‘The Lessons of a Traumatized Ex-Child Star’
All the Answers is Kupperman’s search for an understanding of his relationship with his father, a man who was once a child star on a radio show named Quiz Kids during WW2. Used to battle anti-semitism during the war, the Jewish kids on the show, like Joel Tupperman, became some of the most famous celebrities of the day. Yet, at such a young age and with adults pushing or ‘encouraging’ him along the way, Joel grows up with an understandable aversion to intimacy.
The author’s well-researched work includes looks into his grandmother’s scrapbooks and interviews with his father. Unfortunately, his father is suffering from dementia and his memories or either slipping away or he has repressed them because of trauma. It’s a complex arrangement of storytelling that is a testament of the author’s bravery to travel down this road.
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.