Virtual Memories Show 525:
Paul B. Rainey
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“I was 11 or 12 when my grandma said, ‘What does Paul want to do when he grows up?’, and my mum said, ‘He wants to be a comic artist,’ and my grandma said, ‘Yes, but what’s he want to do when he grows up?'”
With his fantastic new graphic novel, Why Don’t You Love Me? (Drawn & Quarterly), cartoonist Paul B. Rainey has crafted a deeply human story out of a deeply weird premise, taking the reader from bleak, black humor to the most heartfelt moment of connection. We get into the challenges of serializing this story over 6-plus years, the ways in which science fiction can help us reframe our day-to-day lives, the midlife meltdown that led to the creation of My Imaginary Band, and the ways Why Don’t You Love Me? explores what it’s like to look at one’s life and ask, “How did I get here?” We also talk about the perils of writing a story with such a great twist that it’s difficult to talk about (spoiler alert!), the amazing experience of being published by D&Q after years of self-publishing his comics, the amazing experience of getting a blurb from Neil Gaiman, why he’s never watched Groundhog Day, how Planet of the Apes either ruined or fulfilled his life, how he finally came around on Krazy Kat, and a lot more. Give it a listen! And go read Why Don’t You Love Me?!
“I always thought I should be a pop star, even though I went bald at an absurdly young age.”
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About our Guest
Paul B. Rainey is a British cartoonist who has been making comics for decades. In 2015, his graphic novel There’s No Time Like the Present was published by Escape Books. He has been a regular contributing cartoonist to Viz since 2013. His creations include Peter the Slow Eater, 14 Year Old Stand–Up Comedian, and Audrey Pemberton. He won the Observer/Jonathan Cape/Comica Graphic Short Story Prize in 2020 with the strip Similar to But Not. In it, he recounts meeting Madonna in his local pub in 1985. He has written, drawn, and self-published many comics, including Pope Francis Goes to The Dentist, Journey into Indignity, and Gripe Night. His new book is Why Don’t You Love Me?
Follow Paul on Twitter and Instagram and check out his shop.
Credits: This episode’s music is Fella by Hal Mayforth, used with permission from the artist. The conversation was recorded remotely via Zencastr. I used a Heil PR-40 Dynamic Studio Recording Microphone feeding into a Zoom PodTrak P4. All processing and editing done in Adobe Audition CC. Drawing of Paul by Paul. It’s on my instagram.