The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Cartoonist
A COMEDIC MEMOIR ABOUT FANDOM, FAME, AND OTHER EMBARRASSMENTS FROM THE LIFE OF THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING CARTOONISTWhat happens when a childhood hobby turns into a lifelong career? The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Cartoonist, Adrian Tomine's funniest and most revealing foray into autobiography, offers an array of unexpected answers. When a sudden medical incident lands Tomine in the emergency room, he begins to question if it was really all worthwhile: despite the accolades, awards, and opportunities of a seemingly charmed career, it's the gaffes, humiliations, slights, and insults he's experienced (or caused) within the industry that loom largest in his memory.But as those memories are delineated in excruciatingly hilarious detail, a different, parallel narrative plays out in the background. In between chaotic book tours, disastrous interviews, and difficult interactions with other artists, life happens: Tomine fumbles his way into marriage, parenthood, and an indisputably fulfilling existence. While mining his conflicted relationship with comics and comics culture, Tomine illustrates the amusing absurdities of life and how we choose to spend our time. Through these cringe-inducing moments, a deeper emotional story emerges, and we see Tomine’s life develop into something much more robust than the blunders. In a bold departure in style from his award-winning Killing and Dying, Tomine distills his art to the loose, lively essentials of cartooning. His stripped-down lines communicate effortlessly, with each pen stroke economically imbued with human depth. Designed as a sketchbook complete with place-holder ribbon and an elastic band, The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Cartoonist shows an acclaimed artist at the peak of his career.

The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Cartoonist Details

TitleThe Loneliness of the Long-Distance Cartoonist
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJul 21st, 2020
PublisherDrawn & Quarterly
ISBN-139781770463950
Rating
GenreSequential Art, Graphic Novels, Comics, Autobiography, Memoir, Nonfiction, Graphic Novels Comics

The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Cartoonist Review

  • aconeyisland
    January 1, 1970
    Vita da autore: presentazioni nel sottoscala con pubblico inesistente, interviste imbarazzanti, gaffes in ogni dove, quelle zanzare dei colleghi. La carta quadrettata dello sfondo ispira poco e Tomine ridotto in pochi segni a un personaggio da striscia fa rimpiangere il tratto dei suoi mini-fumetti e delle tante e belle copertine del New Yorker. Rincuora però sapere che nonostante tutti i terribili drammi (l’ansia, il reflusso gastrico, l’allergia alle nocciole e il suo chat-chat-brain chatter d Vita da autore: presentazioni nel sottoscala con pubblico inesistente, interviste imbarazzanti, gaffes in ogni dove, quelle zanzare dei colleghi. La carta quadrettata dello sfondo ispira poco e Tomine ridotto in pochi segni a un personaggio da striscia fa rimpiangere il tratto dei suoi mini-fumetti e delle tante e belle copertine del New Yorker. Rincuora però sapere che nonostante tutti i terribili drammi (l’ansia, il reflusso gastrico, l’allergia alle nocciole e il suo chat-chat-brain chatter disfattista) l’imbranato fumettista non sia più così tanto solitario. Per fan affezionati.
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  • jeremy
    January 1, 1970
    candid, self-effacing, and equal parts hilarious and embarrassing, adrian tomine's the loneliness of the long-distance cartoonist is a graphic memoir recalling incidents and interactions from over twenty years of the acclaimed artist's career. episodic in its telling, tomine's newest book elicits both laughter and empathy. even atop the pinnacle of his industry, tomine is seemingly still plagued by the doubts, worries, and warped self-perceptions that afflict so many thoughtful, creative people. candid, self-effacing, and equal parts hilarious and embarrassing, adrian tomine's the loneliness of the long-distance cartoonist is a graphic memoir recalling incidents and interactions from over twenty years of the acclaimed artist's career. episodic in its telling, tomine's newest book elicits both laughter and empathy. even atop the pinnacle of his industry, tomine is seemingly still plagued by the doubts, worries, and warped self-perceptions that afflict so many thoughtful, creative people. the loneliness of the long-distance cartoonist is honest and humane... and likely relatable for anyone who's laid awake at night endlessly recounting all of the stupid, cringe-worthy things they've ever said and done.
