All the Answers: A Graphic Memoir

Michael Kupperman. Gallery 13, $25 (224p) ISBN 978-1-5011-6643-3
An artist races to uncover and understand his father’s unusual childhood before his memories are lost to the onset of dementia in this striking and tragic memoir. Self-presenting as a neurotic mess, Eisner Award–winning Kupperman (Tales Designed to Thrizzle) dives into the (for him) unknown story of how his father Joel, a math whiz turned philosophy professor and author, had once been “manufactured” as the marquee child star of the hit World War II–era radio show Quiz Kids. The show made Joel a star, but it was also a traumatic experience that turned him into an emotionally distant man and an uncommunicative parent. The narrative pivots between Kupperman’s reconstruction of stranger-than-fiction moments unearthed from his father’s repressed memory—including the time Joel, a Jewish child on a show developed in part to combat anti-Semitism, met with rabid anti-Semite Henry Ford—and his present-day attempts to get the story straight in the shadow of Joel’s encroaching illness. Kupperman’s varied angles, thick line work, staring seriocomic facial stylings, and sharp prose help turn an already incredible story into an electrifyingly fast-paced, yet intimate memoir about family secrets and the price children can pay for their parents’ ambitions. Agent: Scott Mendel, Mendel Media Group. (May)
Reviewed on: 04/02/2018
Release date: 05/15/2018
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