Tuesday, November 23, 2010

KPCC's Patt Morrison Features Erich Origen and Gan Golan's THE ADVENTURES OF UNEMPLOYED MAN

Gan Golan, dressed as The Master of Degrees, visited the KPCV studio and Erich joined by phone to talk with host Patt Morrison and take calls about the book. Listen to several callers rave about the book...

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Unemployed Man vs. Superlotto / Erich Origen and Gan Golan on cnn.com

...we chose a superhero story -- with everyday heroes fighting against economic supervillains -- because it was, amazingly, not that far from the truth.

In our troubled times, millions of ordinary people are engaged in a struggle of epic proportions against massive economic forces beyond their control. It seemed important to show people how truly heroic they are.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Time Magazine Calls THE ADVENTURES OF UNEMPLOYED MAN by Erich Origen and Gan Golan "Hilarious, Clever, Very Relevant, and Remarkably Insightful"

Brad Tuttle interviews Erich on Time's Money Blog, It's Your Money.  As part of his answer to Brad's question about Unemployed Man's powers, Erich says:

Our heroes' powers are never more than exaggerations of the powers of real people—we wanted to show how heroic everyday people are. Undertaking an epic search for work (like Unemployed Man) is heroic. Fighting economic villains while raising your children (like Wonder Mother) is heroic. Working into your old age because the Broker made a joke of your 401K and you can't afford to retire (like Plan B) is heroic. Each of our characters represent a specific kind of everyday heroism.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Will Friedwald's A BIOGRAPHICAL GUIDE TO THE GREAT JAZZ AND POP SINGERS An Atlantic Book of the Year 2010

Picking Will's book as one of five best books of the year, The Atlantic's literary editor Benjamin Schwarz writes: ...Quirky, opinionated, shaped by exquisite taste and judgment, this feat of musical and cultural criticism offers an exuberant glimpse into the American character.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Peter Hessler a New Yorker Man-in-the-Marathon


The staff writer Peter Hessler will be running his third marathon. His first was in 1981, when we was just twelve—“back when they’d let kids do things like that.” His biggest deprivation this time has been sleep, but he was prepared: “I have twin infants at home, a new fatigue-training tool.”

Of the three, Hessler has the longest trip to the starting line; it’s a distance of many marathons from his home in Colorado. And the trip has not been without incident, as he revealed when asked about his weekend meal plan:

My flight got cancelled and I’m stuck in an airport in Grand Junction, Colorado. I don’t know if Subway is the ideal pre-race meal, but that’s all they got here. United gave me a ten-dollar voucher. Actually I think that guy Jared is in the race. I better not finish behind him or the Chilean miner.

All three New Yorker partisans say they’re looking forward to a break from running after Sunday, but there’s no rest for the weary—at least not for Peter Hessler, who has work to do Sunday afternoon.
I have to immediately get on a train to Long Island and do an interview. Not my ideal post-race routine but my editor, Willing Davidson [another marathoner from the magazine] , is making me do it. He said I can skip the interview if I end up in the medical tent.
Read Peter on Meb Keflezighi’s Marathon win, and his earlier piece on Ryan Hall, Running to Beijing / The Making of a Long Distance Runner, which has some wonderful autobiographical details.

Per Crouch's follow-up post, Peter's final time was two  hours and forty-five minutes.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Washington Post Calls Will Friedwald's A BIOGRAPHICAL GUIDE TO THE GREAT JAZZ AND POP SINGERS "Vastly Entertaining"

Dennis Drabelle reviews Will's magnum opus in the Arts & Living section of today's Post, saying:

In this mammoth volume, jazz critic Will Friedwald does for jazz and pop vocalists what David Thomson has done so brilliantly for the movies in his "New Biographical Dictionary of Film."

..."Vastly entertaining," for that matter, isn't a bad label to stick on Friedland's book."

