Stand up comedy as gifs. Ron Funches, Chelsea Peretti, Tig Notaro, Aziz Ansari, Demetri Martin, Wyatt Cenac, Sheng Wang, Maria Bamford, and Eugene Mirman, to name just a few.
String Theory is a character-driven serialized comic book published on the web and written/illustrated by Dirk Grundy (Twitter cat feed). Following the adventures of grumpy, socially inept super scientist Dr. Herville Schtein, it is set in an alternate timeline where "the Cuban missile crisis went terribly wrong," the Cold War never ended, super scientists and super powered individuals run amok, the American Southwest is an irradiated postnuclear desert, "America...is not doing so well," and Chicago... Let's not talk about Chicago. It is about failure and families and how we all kind of mess each other up a little, but only because we care. It's kind of sad. But also kind of funny. Think Venture Brothers with the satire and comedy turned down, and the characterization and plotting turned up. Oh! There is also a very cute talking cat, if that helps sell it for you. [more inside]
This past fall, comedians Sara Schaefer and Nikki Glaser (hosts of popular podcast You Had to Be There) had "the amazing privilege" of hiring a writing staff for their upcoming TV show, Nikki & Sara Live. Sara "was flattered and honored when hundreds of people applied. It was a super fun experience, but it was also an incredibly illuminating one. Reading so many packets made a couple of things very very clear: there are some really easy, basic things you can do to improve your chances of getting a job writing for TV." Step 1: Dedicate Your Entire Life to Comedy
Young Edd Gould always enjoyed drawing comics of himself and his friends. Growing up in the internet age, his doodles evolved into Flash animations of increasing complexity, and in time Edd and pals Tom Ridgewell and Matt Hargreaves teamed up to produce an "Eddsworld" series of online webtoons and comics. At first crude and halting, the group's "eddisodes" progressed from surreal shorts and one-shots into full-fledged productions that pushed the boundaries of amateur web animation, with expressive characters, full soundtracks, complex effects, and a fast-paced, off-kilter sense of humor: MovieMakers - Spares - WTFuture - Rock Bottom - Hammer & Fail (2). At its height, the college co-op was producing shorts for Mitchell & Webb and the UN Climate Change Conference, fielding offers from Paramount and Cartoon Network, and racking up millions of hits on YouTube. Work slowed, however, when Gould was diagnosed with leukemia -- a relatively survivable form, though, and Gould carried on working gamely through his hospital stays. So it came as a shock last week when Matt and Tom announced that Edd had passed away, prompting an outpouring of grief and gratitude from all the fans he'd entertained and inspired in his short 23 years.
David Malki!, of the "illustrated jocularity" Wondermark, has released Wondermark Kinetic. It's a series of ad-libbed, paper-puppeteered videos in an approximation of his usual, surreal style. (If you're unfamiliar with what that style is, he conveniently keeps a list of his own favorite strips.) I particularly like how a story slowly emerges from the rough start of this one. [more inside]
Two and a half years ago, we explored the early history of Cartoon Network... but it wasn't the only player in the youth television game. As a matter of fact, Fred Seibert -- the man responsible for the most inventive projects discussed in that post -- first stretched his creative legs at the network's truly venerable forerunner: Nickelodeon. Founded as Pinwheel, a six-hour block on Warner Cable's innovative QUBE system, this humble channel struggled for years before Seibert's innovative branding work transformed it into a national icon and capstone of a media empire. Much has changed since then, from the mascots and game shows to the versatile orange "splat." But starting tonight in response to popular demand, the network is looking back with a summer programming block dedicated to the greatest hits of the 1990s, including Hey Arnold!, Rocko's Modern Life, The Adventures of Pete & Pete, The Ren & Stimpy Show, Double Dare, Are You Afraid of the Dark?, Legends of the Hidden Temple, and All That. To celebrate, look inside for the complete story of the early days of the network that incensed the religious right, brought doo-wop to television, and slimed a million fans -- the golden age of Nickelodeon. (warning: monster post inside) [more inside]
Larry Gonick is a veteran American cartoonist best known for his delightful comic-book guides to science and history, many of which have previews online. Chief among them is his long-running Cartoon History of the Universe (later The Cartoon History of the Modern World), a sprawling multi-volume opus documenting everything from the Big Bang to the Bush administration. Published over the course of three decades, it takes a truly global view -- its time-traveling Professor thoroughly explores not only familiar topics like Rome and World War II but the oft-neglected stories of Asia and Africa, blending caricature and myth with careful scholarship (cited by fun illustrated bibliographies) and tackling even the most obscure events with intelligence and wit. This savvy satire carried over to Gonick's Zinn-by-way-of-Pogo chronicle The Cartoon History of the United States, along with a bevy of Cartoon Guides to other topics, including Genetics, Computer Science, Chemistry, Physics, Statistics, The Environment, and (yes!) Sex. Gonick has also maintained a few sideprojects, such as a webcomic look at Chinese invention, assorted math comics (previously), the Muse magazine mainstay Kokopelli & Co. (featuring the shenanigans of his "New Muses"), and more. See also these lengthy interview snippets, linked previously. Want more? Amazon links to the complete oeuvre inside! [more inside]
Splitsider posts a "Fairly Comprehensive Guide" to Comedy Podcasts. The comments thread begs to differ. [more inside]
Alan Moore, the Northampton Wizard, as you've never seen him before - SLYT, Spanish with subtitles.
