I can't remember when I first heard the "Shut Up, Little Man" tapes, but it was almost certainly a cartoonist who introduced me to them, specifically either J.R. Williams, Jim Blanchard or Peter Bagge, all of whom were connoisseurs of the "prank call" genre and sated my growing appetite for same in the early 1990s by making me mix tapes (including the also-essential "Tube Bar" recordings that catapulted "Red the Bartender" into infamy as the inspiration for The Simpsons' Moe Szyslak). The "Shut Up Little Man" tapes weren't phone pranks, per se; they were better! Two hateful drunks chewing each other new assholes, over and over again, in such eloquently vicious fashion! Little could these two awful men know how their vitriol was bringing others together. It seemed like every alternative cartoonist in America had heard these tapes by the early 1990s, so it seems only fitting that Dan Clowes and Ivan Brunetti would be amongst those featured in a forthcoming documentary on the great Peter and Raymond. I can't wait to see this. [CBR video link]
If you work at Fantagraphics long enough, you will invariably learn to marvel at the way that our fearless co-leader, Kim Thompson , has his hand in virtually everything that happens here. His ability to multitask is a source of endless conversation and awe. He juggles projects as easily as he does multiple languages. How does he do it? Well, thanks to this recent discovery in our archives, we now know the answer, and it turns out he owes it all to former Marvel Comics Editor Mark Gruenwald :
Celebrating the release of MARK TWAIN'S AUTOBIOGRAPHY 1910-2010
"Here Mister Kupperman," he said, thrusting a manuscript into my hands. "Publish this, and let the world read of my adventures."
My name is Mark Twain, and I write these words to you in the good old days of August 2010. "What's that," you say? "Didn't you die a hundred years ago, you old coot?... The truth is I never died, but the same old rumors got exaggerated and then a bunch of other stuff happened, so people forgot I was still alive.
And with that preface, the celebrated man of letters -thought to be dead for a hundred years but actually surviving due to a wizard's spell- returns with a sequel to his best-selling autography, aided and abetted by humorist and cartoonist Michael Kupperman. From WWI to the Great Depression, WWII to Woodstock, and through the present, Twain details his careers as an ad man, astronaut, hypnotist, Yeti hunter, porn star, drifter, grifter and more, rubbing shoulders and having never-before-told adventures with many major figures of the 20th Century.
Meet Michael Kupperman at the following events in New York and Connecticut this Fall!
Sunday, Sept. 18th, 1PM Brooklyn Book Festival 180 Remsen Street, Brooklyn "Comedy in Comics" Panel discussion with Keith Knight, Kate Beaton, Jennifer Hayden and Heidi MacDonald, in the St. Francis Screening Room
Wednesday, Sept. 21st, 7:30PM Book Court 163 Court St., Brooklyn Reading and signing with Ben Katchor
Saturday, Oct. 1st, 7:30PM Mark Twain House 351 Farmington Avenue, Hartford, CT Reading and signing
Tuesday, Oct. 4th, 8PM Littlefield 622 Degraw St., Brooklyn Twain in the Membrane Comedy Party Live comedy & cartoons! Twain costume and frog-humping contests! General absurdity! Featuring Michael Kupperman, David Rees, Julie Klausner, Jon Glaser, Kate Beaton, Max Silvestri, Emily Flake and others!
Thursday, Oct. 13th, 7PM Desert Island 540 Metropolitan Avenue, Brooklyn Book and Print release party/signing
Michael Kupperman lives and works in Brooklyn with his wife Muire and son Ulysses, where he creates the ongoing Tales Designed to Thrizzle comic book series. His most recent book is Mark Twain's Autobiography 1910-2010. His cartoons and illustrations have appeared in magazines from the New Yorker to Fortune, newspapers from The New York Times to the Village Voice, and numerous books, including many published by McSweeneys. His first book, Snake'N'Bacon's Cartoon Cabaret, was also adapted by the author as an Adult Swim animated pilot which can be seen online; two strips from that book were also adapted into cartoons for the Comedy Central series TV Funhouse. Other television work including drawing a TV Funhouse cartoon for Saturday Night Live, and writing for The Peter Serafinowicz Show on BBC2 in the UK. He can currently be found on Twitter, where his user name is @MKupperman.
"Kupperman may have one of the best comedy brains on the planet right now." - CONAN O'BRIEN
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