Annabelle Gurwitch Discusses Her New Book 'I See You Made An Effort: Compliments, Indignities, and Survival Stories from the Edge of 50'

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November 16, 2014 at Live!

Actress/comedienne/author Annabelle Gurwitch gained a loyal comedic following during her years hosting Dinner & A Movie on TBS. She has been a regular commentator on NPR and contributor to The Nation, More, Glamour, Marie Claire and a number of other national publications. Gurwitch is also the author of You Say Tomato, I Say Shut Up which is now a play receiving its third national tour, and Fired! which became an acclaimed documentary and Showtime Comedy Special.

Every 7.5 seconds, someone in America turns 50. While some people like to say that “50 is the new 40,” Annabelle Gurwitch believes “50 is still F-ing 50.” In her wickedly funny new collection of essays, I See You Made an Effort, Gurwitch explores the hazards of reaching the half-century mark, aging out of your wardrobe, outsourcing your endocrine system, and falling in lust at the Genius bar. From the woman the Washington Post calls “hilarious,” this new book is the ultimate coming-of-middle-age story.

This event was co-sponsored by the AADL and the Jewish Community Center of Greater Ann Arbor a part of the 2014 Jewish Book Festival.

Length: 
43:03
Rights Held By: 
Ann Arbor District Library
 

Comics Are Great! 107 - Animals Doing People Things

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December 3, 2014 at Netcasting Studio

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Anthropomorphic comics characters have enjoyed a wide appeal almost since the invention of the comic. Who doesn’t love Snoopy? Characters like Garfield have inspired an entire generation of professional cartoonists. Even the critically-acclaimed Maus featured talking animal characters.
So what is it about “animals doing people things” that’s so compelling? Why are we so willing to invest in a character whose design is so defiantly absurd and unrealistic?
I’m joined by John Green , co-creator of the Teen Boat! graphic novels and creator of the upcoming Hippopotamister, published by First Second Books. Together we unlock the secret powers held within “funny animal characters.”
We’re also joined by Anne Drozd of the Ann Arbor District Library for another round of book recommendations!
Links mentioned in this episode (thanks to Eric Klooster for collecting the links!):

Book Recommendations:

Length: 
1:01:02
Rights Held By: 
Ann Arbor District Library
 

Comics Are Great! 105 - Banned Books

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September 24, 2014 at Netcasting Studio

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Join us for a discussion on Banned Books Week with David Carter, Librarian at the University of Michigan’s Comics and Video Game Archive. Together we explore censorship in comics and ways we can better advocate for our medium.
Links mentioned in this episode (thanks to Eric Klooster for collecting the links!):

Length: 
1:09:21
Rights Held By: 
Ann Arbor District Library
 

Comics Are Great! 106 - Talent or Effort?

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October 29, 2014 at Netcasting Studio

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It’s time to unbox the age-old question of Talent vs. Effort on Comics Are Great!
How does your comics work change when you shift your focus from “expressing yourself” to “putting in the effort?” Are these terms mutually exclusive, or does the focus oscillate between those poles throughout the project? If so, how do you know when it’s time to change your focus?
I’m joined by Zack Giallongo, cartoonist behind Broxo, Star Wars: Ewoks: Shadows of Endor, and the Stratford Zoo Midnight Review series. Together we explore how a career in cartooning is equal parts creative expression and herculean effort, and how one finds balance between the two.
Links mentioned in this episode (thanks to Eric Klooster for collecting the links!):

Length: 
1:17:32
Rights Held By: 
Ann Arbor District Library
 

Comics Are Great! 90 – Why are all of the Cartoonists on Tumblr?

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May 10, 2014 at Netcasting Studio

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There are more ways than ever to share our work with our intended audience. Some solutions are as simple as pushing a button, while others may require a little bit of technical know-how.

But how do you find the hosting/publishing/social media solution that connects you to the right readers? Do you use them all? Or is there a value in investing in the culture of a smaller set?

How do the cultures of sites like DeviantArt, Tumblr, Reddit, or Smack Jeeves affect the way the audience interacts with our work, and how might that help us find the right solution and find the right audience?

And why have so many visual artists turned to Tumblr, anyway?

I’m joined by a group of young artists who will help me unravel these questions on Comics Are Great! 90.

