Links for Lunch

An ongoing feature in which I recommend the work and websites of people who buy me lunch. Today’s entry: Joan Hilty!

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Joan Hilty‘s been in comics since the bad old days when I worked in the field. Sexism, stupidity, superheroes on steroids – she’s seen it all. But unlike me, Joan’s not a quitter. Not only is she still doing her own comics, she’s also an editor at DC. Over falafel, babaganush, hummus, and homemade pita at Gazala Place, we agreed that alternative comics have improved dramatically in the past two decades, while newspaper strips have somehow slid further into decline (overall – there are always exceptions). Joan and I have run in similar circles for years, and were both recently – but separately – reunited with our mutual friend Roz. I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to meet her!

Would YOU like to be featured in Eats for Endorsement? Then buy me dinner. My email address is at the bottom of the middle column, the one with the pictures linking to my movies and cartoons and stuff.

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Links for Lunch

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Remember when I wrote about Stephen Wells? Well I finally had lunch with him last week. Vegan, of course – Stephen is the Executive Director of the Animal Legal Defense Fund. Over the delicious fried offerings of Red Bamboo we agreed that the only way animal abuse is going to get curbed is by passing and enforcing laws against it. Which the ALDF is doing. I’m not vegan* myself, but even carnivores could (and do) support this work.  Stephen and I also commiserated about this sort of thing – a man after my own heart.

*I’m generally classified as vegetarian, but I occasionally eat sea creatures. In case you want to take me out to lunch (see below).

Would YOU like to be featured in Links for Lunch? Then buy me lunch. My email address is at the bottom of the middle column, the one with the pictures linking to my movies and cartoons and stuff.

Links for Lunch – Berlin Roundup

An ongoing feature in which I recommend the work and websites of people who buy me lunch. Today’s entry: people I’ve neglected to post about who bought me lunch in Berlin!

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Pierre-Jean Duffour and Stéphanie Gerlier (above) of MASALADOSA attempted to buy me lunch but were intercepted by Sita patron/Temple Construction Engineer Tom Swain (with wife Elke, below). However the next day they managed to pay for my food at the Teddy Awards party. I can’t praise the music of MASALADOSA enough. They found me online, sent me their music, and now it’s in Sita Sings the Blues. Hopefully I’ll see them again soon in France – fingers crossed for the Annecy festival, to which I submitted as soon as I got back.
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Kaisa Penttilä, a Finnish animator living in Berlin, saw Sita and subsequently emailed me. One thing led to another, and the next thing you know, she bought me lunch.
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Bonus lunch: Greg Sextro, and Reena Shah and I were also treated to lunch at the Berlinale Lunch Club.

Would YOU like to be featured in Links for Lunch? Then buy me lunch. My email address is at the bottom of the middle column, the one with the pictures linking to my movies and cartoons and stuff.

Links for Lunch – Science Edition

An ongoing feature in which I recommend the work and websites of people who buy me lunch. Today’s entry: The Purugganan Lab!

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What does animation have to do with genetic biology? Lunch! Yesterday I was treated to pizza at Otto by not only friend and NYU Professor Michael Purugganan, but also a bunch of Postdoctoral Fellows, Graduate Students, and Technicians who are exploring the The Molecular Evolutionary Ecology of Plant Development, among other genetic biology type things.

Dr. Purugganan studies Plants
Before lunch I got to visit the Purugganan lab itself!

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It sure looks science-y, doesn’t it?

I learned some important science things, such as in Europe you can’t just go planting genetically modified plants willy-nilly like we do in the US; that at least one visiting scientist enjoyed and recommends King Corn; and that many scientists are looking to date and marry non-scientists (contact lab for details). I feel more smarter now.

Would YOU like to be featured in Links for Lunch? Then buy me lunch. My email address is at the bottom of the middle column, the one with the pictures linking to my movies and cartoons and stuff.

