Yesterday when I was leaving the radio station after my show, I had a moment where I felt so incredibly happy. I haven’t really done anything that scared me, work-wise, for a while, and this show has been a huge test of my ability to commit, research and confront one of my biggest fears and weaknesses: interviews. While I’m still working on being a better interviewer and radio host, I’m starting to feel more comfortable talking to people I admire, especially artists I wouldn’t typically get a chance to meet in my usual coverage of shops, products and trends.
Photo above by Joe Tomcho
Earlier this spring, my friend (and very talented illustrator) Alex Eben Meyer introduced me to his friend and equally talented cartoonist, GB Tran. GB had a booth at MoCCA where he was displaying and selling copies of his phenomenal graphic memoir, Vietnamerica. I bought a copy and read the entire book (it’s a wonderful, dense 300-page book) in one evening. And the second I closed the book, I reopened it and re-read a section of it. When I told GB that, he smiled and said he was hoping people would do that. To say that Vietnamerica, which tells the story of GB’s family’s escape from Vietnam to America during the Vietnam War, is a masterpiece is not an overstatement. GB has created one of the most beautiful, powerful and challenging (in a good way) books I’ve ever read. If you’re a fan of beautiful artwork, memoirs or moving storytelling in general, this book is a must-buy, plain and simple.
GB was kind enough to take time out of his very busy schedule (he and his wife have a four-month-old baby) to talk with me yesterday, and I really enjoyed hearing his thoughts on comics, artwork, creative discussions and panels, the day-to-day life of a cartoonist and what it means to tell someone’s family story. I hope you’ll sit down to hear what GB has to say; I was really happy to have this moment to speak with him and hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I did. Thanks again to GB — you can visit his site here, his blog here and buy a copy of Vietnamerica (you won’t regret it) here. xo, grace
WAYS TO LISTEN
*Previous episodes of After the Jump: Todd Oldham, Of a Kind, Genevieve Gorder, Jason Goodman of Third Ward, Eric and Jonathan of The Brooklyn Flea, Meg Mateo Ilasco, Sibella Court, Tina Shoulders and Owyn Ruck