Idiots’Books is a (very) small press that publishes odd, commercially non-viable illustrated books and distributes them through a subscription service (six books a year).
Featuring the work of writer Matthew Swanson and illustrator Robbi Behr, the books range across subjects from the Christian god to seventh grade, French imperialism to donkey slaughter, and funnel cakes to traffic theory. Usually satirical and often irreverent, the books aim to exploit the possibilities inherent in the quarrel between pictures and words.
Their work has been praised by the New York Times, USA Today, New York magazine, Slate.com, and BoingBoing.net, among others. It has been described as “witty, winsome, and original,” by book critic Michael Dirda of the Washington Post and as “weird, stupid, and a waste of time,” by tenth grade honors student Emily Parsons of Hamilton, Ohio.
Robbi and Matthew (and their willful children) live and work and sometimes watch TV in the hayloft of an old barn on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.
|Matthew was born at the base of a dormant volcano in Pasto, Nariño, Colombia, an unwitting child of the Peace Corps. For years he lived in Kansas, subsisting entirely on corn products and writing horrible rhyming poetry. Now he makes books with Robbi, works as a writer and consultant for a very fine strategic communications firm, does a bit of freelance writing, and plays his harmonica as much as possible.||
Robbi was born and raised on the Alaskan tundra (summers) and in a small town on the Eastern Shore of Maryland (the rest of the year). She has held all manner of art-related jobs, including museum docent, gallery assistant, door-to-door children’s photographer, T-shirt designer, graduate student, production designer, and freelance illustrator before settling into a life of making books with Matthew.