Eats For Endorsement – San Francisco Edition

An ongoing feature in which I recommend the work and websites of people who buy me dinner. Today’s entry: Amandeep Jawa!
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Amandeep Jawa says he’s “gregarious,” which I learned, in the few hours I got to know him, is an understatement. As we walked through Deepistan – a neighborhood comprising both Dosa, where he bought me dinner, and Bi-Rite Creamery, where I could only sample tastes lest I explode – random passersby paid their respects to their unofficial mayor. Or is that Supreme Dictator? Rumor has it part of the region may split off and re-name itself Amandesh. You can keep abreast of Deep’s political activities here, and his gregariating (new word! no google results! I win!) at his blog DeepTrouble.com. Deep is also the official Bay Area Director of Fundraising for Sita Sings the Blues, so if you want to give me a pile of money but need to preview the movie first, contact him.

Would YOU like to be featured in Eats for Endorsement? Then buy me dinner. My email address is at the bottom of the middle column, the one with the pictures linking to my movies and cartoons and stuff.

Eats for Endorsement

An ongoing feature in which I recommend the work and websites of people who buy me dinner. Today’s entry: Ross Kiester!

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I met Ross Kiester at the Platform Animation Festival in Portland, OR, where his two brilliant and charming teenage daughters impressed me with their impeccable taste (they’re fans of the Stork). Last week Ross was in New York doing…well, all kinds of things. For not only is he a mathematician into discreet global grids, but he’s also a turtle conservationist. The latter is how he knows Eric Goode of the Maritime Hotel – turns out he’s a turtle conservationist too. Those turtle conservationists form a tight community, which is why fellow turtle conservationist Maurice Rodrigues is the manager of the Maritime’s various enterprises, including Matsuri, where we enjoyed a lavish and delicious Japanese meal followed by French fusion pastries. My oh my that was tasty. Also joining were Ross’ niece and her husband, both accomplished graphic designers. Conversation focused on Basque cuisine, Japanese cuisine, alcohol (for once I wasn’t the only person at the table who just doesn’t like the taste), West vs. East Coasts, and of course, turtles. On that subject I was surely the most ignorant person there, but I did suggest a three-word name for their organization – the Global Turtle Initiative.

These cheesy flash photos don’t do anyone justice, alas.

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Maurice: yes to turtles, no to booze.

Would YOU like to be featured in Eats for Endorsement? Then buy me dinner. My email address is at the bottom of the middle column, the one with the pictures linking to my movies and cartoons and stuff.

Links for Lunch

An ongoing feature in which I recommend the work and websites of people who buy me lunch. Today’s entry: Stephen Hersh!

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This is kind of late, as I last lunched with my old pal Stephen Hersh back in July. And Stephen doesn’t have his own web site, so finding related links was a challenge. But what a brilliant guy he is! Stephen wrote and drew Bliss, one of my favorite comic strips ever. We both left Universal Press Syndicate around the same time, after which the late, great Jay Kennedy of King Features recruited us to co-create The Hots. Steve wrote, I drew, and after a year I retired to pursue Sita Sings the Blues. Here’s an old King Features press release about a series of Hots Passover strips we did. And that’s it for Stephen Hersh links. You’re more likely to find his work on TeeVee: he writes commercials for Chunky Soup and V-8, among others. Anyway, our lunch was delicious – look at that tasty thali from Saravanaas he’s eating. Let’s do lunch again soon, and get web sites, people!

Would YOU like to be featured in Links for Lunch? Then buy me lunch. My email address is at the bottom of the middle column, the one with the pictures linking to my movies and cartoons and stuff.

Eats For Endorsement

An ongoing feature in which I recommend the work and websites of people who buy me dinner. Today’s entry: Ken Levis!

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This is a blurry picture of my dear friend Ken Levis (bonus photo: Ken & Bubba). Ken is a documentary producer, and a damn good one. He’s also a writer, editor and director, not to mention a total mensch. Ken has won a ton of awards, and his friends love him so much we even forgive him for working as the official court documentarian of Thomas Friedman. Ken’s most recent film, Struggle for the Soul of Islam: Inside Indonesia, has been widely praised. Yet in spite of all his achievements, Ken still doesn’t have his own web site. Get on it, Ken! And thanks for dinner (look at that swanky restaurant he took me to)!

