Podcast: Haste Ye Back

Seth on The Virtual Memories Show

Virtual Memories: Seth – Haste Ye Back

The great cartoonist (and designer and illustrator) Seth joins the Virtual Memories Show to talk about memory and time, his love of digression, being “Mr. Old-Timey”, what it means to be a Canadian cartoonist, and learning to let go of the finish and polish that used to characterize his work.

“When I was young, I thought there were an infinite possibility of stories you could do. As you get older, you realize you’re following a thread, and that you don’t have as much choice about what you’re writing about as you thought.”

“Style’s a funny thing. I think it’s important, but I think it’s a matter of the choices the artist makes that lead to the finished product. It is chosen, bit by bit over time, with each decision you make.”

rhythm-sprott“People only have a limited patience for listening to you go on and on about your own ideas, your own mind, your own memories. Art allows you to have that perfect experience of putting that down on paper without anyone growing tired and making you stop.”

“You add things onto yourself bit by bit through life to create the kind of person you want to be. Eventually, to some degree, it IS you. You picked these things deliberately.”

Seth: The Virtual Memories Conversation. Go listen!

“There’s some little thing that makes it hard to let it go of trying to create that fetish object you always wanted, that comic strip that looks like the best you can make it.”

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

Follow The Virtual Memories Show on iTunes, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and RSS!

About our Guest

Seth is the pen name of Gregory Gallant, a Canadian comic book artist and writer. He is best known for comics such as his ongoing anthology Palookaville, George Sprott: (1894-1975), Wimbledon Green, The Great Northern Brotherhood of Canadian Cartoonists, and It’s a Good Life, If You Don’t Weaken, all published by Drawn and Quarterly. His illustrations have appeared in The New Yorker, The Washington Post, Details, Spin, The New York Times, and Saturday Night, and he has designed books and DVDs for a variety of publishers, including Fantagraphics (The Complete Peanuts), Random House (The Portable Dorothy Parker), and Criterion (Make Way for Tomorrow). Here are his favorite Criterion releases.

Credits: This episode’s music is Time Stand Still by Rush (because Seth’s Canadian, see, and his work revolves around memory and — oh, never mind). The conversation was recorded in Seth’s hotel room during the Toronto Comic Arts Festival on a pair of Blue enCORE 200 microphones feeding into a Zoom H4n recorder. The intro and outro were recorded on Blue Yeti USB Microphone. Processing was done in Audacity and Garage Band. Photo of Seth by me.

Podcast: The Least Insane of Cartoonists

Virtual Memories – season 3 episode 22 –
Pete Bagge: The Least Insane of Cartoonists

“I was asking not to be taken seriously, but I was also getting annoyed that I wasn’t being taken seriously.”

WrebPeter Bagge, the comics legend behind Hate!, Neat Stuff, Apocalypse Nerd and Everybody is Stupid Except for Me, joins us to talk about his new book, Woman Rebel: The Margaret Sanger Story. We have a great conversation about why he chose to write about the founder of Planned Parenthood, how he made the shift from fiction to nonfiction comics, who his favorite “pre-feminist feminists” are, why he decided to stick with comic books over paperback books (and why he came around on the latter), what the strangest sketchbook request he ever received is, and how he feels about being a comics convention prostitute.

We also talk about how he never got a word of approval from his dad or his editor, how his libertarian politics got him ostracized after the 2008 election (and how some people seem to be coming around on that), why he doesn’t draw elbows, and what it felt like to be considered the “least insane of cartoonists” by R. Crumb.

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

Follow The Virtual Memories Show on iTunes, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and RSS!

About our Guest

Peter Bagge‘s newest book is Woman Rebel: The Margaret Sanger Story. He is best known for the 1990s comic book series Hate!, which followed the exploits of slacker ne’er-do-well Buddy Bradley (collected vols. 1, 2, and 3). He is a contributor to Reason magazine, which led to the collection Everybody Is Stupid Except For Me, and Other Acute Observations, and his work has appeared in Weirdo (where he served as managing editor), The Stranger, New York Press, Entertainment Weekly, Details, Seattle Weekly, Screw, and more. He is also the author of Peter Bagge’s Other Stuff, Reset, Apocalypse Nerd, Other Lives, and Bat Boy: The Weekly World News Comic Strips, among other works.

