Local creates coloring book

Political satire adds a dose of humor for good laughs
By Brandon Gustafson | Dec 27, 2017
Courtesy of: Jim Corbett Jim Corbett and Tim Jones, the co-authors of “I am So Sick of White Guys” posing with their book. The book has been a success in the few weeks it’s been available for purchase and 10 percent of profits go towards Southern Poverty Law Center.

In a time when politics are arguably more frustrating and divisive than ever, sometimes you need a good laugh.

That’s what Jim Corbett, co-author of the adult coloring book, “I am So Sick of White Guys,” thinks.

Corbett, who lives in Picnic Point, even revealed a “secret” about his co-author and himself.

“I’m going to let you in on a company secret,” Corbett said. “Tim and I are both white guys.”

Yes, Corbett and co-author Tim Jones, a published humor writer, are two white guys who are upset with the current political climate to the point where “even white guys are sick of white guys.”

In less than a year, Corbett and Jones crafted their idea and had it published at the end of November by Amazon.

“This all started last May when I was just shouting at my television,” Corbett said. “I was looking at all this stuff happening, and I said to myself, ‘I am so sick of these white guys doing crazy stuff.’”

Corbett went on to call Jones about his idea of a political satire book about white guys in politics.

“Tim’s a funny guy, and we go way back,” Corbett said. “I said, ‘Let’s write this book about being sick of white guys and have our two faces on it.’”

Jones was immediately on board with the idea, and the two began crafting their book, but they ran into some issues from the start.

“We tried writing it as a regular book, kind of like a Stephen Colbert book, and it started out really funny but very quickly turned angry,” Corbett said. “We realized it wasn’t working, so we had this idea of making it into a kids’ pop-up book but that was too expensive.

“I did some research and found this phenomenon of adult coloring books. The problem was Tim and I can’t draw.”

Corbett did more research online and found Steve Hartley, an artist from Lake Stevens who is black.

“Steve was the perfect guy for this,” Corbett said. “He was able to bring a different perspective to what we were going for.”

Corbett contacted Hartley, and they set up an appointment to go over the book.

“When I met him I hadn’t told him the name of the book yet,” Corbett said. “When I told him he buried his face in his hands, popped back up and said, ‘I’m your guy.’”

The project then went to Corbett and Jones coming up with ideas for pictures, such as President Donald Trump being tied to a rocket to space with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un for a “peaceful solution to avert Nuclear Armageddon” and Hartley drawing them and incorporating his own ideas as well.

“We’d tell Steve what we had in mind, we’d do some samples and we’d come to an agreement,” Corbett said. “Then Tim and I would write these really snarky comments underneath the drawing.”

Corbett and Jones had the idea of shrink wrapping the book with just one white crayon, but realized that would be too expensive and difficult to do, so they decided to make a coloring wheel on the back of the book, with different shades of white, and a bright orange under “Trump White.”

“We aren’t trying to do anything inappropriate,” Corbett said. “There’s something called ‘white privilege,’ and it’s wrong to deny that it’s real. We are trying to make sure the playing field is equal and everyone gets their fair shake.”

When asked how people have viewed the book, Corbett laughs.

“We show it to people, and they just get it,” he said.

An example of this happened when Corbett was in Washington, D.C. a few weeks ago for business and came across a demonstration about the Supreme Court deciding whether bakers should deny making wedding cakes for gay marriages.

“The sides were divided, and naturally I gravitated towards the side supporting gay marriage,” Corbett said. “I had a few flyers on hand and gave them out to a few people at the rally, and they were just dying laughing.”

Corbett understands who his audience is, and has two pages of disclaimers regarding who should not read the book, mainly people who tend to lean more on the Republican side of politics.

“That’s part of the joke. We get it that it’s not for everyone,” Corbett said. “People who have different points of view, that’s what freedom of speech is all about. They can go write their own comics if they’d like. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

“I had one woman say that they didn’t feel it was a good political climate for something like this, but there is a long and well-established history of political satire that dates back to before the Revolutionary War, and that is the essence of free speech.”

He said sales for “I am So Sick of White Guys” have been great in the few weeks the book has been available online.

He also noted that 10 percent of all sales will be donated to the Southern Poverty Law Center.

“They oppose hate groups like the Ku Klux Klan and expose and oppose them in court,” Corbett said. “We felt that was a great way to help get the message across about what side we are on.”

As of now, Corbett, Jones and Hartley are focused on marketing the book and increasing sales, but another project may not be far off.

“We have other ideas like making a second volume,” Corbett said. “We were thinking of having a section on sexual predators and about the tax bill and how some senators will likely make millions of dollars off it.

“Every week there’s something new that leads itself to a great political cartoon. I think we’re going to be able to milk this franchise for a long time to come.”

At the end of the day, Corbett said it’s all for laughs and smiles.

“We just want it to be fun,” he said. “This is a fun way to cope with frustrating and trying times.”

The book is available for purchase on Amazon, and information on the book and the authors can be found at www.sickofwhiteguys.com.

 

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