exposed. The idea being that Trump will be so tempted by Twitter’s reach that he will forsake his vows/contracts with rival social network Truth Social.

It was Musk’s, the world’s richest man’s second attempt at tempting Trump, whose businesses filed for bankruptcy six times, to post on Twitter, The first, now deleted, used a Family Guy character being tempted by a bottle of pills. Perhaps thinking that this was in bad taste for mocking the nation’s opioid epidemic, Musk deleted it.

FiDTNEyXwAECUaW.jpegAlthough use of the Manara meme might indicate that Musk (who is a former comics reader) is a fan of the Italian master, it seems that the image (and meme) had caught Musk’s eye earlier when someone else posted it as a tweet similarly comparing the allure of using Twitter to sexual temptation.


Manara is a comics master who has long specialized in erotic art and drawing women in sexually available postures. IN 2014, in one of the first comics kerfuffles of the Twitter era, he came under fire for a sexy Spiderwoman cover., and has often draw criticism for objectifying women.  This particular image, which suggests that living a life devoted to religion is compromised by the sex act, therefore reinforcing a harmful dichotomy between two natural and normal human activities, was from The Libertines, (NSFW). It’s a series of prints illustrating poems by 17th century writer Jean de La Fontaine that included similar rales of “voyeurism, bigotry and lust.” You can see the original right here (NSFW).

Manara has also drawn women in non-sexual situations – in 2020 he made an album honoring the heroic women – EMTs, medical personnel – of the pandemic. And he is also, ya know sexy or not, a great cartoonist.

Despite Musk’s pleas towards Trump, it is almost certain the well tanned presidential candidate will not return to posting on Twitter: his contract with Truth Social, the rightwing social media network where he now posts, requires him to wait six hours before posting anything elsewhere. Trump also pooh-poohed a return saying Truth was good enough for him. 

The former president added that Truth Social has better user engagement than Twitter and was doing “phenomenally well,” noting Twitter’s problems included bots and fake accounts.

None the less, the Manara/Musk/Trump image did seem to sum up a certain surreal state of the world, as The Nation columnist Jeer Heer tweeted:

If you told me when I was young that one day the world’s richest man would tweet out porno Milo Manara drawings in order to persuade the former president of the USA, I’d have asked “what does tweet out mean?”



  1. The richest man in the world steals a piece of art from a comic book artist and uses it to troll a twice-impeached former US President, and The Beat uses the opportunity to throw a little shade at Milo Manara, a talented guy who only likes to draws pictures of imaginary women on paper, unlike the other two who exploit and do actual damage to other people all over the globe. Way to go.

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