The Virtual Memories Show

A weekly conversation with about culture & the arts

Hosted ByGil Roth

The Virtual Memories Show is a weekly podcast featuring conversations about culture & the arts. Your host, Gil Roth, interviews guests about their careers and the books & art that have helped shape their lives, and tries to engage in witty banter for which you’d think 50 years of dilettantism would have prepared him better.

Every Tuesday, you can expect a fascinating conversation with fascinating people: writers, artists, cartoonists, translators, publishers, songwriters, and other culture-makers.

Here’s an alphabetical list of guests, as well as a list of cartooning-related episodes.


There are plenty of ways you can follow The Virtual Memories Show!

Plus, sign up for the weekly e-mail! (and check out the e-mail archive!)


The Virtual Memories Show is informed by a lifetime’s worth of reading. The quotes below are the closest it comes to having a mission statement.

“The inferno of the living is not something that will be; if there is one, it is what is already here, the inferno where we live every day, that we form by being together. There are two ways to escape suffering it. The first is easy for many: accept the inferno and become such a part of it that you can no longer see it. The second is risky and demands constant vigilance and apprehension: seek and learn to recognize who and what, in the midst of inferno, are not inferno, then make them endure, give them space.”
–Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities

* * *

“The only truth is face to face.”
–Frank O’Hara, Ode: Salute to the French Negro Poets

* * *

“Then why do you give all these interviews?”

Salle thought for a moment. “It’s a lazy person’s form of writing. It’s like writing without having to write. It’s a form in which one can make something, and I like to make things.”

–Janet Malcolm, Forty-One False Starts


If you’d like to learn more about Gil, click on the arrow for options



You can help keep the fine art of conversation alive by supporting The Virtual Memories Show!

Tell your friends about this podcast, promote it on social media (we’re @vmspod on Twitter and Instagram). You can provide regular financial support via Patreon or Paypal, but I gotta be honest; my day job pays me just fine, and it’d mean more to me if you contributed to other artists, or charities, or people or institutions in need. I mean, I literally donate more than 100% of my Patreon income to other people on Patreon, so you oughtta cut out the middle man and just donate to other creators who need it more.

But you CAN support this show by telling other people about it, and by sending me postcards, letters (10 Alta Vista Dr., Ringwood, NJ 07456), or e-mails (, or by leaving a message on my Google Voice #(973) 869-9659. Tell me what you like and don’t like about it, who you’d like to hear me record with, or what movie, TV show, book, art, theater or music you think I should turn listeners on to. And that Google Voice # goes directly to voice-mail, so you don’t have to worry about me picking up and getting stuck in a conversation with me. Messages have a 3-minute time limit.



If you’re in PR and would like to pitch a potential guest on The Virtual Memories Show (or if you’re thinking of pitching yourself as a guest), here are some guidelines and notes:


  • I record in person: no phone/Skype sessions. Unless something crazy happens, like a global pandemic that compels self-isolation and social distancing, but what are the odds of that?
  • But seriously, now that I’m vaccinated, I’m trying to get back to in-person recordings again, but most of my sessions are recorded remotely via
  • I’m based in northern NJ and drive into New York City and environs to record. If your guest is based in the NYC area, please check to see if we can record at their home or if there is another private/quiet location that can be used. I’ve also recorded several episodes in my home, with guests who live in or travel through NJ.
  • If your guest is visiting NYC, please see if their hotel or another private/quiet space is available for our session; as a last resort, I can ask to borrow a friend’s apartment.
  • I’ll begin traveling to other cities for my day job soon, so a non-NY/NJ recording is a possibility, but it may not fall into your publishing-date window.
  • Recording sessions usually run from 1 hour to 90 minutes.
  • As mentioned, I have a day job, so a weekend session is usually more convenient than a weekday.
  • I have recorded live episodes at festivals, conventions, and bookstore signings and may be available to do one with your guest.
  • I attend several festivals during the year and often record episodes during them: Small Press Expo (SPX), Readercon, Toronto Comic Arts Festival (TCAF), Cartoon Crossroads Columbus (CXC), and Comic Arts Brooklyn. At least, I used to attend them, and hope to get back to that in 2022.
  • I read guests’ books as part of my prep, so I need some notice.



