About me

“The main obligation is to amuse yourself.” – S. J. Perelman

books-colorsquareThere are a couple of reasons I’m kicking off my bio with this quote by S. J. Perelman. For one, I just love the guy. He’s not that well known today, but from the ’20s to the ’70s he wrote humorous essays, short stories, plays, screenplays – you name it. He even wrote for the Marx Brothers! Without him, Monkey Business wouldn’t exist – or, at least, it wouldn’t be the same.

The other reason is that Perelman is talking about being true to yourself. There are only so many ways to express this idea – so ubiquitous and yet so elusive – and I really like this one. (more…)

Profiling History’s Troublemaking Women, French Cartoonist Gets ‘Brazen’

brazen coverReading Brazen, French artist Pénélope Bagieu’s cartoon celebration of rule-breaking women, I kept thinking about the feminist uses of cuteness. Not kittens-and-puppies cuteness, but the kind of cuteness associated with femininity — and not, usually, with feminism. Bagieu’s brand of feminism comes with frills and curlicues galore. Her voice is pert and saucy, and her cartoons are darling.

Alas, though, the radical acts of “rebel ladies” she chronicles haven’t always had cute consequences. (more…)

Robert Reich Shows Off His Cartooning Skills In ‘Economics In Wonderland’

reich wonderlandIf you only know Robert B. Reich as a former secretary of Labor, frequent TV commentator and author of numerous books on economic policy, you’re missing out. Turns out, he’s also got a remarkable knack for wielding a Sharpie. His economic cartoons are a vital part of such documentaries as 2013’s Inequality for All and Saving Capitalism, due out this month. Now he’s putting his artistic side front and center in Economics in Wonderland: A Cartoon Guide to a Political World Gone Mad and Mean — and I spoke to him about his cartooning life (our interview has been edited for length and clarity).


Guard Your Employees’ Mental Health

inclogoWhen Arun Gupta, founder of the New York City health care company Quartet Health, couldn’t find satisfactory mental health insurance for his team, he came up with a creative solution: confidentially reimbursing employees for out-of-­pocket expenses through a third-party vendor. “A lot of times, people might have to pay cash or have high co-pays attached to getting therapy. Now they can see anybody they want to see, as often as they need,” he says. “We’re pushing the envelope here, but it’s good for business.” (more…)