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  • pierlapo quimby
    January 1, 1970
    Tomine abbandona i suoi consueti personaggi e con china nera a punta sottile su carta a quadretti blu ci racconta di sé. Auto-strip-fiction? Una cosa del genere. Esce dalla sua comfort zone, anzi la zona è ancora meno confortevole trattandosi né più né meno che di una minimale epopea farsesca, fatta di disavventure imbarazzanti, gaffes, lamentele e umiliazioni da complesso di inferiorità artistica, molto comic-nerd, molto familiare ("ah... la mia gente!"), fin quando non arrivano due bambine e s Tomine abbandona i suoi consueti personaggi e con china nera a punta sottile su carta a quadretti blu ci racconta di sé. Auto-strip-fiction? Una cosa del genere. Esce dalla sua comfort zone, anzi la zona è ancora meno confortevole trattandosi né più né meno che di una minimale epopea farsesca, fatta di disavventure imbarazzanti, gaffes, lamentele e umiliazioni da complesso di inferiorità artistica, molto comic-nerd, molto familiare ("ah... la mia gente!"), fin quando non arrivano due bambine e scombinano tutto, già... familiare anche questo. Sembra Dan Clowes, più volte nominato e anche ritratto, tanto è impietoso e divertente nel mostrarsi perdente in ogni situazione, solo che Clowes è un perfido bastardo, Tomine è pur sempre un bravo ragazzo, naïf come la sua linea chiara, e noi fan gli vogliamo bene per questo.
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  • Kaitlin
    January 1, 1970
    Brimming with humour, pathos and comedic self degradation, Tomine’s memoir is shot through with a few running gags: the constant mispronunciation of his surname, being mistaken for or addressed as other famous cartoonists, and the gap between his celebrated public self and his inner turmoil.Tomine uses a six panel format with raw ink drawings on blue grid paper to examine his origin story, his professional achievements/embarrassments, and what he learns along the way to being a husband, a father Brimming with humour, pathos and comedic self degradation, Tomine’s memoir is shot through with a few running gags: the constant mispronunciation of his surname, being mistaken for or addressed as other famous cartoonists, and the gap between his celebrated public self and his inner turmoil.Tomine uses a six panel format with raw ink drawings on blue grid paper to examine his origin story, his professional achievements/embarrassments, and what he learns along the way to being a husband, a father of two, and a popular illustrator. This format works brilliantly at weaving together his various experiences (from being on a strange “comics cruise” across the Pacific Ocean to a book signing in Tokyo) and illustrating the gaps between his hopeful expectations and the absurdity and strangeness of reality. There is a persuasive charm to how he uses illustrations and compositions to convey meaning. For example, his emotional beats, with their wordless negative space, as well as overlapping thought and speech bubbles, articulate his interior life and his external reality in the same stroke. I couldn’t put this book down, and recommend it heartily.
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  • Robert
    January 1, 1970
    O sweet Jesus, this book is so hilariously, mortifyingly funny, any cartoonist will appreciate the sometimes horribly embarrassing situations Tomine describes here. His revealing all of this really personal, uncomfortable stuff reveals a high level of self-awareness that I'm sort of in awe of, plus his cartooning is masterclass level throughout. What more could you ask for?
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  • Dylan
    January 1, 1970
    Adrian’s work has graced many covers of The New Yorker. He’s captured alienated worker bees, lost city lives, and missed love chances glimpsed through the window of the last train home. Here, he turns his cynical eye and pen inward and upon himself. His early career failures, social faux pas, an ever present insecurity and on to fatherhood and the health concerns of the middle aged artist. A graphic novel of deep insight and dark humour - that self doubt always just a speech bubble away.
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  • G
    January 1, 1970
    I laughed, I cried. I've been a big fan of AT for years so I was already primed to enjoy it, but because it's effectively a series of vignettes casting AT as a neurotic Charlie Brown-type, it's incredibly readable.
  • Paul
    January 1, 1970
    Beautiful, melancholy, funny, and human. I loved it.
  • J. Bradley
    January 1, 1970
    This book is amazingly cringy and honest and funny. It makes me want to read more of his work.
  • Robert Boyd
    January 1, 1970
    This is an autobiographical account of just about every cringey experience in Adrian Tomine's life. The format is clever--it is designed to look like a moleskin notebook, and the pages have lue gridlines like you see in some moleskins. His drawing is clean but not obsessive--it has a casual feel. But still seems way too clean and precise to be actual sketchbook drawings. He starts with his humiliating description of how he confessed his love of superhero comics as an elementary school student to This is an autobiographical account of just about every cringey experience in Adrian Tomine's life. The format is clever--it is designed to look like a moleskin notebook, and the pages have lue gridlines like you see in some moleskins. His drawing is clean but not obsessive--it has a casual feel. But still seems way too clean and precise to be actual sketchbook drawings. He starts with his humiliating description of how he confessed his love of superhero comics as an elementary school student to his fellow students. Then he launches into a series of humiliations as a professional cartoonist, starting with his first trip to the San Diego convention, in 1995. About a quarter of the time his humiliation is due to other people's rudeness and thoughtlessness, but the rest is because of his own unrealistic expectations and thin skin. And the reality is that I don't totally believe it--after all, Tomine is a successful artist, whose career has been skipping along from success to success since he was a teenager. He started his series of self-published comics in 1991 when he was 17 years old. (It was shortly after that that I became aware of his work, and I loved it. I wrote him a letter that was printed in issue 6 of Optic Nerve praising his work, which bizarrely is quoted in this book.)I've followed his work avidly since then. Sometimes he's great and sometimes not--it's an uneven body of work. But at his best, Tomine is very good indeed. He's always been a realistic storyteller, but rarely autobiographical. The only previous autobiographical work he did that I'm aware of was Scenes from and Impending Marriage, which is similar to this new book. Both are humorous, which Tomine turns out to be pretty good at. And they are both self-deprecating. When the genre of autobiographical comics first became popular, it was so common for cartoonists to depict themselves as loser schlubs that it became kind of a cliche of the genre. It's funny that nearly 30 years after the heyday of the self-deprecating autobio comic that Tomine--one member of that generation of cartoonists who avoided that trope--has fallen back into it.This would be a criticism except that Loneliness is damn good. It was a cliche back when Joe Matt and Chester Brown were showing the world their faults. But now it's a device used by a master to tell a funny and moving story.