Would YOU like to be featured in Eats for Endorsement? Then buy me dinner. My email address is at the bottom of the middle column, the one with the pictures linking to my movies and cartoons and stuff.

Links for Lunch

A new feature in which I recommend the work and websites of people who buy me lunch. Today’s entry: Scott Jonas!

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Today we have a virtual lunch: Scott Jonas sent me a picture, a link, a donation, and instructions to enjoy some “killer spanikopita” and “minty tabouleh”. Simple, right? Ah, but where to get good spanikopita and tabouleh together in New York? I went as far as joining and querying Chowhound, which wasn’t of much use. In our fair City, Greek is Greek and Lebanese is Lebanese and never the twain shall met (unlike San Francisco – Oh La Mediterranee, how I miss thee!). In the face of such a challenge I opted to go for the killer spanikopita alone – from Poseidon Greek Bakery, right in my ‘hood. I figured Scott wouldn’t mind takeout for lunch, eaten on the fold-out table between the postage-stamp-sized “kitchen” and the bed in my one-person studio, since he wasn’t there. As for the link, Scott writes:

I’m afraid that the planet is going to hell and the best we can do is to slow the descent. But because I don’t believe in giving up without a fight I’d like to put in a plug for Wildlands Restoration Volunteers (www.wlrv.org) in Boulder, CO. They do good work, and — this is key — they feed their volunteers well.


The remainder of his donation will pay for even more spanikopita as I continue work on Sita Sings the Blues. Thanks, Scott!

Would YOU like to be featured in Links for Lunch? Then buy me lunch. My email address is at the bottom of the middle column, the one with the pictures linking to my movies and cartoons and stuff.

Virtual Lunch

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I recently heard from Stephen Wells, the Executive Director of the Animal Legal Defense Fund. Being on opposite coasts we can’t have lunch, but I want to endorse the ALDF anyway. Go ALDF!

Although I don’t eat meat, I’m exasperated by the suggestion that vegetarianism is effective action against animal abuse. It isn’t. Just like human abuse, the only way animal abuse is going to get curbed is by passing and enforcing laws against it. That’s what the Animal Legal Defense Fund is working toward. Something else Mike Caprio and I briefly discussed at our Eats for Endorsement, is that carnivores and omnivores can support legal reform against animal abuse too! In fact most carnivores I know are opposed to factory farming; they likes their meat, but they don’t want it to be low-quality crap flooding the markets here and abroad. Veganism is great, but not eating animals doesn’t save an animal’s life; it just means more cheap meat gets exported as domestic “farming” subsidies create “surplus.” That’s not just bad for animals, it’s bad for the humans whose markets our cheap meat floods into. So come on, everyone: carnivores, vegans, omnivores, pescatarians, vegetarians, flexitarians, live-food fruitarians, breatharians, aryans and barbarians: support the Animal Legal Defense Fund!

Eats for Endoresement

A new feature in which I recommend the work and websites of people who buy me dinner. Today’s entry: Mike Caprio!

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Mike Caprio is the Bon Vivant of Brooklyn. But he’s no slouch in Manhattan either, since he suggested our Eats take place at Casellula. There we discussed the importance of combining the flavors of the accouterements plated with the cheese, whether my dislike of booze and grapefruit could be due to supertasting, geeks we know in common, why Denmark is cool, and of course my favorite subject, how the world is going to Hell in a handbasket. Clearly, the man is an expert on food, entertainment, and enjoying life’s pleasures before we’re all plunged into an apocalyptic dystopia. Be sure to check out his blog!

Would YOU like to be featured in Eats for Endorsement? Then buy me dinner. My email address is at the bottom of the middle column, the one with the pictures linking to my movies and cartoons and stuff.

Links for Lunch

A new feature in which I recommend the work and websites of people who buy me lunch. Today’s entry: Andrew Anselmo!

