Adrian Tomine on making art during a pandemic and transitioning into screenwriting
Adrian Tomine has been making comics for a very long time.
The Sacramento native moved around a lot—to places like Fresno, Oregon, even Germany. His parents were both professors with PhDs. While still a teenager he created the first drawings for his long-running comic series Optic Nerve. The comic has been published as a collection of books by Drawn & Quarterly. He’s also the author of several books including Killing and Dying and Shortcoming.
His artwork has been featured on the cover of The New Yorker. His most-recent covers highlight the absurdity, frustration and isolation many people are experiencing after being home so long: messy apartments, dates over video chats and let’s not forget work appropriate attire on top with loungewear on the bottom for all of our Zoom calls.
His latest book is a sort of a departure from his usual works. It’s a very personal illustrated memoir called The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Cartoonist. It looks like the kind of unlined journal you’d use to capture your most personal moments. Each page is written on graph paper. It’s also autobiographical: Tomine recounts book tours, trips to the doctor and other moments that sometimes inspire secondhand embarrassment in others.
Adrian joins Bullseye guest host Brian Heater to talk about how making comics prepared him for screenwriting, trying to do a book tour during a pandemic and what’s next for him. Plus, he’ll talk to us about that infamous Fresh Air interview. All that and more on the next Bullseye.
The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Cartoonist is available now.
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Bullseye is a celebration of the best of arts and culture in public radio form. Host Jesse Thorn sifts the wheat from the chaff to bring you in-depth interviews with the most revered and revolutionary minds in our culture.
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