Punch Cartoons has over 8000 cartoons from the pages of Punch, the long-running British satirical magazine. It cast its eye on everything from quintessentially British entertainment to children's books to computer games to optometrists. Punch ran from 1841 to 1992 and was relaunched in 1996 and finally closed shop in 2002. You can read up on the history of the magazine on their website and if you want to read some old issues to see what they were like, Project Gutenberg has quite a few. [Punch previously]
Dr. Victor von Doom, ruler of Latveria, master of magic and science, demonstrates his new Doom-O-Matic (SLYT)
Previously, we saw Darkseid rant to the empty air. Now the nightmarish lord of evil -- reduced to selling old Kiss cassette tapes to support his drinking habit, and living in a dumpster behind the Baby Gap -- rants to Twitter as HOBODARKSEID. Along the way, he shares his views on the ending of "Moonlighting," sings Dio's "Holy Diver," and confesses a love for "Mad Men." He also intends to destroy us all. Shudder/enjoy.
Challenge of the Super Duper Friends looks great, judging from the teaser trailer. Obama as Captain United is probably my favorite.
"What are they talking about?" Was it just an April Fools' joke? Are they really gonna end Red Vs. Blue: arguably the most successful machinima series ever? Will Blood Gulch be silent of one-liners and snide comments once more, or is this a blatant attempt by Rooster Teeth to drum up interest in their 100th episode? Considering the fact they started it four years ago on April Fools Day, it's really hard to tell. (surprise! no youtube links!)
"I would like to do better, to be better than I am". He's the French New Wave maverick and Academy Award winner (at 26, for his first short) who, to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz -- with considerable personal pain and the admission that "no description, no picture can reveal the true dimension" of what happened in the camps -- made what François Truffaut called "the greatest film ever made", duly censored by French authorities. Four years later he baffled audiences with "the first modern film of sound cinema", shattering the rules of chronology to describe the “anguish of the future”: even if all he ever wanted was "to stop death in its tracks" (French language link), only for one minute. But he is also the unabashed lover of la bande dessinée who learnt English by reading comic books and in the Seventies dreamed (French language link) of making "Spider-Man" into a movie (the Hollywood studios were not convinced), the MGM old-school musical and operetta nut so in love with design that "half of the fashion photography of the past 40 years owes a debt" to him. Now, Alain Resnais' new work, just shown at the Venice Film Festival where his buddy David Lynch was awarded a lifetime achievement Golden Lion, is a French film inspired by an English play with 54 short scenes, music by the X-Files's Mark Snow. (more inside)
Of course, you've seen Get Your War On the comic strip, but have you seen Get Your War On, the Musical? It's playing in Austin, apparently to rave reviews and sold out shows. They even have photos of a performance.
Inexcusable NSFW Derek and Clive MP3 post. That is all.
Comic Thief Confronted Notorious Boston joke thief confronted, makes the Boston Herald, causes buzz, makes the comedy trade magazines. Why is the confrontation of a hack comic newsworthy? Because it almost NEVER HAPPENS.
Palestinian comic booted from Jackie Mason's comedy show Ray Hanania, a Palestinian comic in Chicago, was set to open for headlining act Jackie Mason. A few hours before the show, Mason had him booted. "It's not exactly like he's just an Arab-American. This guy's a Palestinian," said Jyll Rosenfeld, Mason's manager. "Jackie does not feel comfortable having a Palestinian open for him." Ouch. (Imagine if the tables were turned: "Ray does not feel comfortable having a Jew open for him") Too bad, really. If there's one thing the I/P conflict needs, it's more humor. Like this Muslim-Jewish Comedy Night.