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  • Denise
    January 1, 1970
    Oh man, I truly don’t remember the last time I laughed out loud this much while reading a book. I think a lot of the humor, deliberate or not, came from the fantastic combination of Adrian Tomine’s signature art mixed with the painfully self-deprecating, humiliating, and humbling anecdotes he uses to tell his story. The lactose-intolerance story made me laugh until I almost cried. I’m a huge fan of Tomine’s art, but I’ve sometimes not meshed as well with his storytelling. His stories often featu Oh man, I truly don’t remember the last time I laughed out loud this much while reading a book. I think a lot of the humor, deliberate or not, came from the fantastic combination of Adrian Tomine’s signature art mixed with the painfully self-deprecating, humiliating, and humbling anecdotes he uses to tell his story. The lactose-intolerance story made me laugh until I almost cried. I’m a huge fan of Tomine’s art, but I’ve sometimes not meshed as well with his storytelling. His stories often feature disagreeable heros and heroines, and explore some of the baser human instincts. This memoir sort of addresses that reputation by having him confront critics turn after turn, be constantly mistaken for Daniel Clowes (ouch), and basically have his confidence in his early success come up against his crippling anxiety about his growing notoriety. These stories are startlingly self-aware, and even if one doesn’t relate exactly to Tomine’s struggles of dealing with his fame, I think that many people will see parts of themselves in his constant waffling, his intense desire to please, and his confronting with the twin demons of work and family...figuring out what’s most important in the long run. There’s also the painful (but strangely funny) running bit that nobody can successfully pronounce his name. While it’s often played for laughs, it underpins a more nefarious racism and lack of respect in the comics/publishing industry. (Like that Frank Miller bit? Oof.) I think this memoir would be most impactful to those already familiar with Tomine’s work and his standing in the industry, but I think any artist struggling to make their way or name would relate to him making his painfully embarrassing way through life. There are moving moments, and MANY moments of hilarity. Tomine’s work is usually bitterly funny, but this was just full-on funny with a healthy dose of heartfelt moments, and a welcome change of pace. It also goes without saying, but this is one of the coolest book designs I’ve ever seen. The stickers, the elastic Moleskine-style closure, the grid-paper interiors...super brilliant idea for this kind of artist memoir!
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  • Jake Nap
    January 1, 1970
    Hilarious. Touching. Honest. Self Reflective.The Loneliness of The Long Distance cartoonist is some of Tomine’s absolute strongest work. He’s been one of my all time favorites ever since checking out Killing and Dying and as a follow up, this definitely stacks up. Throughout the story we get stories of Adrian Tomine as a cartoonist and as a person. A large large portion of these stories are played comedically and work really effectively. Tomine is absolutely ruthless with himself, often painting Hilarious. Touching. Honest. Self Reflective.The Loneliness of The Long Distance cartoonist is some of Tomine’s absolute strongest work. He’s been one of my all time favorites ever since checking out Killing and Dying and as a follow up, this definitely stacks up. Throughout the story we get stories of Adrian Tomine as a cartoonist and as a person. A large large portion of these stories are played comedically and work really effectively. Tomine is absolutely ruthless with himself, often painting himself for a joke. The book’s humor definitely could come across as niche since most deal with alt comics and picking up on references engrained in the scene definitely enhance it. Being familiar with his work, I thought it was really interesting that he’s never really strayed away from the short story model. Even though this does have ongoing themes of fatherhood, humility and being humble, it’s still a series of connecting vignettes. The stories very much standalone but are enhanced by reading them together. I could totally see myself flipping through this book to read a few of my favorite stories over again if I was browsing my shelves. Another thing about this book in particular that’s worthy to mention is the major change in art style. Adrian flirted with this sketchy/doodly style previously in his Marriage book, taking it on for a full length project like this was awesome. I also really love the consistent 6 panel grid. Consistent panel layouts always set a tone perfectly for a book. The construction of the book as well adds to the whole charm of it. The notebook paper and look of the whole thing adds a bunch to the honesty on personal feel of it all. Overall, this book down to the presentation is incredible. It adds something very worthwhile to Tomine’s bibliography and that’s saying something since the whole thing is worthwhile.
