We’re all owned. We’re bought, bartered, liked, sold, conned, shared and used everyday to make other people money. We’re all well and truly fucked. Welcome to the world of Luis Quiles.
Luis Quiles, aka Gunsmithcat, is a Spanish artist whose corrsucating satirical ilustrations take no prisoners. No one is safe. The right. The left. The good. The bad. Quiles takes them all down. He specifically targets the dehumanizing nature of capitalism, terrorism, and religion. His work is highly controversial. It’s been deemed offensive. But we shouldn’t be offended by Luis’s drawings rather we should be offended at the hard reality he depicts.
Greeting cards are a dicey affair, either they’re sentimental or there’s a joke with a big—often unfunny—punchline. This is why I prefer my messages with a little black humor in them. You know the person giving you the card loves you, so it’s just fine if you give or get a little abuse in with the bargain. (Cards given in a semi-obligatory way in an office context don’t count.)
That said, a cuddly manatee avowing your overly pudgy status and an adorable panda testifying that nobody is proud of you?! That’s taking it too far!!
Anyway, I love these. The artist is named Phil Wall if you are wondering. He was doing some rough sketches and put them up on Facebook where they got a very enthusiastic response. As he points out, the phrasing is more British—it’s a lot more common for people to call each other “cunts” as a playful put-down in the U.K.!
Tons more of these devilishly amusing doodles after the jump…...
As much as I relish the inherent entertainment value of a potential Trump vs Sanders showdown/battle-for-the-soul-of-a-nation next year, I feel like America™ really needs a president like James Norcross. Silver-haired, square-jawed, dapper, and resolute, his clear-sighted judiciousness could unite this fractured nation, while his ability to alter his body’s molecular structure could protect us from a perilous world full of appalling ethnic stereotype supervillains.
That’s pretty dumb, isn’t it? But it was the actual premise of a short-lived 1967 TV cartoon called Super President. Produced by DePatie-Freleng, the animation studio best known for the Pink Panther film credit sequences and the cartoon series that spun off from them, Super President’s premise was a stretch, even for a cheaply produced children’s superhero show. The viewer was asked to suspend disbelief that the President of the United States could possibly have time to maintain a secret crimefighter double life, that his batcave-ish lair underneath the White House (to which the series always refers as the “Presidential Mansion” for some reason) could possibly go unnoticed, and that the nom de heroics “Super President” wasn’t kind of a huge screaming giveaway that he was, you know, THE PRESIDENT. Yet only the requisite sidekick/advisor/character who needs rescuing a lot Jerry Sayles knew Norcross’ secret.
There was no way this was going to last. Even if the show wasn’t howlingly dumb (stupider shows have lived long and vigorous lives), I can’t imagine the portrayal of a dashing, indomitable, gracefully-aging POTUS so soon after the Kennedy assassination didn’t sting at least a little—maybe Norcross was intended as a wishful-thinking alternative to the disappointing Lyndon Johnson? It probably wan’t that deep. Watching it almost 50 years after its creation, it’s hard to shake off the values dissonance inherent in its depictions of its antagonists. Offensive portrayals of non-Euro characters were mighty common back then (Hanna-Barbera holds up especially poorly on that count; Jonny Quest for one seems embarrassingly colonialist by today’s standards, but few of their titles were free of non-white representations that don’t seem deeply embarrassing today) but some of the portrayals here are around the bend even for the ‘60s.
“Saturday Morning Freakout” is an episode of the Forbidden Transmission public access cable show, which aired on Albuquerque Comcast Channel 27 from April 2007 to December 2007. The producer, Skeleton Farm Productions, uploaded a bunch of the shows to Cinemageddon recently, describing his handiwork thusly:
Each episode is a collage of rare movie trailers, b-movie clips, old toy commercials, obscure music videos, strange kids shows, bad foreign television and much more. It’s thirty minutes of pure brain-melting video weirdness.
It is. These zany video collages can be a dime-a-dozen, but when you find a good one, they can be full of pure gold. In just this one episode, “Saturday Morning Freakout” packs in clips of Richard Pryor’s kids’ show; Electra Woman and Dyna Girl, the Ramones doing the theme from the Spider-Man cartoon, the Bugaloos, Groovie Ghoulies, MC Hammer’s Hammerman cartoon, commercials for Star Wars toys, KISS dolls and the extremely curious Starsky and Hutch “action alley” play set. And plenty more. (Anyone remember the diabolical Dr. Shrinker and his dwarf sidekick Hugo?)
Spark one up and let Forbidden Transmission take over your mind for a little while. If you like what you see, there are more of these—plenty more—for sale on DVD on their website.
The last few days have seen no small amount of drama in Hong Kong, as disenfranchised students are calling attention to their lack of political freedoms. The students have taken up umbrellas to protect themselves from the massive amounts of tear gas the riot police have used as a means of restoring order.
