cartoons

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Watch This New Show to Find Out What the Dogs of Tompkins Really Think About You

Something strange is happening in the American psyche right now. Just a few years ago, the heroes of New York City-centric comedy TV were disconnected 20-somethings with suspiciously fancy apartments who wandered the earth clueless as to why no one wanted to date their flawless Tinder profile/soulless body. Now, they’re much tinier creatures that we rarely notice IRL and if we do, we’re like gagging and pointing and screaming: “Gawwwwd, I think that rat is bubonic.”

Hot on the hoofs of Louis CK’s The Secret Life of Pets, and HBO’s Animals (which just returned for season two), a new animated feature from Brooklyn-based animation company Cartuna offers a peek at what these city-dwelling creatures see in us humans. Obviously, it ain’t pretty.

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Art This Week: Bushwick Cartoonists Move To Midtown, The High-Story of Glass Pipes

Redsnapper, HAT (High Alien Life) Meteorite, 2016, Borosilicate glass, 5 x 3 x 3 inches (image via apexart)

Outlaw Glass
Opening Wednesday March 29 at apexart, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through May 27.

I caught wind (or rather, smoke?) of this show through an email with the subject line “Weed really like to see you at our opening.” As I love subtlety, I of course opened the email. What I found was actually more intriguing and complex than one may imagine: an artistic showcase and exploration of the many variations and “legally grey” nature of glass pipes. Or um, I mean, “functional glass art.”

The show, organized by David Bienenstock and presented by the ever-interesting apexart, takes a deep dive into the legacy of pipes, bongs, and their makers. Bienenstock, who formerly served as Head of Content for High Times and has published two whole books centered around lighting up, seems to really know his stuff. A cursory browse of the pieces (heh) that will be on view shows a wide range from highbrow to lowbrow and everything in between. You’ll find everything from works by the historic Bob Snodgrass, who peddled intricate handmade creations to Deadheads aplenty, to a big glass monster truck and a pipe with a built-in mustache that could very well be found at your local Urban Outfitters.

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The Minds Behind Superjail! and Wonder Showzen Are Making Their Dream / Nightmare Feature, Adventures of Drunky

Still from "Adventures of Drunky" (Image courtesy of Augenblick Studios)

Still from “Adventures of Drunky” (Image courtesy of Augenblick Studios)

When it comes to feature-length films, much of the time fans of adult cartoons are SOL. Thanks to party-pooping producers and geezer film execs, the art form has essentially been ghettoized, forced into late-night TV slots, chopped up into web series, and largely excluded from the big screen. Instead, animated children’s movies have all the fun, with production companies popping out spin-offs and trilogies like there’s no tomorrow, while their aggressive marketing campaigns and box office dominance succeed in driving many of us close to insanity. You didn’t have to be anywhere near a movie theater to be completely, utterly inundated with shrapnel from the $593 million Minions propaganda blitz. (This writer isn’t kidding at all when she recalls, with horror, having run into a guy selling Minion dolls in the Andes. Shudder.)

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Judah Friedlander On His New Book and His Evolution From World Champ to World Champion

(Photo: Melissa Hom for Grub Street)

(Photo: Melissa Hom for Grub Street)

I was sitting in the Olive Tree Cafe, upstairs from the Comedy Cellar, flipping through Judah Friedlander’s new book. Largely single-panel cartoons, the book’s drawings run the gamut between The Far Side and The New Yorker, offering plenty of belly laughs and a few head scratchers. My favorites include one captioned, “Then one night, the dishes did Jeffrey,” a dark mass-jumper routine about a “building’s semi-annual suicide race,” and a sketch of where to meet women in Manhattan: yoga studios and $50 cupcake shops.

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Funny Pages: Tribeca Docs Plumb the Humor of the New Yorker and National Lampoon

Nation Lampoon magazine cover, Jan '73 (Credit: National Lampoon)

Nation Lampoon magazine cover, Jan ’73 (Credit: National Lampoon)

I know I’m not the only one whose pre-adolescent mind was warped by National Lampoon and the cartoons of the New Yorker, so it’s a real treat to have seen documentaries about both at the Tribeca Film Festival.

On Sunday, Calvin Trillin kicked off a post-screening panel discussion about Leah Wolchok’s doc, Very Semi-Serious, by confessing that he had a “100 percent turndown record for cartoon ideas at the New Yorker.” Back in the day, aspiring doodlers would submit for 25 years before they were finally accepted, but the documentary makes clear that entry is no longer quite as forbidding.

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