Until the US election in November, we will be bombarded with all kinds of media communications concerning Donald Trump and you have to admit even if you detest him, Trump does create quite a stir.Author Gini Graham Scott, Ph.D has published two cartoon books concerning him, Trump Is Nuts! and Trump Is Extinct…Or May Be Soon!
Until the US election in November, we will be bombarded with all kinds of media communications concerning Donald Trump and you have to admit even if you detest him, Trump does create quite a stir.
Author Gini Graham Scott, Ph.D has published two cartoon books concerning him, Trump Is Nuts! and Trump Is Extinct…Or May Be Soon!
The first features Trump as 21 different kinds of nuts, from Walnuts, Peanuts, and Pecans to Mixed Up Nuts, a Nut Case, and patients in a nuthouse. The second compares Trump to 27 extinct beasts and early humans, from ancient dinosaurs, flying reptiles, birds, and mammals with names like the Trumposaurus, Saber Tooth Trump, and Homo Trumpien.
Gini has published over 50 books with major publishers and 40 with her own publishing company, Changemakers Publishing. She received her Ph.D. at the University of California, Berkeley, and has several MAs, including one in Anthropology and another in Pop Culture and Lifestyles from California State University, East Bay. She is getting an additional MA there in Communications.
She has also written 16 screenplays. One has been produced with an international distributor: Suicide Party #Save Dave; another is in production: Driver, for release in the fall. In addition, she has have written, produced over 60 dozen short films working with various directors.
Norm: Good day Gini and thanks for participating in our interview
How do you explain the Trump phenomena and what in your estimate would be the repercussions if Trump became the President of the USA?
Gini: I think the
Trump phenomena is part of a widespread anti-establishment mood that
is not only in America but reflected in the vote in Britain. We
are living in a time of great tumult throughout the world reflected
in the growth of inequality and decline of the middle class; the vast
number of people displaced -- about 65 million refugees; the spread
of terrorism, most recently by the Istanbul bombings and the shooting
in Orlando; and more.
The everyday news is helping to make everyone afraid, and out of fear people look for some kind of strongman or savior to get them through the crisis. But the danger is this can undermine democracy and turn into a dictatorship, though it is difficult for a civil free society to operate under conditions of terrorism. However, the pendulum can swing too far in the opposite direction.
Norm: How did you come up with the idea of publishing two cartoon books concerning Trump and where did you get your information and ideas for the books?
Gini: My books
started off as Huffington Post columns about four months on March
1st when there were still seven Republican candidates in the
running. I was looking for something different to say than
everyone else was saying, and I began with a column on comparing what
the growing popularity of Trump to the fairy tales: "The Emperor
Has No Clothes" and "The Pied Piper of Hamelin."
that got me thinking about how other political developments suggested
other fairy tales, which led to additional Huffington Post columns,
such as "Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Trump," and
eventually I combined these together into "2016 Election Fairy
Then, as more and more people attacked Trump for
his outrageous statements and behavior, such as at his huge rallies,
like stating he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and no one would
stop supporting him or had bodyguards drag protesters out of the
audience, I wrote some columns comparing him to mythological monsters
and villains, which I collected into "2016 Monsters, Myths, and
I did research on the traditional fairy tales and myths, finding this information online, and then adapted them into the stories about Trump.
Around this time, Trump and Cruz were exchanging insults, and this led to "The Battles of Donnie and Teddie; 4 Children's Stories for Adults," which was written like short children's picture books featuring them fighting in a sandbox, playground, schoolyard, and backyard party.
I’m not sure what triggered this – perhaps someone mentioned that
after this election cycle was over, Trump would lose and become
extinct -- I began thinking about how Trump was like these extinct
beasts, like the Tyrannosaurus Rex, and early humans like the
Neanderthal, and I thought this might make a good cartoon book if I
could find an illustrator.