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Andrew Anselmo folds things. His card says “origami journeyman,” and indeed he arrived at lunch equipped with a supply of paper squares, two of which which he rapidly converted into a penguin and snake. Then as we chatted about overpopulation, environmental crises, and the world’s descent to Hell in a handbasket – all my favoite topics – I noticed him fiddling with a dollar bill. Whereas I usually tear and roll the edges of paper napkins into “lace,” or pick down the labels of beverage bottles into confetti, Andrew was constructively applying his energy into folding dollar bill geegaws. When he’s not creasing paper, Andrew makes solar panels, thereby slightly slowing the descent of the aforementioned handbasket. Is he saving the Earth, or prolonging human dominance and destruction by providing post-peak-oil energy? Who knows? The important thing is he bought me an excellent lunch. Thanks Andrew!

Would YOU like to be featured in Links for Lunch? Then buy me lunch. My email address is at the bottom of the middle column, the one with the pictures linking to my movies and cartoons and stuff.

Eats For Endorsement

A new feature in which I recommend the work and websites of people who buy me dinner. Today’s entry: Celia Bullwinkel!

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My pal Celia draws good. She’s one of a dying breed of character animators, the real deal, who animate with full drawings for every frame, imbuing characters with life and expression unmatched by the kind of cheap digital shortcuts in vogue today. She also does digital animation (there’s not much full animation work these days, unfortunately), and draws comics. Back when I was drawing The Hots and having an emotional breakdown due to losing my ex and whatnot, Celia was my assistant, scanning dailies and coloring Sunday strips. Celia also shares my shoe size, which is why she came over Saturday night and left with several pairs of quality barely-used footwear, shoes that are totally comfortable in the store but then I walk a few miles and my left foot gets all screwed up because my left and right feet are shaped differently, so the right foot’s still fine and comfy but the left is all blistered and bruised and in pain and I’m limping now even though these are “comfort” shoes – et tu, Arche? I paid big bucks for the comfort factor and now I’m limping! – and I can’t return them because I’ve walked them on New York pavement, and I don’t even want to look at them they cost so much and they’re useless, useless!, and my apartment’s so small it’s not like I have room to store them, so Celia comes over and takes them off my hands, or feet as it were. And then she bought me dinner.

Would YOU like to be featured in Eats for Endorsement? Then buy me dinner. My email address is at the bottom of the middle column, the one with the pictures linking to my movies and cartoons and stuff.

Eats for Endorsement

A new feature in which I recommend the work and websites of people who buy me dinner. Today’s entry: Thomas Florek!

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Songwriter. Filmmaker. Humanitarian. Thomas Florek seems determined to make the world a better place – by any means necessary. Already he’s turned to such extreme methods as documenting philanthropic bike rides, making a feature doc about semi-obscure singer Jack Stock, and creating yarncore video Gangsta Knitter. He achieved the latter with his colleague Doug, with whom he forms the duo Tom and Doug. Florek is a supporter of the Christmas Resistance Movement, and if I recall correctly wrote a holiday jingle called “I Maxed Out My Credit Cards For You,” which I can’t seem to find on his web site. Most recently, his philanthropic nature led him to buy me a dinner of Indian haute cuisine at Devi. Thanks, Thomas!

Would YOU like to be featured in Eats for Endorsement? Then buy me dinner. My email address is at the bottom of the middle column, the one with the pictures linking to my movies and cartoons and stuff.

Links for Lunch

A new feature in which I recommend the work and websites of people who buy me lunch. Today’s entry: Gordon Fitch!

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Gordon Fitch is a friend to artists. He’s a friend to me, a friend to my friend Signe, and a friend to all the other artsists whose work he put on the interwebs long before everyone and their cow had their own web site. Veterans of Usenet may know Gordon from his devastatingly witty and well-thought rants and arguments. I’m still waiting for him to collect a “best-of” anthology of his Usenet essays so I can read them all. Also he writes short stories, but I can’t find a public link to them on his website so maybe he wants to keep them secret. Yesterday Gordon bought me lunch twice: first, french fries and onion rings at Coney Island, then watercress dumplings, rice flour rolls with mock ham and coriander, and snow pea leaves dumplings at Vegetarian Dim Sum House in Chinatown. Thanks, Gordon!

Would YOU like to be featured in Links for Lunch? Then buy me lunch. My email address is at the bottom of the middle column, the one with the pictures linking to my movies and cartoons and stuff.