Awful Interview: Adam Robinson

14 Aug


A few days ago Publishing Genius launched a Kickstarter to fund promotions of the five books they plan to release in 2014. Over here at Vouched we are big fans of Publishing Genius. Their Head Honcho, Adam Robinson, was our first-ever Vouched Visitor and we’ve featured reviews of several titles of theirs over the past few years in addition to carrying them on our tables.

It only leads to reason that we vouch for their Kickstarter also! You’ll want to, too, after reading this Awful Interview with the aforementioned Adam Robinson – who somehow has never been awfully interviewed by us before (!? I know, we’re not sure how that is either).

Adam Robinson on  a Ferris Wheel in Atlanta

Adam Robinson on a Ferris Wheel in Atlanta

Adam, you’ve recently launched a Kickstarter to raise funds for your 2014 releases. Can you tell me a bit more about that kitten (or as the french would say, “le chat”)?

Oh hi! That kitten is from, I think, 2010, when I put out Timothy Willis Sanders’s book Orange Juice. Tim and I talked about what should be on the book, and he said he wanted a cat. I asked Justin Sirois if he would make a quick cover with a cat on it. This is what he made, kind of as a joke. But we loved it so much, Comic Sans and all, that later he made it into a logo.

Any idea where the cat is now? Does he have a name? Also – tell me a bit more about your feelings in regards to Comic Sans MS.

Ooh, good question. If I had to guess, I’d say Clarice is off in college now, studying oceanography. She loves fish. As for Comic Sans, I like it because it’s an easy typeface to know things about. I think it was developed by Microsoft for that little dog/paperclip that would pop up and offer annoying help. People hate it because the “o” angles the wrong way. It’s awful. It was only supposed to be used to be non-threatening and make computers seem easier to use. Like if you’re asking a question to a “paperclip, it makes sense that it would answer in a stupid font. Because I know all that stuff, I love Comic Sans. Can I share another picture? I call it “Comic Sads.” I took this photo in the Adirondack mountains, which is weird to me because life there is pretty sweet.

I like to imagine Clarice in a little kitty submarine. (Does Lisa Frank take commissions? Do you think she would draw that for me?) Comic Sans makes a lot more sense to me all of a sudden. Why do you think that Jeep driver was such a pessimist? I mean, he lives in the mountains and has a pretty sweet ride – what’s not to love?

I figure the driver is just being an American Buddhist. Life is hurting, hurting comes from desire, eliminate desire and eliminate hurting . . . by getting a dope ride and putting a meditative wheel cover on it. Can you imagine being his kid, getting picked up at school? If you were his kid’s teacher, what would you think?

I mean, it would make me a bit concerned for the child’s well-being. I imagine the kid turning in blank homework with “What’s the point?” scrawled listlessly across the top of the page or sitting by herself on the playground after lunch, kicking pinecones and throwing away the crusts of her tofurkey sandwich. But you know, she could grow up really centered and realistic. She could graduate at the top of her class. It’s hard to say.
This whole scenario is really throwing me through a loop, you know?

Well, see, that’s why it’s good we have Comic Sans to take some of that pressure off.

Oh wow! That is a relief! What Saint invented Comic Sans anyway? I want to shake his hand. I was about to spiral into an existential crisis there, and Comic Sans spared me from the sink-hole.

So Publishing Genius 2.0. Tell me a little more about it? Like where did you get that big ol’ phone from the video? I need one of those, my eyes just ain’t what they used to be.

That phone gets such good reception, it sounded like the printer was just next door. But anyway folks, Publishing Genius 2.0 is a project not just to publish five books next year, but also to do more than what I’ve been able to do in the past with those books. That means I want to print higher quantities of each and get them into more stores. But as your readers know after what happened to the mighty Mud Luscious, it is burdensome to expand without a surplus of resources. The $10,000 I’m asking for isn’t actually more than what I would already spend on five books. I’m still going to be using the existing PGP budget. More important for that, though, is that I’m really hoping that people’s generosity will keep going once we hit that $10k mark.

That answer is totally on the money. Sorry.

Oooh I see what you did there! It sounds like a really great cause. Any noteworthy bonuses for donations made?

There are some great incentives to pledge, I think, but they’re going fast. Art by John Dermot Woods and Stephanie Barber and Michael Kimball are all gone now. You can get all the books we’re releasing next year for $100. You know, Kickstarter is hard. When I’ve thought about it in the past, I thought, “Why contribute to this? Isn’t it supposed to be a money-making proposition? Like, if someone is going to sell something, why fundraise for it?” But now I totally get it. Getting an infusion of money allows a project to grow into, or beyond, what the market will automatically sustain. I think it’s going to allow for a generally higher level of quality for products in the future. Is it possible to consider Kickstarter a cultural renaissance? People are supportive beyond commerce. It’s beautiful.

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