comics

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Michael Ian Black, Tom Bissell and Pete Holmes

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Michael Ian Black
Guests: 
Tom Bissell
Guests: 
Brian Heater
Guests: 
Alex Zalben

Comic Book Recommendations with Alex Zalben and Brian Heater

Brian Heater and Alex Zalben bring some of their all-time favorites to the table this week.
Brian recommends Cleveland by Harvey Pekar, the self-deprecating writer best known for American Splendor. Alex Zalben suggests you check out Concrete: The Human Dilemma by Paul Chadwick.

Brian Heater is journalist and the Editor-In-Chief of The Daily Cross Hatch. Alex Zalben writes about comics for MTV Geek and hosts NYC’s Comic Book Club Live.

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Michael Ian Black on Marriage, Parenthood and Personhood

Michael Ian Black is an actor, comedian and author perhaps best known from his work with the sketch comedy troupe The State, or from his subsequent collaborations with State-mates both on television (Stella, Michael & Michael Have Issues) and film (Wet Hot American Summer). His charming smarminess made him a perfect fit for the talking-head format of VH1, but that public persona is a troubling aspect of his life -- one of many issues discussed in his memoir, You're Not Doing It Right: Tales of Marriage, Sex, Death, and Other Humiliations. He goes in-depth on the issues of his marriage, parenthood, and personhood, and the result is a book that is shockingly honest, informative, and incredibly funny.

Michael talks about re-committing himself to marriage in six week intervals, getting into stand-up comedy late in life, and his obsession with Googling "Fat Kevin Federline." He co-hosts the podcast Mike & Tom Eat Snacks and has two new books out this year -- a political commentary with Meghan McCain, and his memoir You’re Not Doing It Right. (Originally aired May 1, 2012)

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Pete Holmes on Awful Sandwiches

If you watch the Super Bowl, or even just television, you probably know comedian Pete Holmes best from commercials, where he adorably doles out financial advice as the voice of the E-Trade baby. Last year he was named one of Variety's Ten Comics to Watch, and with good reason. As a stand-up, Holmes has a mostly goofy and positive energy. But as he reveals on his new album Impregnated With Wonder, there is one thing that can really set him off: a bad sandwich.

You can find Pete's podcast You Made It Weird on iTunes, or by visiting Nerdist.com. (Originally aired May 1, 2012)

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Tom Bissell on Changing Journalistic Paths and Creativity

Tom Bissell is a journalist, video game critic and author whose latest book, Magic Hours: Essays on Creators and Creation, is a series of pieces attempting to capture all angles of the creative process, in all sorts of artistic forms: from Herman Melville, writer of Moby Dick, to Chuck Lorre, creator of Two and a Half Men; from the mind of filmmaker Werner Herzog to the madness of The Room's Tommy Wiseau. Magic Hours collects the best of Bissell's ten-year career, with essays featured in The New Yorker and Harper's, as well as several pieces written solely for the book.

Tom joins us to discuss the dumb luck that makes some books resounding classics of literature while others fade from the collective conscious, and the value (or lack thereof) of a journalism degree. You can find his video game writing online at Grantland.com. Magic Hours is now available in bookstores everywhere. (Originally aired May 1, 2012)

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The Outshot: Malcolm Tucker & The Thick of It

On this week's Outshot, Jesse recommends one of his absolute favorite shows, the brilliantly profane political satire The Thick of It -- particularly its foul-mouthed protagonist Malcolm Tucker. The show is now available to US audiences on Hulu. (Originally aired May 1, 2012)

Got a hilariously profane favorite of your own? Don't just keep it to yourself, f***ing tell someone by heading to the MaxFun forum and picking your own Outshot.

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Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Swamp Dogg, John Mulaney, Comic Book Picks, and Kasper Hauser

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Swamp Dogg
Guests: 
John Mulaney
Guests: 
Brian Heater
Guests: 
Alex Zalben
Guests: 
Kasper Hauser



Comics with Alex and Brian

Our comic book experts are in residence! Brian Heater and Alex Zalben recommend My Friend Dahmer, and the novel Dotter of Her Father's Eyes.

