Ken Avidor talks 'The Madness of Michele Bachmann' book deal

An excerpt from Ken Avidor's "The Presidency of Michele Bachmann," <a href="" target="_blank">featured in City Pages' 2011 Comix Issue</a>.

An excerpt from Ken Avidor's "The Presidency of Michele Bachmann," featured in City Pages' 2011 Comix Issue.

When Michele Bachmann finally unveils her memoirs to the world this December, she'll have to share the shelf space with another book about her life.

Ken Avidor, Eva Young, and Karl Bremer -- contributors to the critical Dump Bachmann and Ripple In Stillwater blogs -- are working on a counter-book to Bachmann's, The Madness of Michele Bachmann: A Broad-minded Survey of a Small-Minded Candidate.

Publisher John Wiley & Sons plans to release the work this winter, around the same time Bachmann's is slated to hit bookstores.

To gain some insight into The Madness of Michele Bachmann, we talked with co-author Avidor this morning about what to expect.


Is the book already written?

It's already written. It's compiled mostly from the blog itself. I think it's like 6,000 posts, so it was quite an effort.

When did you start?

Avidor says his artwork will be included, but the book is a serious look at Michele Bachmann.

Avidor says his artwork will be included, but the book is a serious look at Michele Bachmann.

The editor at Wiley contacted us and, after giving it a little consideration, given the time element, it needed to be done really quickly. It was a matter of weeks putting it together.

And was the time element because Bachmann had a book coming out?


And why is that, that you wanted it to be timed, or they wanted it to be timed, with Bachmann's?

Ben Smith [of Politico] said it's a lot like what happened with the [Sarah Palin coloring book] Going Rouge. They want to piggy back on that. But it's a serious book. Originally, it was going to have a bunch of my comics in it -- and there still will be some of my artwork in there -- but it's a serious books. There's still stuff there that hasn't been in the mainstream media yet. There's still stuff there, and the book has it...It's kind of a continuation of everything we've done, but it's also a nice distilling of all the muckraking. If people are looking for the pre-presidential Bachmann, this is the quintessential book.

Had you thought about a book on Michele Bachmann before?

The thought occurred to me, and I just dismissed it because it was such a huge effort. Unless somebody paid me, I was not really interested in doing that. But now that it's done, yeah. It's good to see that this stuff is going to be in print. It's quite a story.

We're going to have a chapter called "Bachmann's Fellow Travelers," which kind of expands on what we have on the blog. I'm sure it's going to be fun for people outside of Minnesota to become acquainted with folks like Bradlee Dean and Bill Pulkrabek. People reading the City Pages will know these people, but outside of Minnesota -- the whole cast of characters is so amusing. If this was a fiction book, no one would believe it.

Do you any idea what kind of release we're talking about? Or how many copies will be printed?

I don't know that yet. We do plan to do a book signing and stuff. We're hoping to do a book signing. We want to do one in Stillwater for sure, and we'll try to get one here too.

This is, like I said, this is unbelievable stuff unless we had documented it. And of course we do acknowledge that others have been on this as well. You know, G.R. [Anderson]. But we never imagined that she would run for president, and I never imagined that anyone would want to publish a book about her, but here we are.

So for people who have been following the Bachmann news, is there something they're going to be able to get out of the book that they don't already know?

If people have been reading the Dump Bachmann blog everyday, they'll probably know most of this stuff. But most people don't do that. We don't have that wide of readership, so I think there's going to be a lot in here that people don't know. The main thing is that it's altogether, and it's in a form where people can get -- there's a narrative about how Bachmann is truly unique among politicians in her total lack of ethics.

I cringe whenever I hear people say, "What's wrong with you Minnesotans?" It's nice to have a book that kind of explains the Bachmann phenomenon, so people have an idea that we're not all to blame for this.