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  • Josh Farkas
    January 1, 1970
    A wonderfully pure autobio comic about obsession, loneliness, self-acceptance, growth, and the power of changed perspectives.While I'm not sure how much this will work for mainstream readers, as someone who has loved Tomine's work since 32 Stories debuted this is like comfort food. Sharing his internal monologue across his life in good and frustrating times is both whimsical and painful. His desire to be recognized as an artist is never fulfilled, until he reframes it.Unexpectedly, this may be m A wonderfully pure autobio comic about obsession, loneliness, self-acceptance, growth, and the power of changed perspectives.While I'm not sure how much this will work for mainstream readers, as someone who has loved Tomine's work since 32 Stories debuted this is like comfort food. Sharing his internal monologue across his life in good and frustrating times is both whimsical and painful. His desire to be recognized as an artist is never fulfilled, until he reframes it.Unexpectedly, this may be my favorite of his books. It is technically perfect, from the faux moleskine binding to the last page pencil bio. Or in the way certain panels fade into and out of existence, playing with dream or internal dialogue. The amount of craft placed to make this drink down so seamlessly is only lost on those who have never tried. This is tough, hopping across time and state with a playful and expert ease.The end beat is especially relevant today. I'd wager Tomine's audience has grown up alongside him, now with families of their own. The classic 'Optic Nerve' twenty something story is almost retro in its optimism, but this ending really rings true in a way those couldn't. While other stories ended on a high note for some far off potential hope delivered, this is the book he understands the joy he has been searching for has arrived while he was busy with other tasks.This is lovely triumph.
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  • Rachel
    January 1, 1970
    I wasn't sure what to expect when I picked up this book, because I don't know any of the author's work, but it turned out to be exactly what I needed today, and it was super enjoyable. What surprised me most was how closely I identified to so many of his experiences (from personal embarrassments to trips to the ER). I would say some of the prevalent feelings in Tomine's narration are indignation and frustration (and loneliness, of course), but it's wonderful to watch him, as a character in his o I wasn't sure what to expect when I picked up this book, because I don't know any of the author's work, but it turned out to be exactly what I needed today, and it was super enjoyable. What surprised me most was how closely I identified to so many of his experiences (from personal embarrassments to trips to the ER). I would say some of the prevalent feelings in Tomine's narration are indignation and frustration (and loneliness, of course), but it's wonderful to watch him, as a character in his own book, grow into his career and his life and figure out his new feelings and priorities.
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  • Harry Saxon
    January 1, 1970
    I haven't read any of Adrian Tomine's work in a while. It was refreshing, even if that's a bit of a wrong word for a series of stories that can be awkward, embarrassing or sad. Also maybe not the best after midnight read if already suffering by imposter syndrome, but I digress. It's a good book and I am glad I've read it. Honourable mention: it's printed on squared paper and bound as a journal (almost like my beloved Moleskine journals that I buy for sketchbooks and then never touch again).
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  • Diana
    January 1, 1970
    Love the design and a few really laugh out loud funny moments. The self deprecative tone wears thin eventually as it plays the same note but the book really redeems itself when he meets his wife and they become parents and that starts to color how he sees his work. Makes me think how much I’d love to read a graphic novel from him about being a parent.
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  • Robert Diaz
    January 1, 1970
    I really enjoyed it, plain and simple. Same with everything else of his that I have read.If you are a fan of his other stories and artwork etc, you have every reason to believe that this one will be just as special. And if you are new to his work, pick one and start the journey.
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  • Sarah Morris
    January 1, 1970
    Wow, this was a brilliant read! Full of so many great moments from funny to awkward, to frustrating to totally heartbreaking And if anyone had any doubts, this is proof that Adrian Tomine CAN do great endings 👏
  • Tenli
    January 1, 1970
    Love the whole book, from the cunning little edition to the utter self consciousness and relatability, the drawings full of just enough detail. What a treasure
  • TheNextGenLibrarian
    January 1, 1970
    This graphic novel was very angry and weird and I just felt uncomfortable throughout the entire thing. Not a fan and won’t recommend it for #MaverickList
  • Cristina
    January 1, 1970
    Autobiography told through a series of awkward situations. I have always admired his art, but this was lighthearted and heartwarming and deeply relatable. Really fun way to structure a memoir!
  • Ingrid
    January 1, 1970
    Pessimistic, and not that interesting, though the very last story was pretty cute.
  • Justin
    January 1, 1970
    A heartfelt memoir with lol moments from one of my recent favourite comics artists.
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