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Cartoonist Sees Bad Relationships In A Funny Way

Monday is Valentine's Day, and stores are abloom with red hearts and tubby little cupids. There are also books of love poetry, romances and cartoons.

Nick Galifianakis has a book of cartoons about love, dating and relationships, too. But if you give it to your sweetheart, you may find yourself spending Valentine's Day alone. It's called If You Loved Me, You'd Think This Was Cute: Uncomfortably True Cartoons About You.

Galifianakis' drawings evoke a side of relationships that doesn't really fit the romance version — like the cartoon that appears on the cover. It's of a rather porcine gentleman, clad in a belly-revealing undershirt and disturbingly tight briefs, sprawled out on a sofa while his wife stands over him, arms crossed and exasperated.

"I like to do what I call the 'logical extreme' of a situation," Galifianakis tells Weekend Edition's Scott Simon. "I try to put myself in the intimate context of the relationship and then think, 'What is true — but often inappropriate?' "

Galifianakis draws cartoons to accompany the advice column written by his ex-wife, Carolyn Hax, in The Washington Post. They were married eight years — "to the day," he adds.

"We were a great couple that could maybe be greater apart," he says. Some have wondered how the couple could keep giving relationship advice when their own marriage failed, but Galifianakis says that's not the point.

"The point of the column is not to keep people together; it's for people to be happy. And sometimes being happy means making that kind of adjustment, where maybe you're not together."

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