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14 Segments




Valley Girls and Cartoons.

Mimi Pond is the author and illustrator of the new book "The Valley Girls' Guide to Life," which she researched by spending time in the mall with Californian junior high students. Pond is a cartoonist whose strip "Mimi Pond's Famous Waitress School" appears regularly in The National Lampoon.


The History of a "Looney" Cartoon Studio

The Warner Bros. studio created several iconic cartoon characters for their shows Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies, including Porky Pig, Daffy Duck, Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd. Writer Steve Schneider has published a book about their history and influence, called That's All Folks!


Political Cartoonist Signe Wilkinson

Wilkinson says she is one of three women cartoonists on the national scene. She works for the Philadelphia Daily News and contributes to Ms. Magazines. Wilkinson joins Fresh Air to discuss the efficacy of her work, and the legal and editorial risks involved with her trade.


Bill Plympton Discusses his "Surreal Gags."

Cartoonist and Animator Bill Plympton. His work combines the humorous and the grotesque. Most recently his "Plymptoons" have been showing on MTV. His award-winning animated cartoons, "25 Ways to Quit Smoking," "How to Kiss," "Your Face," and "Drawing Lesson," have appeared in numerous animated film festivals. Before he took up animation, Plympton's political cartoon strip was syndicated in 25 newspapers. His other illustrations and cartoons have been featured in Harpers, Rolling Stone, Newsweek, The New York Times, and others.


Animator Nick Park

Park's short, claymation film, "Creature Comforts," won this year's Oscar for Best Animation. It's a five-minute parody of a documentary in which various zoo animals tell the camera how they feel about their living conditions.


Cartoonist and Writer Lynda Barry.

Cartoonist and writer Lynda Barry. Barry's comic strip about her childhood, "Ernie Pook's Comeek," is popular in many alternative newsweeklies around the country. She's also written a show based on the comic, called "The Good Times Are Killing Me." It's playing now Off-Broadway. (This interview was recorded this summer before a live audience in Seattle, when Terry visited station KPLU).


Comic Book Artist Diane Noomin.

Comic book artist Diane Noomin. She's the editor of (and a contributor to) a new collection of underground comics drawn by women. It's called "Twisted Sisters." It's published by Penguin.


Carl Stalling Taught Us How to Listen to Modern Music.

Jazz Critic Kevin Whitehead reviews a cd featuring Carl Stalling's cartoon music. From 1936 to 1958 Stalling composed music for Warner Brother's cartoons including: Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck and the Road Runner. The title is "The Carl Stalling Project, Vol. 2, Warner Bros."


Animation director J.J. Sedelmaier

Animation director J.J. Sedelmaier is the animator of the TV Funhouse skits which run on Saturday Night Live. They include The Ambiguously Gay Duo, Fun with Real Audio, and The X-Presidents. Sedelmaier and his animation company work on many other projects for TV and commercials. They have worked for MTV and Nickelodeon. He also has his own Cartoon Network series, Capt. Linger.


Gilliam's 'Imaginarium': Surreal And All-Too-Real.

Terry Gilliam's new film, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, is another entry into his long line of dream-like films. But it's also the final performance of the late Heath Ledger. Gilliam joins host Terry Gross to talk about the personal and professional challenges of creative filmmaking.


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