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All The Answers

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  1,152 ratings  ·  218 reviews
In this profoundly moving graphic novel memoir, Eisner Award-winning writer and artist Michael Kupperman tries to understand the life and mindset of his once-world-famous father—Joel Kupperman, the Quiz Kid who rose to fame, then public derision—before his father succumbs to dementia.

Joel Kupperman became one of the most famous children in America during World War II as on
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published May 15th 2018 by Gallery 13
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Average rating 3.95  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,152 ratings  ·  218 reviews

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Jul 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a very different graphic novel. I cannot say for sure who will like it and who will not. If you have had success with non-fiction graphic novels, you may enjoy this. However, be prepared for a somewhat sad and dark story about the destructive results of the pressures of child stardom. There is no humor here. There is no happy ending. This is real. This is raw.

I feel like the author telling this story for his father was cathartic for him. It is the result of his search for reasons as to w
Sep 12, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: ircb-2019, 2019
A graphic memoir of the author / illustrator's father. Joel Kupperman was a child celebrity on a radio show called Quiz Kids that swept the nation during World War II. Kupperman goes on to tell how being a child star ruined his father's life as he retreated into himself for the rest of his life. There's a lot to unpack here about absentee fathers as Michael's dad even though he was around, didn't inject himself into his son's life. The way the story is told left me with a feeling of detachment, ...more
Jul 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A terribly sad, critically historic, psychologically riveting book written by a son searching for the remnants of, or reasons for, a father that never was. Searching as fast as he can - before his father’s blow-it-away-Stanford-Binet brain is lost to dementia, and all those secrets go wherever it is that sacred text goes. It is a layered story - a little boy used for familial survival, to create adorably brilliant Jewish children at a time of rampant antisemitism, and all-American multi-generati ...more
Stewart Tame
Jul 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Michael Kupperman is the son of Joel Kupperman, of Quiz Kids fame. The Quiz Kids were likely before your time--they were certainly before mine. QK started as a radio program in the 40’s, before moving to television in the early days of the medium. The Kids were a panel of child prodigies--Kupperman’s father was with the program from the ages of eight through sixteen--who would answer listener-submitted questions with dazzling mental acuity. Joel was one of the stars of the show, renowned for his ...more
Aug 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was very interesting as a historical and cultural picture of America in the 1940s and 50s as game shows swept to national prominence and radio transitioned into television, but it is ultimately a sad personal story about one of the child stars of those days and the effect his fame had upon his life and his family, especially his son who is the author/illustrator of this graphic memoir.

My rating wavers between 3 and 4 as the ending was not as impactful as I’d hoped and expected, but that is
Certainly an interesting read about someone who became a child celebrity through a radio quiz show. I felt kind of disconnected the whole time I was reading this book though. None of the people/characters really captured my attention. Art seemed appropriate for the nature of the book.
Rod Brown
Jun 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
The author gives a fascinating look into the life of his father, a child prodigy on a quiz show in the '40s and '50s, who spent a lifetime traumatized by the experience and now faces memory loss and dementia in his old age. As someone who values intellect highly, I was engrossed by this sad tale of one man's (boy's?) rise and fall and how it effected his relationship with his family for decades afterward. Highly recommended. ...more
Elizabeth A
Feb 18, 2019 rated it it was ok
If you know me, you know that I tend to have issues with memoirs. While I think they make lovely books for friends and family, most of them do not translate as well for strangers. This graphic memoir is one such example.

Before reading this graphic memoir, I had never heard of Joel Kupperman or The Quiz Kids. I understand the fascination of trying to figure out your parents, and in this case, Dad was once really famous, and hung out with celebrities. I didn't particularly care about these people
Mar 26, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: ircb
Even after taking time to process this book, I’m still not sure what I’m taking away from this read.

A man has his childhood stolen from him because of a parent who believes this is how you get ahead, and then has the rest of his life stolen from him because the culture of Americans was to resent people who had a talent. Then dementia steals his final years.

The son doesn’t get anything out of this discovery from what I can tell except that he has a better idea about how screwed his father’s life
A wide reaching tale involving history, media, propaganda, anti-Semitism, ethics and much more. Author/artist Michael Kupperman delves into his father's childhood as a Quiz Kids genius and how it shaped his father and by extension himself. By turns informative, meditative and poignant, I was engrossed in the story beginning to end. The minimalist illustrations help the stripped down nature of the prose.

