May 28, 2007

11 Days B.C.

Lake Louise, Alberta

I've just returned from eleven days in British Columbia and Alberta, Canada, driving between Vancouver, Edmonton, and Calgary. No time to get into the trip details right now, as I am tired from traveling, and will be leaving home again today for another 10 days in London.

So until I return, enjoy these photos!

Dinner in Vancouver with fellow LUN leader Elias Parker (middle) and his friends, travel partner Ernie on the left, and me on the right

Jewish Robot gives a Jasper bear hug

The view of Calgary City Centre from our hotel room

Tagged caribou on the side of the road through Jasper

Bison in Elk Island National Park

"Hayburger!" I got out of the car to snap this perfectly mocking "Hey, Bison Burger!" photo

Here's that same Hayburger Bison rolling over, getting ready to charge me after I encroached on his territory! Click to see a larger version, and you will actually see the rage in his eyes!

May 17, 2007

Flynt vs. Falwell Brings Freedom of Speech

I didn't know much about Jerry Falwell, so his passing didn't seem very relevant. But as a huge proponent of Freedom of Speech, and a person who often makes a living through parody, I found this statement given by Larry Flynt to Access Hollywood on Falwell's death enlightening:
The Reverend Jerry Falwell and I were arch enemies for fifteen years. We became involved in a lawsuit concerning First Amendment rights and Hustler magazine. Without question, this was my most important battle – the l988 Hustler Magazine, Inc., v. Jerry Falwell case, where after millions of dollars and much deliberation, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled in my favor.

My mother always told me that no matter how much you dislike a person, when you meet them face to face you will find characteristics about them that you like. Jerry Falwell was a perfect example of that. I hated everything he stood for, but after meeting him in person, years after the trial, Jerry Falwell and I became good friends. He would visit me in

California and we would debate together on college campuses. I always appreciated his sincerity even though I knew what he was selling and he knew what I was selling.

The most important result of our relationship was the landmark decision from the Supreme Court that made parody protected speech, and the fact that much of what we see on television and hear on the radio today is a direct result of my having won that now famous case which Falwell played such an important role in.

I guess something good can come out of everything after all.

Oy Canada

I am heading out to Vancouver today for 11 days of vacation in British Columbia, Canada with my old college roommate Ernie. Cartoons and blog posts may be put on hold for the next two weeks, but check back soon for updates and photos from the trip.

Have a festive Shavu'ot, and ShaBot Shalom!

-- The Jewish Robot

May 13, 2007

Salute to Israel Parade

Last week was the Salute to Israel Parade on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. The event was well attended, and offered a chance to meet up randomly with all the people I've gotten to know in the active Jewish community over the last year.

Newly engaged Seth Galena of and Hindy "sister of ROI120's Existential Rabbi Avi" Poupko pass out "Kiss Me if You Love Israel" stickers

Leading Up North participants Melissa Frank, Esther K., and National Alumni Coordinator for birthright israel Sydney Henning reunite.

JTA staff writer Jacbo Berkman and Nice Jewish Girl Gone Bad musician Michelle Citrin, exhibit a sign of change: "COME TO ISRAEL ... NO ONE BELONGS HERE"

Frum on Eileen

Friend, novelist, and stealth cartoonist Eli Valley has written an excellent piece on the intersection of romance comics and interfaith relationships, complete with scanned pages of the nine-part series from 1973 to 1974 in Charlton Comics’ Just Married.
"Listen, you rednecked Irishman, Rabbi Schwartz will marry my David to your daughter!"

"In a pig's eye, Goldman! They'll be married right ... In a church!"

Read all about "Jewish David" and "Irish Eileen" in Valley's article, "When Jewish David Met Irish Eileen
Jewcy's resident humorist examines intermarriage, 1970s-style

Grey Day

The entrance to Yerg. Every morning, that Y is mysteriously in a new location.

Sorry for the lack of comics and blog posts in the last two weeks. I've taken on a short-term animation project at Grey, a worldwide advertising agency, and the full-time work schedule has taken a toll on my personal projects like Shabot 6000 and JewishRobot.

Even though it has been an exhausting two weeks, it has certainly been fun! I'm working with the "Yerg" team--that's "Grey" backwards, to signify how wacky and imaginative we are. There are about a dozen creative members in this department, including fellow Flash animator and friend Threebrain, who introduced me to the company. I'm helping out with Globe Probe, an entertaining promotional website for Tanqueray. (I don't think I'm allowed to say much about the project until it is live, so stay tuned for more info within the next few weeks.)

A typical day at Yerg involves a lot of foosball, jamming on guitars, practicing skateboard moves, playing video games, and other ways to keep the creative juices flowing. As a part-timer, I do not feel I have earned the right to partake in these pastimes, so I sit quietly at my desk and animate.

Perhaps not so typical at Yerg is a private mini concert we were treated to by UK rock artist Donovan!

After the mini concert, in which he performed his classic hits "Hurdy Gurdy Man" and "Mellow Yellow", (see YouTube video above), Donovan gave us all autographed CDs and offered his songwriting services for commercial advertising. What a cool way to start the morning!

Bennett and Threebrain and other Yerg audience members pleased with Donovan's performance

Tim Mellors, President and Chief Creative Officer of Grey Worldwide North America, presents Donovan with a Yerg custom designed skateboard Deck