So I did post a couple of
announcements about this locally. And then, amazingly, a
cartoonist I had worked with 21 years ago on a humorous illustrated
book related to the OJ trial, before the trial turned very serious,
called me saying he was interested in finding a publisher or agent
for his new children’s book on pirates, since I have a service that
connects writers to publishers, agents, and film producers.
It was really a call out of the blue, since he didn’t know I was looking for a cartoonist, and I immediately told him about the project, he loved the idea, and began submitting sketches. The lists of extinct beasts and early humans came from online sources, and mostly I submitted the names and descriptions to the cartoonist who came up with illustrations, relating them to what was going on in the campaign or in Trump’s history. He suggested a few of the early marine reptiles and flying reptiles.
Then, soon after that book was completed, there were a series of posts on Facebook on how Trump was nuts, and I proposed a second book on comparing Trump to different kind of nuts. Again, he loved the idea, and over two weeks sent me illustrations, combining information on the nuts with current events in the campaign and other information about Trump.
In both books, I wrote the copy, inspired by his illustrations, as well as the latest in the campaign. In some cases, I suggested possible illustrations.
Gini: So far,
everyone I have shown this too has loved the idea. Since I’m
in the Bay Area, many people are already very anti-Trump, whether
they are active in politics or not, because of his behavior and
inflammatory comments. I also recently showed the books
to some Republicans active in politics, and they were very favorable,
The general attitude is to support the platform and hope that Trump somehow gets reined in if he wins. If so, they might reluctantly support him. So none of the people I spoke with are ardent Trump supporters, and I haven’t experienced any backlash.
Gini: I just wrote an
article for Huffington Post on why he hasn’t attacked the
cartoonists or people coming up with funny names for him.
I think the basic reason is he doesn’t think they are particularly relevant and have little influence. Then, too, there are so many of them and they generally have little money, so they wouldn’t be worth suing.
Gini: The most surprising thing was that Republicans like the books, too. Besides the Republican’s active in politics I met recently, about a month ago, I showed it at a business meeting where one woman was a delegate to the Republican primary in California and the convention, and she said she wanted to take a copy of the book with her to show people. Also, a Republican history professor at a local University told me he thought these books might have historical value after the election ends, whatever the outcome.
Norm: What do you hope your readers will take away after reading one or both of your books? Is there a message in the books that you want your readers to grasp?
Gini: I hope that readers will see beyond the humor to realize some truths about Trump and the potential dangers that could occur with a Trump presidency.
Norm: Are you working on any books/projects that you would like to share with us? (We would love to hear all about them!)
Gini: I’m working on a
few new projects. One is called WHEN THE RICH KILL to be
published in October by Black Rose Writing. Another book coming
out in August is SCAMMED: Learn from the Biggest Consumer and Money
Frauds How Not to Become a Victim from Allworth.
I have a book
under consideration with a co-author tentatively entitled DEALING
WITH IMPOSSIBLE CLIENTS.
And then I work as a ghostwriter on books with a number of clients, as well as help them find publishers and agents. I also am a writer and executive producer for several feature films. One which will be released in early 2017 is DRIVER, about a Uber-like driver who becomes a serial killer, and I am current putting together the funding for a fourth feature film: BANKRUPT, about a bankruptcy attorney who goes bankrupt as the economy improves so not enough people are filing for bankruptcy anymore, so he turns to crime. Your readers are welcome to contact me for more details about participating in this project.
Norm: Where can our readers find out more about you and your books including the two on Donald Trump?
They can also put
the names of the books and my name in Amazon, and the books are on
Kindle, and there are audio books on Audible.com. The cartoon
books are also available as videos on Pivotshare.com. Follow HERE for my channel
Norm: As this interview draws to a close what one question would you have liked me to ask you? Please share your answer.
Gini: I think you asked me about almost everything. Perhaps one question might be if someone else has an idea for a book on politics or on another subject, how can I help them write it, get it published, or find publishers and agents – and they can feel free to contact me for more information about that. Follow Here for my company that helps with that is Publishers, Agents and Films.
Norm: Thanks once again and good luck with all of your future endeavors