Alex Zalben is a writer and a host of the show Comic Book Club. Brian Heater is a journalist and Editor-in-Chief of The Daily Cross Hatch, which highlights alternative comics.
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Soul Musician Swamp Dogg

Swamp Dogg, born Jerry Williams Jr., is a legendary psychedelic soul musician. He put out his first record in 1954, under the name Little Jerry. Over the next 15 years, his stage name would change to Little Jerry Williams before dropping the "Little" and performing as simply Jerry Williams. Finally, in 1970, he re-christened himself as Swamp Dogg for the release of his first LP, Total Destruction of Your Mind. The album combined humor and social commentary with the acid-soaked psychedelic sound of the late '60s / early '70s, and the Swamp Dogg name stuck.

Swamp sat down with Jesse in 2008 for a laugh-filled conversation discussing his long career in music, from the mindset behind all those name changes, to finding his best successes as a songwriter for country music, including a Grammy nomination for writing the Johnny Paycheck #1 hit "(Don't Take Her) She's All I Got".

His career compilation, It's All Good: A Singles Collection 1963 - 1989 is available now.
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Kasper Hauser News Update

We here at Bullseye feel a moral obligation as a public radio show to provide you with some news content, so to get you caught up on all the top stories you've never heard of (as they're entirely made up), here's the latest from our fake news team: the San Francisco-based sketch comedy group Kasper Hauser.
You can catch Kasper Hauser live next month, performing alongside the honorable judge John Hodgman at Cobb's Comedy Club in San Francisco on Sunday, April 29th.
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Comedian and SNL Writer John Mulaney

John Mulaney is a stand-up comedian and comedy writer based in New York City. He served as a writer on the Comedy Central series Important Things with Demetri Martin, but you probably know him best from his current job, writing for Saturday Night Live. One of John's responsibilities on SNL is writing ridiculous recommendation lists for the Bill Hader character Stefon, a regular contributor for Weekend Update. Mulaney has also performed on Update himself, showcasing his upbeat brand of humor on a segment called "I Love It".

John joined Jesse back in 2009 to talk about somehow earning money while getting black-out drunk, and subtle differences between writing for sketch and writing for stand-up. His hilarious new comedy special New in Town is available now on CD and DVD. You can follow him on Twitter @Mulaney.
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The Outshot: Jerry Lee Lewis' "Live at the Star Club"

On this week's Outshot, Jesse hails the wild-child rock & roll of Jerry Lee Lewis's Live at the Star Club, Hamburg as perhaps the best live album ever recorded. In 1963, at the deepest depths of his career, Lewis went to Germany a man disgraced, and played for a crowd willing to embrace him regardless of his troubles. The result is an historic scorcher of a performance from the man they call "The Killer".
Is there a live album you feel should be considered the best of all time? You can make your pick by heading over to the MaxFun forum and naming your own Outshot.
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Book Trailer for MetaMaus by Art Spiegelman

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Twenty-five years ago, Art Spiegelman created his Pulitzer Prize-winning book Maus. In this documentary-style book trailer, Spiegelman talks about the creation of this classic and we get to preview the soon-to-be-released MetaMaus which explores the materials that he used to write Maus and answers some of the most commonly asked questions about the author's creative process. Metamaus will be sold with a companion DVD that contains a digitized reference copy of The Complete Maus featuring audio interviews with Spiegelman's father, historical documents, and generous excerpts from the author's notebooks and sketches.

MetaMaus will be available on October 4th. Until then, you can find more material from the book on Spiegelman's Facebook page.

Steve Wolfhard: Turtie!

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I'm secretly in love with Turtie! - an adorable and endearing new cartoon series from Steve Wolfhard (creator of the beloved Cat Rackham and a loyal MaxFunCon attendee). Wolfhard is putting together a mini book of Turtie drawings that document the character's search for work. He'll be selling the mini-books this weekend at SPX.