On Facebook you can find two groups dedicated to recording the scenes at the the Causeway Bay, Mong Kok, and Admiralty areas of Hong Kong. Urban Sketchers Hong Kong (USHK) and Sketcher-Kee have both been in existence for about a year, and have responded to the recent unrest with vigor. Its members have been posting sketches featuring unfriendly police, tense protesters, and poetically empty or chaotically crammed urban vistas dominated by umbrellas and the color yellow.
At the moment the protests are in a bit of a lull, as protest leaders have met with government officials and agreed to meet for talks starting on October 10. Student leader Lester Shum has said that the protests would continue until “practical measures [have] been forged between the government and the people.”
USHK cofounder Alvin Wong emphasized to Hyperallergic‘s Laura C. Mallonee the value of documenting “the biggest pro-democracy protest in Hong Kong history,” no matter the risk. As Wong Suede of Sketcher-Kee says, “We want to use our ability to make awareness for the public, to share our observations, experiences, and thoughts via the Internet to the world. ... We hope we can support and encourage the protesters who are fighting for Hong Kong … since we are also protestors, we hope it may [achieve something] for the whole movement.”
Cubans in their forties and fifties may not have vintage Disney toys from the 1960’s and 1970’s or boxed sets of every Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoon, but chances are they may still have a Bolek and Lolek toy or book somewhere. And they’re probably downloading hours worth of other old cartoons from the Soviet era.
Following the Cuban Revolution in 1959 state television ran cartoons from Bulgaria, East Germany, Poland (Bolek and Lolek), Hungary (Gustavus), and the Soviet Union (Mashinka and the Bear, Ny, pogodi!) . A lot of these cartoons did not have dialogue, preventing the need for dubbed audio.
Following the break up of the Soviet Union in 1991 Warsaw Pact cartoons were no longer shown in Cuba, but there was a generation of young adults with fond memories of them.
A graphic designer, Darwin Fornes, started a small business in Havana this year, which he called Chamakovich, and printed up 300 T-shirts featuring his favorite cartoon characters from his ‘80s childhood. Despite the dire Cuban economy, his first run sold out almost immediately. Darwin told La Jiribilla that he used grayscale for the images of Bolek and Lolek for added authenticity: most Cubans had black-and-white televisions well into the ‘90s.
Here is a selection of the quirky and adorable cartoons that inspired Fornes’ T-shirts:
I HAD to share this cartoon, because it really tickled me.
It’s from The Spectator magazine, and is a reference to the fantastic performance by Grace Jones at the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, where she sang “Slave To The Rhythm” while hula-hooping non-stop for the best part of four minutes. She’s 64, in case you forgot. And as fierce & fabulous as ever. Grace is the REAL queen:
Grace Jones “Slave To The Rhythm” (live at the Diamond Jubilee)
This is one for all you fans of 60s psychedelia, and especially pastiche 60s psychedelia. Not to mention being one for fans of transgressive cartoons, and in particular one of the best cartoon shows of all time, John K’s Ren & Stimpy.
In this clip Stimpy gets invited to climb into his own stomach by his belly-button, which disturbingly enough looks like a talking foreskin. Im sure that’a a metaphor for something or other, but as I have not seen the full episode I can’t offer the context. Once inside his navel Stimpy is treated to some pretty great visuals and a very neat tune called “Climb Inside My World”, performed by Chris Goss (producer of Kyuss, Screaming Trees and Queens Of The Stone Age among many others), here channeling that groovy ‘67 spirit of the Beatles and the Small Faces.
It’s great that what was nominally a kids show could get away with something like this. Of course, this was before cartoons were taken seriously as “adult” entertainment, and we can thank Ren & Stimpy hugely for that change in perception. A bit like Stimpy’s own changing perspective.
Ignore the German intro and skip straight to 0:23 for the action. Ooh, there’s that pesky number 23, but I’m sure it’s just a co-incidence…
If, like me, you were raised on a strict diet of American and Japanese cartoons as a child of the 80s, then you are in for a treat with Space Stallions, which comes across as THE best kids show that never existed. And that’s just on the strength of the intro sequence.
An homage to likes of Ulysses 31, ThunderCats and Bravestarr, Space Stallions was created by The Animation Workshop, and what a great job they did too. We’re particularly tickled by the sword-cum-keytar, and the convoluted plot dynamics that would only make sense to a sugar-rushing 8-year-old:
Stop-motion animation pioneer Ray Harryhausen turns 90 today. It’s a perfect time to appreciate his contributions over more than a half-century. Harryhausen’s parade of creatures—giant squids, gargantuan bees, serpentine genies, sword-wielding skeletons, huge crabs, etc.—have fuelled the nerdy fantasies and stoney dreams of many a Boomer teen.
Although the labor-intensive stop-motion method now seems the quaint realm of the video artiste, we shouldn’t overlook its predominance in the realm of pre-CGI modeling. But putting that aside, as you’ll see in Mat Bergman’s obsessive tribute below, Harryhausen refined the interaction between stop-action models and live-action, which sets him apart from acolytes like Tim Burton and Henry Selick. Catch the interview as well—Ray’s a truly warm wit.