A television experiment. Cartoonist Chris Ware teams up with his animator, John Kuramoto, to make a cartoon version of a true story. Jeff Potter tells the story to host Ira Glass: about an art project, a bunch of first-graders, and how being behind the camera can rob you of your humanity even if the camera's not real. Chris and John supply the visuals.
This episode is devoted to a single story that came to us by way of G.J. Echternkamp. G.J. spent years filming his mother and stepfather. In the '80s, his stepfather, Frank Garcia, was the bassist in a briefly-famous band called OXO. G.J.'s mom, Cindy Brown, met him at the height of his success, when the band's one Top 40 hit, "Whirly Girl," was on the charts. Twenty years later, they're still together, but living a life they probably wouldn't have imagined back then. G.J. started filming them as a joke, but over time, his reasons changed, and the way he saw both his parents changed as well.