Ellis Rosen is a cartoonist and illustrator living in Brooklyn, NY. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Washington Post, MAD magazine, The Paris Review, and The American Bystander. He has also done several comics for the Daily Shouts section at TheNewYorker.com, and is always looking for funny people to collaborate.
What was your latest book discovery? What are your favorite books of all time?
I’m about to be a dad so I’m reading a lot of ‘you are about to become a dad’ books. Unless you too are about to become a dad, I don’t think they will be much interest to you.
If I’m being honest, most of the books I read are written by Stephen King. Occasionally I’ll pick up a more sophisticated book but I generally put it down after a few pages and pick up whichever King book I’m in the middle of reading. I’ve just got to know, is that monster is gonna eat someone or what?
Most visited blogs, websites?
I get all my cartooning industry news from Michael Maslin’s blog Inkspill. I procrastinate by watching YouTube, reading The New Yorker, scrolling mindlessly through Facebook in a half-daze and clicking on the first click bait-y thing appears on Facebook. Like, what does my dog really think about me? At one point I snap out of it and return to work feeling deeply ashamed.
What apps do you use the most and why?
Speaking of feeling deeply ashamed, I’m on Instagram constantly and I really should stop. I won’t, of course. I tell myself it’s part of my job, but is it? I don’t know. Possibly. I go on the news app a lot too, that makes me depressed in a different way. I swear I’m not usually this glum.
Whats currently on your playlist?
I’m not sure I have a playlist, I put a song on YouTube, like Call Me by Blondie, and let the YouTube gods decide which songs comes next. I mostly listen to podcasts.
What records would you recommend to hear?
I wouldn’t because no one should take music recommendations from me. I could go on about podcasts. Is there a podcast question coming up or what?
Fresh movie finds? What films do you think everybody should watch?
I love David Cronenberg, Paul Verhoven, Frank Oz. Pretty much any movie that has wild animatronics or crazy makeup. It’s fun. I guess if I had to pick one of each from those directors it would be The Fly, Total Recall and Little Shop of Horrors. That last one has singing.
Which artists working today do you admire most?
All of my peers! Everyone at the New Yorker, and other fellow cartoonists. It’s a crazy job and everyone doing it deserves a lot of credit. Follow cartoonists! Or don’t. I’m not your mother.
What are some of your tv top tips right now?
Amazon’s The Tick is wonderful. It has a really unique tone and a lot of heart. From start to finish I have a huge grin on while watching it.
Also: Killing Eve, The Good Place, Crazy Ex Girlfriend, Drunk History.
Who are you following?
There are too many to name, and I would feel very guilty if I left anyone out, so this is my suggestion: First, follow The New Yorker Cartoons account. Then, see who they follow and follow of those great people. They are all hilarious and worth following.
Finally, my chance to be everyone's favorite person: The guy who doesn't shut up about podcasts. I really really enjoy the following:
Reply All: It's about the internet. Yes, Yes, No is an amazing segment they do, in which they take a tweet that's so embedded with internet culture that it seems impossible to decipher, and then decipher it. It's hilarious and revels a lot of about how people communicate.
Decoder Ring is a great show on Slate that focuses on various topics that exist on the edges of culture. Subjects include, The Laugh Track, Scary Clowns and Truck Nutz. The Truck Nutz episode is actually amazing, there's so much to unpack.
Since I brought up Slate, I would mention that all of their shows are great, the Culture Gabfest and Political Gabfest, The Gist, and Trumpcast are some of my favorites. I suggest becoming a Slate Plus member! It's very worth it!
I could go on and on, so I will! These are all in my feed and I listen to weekly:
Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me!
Blank Check with Griffin and David (the best podcast about film IMO)
The New Yorker Radio Hour
Judge John Hodgman
OK, I think you have had enough!
Wait! also My Brother, My Brother and Me!
Now you can go.
What tools do you use in your work?
I use a program called Manga Studio, which is now called Clip Studio. There’s a tool on it called a perspective grid. You make you’re own perspective grid, and your lines automatically snap into place. It’s amazing. I also recommend digital brushes from Frenden.
What magazines / newspapers do you read regularly?
What are your favorite gadgets?
Do my glasses count? I can’t see without them. Also glasses cleaner. Nothing like a nice pair of clean glasses.
I can’t think of anything non-glasses related. Sunglasses? Damn it, no.