#557 Thi Bui and “The Best We Could Do”

The Best We Could DO


Our friend Matt Silady is back with us for the first time in five years, and he’s here to introduce us to a friend: Thi Bui, who recently completed her decade-long quest to create a graphic novel about three generations of her family in the context of Vietnamese and American history. After catching up with Matt, Tim talks with Thi about the book, The Best We Could Do, and how she now finds herself teaching comics!

#450 “My Friend Dahmer”

My Friend DahmerHow would you feel if someone you went to high school with showed up on the news as a murderer? That’s what happened to the cartoonist Derf Backderf, who was acquainted with future serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer when they were teenagers in the ’70s.

Backderf looks back on this experience, and the warning signs missed by all, in his 2011 graphic novel My Friend Dahmer. It’s more than just a memoir — Backderf did a lot of research and includes a lot of things he had no way of knowing about when they happened back in the ‘70s. Matching up his own Dahmer experiences with information that came to light after Dahmer’s arrest makes for a book that’s both chilling and thoughtful, and one that Kumar and Tim couldn’t put down! This week, our review.

#372 “Binky Brown Meets the Holy Virgin Mary”: Painful Personal Memoir as Wacky Comedy!

BinkyBrownAutobiographical comics are par for the course, but in 1972, Justin Green broke ground for the genre when he published Binky Brown Meets the Holy Virgin Mary. Some of that broken ground hasn’t been trod since; how many autobiographical comics about a battle with mental illness have you seen done as wacky parody comics? Lightning-quick pace, phalluses everywhere, and a helpful instructional arrow pointed at a bunch of bananas? It’s unlike any autobio comic before or since, and your take on the subject matter may greatly depend on your upbringing. Tim and Kumar examine.

Review: Need More Love: A Graphic Memoir

by Aline Kominsky Crumb

M Q Publications, 2007.

I was trying to think of a way to describe Aline Kominsky Crumb’s art, and then she went and described it perfectly herself:

I […] draw, erase, and scratch out some tortured looking image that clearly shows how much I am struggling with the medium. I honestly don’t think this makes my work less interesting, just very expressionistic and often very ugly.

In fact Crumb is so aware of her own work as an artist that I could skip reviewing the book and just pull quotes out of it to do the same job.

Continue reading Review: Need More Love: A Graphic Memoir