Cartoonists/Editors Jon Adams & Ellis Rosen Interviewed

Jon Adams and Ellis Rosen are cartoonists and illustrators who separately have contributed to The New Yorker, MAD, McSweeney’s and many other outlets. Together they’ve teamed up to edit the new book Send Help!: A Collection of Marooned Cartoons.

More than just a collection of comics, it includes a forward by Emma Allen, an afterward by Bob Mankoff, along with biographies of people famously stranded on desert islands, games and puzzles, along with cartoons by artists familiar to comics readers including legends like Rob Chast and Mort Gerberg, and many others like Ivan Brunetti, Liza Donnelly, Liana Finck, Emily Flake, Matt Furie, S Gross, Pia Guerra and Ian Boothby, Miriam Latin, Peter Kuper, Terry LaBan, Hartley Lin, Michael Marlin, Hilary Price and Shannon Wheeler.

© Pat Byrnes; The Oatmeal

Smash Pages interviews the cartoonists turned editors.

How does one start to assemble a book like this? What’s the process?

Jon Adams:  The first step is to write to one’s cartoonist friends and ask them if they have any unsold desert island cartoons laying around, which of course they do. Then you go through those, and realize that some of them may have remained unsold for a reason, and then you come to terms with the fact that it’s going to take a lot more effort than you originally expected to put together a book like this. 

Ellis Rosen:  With a project like this, going through all these cartoons from different artists, it is easy to freak out and doubt yourself. This will make the project much harder. That’s why I recommend breaking it up into smaller panic attacks.