Keys, wallet, phone–there are a few common essentials that most of us lug around daily. But beyond that, the contents of our bags are a psychographic profile–told through the objects we bring with us. Carry This Book (Viking, 2016), a new tome from illustrator and Broad City star Abbi Jacobson, muses on what the most famous people–real and fictional–might tote along with them.
In Broad City Jacobson plays a struggling illustrator, but the opposite is true for the multitalented creative, who has published a coloring book for adults, authored her own comic strip, contributed to an AOL campaign, and created the drawings for some of the show’s title sequences. Carry This Book expresses Jacobson’s talents as a comedian and artist, in equal measure.
Duff beer, donuts, and a key card to get into the Springfield nuclear plant are a no-brainer for Homer Simpson. George Costanza has an overstuffed wallet and Art Vandelay file. Charles and Ray Eames have a camera, spinning tops, Polaroids, a triangular scale, and fabric swatches in their bag. Jacobson imagines Steve Jobs always having a New Balance VIP card and spare black turtleneck at hand. And for Christopher Columbus? Just a book titled How to Rape and Pillage—a corrective to the traditional good-natured history we’re taught about the explorer.
“We have a lot more in common than we might know, and to think some of the world’s greatest makers and shakers also have to remind themselves to buy more toilet paper is something I find worth noting,” Jacobson says in a release.
Nodding to the current presidential campaign, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are among more than 50 people feature in the book. For Clinton–who made an appearance on Broad City this year–Jacobson illustrates hot sauce, referencing a quip the candidate made when someone asked her what she carried everywhere; a Metrocard with the caption “practice makes perfect,” a nod to the candidate’s gaffe trying to enter the New York City subway; a Blackberry phone, alluding to one of the most famous portraits taken when Clinton was secretary of state; and a history book with the caption “when you’ve been making history, you have to know where we’ve been to know where we need to go.”
The contents of Trump’s bag include three different types of self-tanner, a nod to the candidate’s distinct (and likely artificial) orange complexion; huge gloves “for show”; a Building Walls for Dummies book; a list of pocket mantras that reads “bankruptcy is the new black”; and a comb labeled “make your hair great again.” (Though we all know that coif was never great to begin with.)
[All Images: Abbi Jacobson/courtesy Viking]