Review: What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding by Kristin Newman

Review: What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding by Kristin Newman

I'm a fan of travel books and I'm a fan of Kristin Newman (a sitcom writer whose work recently on The Muppets and Galavant was talented). Plus the book has a great title.

Admittedly as someone who is alone and childless (and has, due to not making nearly as much money, has been told that I've taken a few awesome trips) I can relate to both the boasting in the title and the annoyance and frustration that underlies it.

The book details the adventures that Newman took to Argentina and France, Brazil, Iceland and elsewhere. She traveled alone a lot, or with friends, she met people there, and besides being incredibly funny (so funny) it's a really impressive book about getting older, about traveling and dislocation. The book details a series of trips that take place over more than a decade and

Among Newman's many Hollywood credits are How I Met Your Mother (sidenote: Newman reveals why it was that Robin returned from Argentina with a boyfriend) but at its best, the show managed to convey in a funny but thoughtful way about what it meant to grow older. And that's precisely what this memoir does.

Also Newman is very sharp about what it means to travel - and travel solo - in your thirties. Some of them I knew, some I've experienced but never put into words, and others were just much funnier put than I can manage.

Really the only flaw in the book from my perspective is the ending. In short she meets a guy and finds happiness and yes, it's wonderful for her. It just felt like an unexciting ending. Newman admits as much in the text.

I do wish that one of Newman's TV projects which would feature life in hostels overseas or among travelers would make it on the air. That I would watch...maybe if there were muppets also working in the hostel...hmmm...

Articles Published the Week of April 10th

"MAD" Artist Al Jaffee Celebrates Turning 95 Years Young

One of the great privileges of my career was getting invited recently to Al Jaffee's 95th birthday. The legendary cartoonist - who remains perhaps best known as the creator of the Mad Magazine fold-in - celebrated with friends and colleagues (and a couple journalists). I got to speak with him early in the night and at 95 he's still active and creative - which is something we all can envy.

Garth Ennis Proves Everything Old is New at Image Comics with a Trio of Re-releases

I've long been a fan of Garth Ennis' comics work and I got to talk with him recently about three books coming out this year, reprinting three very different older projects of his.

Articles Published the Week of April 3rd

An Oral History of Wimmen's Comix: Part 2

The second part of my lengthy conversation with two dozen members of the Wimmen's Comix collective about their work and careers.

Puke Force Creator Says "Excavating Internal Garbage" Is His Job

Brian Chippendale is a great artist and musician and Drawn and Quarterly has published Chippendale's first book in years, Puke Force, and it manages to be this raw brutal story that's also a meandering meditation on life and events and violence and surveillance the world in which we live.


Articles Published the Week of March 27th

An Oral History of Wimmen's Comix: Part I

If you've talked to me in the past year, you've likely heard me mention this project. I spoke with two dozen cartoonists about It Ain't Me, Babe and Wimmne's Comix, two important comics anthologies. This is the first of two parts. Many of them really opened up to me and were very open about their lives and their careers, the challenges they faced, their personal lives. I am really honored that they shared their stories with me and I can only hope that the article and the new Collected Wimmen's Comics volume helps introduce or remind people of many of these artists and their work.

The Imitation Game decodes the real life adventure and tragedy of Alan Turing

I'm a huge fan of Jim Ottaviani, who has written a number of graphic novels about scientists and science. He and Leland Purvis have worked together before on a book about Niels Bohr, and their new book tackles Alan Turing. Like so many people I'm a great admirer of Turing, who is a truly awesome figure of the 20th Century for so many reasons. Read this book to discover that Turing was a world class athlete in addition to a legendary mind. It's a great book and a great tribute.