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Joe the Plumber endorses Tea Party comic book

By Stephen Lowman

A new comic book that follows the everyday goings-on of a nice, middle-class American has received the endorsement of Joe Wurzelbacher, the Ohio plumber who was the American everyman during the 2008 presidential election.

Robert Stern wrote “Microman USA” (Pelican), but readers would have to give the cover a close study to know it. Instead, top billing goes to Joe the Plumber, who “introduces” Microman.

“This was my third book,” Stern said. “And I learned that it always helps to have a little bit of celebrity attached.”

Plus, Stern said he admired Wurzelbacher.

“I had seen him during his 15 minutes of fame,” Stern said. “I watched him and was inspired.” Stern later tracked him down using skills he learned while once working for a collection agency. “I sent him some of the comic’s early concepts and said, ‘I’d love to have you as a part of it.’ He said ‘yeah.’ That’s how it happened.”

To promote the book, Wurzelbacher will accompany Stern to Washington. The two will hold a “Beer Summit” at Capitol City Brewing Company near Union Station on Sept. 16 and 17.

Microman, the hero of the book, has a sunny disposition but is concerned about where the country is headed. As his name implies, Microman believes strongly in small government. Throughout the comic he drolly muses with his neighbors (among them are a friendly waitress, a clueless liberal, and an inquisitive young boy) on government actions he perceives as misguided.

Wurzelbacher writes on the back cover: “I am pleased to introduce Microman to you. He is one of us, a good, decent, hardworking American who is frustrated with the direction America is going…We are a great country and we cannot afford to let false promises replace truth. We cannot afford to let socialism replace capitalism. Microman will make you laugh and feel good about fighting for the principles that our Founding Fathers envisioned.”

Along with Joe the Plumber, Stern is also trying to sell copies by capturing the momentum of the Tea Party. The book’s cover proclaims it to be the “Tea Party Edition!”

Thumbnail image for Microman_217 spot art2.jpgStern believes the Tea Party has been unfairly portrayed by the media as not part of mainstream political thought and too often labeled as racist. For him, the Tea Party is “about the basic principles of fiscal responsibility, responsible government regulation, limited government, and also protecting Americans from the consequences of illegal immigration,” Stern said.

The book reflects his “particular struggle.”

“I’m a senior citizen. I have only so many good summers left,” he said. “I want to really enjoy my life, but at the same time I care about the country. It’s kind of a push-pull. Microman was my way to express that.”

Sometimes those expressions come in the form of personal attacks. For example, characters call Nancy Pelosi “a stupid leftist woman” and Harry Reid a “clown” and “buffoon.”

While Stern said he believes in “civil discourse,” he admits there were times he couldn’t resist name-calling.

“On Harry, I think America would agree that he has orchestrated pieces of legislation through the Senate that are job killers. If I did that I would call myself a buffoon. I would call myself stupid,” he said.

“It is what it is.”

By Stephen Lowman  |  July 27, 2010; 11:13 AM ET
 | Tags: Joe the Plumber comic book;  
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Why am I not surprised "Joe the plumber" reads comic books?

Posted by: jckdoors | July 27, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Hey, I read comic books too (graphic novels, if you prefer). Some of them deal quite successfully with complex issues and moral dilemmas.

And then we have Microman, with stereotyped strawmen villains, a one-size-fits-all array of policy solutions, and an worldview as two-dimensional as the paper on which it's printed.

Posted by: j3hess | July 27, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

So, the T-Par-T is "about the basic principles of fiscal responsibility, responsible government regulation, limited government, and also protecting Americans from the consequences of illegal immigration,” which I guess means:
Cut my taxes, raise my social security, don't mess with my medicare, and 'where's that boy who does my lawn at'?
I know that's right 'cause I read it on my palm and the palm doesn't lie.

Posted by: bgreen2224 | July 28, 2010 3:47 AM | Report abuse

It is to laugh to hear Joe with his lapsed plumber's license and bills for back taxes praising hardworking Americans. When's the last time he turned a wrench or ran anything but his mouth?

Posted by: bdunn1 | July 28, 2010 7:58 AM | Report abuse

As a recovering liberal it's always fascinating to me to see how quick liberals are to name-call & dismiss any view point and any person who doesn't drink the same kool-aid they've been drinking. They don't even attempt intelligent discourse because apparently it's too threatening to actually discuss the issues. Any of you intelligentsia actually read the book. No, I didn't think so.

Posted by: Sonograta | July 28, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Is this the "Microman age"?

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | July 28, 2010 5:43 PM | Report abuse

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