4.5 stars rounded to 5.
Derek Royal
May 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Wow! A moving account of Kupperman's famous Quiz Kid father, Joel Kupperman. If you're a fan of Kupperman, as I am -- and a very big one, at that -- then be aware that this is nothing like Snake 'n' Bacon or Tales Designed to Thrizzle. Tonally, this is a dramatic shift from the wry playfulness, even the absurdity, that we've come to expect from Kupperman. From the opening pages, there is a much more serious, even dark, tone. Unlike the comedic narratives that have largely defined Kupperman's car ...more
Dakota Morgan
Aug 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Michael Kupperman digs into his father's untold history as a Quiz Kid in the 50s and 60s and it is riveting. Joel Kupperman rose to wild fame as a Quiz Kid, something I did not know existed until I read this graphic memoir. He also experienced great tragedy - a lost childhood. Now, as an old man slowly drifting into Alzheimer's, he wants less and less to bring up that past. Michael's attempts to contact his distant father are both deeply sad and instantly relatable. When faced with the revelatio ...more
Peter Derk
Jul 02, 2019 rated it liked it
If you want a book that's like an intellectual version of "Dance Moms," this is your bag.

I'm putting this on my NPR-y bookshelf. That's where comics go that I think appeal to what I call the NPR Comics Audience. Catchy name, right?

Stuff like Maus and Persepolis, of course, but also Tiny by David Small, Chris Ware stuff, Craig Thompson maybe, Chip Zdarsky.

Okay, not Chip Zdarsky. But he's my favorite comics guy, so I try to give him a mention whenever comics come up.

What was that one book...Here
Tal M. Klein
Jun 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Short, but utterly delightful book by one of my favorite comics creator. I laughed, I cried, I couldn't put it down. Highly recommended. ...more
Jun 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Poignant story about an adult son who is trying to learn about his father's past as his parent struggles with early dementia. I didn't know about the program Quiz Kid and the celebrity that his father endured since age 10, but learned more about this time period, early antisemitism prior to WWII, Henry Ford and the struggle child stars have with fame.

Interesting graphic novel - not at all what I had expected. Well done.
I like to think I know all about radio int he 1930-1950s. I have listened to, and still listen to, recordings of shows gone by, such as the Jack Benny Show, or Burns and Allen, or the Loan Ranger. And yet, I have never heard of the Quiz Kids, of which this story is about.

The author does, what good children do, and try to find out their family history before it is swallowed up by time, and memory. In this case, Michael, is trying to find how his father, who was a child prodigy on a game show dur
May 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
From the artwork to the exploration of who his father, Joel Kupperman, was as one of America's "Quiz Kids" during WWII, Michael Kupperman's exploration of his father is deep even though it is short. While written in much of the style of Fun Home, Persepolis, and Maus--As a graphic novel biography, the art is very much Kupperman's style. This is a story about a man trying to learn about his absent father, and why he was absent before dementia takes him away completely, and so much of this book re ...more
A. Redact
Sep 06, 2018 rated it liked it
i was pretty underwhelmed by this. i don't know if having listened to a couple of interviews with kupperman about the book deflated my experience of it (or maybe over-inflated my expectations?), but i was never really impressed by the book. the history of the Quiz Kids show was interesting and kupperman seems to have done a lot of research, but as a reader the book never seemed to actually bring me in and offer the intimate experience i was expecting. kupperman's lifelong struggle with his fathe ...more
Jun 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Unlike Kupperman's usual comix style, this book is devoid of color, whimsy, humor, or weirdness. But its somber, starkly bolded, b/w style matches the heartbreaking deep dive into his father's previously hidden life as a "boy genius" on radio and early TV. Fascinating and masterful. I ate it up. ...more
Jul 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
A thoughtful and touching look at the life of the cartoonist's father - famed "quiz kid" Joel Kupperman. The minimalist artwork is deployed smartly for maximal emotional effect, as the younger Kupperman examines his father's traumatic experience as a child star in the 1940's and subtly shows how that trauma was passed down to him. ...more
May 13, 2018 rated it liked it
This graphic memoir from the son of a 40's celebrity has an interesting premise. Kupperman's father was a child prodigy who appeared on the radio program "Quiz Kids" and had considerable fame during WWII. Now, the man with a brilliant mind has dementia. However, this novel lacks a lot of depth. It's super short (I finished within a few hours), so I didn't get to know the characters very well or what the true conflicts were. I've seen this genre done very well (see "Fun Home"), but this one just ...more
Wayne McCoy
May 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
'All The Answers' by Michael Kupperman is a graphic novel memoir about his father Joel Kupperman. It's touching and difficult to read.

