“Salt… I feel like you should eat less salt,” Leah said as she caressed my hand, underneath a towel in the heat of a Brooklyn summer night. We were at Dirty Morning Cartoons presented by Cartuna on Friday Aug 5th, 2016, as part of the Brooklyn Fire Proof Summer Series. I had just arrived in the back garden of the BFP (a complete sound stage, studio, and equipment facility in East Williamsburg). It was an interesting outdoor place inside the block, next to the Terra Firma restaurant, where I got a decent watermelon cocktail that I sipped as I perused the small ‘zine fest’ before the screening.
The first thing I really noticed at one of the tables, was a towel draped over two people sitting across from each other. “What is going on?” I asked one of the “Twins Are Weird” animation twins (The First Time Cee Cee Did Acid Joy Buran and Noelle Melody, now of Triple Dog Press). As one twin told me, the other emerged from underneath the towel, and it was revealed that Leah Shore (animator, Old Man) was giving palm readings for $5 (and selling original animation frames from Old Man for $150). I figured that a palm reading was too good an opportunity to pass up. I’m not sure if I’m supposed to tell you this, but I need to moisturize more, eat less salt, look forward to more family time, and get ready for surprises. So I’m pretty set for the next year.
The hour long Dirty Morning Cartoon screening had been organized by Cartuna, a “new digital media brand focused on animated comedy for adults.” And they had included this zine fest featuring work from Killer Acid, Wizard Skull, MAXX, and some local artists. There was a variety of cartoon prints for sale, ranging from the really gross, to the really stoned, with illustrations on magnets and cards and more. I ended up buying a little zine from Wizard Skull, a part of his “Women with BLANK found on Tinder” series, this one being women with pizza. And I don’t even use Tinder! But it was a great little selection, about 5 artists, that set the scene. Streetlights shone down on rainbow reflective table clothes, ice buckets of Modelo beer cans, and chimaeras of Bart Simpson, Sponge Bob, with too many dicks.
The zine fest was just the entrance to the courtyard area, where many folding chairs had been set up in front of a very nice screen and projector. A fish with sexy lady legs did the hula hoop, as part of Cartuna’s holding-slide animation before the show. I devilishly took the opportunity to blow cigarette smoke in front of a projector beam of light, while catching up with Stephen Brooks (Rubber Onion animation podcast) who had recently returned across the pond from England to live in NY. There were certainly many different animators in attendance who took the opportunity to reconnect with each other that night. But all of that would have to wait till after the show, which included 18 short films.
In between each film was a dirty morning cartoon title card, with dicks drawn by Killer Acid, Wizard Skull, and MAXX (now I’m not sure who all the zine people were…). My favorite was a cross between MewTwo and Ren&Stimpy. I would say the overall theme of the show was to have too much cursing, too much violence, too much blood, sex, drugs, rock n roll, to be as politically incorrect as possible, and to try to get Tristian to throw up his nice watermelon cocktail. I will highlight a few of these films.
Trusts and Estates (Jeannette Bonds, CalArts 2013) – This thesis film is a black and white hand drawn film, based off of an over heard conversation in Santa Monica. While the 4 bros are all composed of thick black blocks of hair and three piece suits, their individual characteristics come out in the spindly lines that define their eyes, ears, and noses. The dialogue is a horrible travesty of human dickish-ness, that is carefully dealt throughout the film. The conversation starts with one bro lawyer insulting the other bro’s choice of salad, and only later do the final two bros join the conversation, a reveal that forces you to quickly re-frame and re-judge them all.
Cool 3D World I suspect this mysterious 3D CGI animator has ties to the animated fetish porn community. Strangely detailed models of burly men inflict aburdist actions upon themselves. A fat man vomits up a muscular man, who gets fat and throws up another man in an endless loop. The heads of men appear where nipples or fingers should be. Or Jack Sparrow… is there… and all of these weird people are mostly naked, and concentration is placed on the model as opposed to the rig, and to the action as opposed to the realism. Always happy to see 3d in NY
The Floonstones (Rob Yulfo) 2012. This is a nightmare version of the classic Flinstones, a fact which can be lost on people. The characters are redrawn in a combination of childlike and drunk-UPA styles, on acid wash backgrounds. Rob presented he complete series of the toons, with appearances by fake Jetsons and the REAL John Cena, and promptly ruins any happy memories you might have had of the original TV show. I especially appreciate the screenshot internet comments he included at the end, that show real people struggling to come to terms with his film.
Luv U Give (Lena Greene) 2015. This Tommy Trash stop motion music video takes innocent Barbie and Ken dolls and set them on a tropical misadventure. I was not familiar with such handsome male Ken dolls. And I was very displeased to see them fall prey to murderous sirens. The video was only one of a series, and Lena spent much time creating about 7 different sets to reveal the island’s forest interior, complete with waterfalls, quicksand, beaches, pools, vines, and more. Which are a lot of places to die in. And bleed over.
I will quickly shout out A Prank Time (Jaime Rodriguez 2016) for its great Akira-like transmogrifcation and The Chickening (Nick DenBoer & Davy Force, 2016) for remixing The Shining. You can find the rest of the films here:
Cheap Joke – Ian Miller
Magical Dream Bed – Sven Stoffels
Tasty Pie – Preston Spurlock
Burg Out – Joey Altadonna
All My People / Mr. Rimmer / Suck Me From Behind / Halloween Cartoon – Sick Animation
Teat Beat of Sex – Signe Baumane
Lobby Zombies – Rob Yulfo
This One Time – Sean Glaze
Fleshee Friends – Pat Kain
Man Spaghetti – Felix Colgrave
Old Man – Leah Shore
Unbelievable Tales – Justin Roiland
Thank you Cartuna and Brooklyn Fire Proof for putting together a great program of adult animation. I retract some of my statements about NY being more hardcore than LA, since not all of these films were native to NYC. It’s important to break animation out of the children’s entertainment box most people put it in, and Dirty Morning Cartoons took a sledgehammer to the idea. This is Tristian Goik, reporting for ASIFA-East, and in celebration of being accepted into mixed.parts exclusive new animation message board community, I will be posting this article there first. Thank you!