This week, we welcome Benjamin Frisch on the show to talk about his new book (his first!) with Top Shelf Productions: The Fun Family. Read any review of the book, and odds are you’ll see the words dark, seedy underbelly, or biting critique. And these would, in all honesty, be appropriate words to use. Frisch’s book is in many ways a satirical look at newspaper comics (Bil Keane’s The Family Circus, specifically) and storytellers who present only a sanitized, postcard-perfect view of their lives.
Robert Fun is a cartoonist who has made a living off his family by making them the center of a daily strip, but he only shows an idealized view of his family. The reality is anything but. And very quickly, the Fun family completely dissolves and becomes a nightmare version of itself.
Don’t let the cover fool you – this is not a kids book. The Fun Family deals with issues of depression, neglect, mental health, divorce, and child abuse. Yet Frisch contrasts this dark, deeply emotional story with bright colors and an intense vibrancy. The juxtaposition is striking. And even though it probably shouldn’t work, it does – incredibly well.
On this episode, we chat about the book, the road Frisch took to get it made with Top Shelf, our memories of The Family Circus, and Frisch’s own adventures in podcasting with Out on the Wire.
But wait! We’ve got two copies of The Fun Family to give away to a couple lucky listeners. How to enter? It’s easy! Use the widget below to earn a couple entries. And if you listen to the show, we give you an extra way to earn a bonus THREE chances to win! Good luck!
- Benjamin Frisch is on Twitter here.
- The show is on Twitter here and Facebook here.
- Jamie is on Twitter and Instagram as @theroarbots.
- Justin is on Twitter and Instagram as @140JustinC.
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