The theme of WIRED this month is “How It’s Done,” in which we lay out a simple series of steps for the processes of things like making Cheetos, transporting prisoners, developing Pixar animation and my piece: the crafting of stand-up. Because every comic has their own spin on this I was able to get some juicy quotes from some of my favorite comics like Bob Newhart and Steven Wright along with some of my other favorite comics (who also happen to be my pals) like Paul F. Tompkins, BJ Novak, Louis CK and Zach Galifianakis.
The toughest thing for me with this piece was allowing my stand-up notebook to be photographed. A comic’s notebook is half Tome of Spells and half diary, but like a child’s drawing it only makes sense to the artist. I always fear that if I leave it in a hotel room, whoever finds it is going to misinterpret its disparate ramblings as those of a serial killer’s (I have the words “Grandpa Soapy Handjob” sloppily written down. I have no idea what it means.). I would almost rather have had my penis photographed than my notebook. I think the below picture is the comic’s equivalent to that first Playboy shoot for a corn-fed Midwestern girl–I’m allowing the world to see my soul’s tits.**
Imagine how excited I was to find out that, TODAY, you can now see my idiotic scribblings in the snazzy new iPad app! I saw a mock-up of it at the WIRED offices a couple of months ago, and it beat every expectation I had. The UI is simple yet gorgeous (heavy props to Scott Dadich), and rather than just scanning the print version (like many current iPad-azines) they have thoroughly utilized the medium by giving the reader a more intuitive and interactive experience. Swiping horizontally represents page-flipping and navigates the stories, while swiping vertically gives you the pages of whatever story your on. The x & y of it is incredibly fluid, and really gives you the physical sense of delving into an article.
On top of that, readers can experience supplemental multimedia content, like a 2-minute bit I did about Cracker Barrel which I reference in the piece.
It’s true, nothing can truly take away from the tactile intimacy of flicking glossy, bendable paper between your digits, but the iPad (and soon-to-be other tablets) version gives its viewer a more robust, engaging media experience. Editor-in-Chief Chris Anderson put it best in his digital welcome letter: “WIRED is finally, well, wired.”
The WIRED app is $4.99 and WELL worth it, but you’re also free to flip to page 150 of the analog version if you want to see where my dick jokes come from.
**personally, I think they’re kind of knobby and point in peculiar directions