[Tea and no sympathy]

Robert Stern vents his frustration with America in a conservative cartoon book

Tea Party humor

Talking with Robert Stern, the author of Microman USA, a collection of cartoons supporting the stances of the Tea Party, and which has already been endorsed by Joe the Plumber:

What was the inspiration for this book?

I originally created this at the time of the [2008] election. I was frustrated about my life. I’m 66, and I always say I only have so many good summers left. Joe the Plumber was the beginning of my inspiration when he talked about taxation during the campaign. Whatever you believe about him, he was an average guy trying to deal with his life. The title of the book comes from my personal conflict between enjoying the rest of my life, the micro, and doing what’s good for my country, the macro.

What had been your political involvement prior to launching this enterprise?

None! (Laughs) I’d been working for radio and TV, for Fox, for a talent agency ... I’d never been politically motivated.

How would you respond to those who would call this an attempt to cash in on the Tea Party craze?

They should ask all my friends. That’s not the case. I’m spreading my wealth. It has not been a profitable venture so far. I was inspired by [Speaker] Nancy Pelosi, who called the Tea Party members “Nazis” and “provocateurs.” I wanted to stand up against that offensive and abusive power. It might not be a financial success, but I’m a guy who’s making a stand.

Who’s the audience for this?

Me. It makes me laugh. I laugh at my own material more than anybody else does. I didn’t really have an intention of writing it for this or that audience, but I’m passionate about the movement, so I guess I wrote it for patriots.

Why cartoons? Why not just write a book?

Cartoons are a very effective way to express yourself. People in today’s media age have a short attention span. This way, you can make your points quicker.

Any particular cartoons that have inspired you over the years?

Superman was my hero. It was all about truth, justice and the American way. Microman says, “Truth, justice and have a nice day.”

What political party would Superman belong to?

He would be a conservative. He would want to protect the constitution.

Who could Microman beat in a fight?

In the comic book world, he could take on any fight. He needs to prevail against Socialism.

What’s your goal with this book?

I want to be part of the process and the persuasion of getting us back to respecting he constitution of what America is about. I don’t want activist judges, I’m not the party of no, unless it’s going to harm America. I want to have this be a factor in helping people coalesce, back to the American way. I’m willing to debate the issues in our democracy. I know in my heart that we’re going to correct things. We will survive this and come out okay; we may have a lost decade like Japan, we might get crushed. But Americans are very strong. They will survive.

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Ken Miller is Las Vegas Magazine's managing editor, having previously served as associate editor at Las Vegas Weekly, assistant features ...

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