LiarTown USA (or just LiarTown, for short) has been, since 2013, a consistent source of Internet comedy gold, all springing forth from the warped mind of graphic design humorist Sean Tejaratchi. If you are unfamiliar with the site (actually a Tumblr page located at liartownusa.tumblr.com), you have undoubtedly seen Tejaratchi’s work popping up in your social media feeds. Those Apple Cabin Foods circulars advertising “Peanut Mud”? LiarTown. The Hardy Boys Lose Their Shit paperback? That’s LiarTown. The Difficult To Strip To Hits CD compilation? Also LiarTown.
Tejaratchi first flew onto my radar in the 1990s with his brilliant clip art zine Crap Hound, but LiarTown’s “things that look like real things, but aren’t real things” humor is just completely next level.
Tejaratchi has a knack for taking the most mundane, everyday packaging and advertising design elements and twisting them just slightly to the point of hilarious absurdity. What truly sells Tejaratchi’s humor though, is his ability to flawlessly ape the fine details of the design work he is mocking (homaging?). His paperbacks look like real paperbacks. His 45 rpm record labels look like real 45 rpm record labels. Over the past four years, the LiarTown style has been widely imitated, but—as they say—never duplicated. Tejaratchi’s particular brand of subtle absurdity doesn’t have much pre-Internet precedent. It’s as “Internet Humor” as it gets, and I say that without meaning it as an insult. Tejaratchi describes LiarTown as a “duplicate world maintained by a moderately benevolent but not necessarily detail-oriented God.”
Feral House has just issued a hefty compendium of the first four years of LiarTown, cleverly titled LiarTown: The First Four Years. Ladies and Gentlemen, this is The Internet in book form. Honest to God, this is the funniest book I own and if I didn’t already have a copy, I’d have it on my Christmas list. (I do still have Tejaratchi’s Social Justice Kittens calendar on my list!)
Here’s a gallery of some of my personal favorite LiarTown images, but take my word for it, the hundreds of images in LiarTown: The First Four Years are ALL gold.
Here is a trailer for the book which can be purchased HERE:
Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Social Justice Kittens postcard pack
‘The Big Book of Online Trolling’ and other books you REALLY wished were real