The following is an interview with Kevin Bieber and Victor Reynolds regarding the recent announcement of their upcoming graphic novel, UnPresidential. In this interview, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief Barbra Dillon chats with Bieber and Reynolds about the inspiration behind the satiric project, their shared creative process in having worked together on Man vs. Rock, how you can pre-order your copy, and more!
Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: Congratulations on the upcoming release of your creator-owned graphic novel, UnPresidential! For those who may be unfamiliar, what can you share with us about the premise of the book?
Kevin Bieber and Victor Reynolds: Thank you! UnPresidential is just your everyday story about the most dangerous, sadistic despot in the world becoming the leading candidate for President of the United States. It’s almost as silly as imaging a reality TV star running the country one day…
In any event, here is the premise of UnPresidential, in a few short sentences:
The year is 2017. President Trump has mysteriously disappeared in between tweets, and America is holding a special election to replace him. But society is sick and tired of the crooked, low-energy candidates churned out by the right and left. Americans desperately want a decisive man of action who isn’t afraid to hold people’s feet to the fire.
Due to a little-known technicality in the U.S. Constitution, a surprising candidate has emerged to take America by storm…
– A candidate with many years of experience…
– A candidate that comes from a family of strong leaders…
– A candidate who’s not afraid to push the button…
Of course, that candidate is KIM JONG UN, the fascist dictator of North Korea! UnPresidential focuses on the most explosive candidate in history, lampooning every facet of American culture along the way.
BD: What inspired you to tell this off-the-wall satiric story, and what do you hope that readers will take away from the graphic novel?
KB/VR: Well, the story sounded a lot more off the wall when we thought of it two years ago! Now, with the events of the past year, a common response we get is “sounds like it’s already happening.”
Seriously though, North Korea is a fascinating country, and it’s intense secrecy and malevolent government have been taboo in entertainment for years (Team America, The Interview). Whereas films like The Interview focused solely on the viciousness of Kim Jong Un, UnPresidential focuses on another, less examined side of Un—that Kim Jong Un is simply a giant manchild in reality.
This is a person who was literally told he was a god since he was a child, who grew up knowing that he could have anyone in his country killed at any time, for the smallest of reasons. Through UnPresidential, we wanted to exaggerate the manchild aspect of Kim Jong Un in the most exaggerated, over-the-top event in America–the Presidential election.
Like all our books, the only thing we want our readers to take away from UnPresidential is laughter (and definitely not botulism).
BD: Having worked together previously on the critically acclaimed indie comic book series, Man vs. Rock, how would you describe your shared creative process, as well as your collaboration with artist Jeremiah Labib?
KB/VR: We’re critically acclaimed?! Why that’s the nicest thing anyone has ever said to me, and your check is in the mail. (Please don’t cash it until 2027, though.) Take that, second grade teacher who thought I would amount to nothing! (I see her every afternoon when I’m digging through her trash for apple cores.)
With respect to our creative process, we’re two people that believe that it would be funny to write 400 pages about a man fighting rocks and 150 pages about Kim Jong Un running for President of the United States. We clearly need help.
Working with Jeremy Labib, however, has been a blast. He’s got such a unique, surreal style that fits the insane premise of UnPresidential to a tee. He’s got a great future ahead of him, and we’re very privilege to work with him.
BD: What makes Z2 Comics the perfect home for UnPresidential?
KB/VR: It was very important for us to find a publisher that would be at the beginning of every catalog that’s printed in reverse alphabetical order…
Aside from its decision to print UnPresidential, Z2 Comics only puts out top-quality books and is run by two of the smartest people in the comics industry—Josh Frankel and Sridhar Reddy. They’ve been fantastic to us throughout this process, and it goes without saying that UnPresidential does not happen without their support and unwavering commitment.
I would be remiss if I did not mention some of their amazing new titles—Murder Ballads, which is co-written by Dan Auerbach of the Black Key, which comes out this month, and The Wonderful World of Perfecto by world-famous DJ Paul Oakenfold which will be released in November at the same time as UnPresidential (so you should buy two Z2 books that month!).
BD: When will be see the release of UnPresidential in comic book stores and online?
KB/VR: UnPresidential comes to a bookstore near you on November 21, 2017—the one-year anniversary of the Trumpocalypse.
BD: Are there any upcoming projects on which you are currently working that you would like to share with our readers?
KB/VR: Other than the unofficial sequel to Bambi (Bambi II: This Time It’s Personal), we have quite a few new books that will be released at San Diego Comic-Con, including a hysterical book about a woman who unknowingly starts the biggest cult in the world (called Cult Leaders Anonymous), and an all-ages book about a space adventurer and her canine co-pilot (called You Can Sell Out, Too by Man vs. Rock … or its other title, Furry Co-Pilots).
Oh yeah, and the second trade of Man vs. Rock is being released at SDCC…
BD: Lastly, what is the best way for our readers to find more information about UnPresidential and your other work?
KB/VR: UnPresidential is currently marked down. Please pre-order at:
-Amazon (https://tinyurl.com/yd96ke9o) (It’s always Prime Day when you have Man vs. Rock in your life!)
-Barnes & Noble (https://tinyurl.com/y7wkjd6u)
-Books a Million (https://tinyurl.com/yb7cofpy)
For other information, drop by our website, manvsrock.com, which has awesome stuff like free videogames, webcomics, and videos. Also check our Twitter and Instagram (both @manvsrock). Tell them we sent you and get 10% off your next rental at Blockbuster!