What is the 21st century solution to the 20th century cartoon?
The appeal of the absurd and poetic newspaper cartoon is timeless...
Why are short comic films not the 21st century's answer to the 20th century newspaper cartoon?
Because short comic films aren't taken seriously.
The newspaper cartoon may be poetic. It might have a darkness to it. The humour perhaps so slight it escapes the strict categorisation of 'comedy'.
In contrast, short comedic films must be funny. Intensely funny. Fast and furiously funny. Funnier than the last video you saw. Impossibly funny. Funnier than themselves.
Comedy videos can be satirical, parodic, social commentary, observational, slapstick... but not intellectually provocative, poetic or dark - because even if that's funny - it's not funny.
Myriads of sites host comic videos similar to what one might find on TV. Because TV's funny.
Unlike drawn cartoons they rarely have the style of a particular artist. Because style isn't funny.
And they're all over the internet, because being exclusive and restrained isn't funny.
So what is the 21st century solution to the 20th century newspaper cartoon?
It should contain poetry in its absurdity. It must be of an equal intellectual and artistic standard as the site that hosts it, possessing a unique voice and style that compliments the identity of the publication, being integral to it, and should be hosted exclusively on that site. Nowhere else.
The bad news is, that sounds like a tall order.
The good news is, the theatre critic at The New Yorker has found it for you....
'A wonderful series of short office comedies that are quite unlike anything I’ve seen before: each one has a premise that’s absurd or fantastical, but they’re also sharp commentaries on social politics and mores. A powerful counterweight to the feeble sense of disappointment and regret and foreclosure that seems to go along with this ridiculous age we now are'.
- Rollo Romig (Theatre critic - The New Yorker)
Set in a modern office, where the absurd is treated deadly seriously, each film is a tale from an alternate reality, an antidote to our own reality increasingly defined by alternative facts...
Absurd comedies for existentialists, each film is a parallel reality connected by Club Atopia...
The films are all separate but over time form a web of connected alternate realities...
There's a reason The Independent doesn't host 'comedy' videos.
It's the same reason that this series, which appeals to anyone who has ever worked in an office or felt 'the odd one out' is perfectly suited to The Independent.