Steve's drawings have great warmth and charm. I'm a proud owner of both his recent book "Cat Rackham Loses It!" and the print that he created to commemorate MaxFunCon 2010. (Note: You can still purchase the lovely "Warmth and Happiness Print" in the MaxFun store). You should check out more of his work here.

But mostly: Turtie!!

Mail Order Mysteries

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I contributed an afterword to this really cool book - Mail Order Mysteries. It's a great-looking collection of ads from old comics for things like Ray Gun plans and X-Ray Specs. Each is presented alongside the actual item you received if you ordered it. I'm guessing they asked me to write the afterword because they thought it would be fun, but what I wrote turned out to be a kind of sad meditation on growing up.

Anyway, it'll hit book stores September 10th, but you can pre-order it now. Great leafing-through book, a great gift, fun stuff. Except for my afterword. That's sad.

Jordan, Jesse, Go! Episode 182: Luna Park with David Malki!

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Guests: 
David Malki!

David Malki!, creator of Wondermark, joins Jesse and Jordan for further discussion of music festivals, making Brita tea and more.

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Lynda Barry, author of Picture This and What It Is: Interview on The Sound of Young America

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Lynda Barry

Lynda Barry is a legendary comic strip author whose Ernie Pook's Comeek has run for many years in alternative newspapers around the country. Her two most recent books, What It Is and Picture This are about writing and creating art, respectively. The former won an Eisner Award, comics' most prestigious prize. The books take the form of a notebook, filled with text, collage and drawings. The content is based on a series of seminars Barry has taught on getting creative work done. In our interview, Barry talks with Jesse about activating the brain and the benefit of doing creative work that doesn't need to fall into the dichotomy of beautiful/not beautiful, good art/not good art, or being productive/being nonproductive.

JESSE THORN: It’s The Sound of Young America, I’m Jesse Thorn. My guest on the program is Lynda Barry. She’s one of the nation’s most accomplished comics artists, graphic novelists, comic strip writers, artists, etc. etc. Her comics have run in alternative newspapers across the country for many, many, many years and more recently she’s turned much of her time towards writing longer works. Her book of just a couple of years ago, What It Is, was about the process of writing, and her latest, Picture This, is about the process of making art. They’re beautiful multimedia comics collage works that, as I said, are about process.

Lynda Barry, welcome to The Sound of Young America.

LYNDA BARRY: I’m delighted to be here.

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Tidbits from Past Guests: November 4, 2010

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  • MaxFun friends Rob Huebel and Paul Rust fight dirty with puns and pipes in Action Movie Pun Brainstorm. (If you haven't listened to Rob's presentation of Simon Rich's "Brainteasers" yet, you really should.)

  • The Decemberists, fronted by singer Colin Meloy, have announced a release date of January 18, 2011 for their upcoming album "The King is Dead". You can download the new song Down By the Water for free from their website.

  • Comics artist and Pulitzer Prize-winner Art Spiegelman edited and wrote the introduction for a new set of the wordless woodcut novels of Lynd Ward. Each page of Lynd Ward: Six Novels in Woodcuts is wordless, set with an single engraved image. The whole thing looks beautifully packaged, to boot.

  • Fans of upcoming guest Judd Apatow and crew should be happy: the debut of IFC's run of Apatow's great college comedy series Undeclared is Friday at 11pm. We've had several alums of the show on the program, including screenwriter Rodney Rothman and musician and actor Loudon Wainwright III.

Dan Clowes, Comic Artist, "Wilson": Interview on The Sound of Young America

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Dan Clowes

Dan Clowes is the author of numerous acclaimed comics. His works include Ghost World, Art School Confidential and the latest, Wilson.

Wilson is the story of a middle-aged man who has lived his life in an effort to avoid social relationships, only to realize that time is running out to build a family.

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Riddle Me This, The Batman: Comedy from Sarah Gee on The Sound of Young America

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Sarah Gee

Batman takes on his nemesis, The Riddler, who takes on himself in this comedy sketch from writer and performer Sarah Gee. You can catch Sarah perfoming at Improv Olympic in Chicago Sunday, Monday and Wednesday nights.

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