Michael Kupperman's father Joel was a child radio star on a show called Quiz Kids. It's something he rarely talks about, and now that he has the beginnings of dementia, Michael wants to know more about this aspect of his life. He pieces things together through the course of the book. Joel's mother was behind his career, which included meeting celebrities and even
Michael Kupperman presents a brief but informative biography of his father, Joel Kupperman. Prior to picking this up, I had no idea about the cultural phenomenon of the Quiz Kids in World War II. The book explores the ways in which the Quiz Kids were manufactured to be something of a propaganda item, presenting the friendly faces and voices of Jewish kids to Americans in an attempt to counter the anti-Semitism of the day.

Michael Kupperman speculates a bit about his father's past, which is unavo
Oct 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Michael Kupperman is my all-time favorite comic artist and writer. His absurdist humor and his nuclear-era parody artistic style sometimes make it seem as if he’s above sentimentality. That’s not the case here. This memoir of his father is almost gut-clenchingly raw in its honesty. The public celebrity history and the subsequent traumatic repression his father undergoes is fascinating, yes, but it’s the conversations between Michael and his mentally ailing dad that shot right like a familiar arr ...more
Jan 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Kupperman’s drawings are stark black and white arrangements of facts and personal impressions of a son’s inquiry. Lined with the themes of memory, exploitation, and father-son relationships, All the Answers is an excellent memoir detailing American history and family dynamics.

Definitely recommended.

For my full review:

For all my reviews:
Jill Meyer
Aug 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
"All the Answers" is a graphic book by artist Michael Kupperman. It's the story of his father - Joel Kupperman - who was a "Whiz Kid" on radio, then TV, in the 1940's and 1950's. I think the title could refer to both the "answers" the father knew in his on-air contests and the "answers" the son sought from him to try to understand him as both a father and as an individual.

Joel Kupperman was pushed by his stage mother into a radio, and then TV career. She marketed him as a genius and he joined fi
Edward Sullivan
A poignant graphic memoir in which Kupperman traces the life of his reclusive father, Joel, once one of the most famous children in America during World War II as one of the young geniuses on the series Quiz Kids. Joel's uncanny ability to perform complex math problems in his head endeared himself to audiences across the country. After following a childhood spent in the public eye, only to then fall victim to the same public’s derision, he deliberately spent the remainder of his life in seclusio ...more
May 21, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: gn, ebook, arc
The meandering storyline was more informative than empathetic, and I had hoped for more of the latter. It was very easy to put myself in the author's shoes, becoming more invested in the story with each revelation of history, but for such a personal subject, the pages were largely lacking emotion, so there was a significant mental/emotional disconnect happening as I read. The art was good, but again, lacked emotion. I feel like I learned something, starting from a place of near zero knowledge ab ...more
Jun 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wow! This is an excellent book. It's incredibly sad. The way that Kupperman tells the story is just beautiful and I think he did right by his father telling it the way he did. It's clear that he harbors a bit of resentment toward the way he was raised and that he wishes he had a better relationship with his dad. However, he writes about it in such a respectful way especially considering his father's dementia and trauma. Sometimes with graphic novels, the illustration is much better than the text ...more
Sep 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Memoir about the author's distant dad, and his childhood celebrity at the dawn of the game show age. Includes a damaging stage parent, a hidden past, emotionally distant childhood relationships. The part about how routinely early game shows were rigged makes me wonder a little bit about modern game shows (but not too much; they wouldn't do me like that!). Also makes me wonder if there's a connection between a lifetime of emotional repression and dementia; the book does not speculate. I really li ...more
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Madison Mega-Mara...: #25 All the Answers by Michael Kupperman 1 2 Mar 30, 2019 01:36PM  

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