I’ve gone to a lot of places to record episodes of the show:

Annapolis, MD • Arlington, MA • Atlantic Highlands, NJ • Baltimore, MD • Beacon, NY • Bennington, VT • Berkeley, CA • Binghamton, NY • Bovina, NY • Bronxville, NY • Brooklyn, NY • Burlington, MA • Cambridge, UK • Chapel Hill, NC •
Chelmsford, MA • Chicago, IL • Cincinnati, OH • Columbus, OH •
Des Allemands, LA • East Hampton, NY • East Hartland, CT • Encinitas, CA • Fairfax, CA •
Hamden, CT • Hartford, CT • Henryville, PA • Highland Falls, NY • Hoboken, NJ • Jersey City, NJ
Keansburg, NJ • Laguna Beach, CA • Livingston, NJ • London, UK •
Los Angeles, CA • Madison, NJ • Malibu, CA • Manhattan, NYC • Milton, MA • Montclair, NJ • Morristown, NJ • New Haven, CT • New Milford, NJ •
New Orleans, LA • New York, NY • Nutley, NJ • Nyack, NY • Ottsville, PA • Philadelphia, PA • Pine Brook, NJ • Princeton, NJ • Putnam Valley, NY •
Queens, NYC • Quincy, MA • Rhinebeck, NY • Ridgefield, CT • Ringwood, NJ • Rockville, MD • Roxbury, CT • San Francisco, CA • Santa Monica, CA •
Saratoga, NY • Sea Cliff, NY • Seattle, WA • Smallwood, NY •
Staten Island, NYC • Stonington, CT • Swarthmore, PA • Toronto, CAN •
Ventura, CA • Washington, DC • Wassaic, NY • Westport, CT •
West Cornwall, CT • Whippany, NJ • White Plains, NY • Woodstock, NY



Check out the praise The Virtual Memories Show has received from guests and listeners over the years.

“Well done.”
Clive James

“If I’ve had a better interview, I don’t remember it.”
Bruce Jay Friedman, author, playwright, screenwriter

“In addition to being the best-dressed guy in the room, Gil knows how to ask thoughtful questions and keep a conversation flowing smoothly.”
Jason Lutes

“Gil Roth is every interviewee’s dream interviewer: relaxed, erudite, jaw-droppingly well-prepared, notably gracious in a graceless age.”
Mark Dery

“Gil Roth doesn’t just ask questions, he wants to know where the answers lead. One of the best interviews I’ve ever had!”
Kathe Koja, author of the Under The Poppy trilogy, The Cipher, and Skin

“I have done lots of interviews over the last year in connection with The Hirschfeld Century, but this one was the best as it touched on so many things in and out of the book. Gil Roth does a remarkable job of pulling out the stories from his guests, and avoiding the obvious.”
David Leopold

“Another [podcast] I’ve come to enjoy a great deal is The Virtual Memories Show, hosted by the endlessly curious (and fascinating) Gil Roth, who roams far and wide to interview bookish people, authors, critics, librarians, illustrators, comic artists, cartoonists, and other smart and engaging people.”
Ernest Hilbert, E-Verse Radio

“It’s wonderful. Where has it been all my life?”
Christopher Bollen, author of Orient and Editor At Large for Interview

“Great talk, great books. Just listened to my first,
and it would appear Gil has the stuff.”
–Ron Rice, publishing, marketing & sales professional

“One of the best lit talk shows going.”
Dmitry Samarov, artist, former cab-driver, and author of Where To?: A Hack Memoir

“You’re doing something amazingly valuable with your interviews.”
Paul Gravett, The Man at the Crossroads

“Sexist and patronizing.”
–anonymous guest

“More like sexy and patriotic!”
–another anonymous guest

“One of the world’s great conversationalists.”
–D.G. Myers, A Commonplace Blog and
The Elephants Teach: Creative Writing Since 1880

“Your skills rival that of any NPR interviewer.”
Ron Slate, poet, author of
The Incentive of the Maggot and The Great Wave

“A great, omnivorous interviewer
on one of the most entertaining podcasts going.”
Peter Trachtenberg, author of Another Insane Devotion

“This is what NPR should be.”
–Fred Kiesche, The Lensman’s Children blog

“Thoughtful, smart.”
The Word Girl

‘Gil Roth is one of the best interviewers out there.’
Lisa Borders, author of The Fifty-First State