Credits: This episode’s music is Hateful Notebook by the Descendents. The conversation was recorded at the Bethesda North Marriott during SPX 2013 on a pair of Blue enCORE 200 mics feeding into a Zoom H4n recorder. The intro and outro were recorded in my home office on a Blue Yeti USB microphone. File-splitting is done on a Mac Mini using Audacity. All editing and processing was done in Garage Band. Photo by me.

Unrequired Reading: Junebug

Just in time for July 4th, it’s a collection of my tweeted links and retweets, for those of you too lazy to get on Twitter and follow me @groth18!

First up, the retweets!

RT @MoCCAnyc (MoCCA): Kirby vs Marvel in the NY Times

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RT @KenTremendous (Ken Tremendous): Wow. RT (@parksandrecnbc) The Ron Swanson Mosaic. Be sure to grab our free hi-res poster! #ParksandRec

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RT @tnyCloseRead (Amy Davidson): David Remnick on the Big Man: Bloodbrother: Clarence Clemons, 1942-2011

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RT @kylevanblerk (Kyle Van Blerk): Need. This. Bookcase.

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RT @simonpegg (Simon Pegg): Memorable ink from the US book tour: 1 and 2

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RT @kylevanblerk (Kyle van Blerk): animalsbeingdicks.com That is all. Have a good weekend.

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RT @MarylandMudflap (Scotty L.): Etch-a-Sketch was really onto something. I wish I could shake the shit out of everything in my life when I need a fresh start.

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RT @scottmccloud (Scott McCloud): OMG OMG OMG http://llamafont.com

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RT @normmacdonald (Norm Macdonald): I’d have to be pretty hammered to see “Thor”.

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RT @DwightGarner (Dwight Garner): Daniel Okrent (I think) said it in Esquire (I think) in the 80s: “John Coltrane & Johnny Hartman” = best LP ever recorded. I’m a believer.

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Anyone know where #ProfessorZoom got his doctorate? #justwondering

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Cover story: #magouflage

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Nazis tend not to design great synagogues? I prefer #BattlestarJudaica! #FrankLloydWrong 26 Jun

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Is #Cars a vehicle (ha-ha) for Intelligent Design?

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Blind drunk: #notreally

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Neat #PhilipRoth interview: #idontreadcontempofictioneither

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If I ever have to move again, I have no idea what I’ll do with all the books. #unpackingtheshelves

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Long-ass @BobMould conversation on wrestling, Catholicism, breakups and more: #seealittlelight

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@SimonDoonan: wildly pro-Jew. #yay!

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I am SO glad I didn’t watch the last six episodes of @TheKilling_AMC: http://bit.ly/mEhcSL #stillsevenhoursiwillnevergetback

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I wish it hadn’t taken me so long to think of #WeAllKilledRosieLarsen. Still, glad I didn’t watch the last 7 episodes of @TheKilling_AMC

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First, only time #AnnaNicoleSmith will be compared to #BleakHouse.

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#SalmanRushdie offers up seven wonders (those Goya paintings the Prado are creepy as all get-out)

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The Girl with the Caffeine Addiction? #TMCM

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NYT sez: Life could be better if we blow off property rights, the environment, consumer safety, etc.: #highspeedrail

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Introvert Myth #11: they don’t get Twitter.

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Time-Traveling Male Sea Monkeys Make Bad Mates

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Great moments in terrible casting, via @fuggirls (No #JessicaAlba as geneticist and/or blonde in #FantasticFour?)

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Accidental Chinese hipsters: #umm

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Bust 2.0? “If you squint just right, our business is actually booming!”

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Do we expect too much of books? #iknowido #ralphwaldoemerson

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(Un)happy Bloomsday.

