February 20, 2007

Peace with My Niece

Lola and her Uncle (and Unshaven) Willy

After a bout with not one, but two forms of food poisoning (both the Blastocystis hominis parasite and Campylobacter bacterium) that I contracted in Israel, coupled with other stressful matters in my personal life, I was weakend to the point of non-productivity and in need of a real break. Having lost an astonishing 12 pounds in the course of just four weeks, I packed my bags and headed home to Vineland, where I recuperated with my loving family over the long President's Day weekend.

To all the naysayers, click to zoom in, because Lola's still got blue eyes

My retreat home also happened to fall on the birthday of my niece, Lola, who turned one year old on February 17. I spent the weekend recovering, and following Lola around the house as she talked up a baby talk storm and grabbed at my Beard of Hermitage.

Lola, horrified by the realization of turning one

I had a most relaxing, theraputic stay with my family, and I didn't even mind when Lola woke up crying at 4am. In fact, I found it comforting, knowing that we can all experience stress, no matter what age.

And the remedy can be as simple as a hug.


February 14, 2007

Artists Appreciated

Canonist Steven I. Weiss and wife Rachel

On Sunday I attended the Second Annual 14th Street Y Artist Appreciation Soiree at Mo Pitkin's in Manhattan. Having placed last (first loser) in the Mr. and Ms. Jew-S-A Pageant, as well as contributing artwork in the Tikun Olam benefit, I apparently qualified as an artist deserving of appreciation. Among other artists in attendance who are more deserving of appreciation were the loveable Canonist Mr. and Mrs. Steven I. Weiss, Heeb Magazine Editor Josh Neuman, 14th Street Y Director of Arts, Jewish Culture, & Adult Education Alyssa Abrahamson, the Goddess Perlman (star of the Channel 102 series Raduate School), and fashion designer and self-proclaimed superstar Apollo Braun, who stunned participants with his sexually charged Jew-ish dance and song routine, "Party in My Pants" (warning: adult language).

Neuman, Alyssa A, and the Goddess Perlman

Apollo Braun says, "Buy my music!"

February 12, 2007

I Heart Israel

Inspired by my recent trip to Israel, I am please to announce a new cartoon I produced for Taglit-birthright israel, appropriately named I Heart Israel. When you love Israel so much, what is the next step? Aliyah? Sure, you can move in with each other, but what if you want to show an even greater commitment? This cartoon takes a relationship with Israel to an even higher level.

You can also watch and share the YouTube video version on the birthright israel site.

February 09, 2007

Frumster is so PC

Frumster have produced a couple of cute video ads for their online Jewish dating service, this time spoofing the popular Apple "Get a Mac" television commercials, (a pastime I am intimately familiar with). As with the Get a Mac campaign, Frumster pairs up a quirky fellow, representing other online Jewish dating services, like arch rival JDate, versus a less offensive guy who represents the values of Frumster. There is also a female version, featuring a flaky JDate girl pitted against a wholesome, virginal Frumster gal.

Ironically, as with the original Apple commercials, I find myself drawn more toward the "PC" characters in the new Frumster ads. Most people find the nerdy antics of the PC-player, actor John Hodgman, more endearing than the smarmy attitude of the Mac guy, played by Justin Long. Similarly, I feel like the Frumster guy comes across as boring while the JDate dude looks like he'd make entertaining company. And in the female counterpart ad, while I might fall asleep on a date with the Frumster girl while staring at her brown potato sack dress, the caffeinated fairy princess chick actually looks like she knows how to have a good time. Just watch her horse riding impression.

I do like the new Frumster campaign, even better than the one I produced for them. So if you haven't done so already, watch the Frumster ads online now!

February 02, 2007

The Ackerman Files

JR and Ackerman

When I was in Israel last month, I had the pleasure of meeting young political cartoon artist (and Shabot fan), Sam Ackerman at a Zionism salon hosted by PresenTense Magazine. This whole cartoon business is still new to me, and being the one who usually asks the questions, I was deeply flattered when Sam sought my expert advice in the world of online comic strip publishing. After reviewing his work, it is clear that Ackerman has a natural talent for cartoons, and I think his illustration skillz are even doper than mine. So I doubt he'll have any trouble finding homes for his work in syndication.

Sam's work is currently featured in the Brandeis University newspaper, but he is looking to expand his reach. If you would like to work with Sam, you can contact him via e-mail at ackers AT brandeis.edu

You can see more of Sam's work on his blog, The Ackerman Files.