The Virtual Memories Show

With That's Some Business You're In (Zoop), cartoonist-humorist-author Bob Fingerman has created a career retrospective to celebrate (lament?) his 40th year in comics. We got together in LA to talk about that milestone, what it meant to him to bring together decades of his comics, art, and illustration into a single volume, the challenges of writing the narrative to his work-life, and what he learned from looking at the arc of his career. We get into the 'maybe someday' vibe of the big projects he wants to tackle, the process of getting over his younger shame at making comics for, um, 'lower-prestige' (but well-paying) magazines, the distance he needed on his best-known comic, Minimum Wage, the artist's retrospective he really wants to see, why he enjoys creator-owned work instead of someone else's IP, and his true artistic goal. We also discuss the life-changing stuff — like addressing the tension between narcissism and imposter syndrome, the nature of change, the toxicity of NYC, and the need to leave a better memory — while we talk about life in LA, the writers who blew him away and how he can't begin to emulate them, the way his characters changed from punching bags to people, the joy of hummingbirds and small dogs, and a lot more. Follow Bob on Instagram • More info at our site • Support The Virtual Memories Show via Patreon or Paypal and via our e-newsletter

Direct download: Episode_593_-_Bob_Fingerman.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:25am EDT

Author & illustrator Swan Huntley joins the show to celebrate her two new books, I WANT YOU MORE (Zibby Books), and YOU'RE GROUNDED: An Anti-Self-Help Book to Calm You the F*ck Down (Tarcherperigee). We talk about how ghostwriting a memoir for a Real Housewife of New York led her to write I Want You More, a thriller novel about fame, identity, and murder, why she uses the first person in fiction and loves the challenge of lying to the reader, how we're seen by others and how we want to be seen, and the fun of writing thrillers and melding character with a big plot. We also talk about how You're Grounded took shape as a melding of words and drawings, how she settled on "anti-self-help", how her various addictions shaped her identity and what it meant to be herself as she overcame (some of) them, how taking up drawing in a writing lull helped bring out different voices, and the need to calm the f*ck down. We also discuss the creation of identity vs. the discovery of identity, why she biked the El Camino pilgrimage solo, the memoir she's working on, the nature of celebrity & our reactions around famous people (& her upcoming essay, "My Best Friend Is Famous"), how she found her place in Los Angeles, and more. Follow Swan on Instagram • More info at our site • Support The Virtual Memories Show via Patreon or Paypal and via our e-newsletter

Direct download: Episode_592_-_Swan_Huntley.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:48am EDT

Legendary cartoonist & artist Stan Mack pioneered documentary comics and bought New York's multitudes to life with Stan Mack's Real Life Funnies (RLF) in the Village Voice, and now he joins the show to celebrate the publication of STAN MACK'S REAL LIFE FUNNIES: The Collected Conceits, Delusions, and Hijinks of New Yorkers from 1974 to 1995 (Fantagraphics)! We talk about winnowing down 1,000+ RLF strips to 275 for this book, the comic's secret origin and how we share some Milton Glaser conceptual DNA, what he learned about cartooning and storytelling, the creeping realization that people were actually reading RLF, and how he and the comic grew over 20+ years. We get into whether Real Life Funnies and its snippets of street dialogue could work today when everybody just stares at their phones, how his pre-Voice stint as art director at the New York Herald Tribune made an editor out of him, the moment he realized he was a New Yorker, how he became an activist and used RLF to highlight the squatters' rights movement, the AIDS crisis, and more in NYC, how important the Village Voice was to the city and to America in the '70s and '80s and why we need to bring it out of the pre-digital memory hole (a la DW Young & his new documentary, UNCROPPED), Stan's failure as a backup dancer for Lionel Richie, and a lot more. Follow Stan on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube • More info at our site • Support The Virtual Memories Show via Patreon or Paypal and via our e-newsletter

Direct download: Episode_591_-_Stan_Mack.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00am EDT