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Krypto’s got quite a pedigree: #superdog #legionofsuperpets

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Rockin’ the GTH turban: #sikhandyoushallfind

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Mandelbrot, P.I.?

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No Mexican in Paris? WTF? I can’t even call this #firstworldproblems

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Why I never took up smoking: #cheapjew

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The Enhancer: “Yeah, but have you ever Disneyed . . . HIGH?” #weed

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#Masa loses one star for F-U (by @samsifton)

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Haberdashed!

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“Not only is it okay to hate #LeBron, but it’s a fucking character flaw on your part if you do not.” #nbafinals

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Anybody know what this is? #snakeonahike #herpetology

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My hometown: a toxic mess that CAN’T be cleaned up, after multiple Superfund attempts: #ringwoodnj #eatlead

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#JoeJackson & #TheRoots do #SteppinOut on @latenightjimmy

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Apparently, I need to alternate my annual Toronto trip with some Montreal action.

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i found my thrill on N***** Hill? #plaqueremoval

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Never trust your parents, especially when you’re home for the holidays: #drugdeal

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#Seth’s lovely eulogy for his father: #nosethdoesnothaveatwitteraccount

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Every mall should have a bomb shelter: #shoptillthebombdrops

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Puyehue makes an ash of itself: #underthevolcano #alsooverthevolcano

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I’ll get to these right after I finish #ADancetotheMusicofTime. #johnswartzelder #simpsons

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Sunfart: #justsunfart

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Greatest pwnage ever? #nadal #federer #toughcall

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To prize integrity is to fear disintegration” (via @asymmetricinfo)

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Escapistism.

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It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World: Greatest. Cast. Ever.

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@comicsreporter on his hoped-for DC relaunches. #bwahhaha

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Kirby. Gods. Watercolor. #nuffsaid

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@michaelbierut on comedic design (sorta): #talkingfunny

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We will be like birds.

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#GeneHackman: “He tried”

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#UmbertoEco on reading and not reading: http://bit.ly/jFXAQZ

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#Francesa = #Jeter?

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“You cook?” “I’m French.” #MelanieLaurent #aurevoirshoshana!

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No one said, “I wish I kept up on Twitter more”? #regretsofthedying

What It Is: 6/22/09

What I’m reading: Plutarch’s lives of Timoleon and Aemilius Paulus, and Seth’s amazing comic about Canadian designer Thoreau MacDonald (it’s in an anthology called Kramers Ergot 7). Reading that strip after his George Sprott and Wimbledon Green books (the latter of which I reread on Saturday), it struck me just how much Seth’s work has grown in recent years, and how much of it seems to be a response to the work of other top-flight cartoonists of this era. My pal Tom has a great interview with Seth that explores this topic, but the MacDonald pages, even more than George Sprott, really drive home the point that Seth’s response to “the competition” (especially Chris Ware) is to make better and better work. I’m not sure he would’ve made the leaps he’s made without it.

What I’m listening to: Greatest hits collection of Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam, after reading this short post by Ta-Nehisi Coates. (He thought she was high yellow?)

What I’m watching: The Original Kings of Comedy, Big Night, Futurama: The Beast With a Billion Backs, Manhattan and Hot Rod, the latter of which was inspired by its recent My Year of Flops writeup.

What I’m drinking: Miller’s & Q Tonic

What Rufus is up to: Getting the last of his stitches out, learning how to hang out by himself again, and building up his stamina. I can’t believe we went 3 weeks without a walk outside of the yard. I’m glad it’s not hot out.

Where I’m going: Pharmaland. Lots and lots of Top Companies profiles to write!

What I’m happy about: That it’s not raining right now.

What I’m sad about: That my dad got pasted with an attack of gout this weekend, which means we have to put off our Father’s Day lunch till next Sunday. And that we’ll have to take the red wine off the menu.

What I’m worried about: Getting all of those profiles written and then laid out in time to put the issue to bed by July 2.

What I’m pondering: Whether crystal meth would help with that.