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Wednesday, 21 April - link

the George W. Bush Coloring Book

A brief interview with GK Darby of Garrett County Press about GCPress's new George W. Bush Coloring Book.

george bush coloring bookWhy did you decide to do a coloring book around Bush quotes?

It's a long story. The begging of the story is about family members bugging me about doing a political gag book. The middle of the story is about the book being a children's book with the title, "Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire." The end of the story is about giving the project to Karen Ocker who turned a half baked political gag book into mesmerizing art.

Karen Ocker is a veteran book designer from New York who moved to New Orleans for love.

I came up with the idea for using Bush quotes after doing some research on Bush while the concept for the book was in narrative flux. As I went through his speeches using Lexis/Nexus I really couldn't believe some of things he was saying....His comments and speeches painted this completely hallucinatory world -- and this is from stuff that's on the record. What the hell do you think he says in private? For instance, you read enough Bush press conference transcripts and you begin to understand that when he wakes up in the morning the man actually talks to God. No doubt that he believes, without any level of abstraction, that he is a close conversational buddy of GOD. If that isn't artistic gold, I don't know what is. And Karen does a tremendous job of translating this gold into images. She doesn't go for yucks -- her illustrations are thoughtful and straightforward, and that's why they work.

What about Bush made him a good target for this coloring book idea?

I bristle at the word "target." There's a whole bunch of literature that simply goes out and attacks. It isn't that kind of book. Certainly, the people who worked on the book would like to see Bush removed from office, but there's more to the book than that. It goes beyond "STOP BUSH in 04." In fact I think the book goes a long way in helping people understand Bush's worldview. No joke. Isn't that what coloring books are supposed to do? Introduce kids to new worlds?

bush bookJoley Wood provides an information-packed, two-page footnote that further flushes out the Bush lexicon. "The Prisoner" was one of my favorite shows as a kid and I'm just so pleased he uses that show as an example in his footnote. Joley has previously written essays for Penguin Classics.

What's your best desired outcome for putting this book out?

I have no idea. The outcome is in the hands of the reader. That's what I like about books.

Which is your favorite quote/picture?

"People say, how can I help fight this war on terror? How can I fight evil? You can do so by mentoring a child; by going into a shut-in's house and say I love you."

When I read that I imagined scores of people breaking into houses across the country shouting "I LOVE YOU!!!"


Posted on 21 April 2004 : 14:20 (TrackBack)
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