Netflix has a lot of original series, and not all of them get as much attention as Luke Cage. Easy is a new anthology about relationships and sex, and once you know that it features a whole show where Malin Ackerman and Orlando Bloom go at it, you may want to check it out. But this show also marks something of a cultural watershed for Our Kind, as one episode stars Marc Maron as an autobiographical cartoonist! Yes finally, the archetype of the self-loathing comics artist has been portrayed by a self loathing comic. As for the plot, hijinx ensue! Indiewire ranked it as the worst episode, but the plot may interest you:
In a rather predictable turn of events, Mark Maron’s Jacob, a graphic novelist who uses his personal experiences with women for artistic inspiration, sleeps with a young fan (Emily Ratajkowski) and is later mortified when she uses him as a subject of her own art.
I haven’t watched the episode yet, but I understand that Bob (Minimum Wage) Fingerman, who is pals with Maron and appeared on his WTF podcast, was a consultant; Jeffrey Brown drew the actual comics; and Chris Ware makes a cameo appearance!!! The show is set in Chicago, which helps explain that and there are also harrowing scenes, such as a signing where no one shows up.
This is not the first movie or TV show to have a cartoonist as a character, of course. Off the top of my head (and feel free to berate my poor memory in the comments)
• Jack Lemmon portrayed a strip cartoonist in the film How to Murder Your Wife (!) where he’s saddened to wake up and learn he’s married to Virni Lisi, a situation few cartoonists of his time would have found objectionable.
• Ted Knight’s character was a cartoonist in Too Close For Comfort, the show which launched
Deborah van Valkenburgh to stardom. I had totally forgotten than until I started to write this piece.
• Bob Newhart played a cartoonist whose career is stalled by the Comics Code, then revived by the 80s comics boom in Bob, the third and shortest of his sitcoms. (Mark Evanier was one of the writers, which accounted for the high degree of accuracy in the details of comics life.)
• Lea Thompson played Caroline Duffy, a Cathy Guisewaite-type cartoonist in Caroline in the City which ran for four years after Seinfeld. It is not as well remembered as Seinfeld.
• Michael Caine played a cartoonist who draw sword and sorcery comics in horror film The Hand, directed by Oliver Stone. Barry Windsor Smith drew the art used in the movie.
• Brendan Fraser portrayed a comic strip creator whose strip starts taking over his life in Monkeybone.
• In Save the Date, Lizzy Caplan played a cartoon-type, and Jeffrey Brown (Him again) who co-wrote the script, provided the art.
• Chasing Amy. Nuff said.
Hm, my knowledge of this topic does not extend beyond the 90s! What have I forgotten!
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.