Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: You recently launched a Kickstarter campaign for your limited edition sketchbook, 45 American Presidents. What inspired you to create this sketchbook?
Josh Trujillo: When I go to conventions, I always get the question, "Which books do you draw?" I'm primarily a writer, so all of the books at my table were ones that others had done the art for. Drawing has always been a passion of mine, but I'm pretty self-conscious about my ability. After a lot of thought and encouragement from friends, I decided to start doing portrait drawings of the American Presidents.
Eventually, I had enough to make a homemade zine out of them. I sold it to people around the country during the election, and it prompted a lot of wonderful conversations and reactions from people. With a new President thrust upon on, it seemed appropriate to do a fancier, updated version.
BD: What can you tell us about your experience as part of Kickstarter’s Make 100 campaign?
JT: I have had a great relationship with Kickstarter from Death Saves and Love Machines, and I think limited editions are perfect for crowdfunding. In my experience, a very successful crowdfunding can be its own curse. You keep promising stretch goals you may not completely think through, and the scale may be more than you're ready for. With this you can more easily get a fully realized project out there without the stressful variables.
I'm still learning a lot about cartooning and my drawing style. A limited number made perfect sense, and makes it feel a little more special.
BD: Having launched your new Kickstarter campaign, what are some of the fun backer rewards that are available to those who contribute?
JT: Aside from the book itself, you can get a custom sketch by me of the President (or wannabe President) of your choosing! Maybe you wanted Bernie Sanders or Paul Ryan to have been President; this is your chance to rewrite history. I have a couple of stretch goals in mind as well, including a special fold-out poster that would look cool in a classroom setting or a minimalist coffee shop.
If we get enough backers, I'll be able to expand the page count to include a special section for people like Samuel Tilden and Hillary Clinton, who won the most votes but lost the Electoral College. I'll also draw people like Dick Cheney and David Atchison, who served as President temporarily under unusual circumstances.
BD: Are there any upcoming conventions or other outlets where our readers will be able to find your work?
JT: You can find me at conventions across the US, starting in March with Emerald City Comic Con. Beyond that, look for me at WonderCon, C2E2, Denver Independent Comics & Arts Expo, and the Queers & Comics Conference in San Francisco! My comics are at shops across the country, on Amazon, or available digitally on Comixology!
BD: Are there any other projects on which you are working that you are able to share with our readers?
JT: Yeah! My next Adventure Time graphic novel, Brain Robbers, is out in February from BOOM! Studios! It's a wild west treasure hunt starring my two favorite characters: Tree Trunks and Lumpy Space Princess! I'm very excited about this one, because Cartoon Network let me take it in some weird places.
Beyond that, the next volume of Death Saves: Fallen Heroes of the Kitchen Table is launching in March. It will have over twenty new stories about tabletop gaming and unfortunate character deaths. Those are the next two big ones, but 2017 promises to be a busy year!
BD: Lastly, what is the best way for our readers to find out more about 45 American Presidents?
JT: You can learn more about me, my cartooning, and my presidents at JoshTrujillo.com, or on Twitter (@LostHisKeysMan)! The 45 American Presidents sketchbook is available until President's Day, so get it while you can! Thank you for talking to me about my passion project!