The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Cartoonist

by Adrian Tomine

Hardcover, 2020




Drawn and Quarterly (2020), Edition: Illustrated, 168 pages


What happens when a childhood hobby grows 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 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. Tomine illustrates the amusing absurdities of how we choose to spend our time, all the while mining his conflicted relationship with comics and comics culture. But in between chaotic book tours, disastrous interviews, and cringe-inducing interactions with other artists, life happens: he fumbles his way into marriage, parenthood, and an indisputably fulfilling existence. A richer emotional story emerges as his memories are delineated in excruciatingly hilarious detail. In a bold stylistic departure from his award-winning Killing and Dying, he distills his art to the loose, lively essentials of cartooning, each pen stroke economically imbued with human depth. Designed as a sketchbook complete with placeholder ribbon and an elastic band, The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Cartoonist shows an acclaimed artist at the peak of his career."--Amazon.… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member villemezbrown
Tomine offers a look inside his head, sharing his anxieties and documenting the "embarrassing gaffes, the small humiliations, the perceived insults" of being a professional cartoonist and low-level celebrity. The navel gazing is mostly humorous and self-deprecating, and to get outside his head once
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in a while, he offers a few cameos of celebrities from the comic book industry and lots of anecdotes from conventions, book tours, and signings.

Its an amusing trifle, but I have to say the decision to reproduce it as the grid-pattern journal in which he apparently drew it annoyed me. The little blue squares on every page constantly drew my eye away from the art or left me spending too much time judging how crooked his panel lines were when they didn't cover the blue lines perfectly. I occasionally started looking too close and found the text difficult to read if each line did not run exactly through a line of squares. It's all unnecessarily distracting.
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LibraryThing member KWharton
I enjoyed this so much more than "Summer Blonde". I loved the layout too. I'd actually want to talk to Adrian Tomine if I met him now - after "Summer Blonde" I would have avoided eye contact!
LibraryThing member boredgames
absolutely adored this moving rumination on authorly anxiety, love, fatherhood. it made me cry.
LibraryThing member questbird
Adrian Tomine documents years of funny-awkward moments in the life of a shy and insecure lifelong cartoonist. I chuckled quite a bit. The book looks like a moleskine and has graph paper inside, which initially I found disconcerting, but it suits the conceit of the cartoonist's notebook.
LibraryThing member viviennestrauss
A friend recommended another of this author's works but this was the first the library could get for me - I loved it! I am a visual artist but I could very well relate to Tomine's awkwardness, obsessions and phobias. It felt good to laugh with him and at myself simultaneously. Looking forward to
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reading more.
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LibraryThing member JRobinW
I'm not always into graphic novels but I actually liked this one a lot. Good art and he captures the challenge of being an artist and the artist's need for solitude, but also, the challenge of solitude.


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