Michael Kupperman, Author of All The Answers


Cool Tools Show 156: Michael Kupperman

Our guest this week is Michael Kupperman. Michael is an artist and writer in Brooklyn whose work has appeared in or on The New Yorker, Fortune, The New York Times, Nickelodeon Magazine, Forbes, Playboy, Heavy Metal, McSweeney’s, DC, Marvel, Vice, Saturday Night Live, Adult Swim, and Comedy Central, and six of his own books. All the Answers is his first serious book.

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Show notes:

An awareness of one’s body, its position in space and relationship to other bodies
“I’m a New Yorker. I’ve been in the city for my entire adult life, so it’s obviously that a lot of people don’t have this — an awareness of their body in space and how it’s relating to other people. A lot of people don’t have a 360 awareness of their body and walking in the city it can become very difficult. I noticed that about 20 years ago, people started to look at their phones or look at shop windows a lot more and were kind of not paying attention to where they’re walking, but now I think most people are doing it as a lifestyle choice. People kind of deliberately don’t look where they’re walking even if there’s no reason not to. And then beyond that, I guess I was thinking of one’s body as a piece of the great chain of intake and outtake and how unaware so many people are of that, what they’re taking in and what they’re putting out, and their place in ecosystem. I honestly think it’s the number one thing they should be teaching in schools. I think it’s the first thing they should be teaching in schools is an awareness of one’s physical presence and physical reality. … I’ve been touring schools for my son so I went to the Waldorf School the other day and they teach it there. They were teaching, ‘Reach out your arms, turn around, are you touching anyone?’ Making the children aware of their physical space. I think that’s an important tool especially as our world gets more crowded and difficult to negotiate.”

Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Pens
“I tend to latch on to something and use it over and over, but I am not a fancy art hardware person. I use very cheap materials usually. I use, sometimes, office pens. Actually, I get the finest results from just Pentel micropoint pens … and I’ve been using Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Pens for a lot of inking for the past year or two. … It’s just about building a relation between it and yourself where you know what the results will be within a certain spectrum of expectations when you touch it to the paper and start to you move your hand.”

Strathmore Paper
Most often I use Strathmore, either Strathmore drawing paper or Strathmore Bristol paper. It’s very rare I use anything fancier than that.

“Besides the pens, the pencils, the paper and the computer, I use a light box these days, which means I don’t have to pencil and ink on the same page, which I used to do. … A light box is a box that has a plexiglass top that emits light through it and you can do a pencil version, for example, on it and then put paper over that and do the ink over that because it projects light through the image.”

Also mentioned:

All The Answers ($17, Hardcover)
The entire book is pen and ink and the text. I did everything by hand so even on the cover, the only part that wasn’t done by my hand was the barcode, which you cannot.



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