Wednesday, December 22, 2010

"The Noam Chomsky Coloring Book is still available for an unforgettable holiday gift."

Maine activist sells Chomsky coloring book
By Glenn Adams
Associated Press Writer / March 1, 2009

AUGUSTA, Maine—Finally, a coloring book for children and grandchildren of leftist activists.

With 1960s radicals becoming grandparents, Roger Leisner sees a market in the gray ponytail set for his only slightly tongue-in-cheek Noam Chomsky coloring book, which he sells for $5 each (plus $2.00 postage and handling). If it's a success, Leisner plans more coloring books, and he may branch out into comic books as well.

"It'll be interesting to see who I get orders from," said Leisner, whose activism took root in 1965 when he received a draft notice while in college in Illinois.

Leisner has been videotaping and recording dissenters and commentators at the political fringe for more two decades for Radio Free Maine, which he founded. The tapes of Chomsky, Howard Zinn, nuclear critic Helen Caldicott and others are also made available over the Internet to radio and TV stations.

As Americans fret while their 401(k) plans fall deeper in the tank, Leisner is beginning to see enough royalties from his tapes appear to help secure his own retirement.

At the same time, he introduces the youngest generation to iconic radicals and dissenters who he sees as marginalized by mainstream media.

"I'm played in the Boston area and New York City, and Los Angeles," said Leisner. And a market for tape sales has developed with customers overseas. "I have some real loyal customers in places like Greece and Japan," the affable Augusta resident said.

Now that his Radio Free Maine is blossoming into a retirement nest egg, Leisner is expanding with his coloring book business.

The 18 pages show outlines of photos featuring Chomsky, the world renowned linguist, author and political philosopher, along with other outspoken scholars and activists. Now 80, Chomsky has been teaching since 1955 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

"I have all these photographs of Chomsky. I hoped to someday publish them in a photo book," said Leisner.

In the meantime,
however, he found an application in which the color is drained from photos to leave a coloring-book look. He circulated the coloring books among like-minded thinkers and got a positive response.

Next on the list will be a coloring book featuring Zinn, a decorated World War II veteran whose views turned radical as he observed the civil rights struggle and Vietnam War while a college professor.

Later, Leisner said he may do a Noam Chomsky comic book, featuring quotes from various talks over the years.

"No, I will not put him in a cape or any other get-up," said Leisner. "A blue workshirt and Levis is good enough for me."

Copyright Associated Press

Noam Chomsky Coloring Book
features coloring sheets created from photographs taken by The Maine Paparazzi from 2001 to 2008 printed on 20 pages of 8 1/2 X 11 white
paper containing 30 photographs featuring Noam Chomsky with

Nuclear research scientist Zia Mian
Cole Miller of No More Victims
Dr. Paul Farmer of Partners in Health
Middle east scholars Irene Gendzier, Elaine Hagopian and Naseer Aruri
Middle east journalist Robert Fisk
Joe Gerson of American Friends Service Committee
Former State Legislator Mel King
David Barsamian of Alternative Radio
Omar Baddar of American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee
Lance Tapley of the Portland Phoenix
American historian Howard Zinn
Boston activist James Williamson
Michael Avery of National Lawyers Guild
Erin Placey of Thinking Outside the Bomb
Cuban 5 activists Father Geoffrey Bottoms and Bernie Dwyer
WZBC Sounds of Dissent radio journalist John Grebe
Lianne Gillooly of BU Anti-War Coalition
the late Jewish peace & justice advocate Hilda Silverman
and the late Carol Chomsky

To order, please contact
Roger Leisner
P.O. Box 2705
Augusta, Maine 04338

(207) 242-0643

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