A longtime New Yorker staff cartoonist offers a memoir about growing up Jewish in New York City, his circuitous route to professional cartooning and the origins of creativity—with some of the author's witty, beloved cartoons appearing throughout.
Chast’s book was a graphic memoir, told using her art; in Sipress’s book, his cartoons act more as punctuation marks to the narrative, written in prose that is also economical and amiable (and occasionally devastating). It’s like the difference between a through-composed opera and a musical ... t’s an endearingly vulnerable tale of being molded by one’s family of origin, then crawling out from under its suffocating weight ... I have a feeling he’d hate the goopy word 'storyteller' as well, but boy, he’s a good one.
Sipress offers a variety of vivid memories throughout his book. Some are comical (such as the time he decided to throw his toys out his 12th-floor bedroom window), some tender (he recalls riding the subway with his mother when he was small), and some painful (such as the loss of loved ones). But through it all, Sipress maintains his strong sense of humor, even when facing down sadness and anxiety. He has made a career out of laughing at himself, as he says, and readers will be drawn to the mix of humor and vulnerability here ... An intimate and engaging memoir by an artist who understands that personal thoughts and feelings often lead to remarkable ideas. Recommended.
New Yorker cartoonist Sipress...draws on his gift for evoking the predicaments of human nature to tell beguiling stories about his life and career ... Weaving in his impeccable wit and wry cartoons, Sipress illustrates his relentless pursuit to produce work that 'express[es] what everyone is thinking and feeling,' all while offering amusing insights into his creative process ... The result is a delightful jaunt through an inspiring artist’s mind.