Having fallen embarrassingly behind in the maintenance of Acmenoveltyarchive.org, I thought I would make an attempt at bringing the following item to people’s attention before its too late:

     Cartoonist Chris Ware and ‘This American Life‘ Host Ira Glass have collaborated on a DVD which is only available to those who donate to public radio. The DVD contains the narrated slideshow that Glass and Ware were presenting at various speaking engagements during the past year. I’ve pasted some background on the story below, taken from the official website for the DVD.

     “Ira Glass and cartoonist Chris Ware decided to co-report a story together. Ira does the sound. Chris does hundreds of drawings. The result is a 22-minute story, with sound and images, now on DVD for the first time.”

     “This story has never been on the radio. It was presented in pieces – as it was completed – on This American Life’s May 2003 “Lost in America” tour, and at Royce Hall in Los Angeles. It’s the true story of a boy named Tim Samuelson, who became obsessed with old buildings, especially the buildings of Louis Sullivan in Chicago, during the 1960’s and 70’s when they were being torn down.”

     “At one point, hearing that a favorite building at Clark and Adams is being demolished, a thirteen-year-old Tim demands to meet with the architect who’s designing the glass-and-steel building that’ll take its place: Mies van der Rohe, one of the most famous architects in the world. Tim finds van der Rohe’s office. The legendary architect meets with the teenager.”

     “Much more happens. It’s a very sad story, drawn with beautiful pictures.”


     The DVD is only available in exchange for making a hefty pledge to your local public radio station. If you’re interested, but your local ‘This American Life’ station doesn’t appear to be offering the DVD, they can probably still get it for you.

     A bit more on the DVD and packaging:

     “Audiences who saw the work presented onstage saw huge projections of Chris Ware’s drawings. The cartoon buildings were tall as buildings.”

     “To accompany the DVD, Chris has designed a 96-page book, full of never-before-published photographs of Louis Sullivan buildings, in their glory and in various states of demolition. Also, there are DVD extras: audio outtakes, a look at Chris’s pencil sketches, a high-resolution version of the movie that plays on PCs and Macs. “

     “As he worked on this, Chris said he wanted it to be the most beautiful thank you gift public radio has ever offered listeners. The whole package is this gorgeous little book, filled with photos, with the DVD tucked inside. It’s being released first and exclusively through public radio pledge drives, and not available anywhere else.”

     There’s a quicktime preview of the DVD available for viewing here.