Episode 571 – Ed Subitzky

Virtual Memories Show 571:
Ed Subitzky

“For better or worse, I was never topical. I always think of my work as being about the human condition and the human comedy.”

The great cartoonist and humorist Ed Subitzky gets his long-delayed due with the new collection, POOR HELPLESS COMICS! (New York Review Comics). We talk about Ed’s amazing career at National Lampoon, how he developed his “can’t draw’ style after taking a cartooning class with RO Blechman & Charles Slackman A DOZEN TIMES, how the Rapidograph became his Excalibur, and why this collection includes some of his favorite prose pieces alongside all the comics. We get into how he began experimenting with the form & structure of comics, his lifelong curiosities for science and philosophy and how he wound up getting published in the Journal of Consciousness Studies, how he juggled all these great comics with his longtime career writing direct marketing pieces, and how it took preparing this book and looking back at his work for him to realize his comics were really funny. Give it a listen! And go read Poor Helpless Comics!

“What is the nature of reality? That’s in so many of comics: probes about what is real.”

“I have never in my entire life felt like I belonged with any group or anybody.”

“In advertising, they take things very seriously. The art directors think they’re doing the Mona Lisa, the writers think they’re doing the great American novel. They think it’s an art form.”

Enjoy the conversation! Then check out the archives for more great episodes!

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About our Guest

Ed Subitzky is a cartoonist, humor writer, and performer. A contributing editor at National Lampoon for nearly two decades, he also wrote and performed for The National Lampoon Radio Hour. He went on to write and perform for several seasons of The David Letterman Show. His art and writing have appeared in The New York Times, American Bystander, and The Journal of Consciousness Studies, among others. He lives in New York City.

Credits: This episode’s music is Fella by Hal Mayforth, used with permission from the artist. The conversation was recorded at Ed’s home on a pair of Blue enCORE 200 microphones feeding into a Zoom PodTrak P4 digital recorder & interface. I recorded the intro and outro on the same setup, because I was traveling. All processing and editing done in Adobe Audition CC. Photos of Ed (& Susan) by me. It’s on my instagram.

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