Michael Kupperman is an American cartoonist and illustrator. His work has appeared in publications ranging from The New Yorker to Screw. He has two books published, Snake’N'Bacon’s Cartoon Cabaret and Tales Designed to Thrizzle.
Question: Are we living in a strange age?
Michael Kupperman: I do think it's strange because the technology keeps improving and yet what can be done with it keeps degrading. For an example, in print, if you look at magazines from the past printing and the production was just immaculate. And magazines today, even the best of them, can't match that. You know, animated cartoons, very similar. I think the production in the 30's and 40's is just incredibly beautiful, and with the exception of Pixar now, I'm not seeing anything that's that powerful.
Question: What can be done to encourage good art?
Michael Kupperman: I think we're in a funny time now, we're in a kind of shift. The new technology has really affected the way people see the world and relate to each other, and so I think we're in transition. I would think that very few people like the way things are now, but maybe I'm just projecting. I think what needs to happen is an examination of why people exist, is it really just to work? You know, is working for someone else your whole life the sum of what there is? I think these are questions people are going to be asking more and more often since no one will be paid that well any more. You know?
Question: Is the creative class in crisis?
Michael Kupperman: I think there is a crises of the creative class. I mean, among people I know in the theater and all kinds of arts, the funding is gone, the money is gone, and the spirit is not so strong, you know? It's very hard for people to keep wanting to produce material when they don't feel like the audience is there or there's any reward at all.
Recorded on December 19, 2009