Chattering Class


Molly Crabapple Draws Blood, Dancers and Detainees

Molly Crabapple is an illustrator and activist whose work has appeared in Marvel comics, on protest posters for the Occupy movement, and she also traveled to Guantanamo to sketch the military hearings there. She just released a memoir called, "Drawing Blood." She reflects on her craft and what she learned from testing herself in "the naked girl business."


Randall Munroe Makes the Complicated Stuff Simple for Us (and You)

Randall Munroe is a cartoonist with a degree in physics. Years ago, while working as a roboticist for NASA, he started the webcomic "xkcd." The drawings are simple, mostly stick figures, but the concepts are big, as he takes on technology, computer science, and math. His latest book is called "Things Explainer: Complicated Stuff in Simple Words." He examines how we use language to describe complex ideas with Brendan and explains the thousand-word challenge behind the book.


‘Hitchcock/Truffaut’ Explores the Impact of a Chat Between Filmmaking Masterminds

Back in 1966, at the height of his career, French filmmaker Fran├žois Truffaut sat down with his hero, Alfred Hitchcock, and interviewed him about every film he'd ever made. That interview was transcribed into a hugely influential book called "Hitchcock-Truffaut." A new documentary explores the making of that book, and Rico talks to its director Kent Jones.


‘(T)ERROR’ Shines a Light on the FBI’s Murky Counterterrorism Tactics

Most Americans are probably aware that whole departments of the government are trying to prevent terrorist acts. But how exactly are they going about it? And how effective are they, really? The new documentary "(T)error" gives a rare glimpse into the world of assessing terror threats. Co-director David Felix Sutcliffe talks to Brendan about getting a rare glimpse into the world of an FBI informant.


Adrian Tomine on Schlubby Dads and Melancholy Comedy

Considered one of America's great graphic novelists, illustrator Adrian Tomine's clean-lined illustrations have graced the covers of several issues of the New Yorker magazine, as well as album covers by bands like The Eels. His new collection, "Killing and Dying," made Publishers Weekly's list of the most anticipated books of the fall. He delves into the semi-autobiographical elements of his new graphic novel and explains how taking criticism to heart helped open up his creativity.