Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Cartoon Character: Matt Wuerker talks cartooning & politics on VMS

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The Virtual Memories Show!

March 2013: Cartoon Character

Check out the latest episode of The Virtual Memories Show podcast!
"Political cartoonists have it easy: we turn on the TV or computer
and Sarah Palin has said some inane thing . . .
and the cartoons can write themselves.
In the world of cartooning, we're the lazy bastards."
Matt Wuerker, winner of the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Cartooning, joins The Virtual Memories Show to talk about his career (including his fascinating non-comics work and his prescient move to the online world with POLITICO), the experience of winning "the Academy Award for cartoonists", his artistic and political influences, what it takes to get on the NRA's Enemies List, how moving to Washington, DC changed his perspective on politics and politicians, the opportunities for editorial cartoonists in a post-print world, how his parents felt about his decision to become a cartoonist, whether he had it easier during the Bush/Cheney era or the Tea Party era, and why he thinks the golden age of cartooning is still ahead of us!

"One of the great cosmic quandaries for cartoonists is
that what's bad for the world is great for cartooning."

The new episode of The Virtual Memories Show is available at

where you can download it or listen through the in-browser player. This one's about 28 minutes long. If you have any problems getting the site to load, visit our tumblr page instead. (Our web-host has been migrating chimeraobscura to a new server, so there have been some hiccups.)

You can also visit the archives for past episodes, or subscribe on iTunes so you'll never miss an episode! Just go to the iTunes store and search for "Virtual Memories Show" orclick here then hit "View In iTunes" to launch that program. You can also skip all that anddownload the MP3 file directly from here (14mb).

The Virtual Memories Show is a biweekly podcast featuring conversation about literature, culture and the arts. Upcoming guests include Ben Katchor, cartoonist and MacArthur Fellow, John Crowley, author of Little, BigJesse Sheidlower, author ofThe F WordLori Carson, singer-songwriter and author of The Original 1982Craig Gidney, author of Bereft and Sea, Swallow MeEd Hermance, owner of Giovanni's Room bookstore in Philadelphia, Ivan Brunetti, cartoonist and author of Aesthetics: A MemoirValya Lupescu, author of The Silence of TreesCraig Gidney, author ofBereft and Sea, Swallow MeDrew Friedman, artist and cartoonist, Chris Bakken, author of Honey, Olives, Octopus: Adventures at the Greek TableDavid Baerwald, singer/songwriter and producer, Wallis Wilde-Menozzi, author of The Other Side of the Tiber, and Maxim Jakubowski, book editor/translator and founder of Murder One Bookshop in London.


Gil Roth
Virtual Memories
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P.S.: I'm always looking for good guests who can talk about books and make for good conversation. So if you have any prospects -- or think you'd be interested in sitting down for a recording -- let me know!
Matt Wuerker
Matt Wuerker has been POLITICO's editorial cartoonist and illustrator since its launch in 2007. In 2012, he won thePulitzer Prize for Editorial Cartooning, POLITICO's first Pulitzer win. In 2009, he was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in editorial cartooning. Over the past 25 years, his work has appeared in publications ranging from The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Timesand The New York Times to Smithsonianand the Nation, among many others. Along the way, he's also pursued other artistic tangents that have included claymation, outdoor murals, teaching cartooning in prison (as a visitor, not as an inmate), book illustration and animating music videos. Matt thinks Saul Steinberg is a cartoon god and the Peter Principle explains pretty much everything, and he also thinks the maxim "If you're not confused, you're just not thinking clearly" is one of the wisest things ever said. Matt lives in Washington, D.C., in close proximity to the National Zoo and the Swiss Embassy. Depending how bad things get, he hopes to find asylum in one or the other.
Your host
Gil Roth
Gil Roth is the host of The Virtual Memories Show, a podcast about books and life, not necessarily in that order. He's been blogging at Virtual Memories for 10 years and has a list there of every book he's finished since 1989. He has now interviewed three winners of the Pulitzer Prize for this podcast. He's kinda proud of that fact, although it also makes him quite aware that this is the closest he's ever going to come to an award of that magnitude. He also sighs profoundly.
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