Roz Chast (and my “Humor” file)

Roz Chast is a writer/cartoonist. I first discovered her over 20 years ago. These were the comics, “Bartlett’s Unfamiliar Quotations”, that I saw. I about lost it. Chast is a cartoonist for The New Yorker but I don’t read that publication; I think I saw these particular ones reprinted in a City paper. I clipped them out and still have the yellowing newspaper in my “Humor” file, a thick collection of various odds & ends I’ve found funny. It serves no purpose other than to amuse me. I don’t know if this is unusual but my humor has been fairly consistent; the things I found funny in decades past are still likely to make me laugh.

Roz Chast recently published Going Into Town: A Love Letter To New York, described as a “graphic memoir.” As soon as I heard about it I reserved it at the library. It’s a great, quick-read book. I’ll grant you my reading material as of late hasn’t been all that funny but I laughed more resding this book than any I can recall in a long time.

I don’t think you’d need any particular familiarity with New York to enjoy this book. I spent a little time in New York long ago but that is the extent of my firsthand knowledge. To be honest, I never truly understood the layout of the burroughs exactly or Manhattan’s streets before seeing Chast’s illustratios. Her New York is quirky and fun – this isn’t a book about subway murders or gang violence. She’s a middle class – probably upper middle – white lady; she’s writing about what she knows, not Harlem. I think that I need to make that clear but for me it takes nothing from the book or its point.

After reading the book in one sitting (about an hour) I went looking in my Humor file for that old comic. I would have posted it here instead of just adding a link but I expect that would be a copyright violation. While looking through the file I found a “one panel” comic I drew. The weird thing is, that while I KNOW I drew this – and feel it wasn’t that terribly long ago – I don’t definitively know why I drew it. This isn’t like me; I can remember things I drew in grade school so this memory blank is odd. I can certainly imagine what I must have been thinking/feeling, that’s not too hard! It made me laugh now so I thought I’d share it with you.

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7 thoughts on “Roz Chast (and my “Humor” file)

  1. Ron Walker

    That is a great drawing. I wish I could draw, I wouldn’t even come close to the details of the fingers and nails.

    I love the illustration of the two guys and the girl. One looks sort of like a clown.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. writerinsoul Post author

      Oh thanks! I’ve always drawn little stuff, although not always with great attention to detail. With comics, it seems sufficient to be “suggestive” of details, just enough so people can tell what it is.

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  2. Pistachios

    Don’t think I’ve ever thought about if/how my sense of humour has changed over time. I’ve rewatched shows from years ago (Sketch Show, old Simpsons episodes, etc), and still thought they were funny. Not sure if that’s coz the shows were good, or my humour hasn’t changed.

    Roz’s comics are pretty funny (I went to browse some more)

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. writerinsoul Post author

      I think because I’ve saved stuff it gives me a humor “point of reference.” I like certain dark comedies, War of the Roses for one, and rewatch it every so often. Seinfeld has held me since he was a stand-up, before the show. It’s interesting to think about!

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  3. autumnashbough

    “Calvin & Hobbes” still holds up. So does “The Far Side.” “Peanuts” was too dated by the time I was a kid. “Doonesbury” was the first book to teach me anything about the Vietnam War.

    I’ll have to check Chast out.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. writerinsoul Post author

      I think you’ll appreciate Chast. Point taken about Doonesbury; Viet Nam was oddly neglected in my education too. I watched a lot of Ken Burns’ series, even though it was difficult, because I felt I still didn’t understand.

      Do you know Matt Groeing’s “Hell” series? Also classic.

      Liked by 1 person

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