Charlie Scheips Curates DAVID HOCKNEY: Fleurs fraîches in Paris

Charlie Scheips just returned from Paris, where he curated an exhibition of David Hockney's iPhone and iPad drawings at the Fondation Pierre Bergé - Yves Saint-Laurent. The drawings will form the basis of a future book.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

COUNTRY DRIVING by Peter Hessler One of Amazon's Ten Best Books of the Year

After being an Amazon book of the month when published early in the year, the site listed Pete's book #2 on its list of the 10 best books of 2010.

Discovery's Planet Green Interviews Rachel Botsman and Roo Rogers about WHAT'S MINE IS YOURS

Leonora Oppenheim interviews Rachel and Roo on WHAT'S MINE IS YOURS. 

Some excerpts:

PG: What is your ultimate green goal?
RB: To help drive “The Big Shift”; away from the 20th Century defined by hyper consumption, towards the 21st century, the age of Collaborative Consumption. I would like us to be able to look back and be proud of a society that leapfrogged over decades of waste and emptiness into a new era marked by trust between strangers, access over ownership and the primacy of experience over "more stuff." I want to help make that happen.
RR: My goal is to harness innovation to help create solutions for our social and environmental challenges. By “harness” I mean creating businesses, inventing adaptive product solutions, or simply connecting the ideation dots to facilitate adoption.

PG: What is your best green advice?
RB: Don’t see ‘green’ as an add-on or a sacrifice. I believe it’s less about stocking your cupboards withSeventh Generation products and more about shifting away from a seismic zeal for individual getting and spending towards a rediscovery of collective good.
RR: Millions of people die a year from environmental “disease.” Now imagine that instead of affecting people millions of miles away, it is your daughter, son, father, mother, or friend.
Now do something about it.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Reuters Writes Up "Witty" and "Exhaustively Researched" THE ADVENTURES OF UNEMPLOYED MAN by Erich Origen and Gan Golan

Unemployed Man in D.C. Last Weekend
Journalist Nick Zieminski reviews the book and interviews Erich and Gan for Reuters Life!

...When 18th century philosopher Adam Smith coined the term "invisible hand" to describe self-regulating markets, he could scarcely have imagined his idea would one day star in a superhero comic book.

...Q: Why a comic book? Is it to make the point that the recession widened a gulf between the rich and everybody else?

Origen: "That's certainly one of the points, made by people like (Paul) Krug-Man and Robert Reich. But with their writing you don't get people encased in underwear. We have this accessible way of communicating similar ideas and allowing people a catharsis."

...Q: Why use a retro graphic style?

Golan: "We wanted to tell a story with a wide emotional range, from comedy to poignancy, and it seemed like those old styles were better-suited -- unlike modern comics which can be aggressive and dark and gritty. In the 50s and 60s, America had an idea of a common good, and that optimism was personified by superheroes. We wanted a style that took us back to that."

Part II of the Really, Really Excellent Will Friedwald JazzWax Interview

WF: Songwriter Jimmy Webb told me about a comment he heard from Joni Mitchell: “We used to have lyricists, we used to have composers, we used to have singers, we used to have accompanists and arrangers. Now we have one person doing all those jobs and in a half-assed way!"

Thank you, Marc Myers. 

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Really, Really Excellent Will Friedwald JazzWax Interview, Part I

On his really, really excellent jazz blog, Marc Myers offers up the first part of a two-part interview with Will Friedwald about his new book, A Biographical Guide to the Great Jazz and Pop Singers.

...Like all solid authorities and essayists, Will wriggles into his subjects, providing sharp analysis and little-known details as he takes strong positions. This is what makes Will so pleasurable to read. That and the fact that Will strives to entertain, much like the singers he writes about.

...W.F.: "Jazz" means something completely different than it did years ago, although it's also fashionable to see the whole history of jazz as more of a direct continuum. The music keeps evolving and so dodefinitions. Almost all of the singers who sang in the big bands would have been considered pop in 1938. But by today's standards they'd be classified as jazz.


Watch this portrait of Marc Myers.  On his site he links to a wonderful Bill Evans video--Monica Zetterlund singing "Waltz for Debby," the agency's favorite song from a father's point-of-view, though we prefer Johnny Hartman's version.