Length: 
1:13:13
Rights Held By: 
Ann Arbor District Library
 

Comics Are Great! 102 – You Got Your Cosplay in My Comic! with Rachel Ashley-Lovelace

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September 21, 2014 at Netcasting Studio

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Whatever your stance on cosplay, one can’t deny that it’s an active arena in fan participation with media. Is it simply a distracting branch that interferes with the “pure” transactions between fans and creators? Or is it a means for fans to enrich their participation with the creations themselves? When fandoms form around a creation, how should a creator respond?

This time I’m joined by Rachel Ashley-Lovelace for a discussion on the culture of fandoms and cosplay and how they might coexist with the creative forces that inform them.

AADL Production Librarian Anne Drozd also drops by for another round of book recommendations!

Links mentioned in this episode (thanks to Eric Klooster for collecting the links!):

Comics and Book Recommendations:

Length: 
1:15:21
Rights Held By: 
Ann Arbor District Library
 

Comics Are Great! 101 – Kids v. Adults with Gregg Schigiel and Connor

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September 20, 2014 at Netcasting Studio

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We grown-up cartoonists think we know what kids are and aren’t picking up on in our work. After all, we were kids once! But memory can be fickle testimony, so in the next Comics Are Great! I’ll be joined by 12-year-old cartoonist Connor to talk about what he perceives to be the anatomy of a good story for kids.

I’ll also be joined by Gregg Schigiel, creator of PIX: One Weirdest Weekend, artist on Spongebob Comics, and host of the Stuff Said podcast.

If you haven’t seen Gregg and Connor in action, they led some events at the 2014 Kids Read Comics festival in Ann Arbor, MI. You can see their banter during the Kids Comics Award show held that weekend here.
Links mentioned in this episode (thanks to Eric Klooster for collecting the links!):

Comics and Book Recommendations:

Length: 
00:59:20
Rights Held By: 
Ann Arbor District Library
 

Comics Are Great! 99 – Code of Hero, with Jamie Gambell

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September 19, 2014 at Netcasting Studio

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This time I’m joined by Jamie Gambell, writer of The Hero Code, for a discussion on the various channels available to us when publishing our comics independently. With so many options like Kickstarter, Comixology, IndyPlanet, Patreon, and publishing on the web, how do you find the right option for your comic?

David Carter, Programming Librarian at the University of Michigan’s Computer and Video Game Archive, also stops by to share some exciting announcements about the Kid’s Read Comics pre-conference for educators, librarians, and cartoonists.

Links mentioned in this episode (thanks to Eric Klooster for collecting the links!):

Comics and book recommendations:

Length: 
1:25:55
Rights Held By: 
Ann Arbor District Library
 

Comics Are Great! 98 – The Performance Cartoonist, with Mark Mariano

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September 19, 2014 at Netcasting Studio

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We all know that making the work is only half of the battle facing an author or cartoonist these days. Once the work is done you have to market the work, and for many of us this means posting to social media, email lists, making YouTube trailers, and hitting the convention circuits. For many of us this can be an unpleasant part of the deal that comes with being an author.
But how might our thinking change if we think of ourselves as an author/performer? On this episode I’m joined by Mark Mariano, kids’ author of The Other Side of Hugless Hill, and member of the rock band The O>Matics, for a discussion on how advocacy can be a fun way to reach out to potential fans and spread awareness of your work.
Links mentioned in this episode (thanks to Eric Klooster for collecting the links!):

Comics and Book Recommendations:

Length: 
1:18:08
Rights Held By: 
Ann Arbor District Library
 

Comics Are Great! 97 – What’s so Great about Batman?

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September 3, 2014 at Netcasting Studio

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p>You may have heard that 2014 is the 75th anniversary of the first appearance of Batman. So for this episode of the Comics Are Great! show we had a roundtable discussion on why the Caped Crusader remains such an enduring character.
I’m joined by Dean Trippe, author of the powerful comic Something Terrible, and Kohl Glass, film maker behind Orc Wars, and Rachel Polk, cartoonist behind Melvin the Fat Bird, who help us explore how Batman became such an iconic character whose appeal spans generations.
Links mentioned in this episode (thanks to Eric Klooster for collecting the links!):

Comics and book recommendations:

Length: 
1:27:36
Rights Held By: 
Ann Arbor District Library
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