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#341: I became an American Citizen This Week, Picture This, Ben Folds Sketchbook & Mets Lose!
Plus! Pickleball & Softball Get Rained Out, Sofia Warren, and Morris says "Hello!"
I hope you’ve had a great day so far…
I just got to do something I’ve been talking about doing for a while, especially when Trump was signing impulsive executive orders every other day to unfairly boot out immigrants… I officially became a citizen of these here United States!
(Don’t worry Australia, I’m still a dual citizen. You can’t get rid of me that easily.) The whole process was difficult, fascinating, teeth-grindingly stressful at times, and ultimately a huge relief. Paid subscribers will receive a full comic on the whole shemozzle in the coming weeks (keep your eyes peeled, primos!) but I’ll briefly say that I was not expecting much of what happened.
I will spend my first 4th of July as a newly minted US Citizen this weekend on the beach at the Jersey Shore. Because of course I am. My first 4th of July was only slightly less exciting.
I’ve been living in the US for nearly 10 years on an EB-1 Green Card. Despite that making me a Permanent Resident, I still lived with this pit in my stomach that my whole life here could be yanked away (pun intended) at any moment if a tyrannical sociopath gets elected. Again.
So, here I am, sitting in the bowels of Lower Manhattan outside the Daniel Patrick Moynihan United States Courthouse typing out this week’s edition of New York Cartoons for your enjoyment. Let’s kick on…
Sunday in the park with Pickleball
This past weekend Sophie and I were meant to play pickleball in Central Park with Ronny Chieng and his wife, Hannah. Unfortunately, New York has been inundated with non-stop rain and thunderstorms all week, so our game was postponed. The sporting press were devastated.
I’ve never played pickleball in my life, and I suspect I would be very bad at it, considering I have the hand-eye coordination of a lobster. I did, however, manage to pick up fellow New Yorker cartoonist Ellis Rosen’s handy new cartoon book about Pickleball, which has filled me in on the insanely specific things people like about the game. (Click the image below to grab a copy.)
Cartoonists & Comedians & Beer, (Oh my!)
Next weekend I’ll be hosting and drawing at my favourite show in the world: Picture This! The show combines my only two employable skills: stand-up comedy and drawing quickly.
I started out drawing and performing on Picture This! back in 2013 during the Melbourne International Comedy Festival when it was still a new show finding its feet. I would race off stage from my own hour-long stand-up show across town to jump in the saddle and draw for a slew of guest comedians who would pass through on their way to the bar - it sort of became the unofficial comic hang of the festival; seeing which big names would show up for a spot.
Photos bt the wondrous @MikeBrykNYC
Fast forward 10 years, and Picture This! holds 2 shows every month; one in LA, and one in New York— usually at Union Hall in Brooklyn. The generous folks at Wacom supplied us with new Wacom Mobilestudio Pro tablets to draw on, animating the comics’ sets on stage while they interact with the drawing. If you get the chance I highly recommend coming down for the next show.
We sell out quickly so book your tix early! See more detail on the show here.
Thank you to those who ordered the new book! I’m really happy with how it came out after years of working at the drawing board. It was surreal to see it on the shelf next to my favourite writer, David Sedaris.
I’m offering a 15% subscriber discount if you use the special link below.
Last week I went to see one of my all-time favourite musicians/writers/photographers/renaissance men, Ben Folds. He was playing for a grateful Beacon Theatre in New York City.
The new stuff was great. The old stuff was great. Everything in between was great. He’s a true showman and a brilliant artist. I drew the above caricature of him about 17 years ago when I was growing up in Perth, watching him play with the Western Australian Symphony Orchestra. Stuff like that gets buried in your brain for life: truly some of the best musical arrangements ever performed.
Here’s how I arrived at the above scribble (which he graciously signed at the show.)
Each week the New Yorker softball team meets at the softball diamond in Central Park and plays people who work at other magazines and media organizations based in New York. I am probably the least valuable member of the team, with the pitching arm of an old chair and the knees of a septuagenarian. That said, I do bring the beer…
06/27: The New Yorker VS. New York Review of Books
We were devastated that we didn’t get to redeem ourselves after the absolute bollocking we took last week in front of the New Yorker’s Editor in Chief/Third Base Coach… on account of —yep, you guessed it… rain.
So I went to a Mets game with a couple of mates and watched them lose to the Brewers. The rain came down in the final inning as we shuffled out with bellies full of pastrami. (Seriously, if you go to Citifield it’s a felony not to leave before ordering a pastrami sandwich and wash it down with a $37 can of watery American beer.) On the subway home, you will sound like you’re smuggling dizzy Gillespie in your trousers.
Note: It is only a misdemeanor if you leave the Jacob’s Pickles stand without ordering the donut fried chicken sandwich. (Yes. That is a thing that exists in this world. Because America.)
The 7 Train was full of depressed Mets fans. And one guy doing this...
If you’d like to come and cheer the New Yorker softball team on,
our Season for 2023 will be as follows:
05/30: New Yorker vs. WNYC 06/06: New Yorker vs. Rolling Stone 06/13: New Yorker vs. Paris Review 06/20: New Yorker vs. The Drift 06/27: New Yorker vs. New York Review of Books
07/12: New Yorker vs. Slate (@ Prospect Park)
07/17: New Yorker vs. New York Magazine (@ James J. Walker Park)
07/25: New Yorker vs. Eater
08/01: New Yorker vs. Vanity Fair
As always, thank you for being a subscriber and reading my silly cartoons. If you like them, tell a friend!
If you enjoy my work, then there’s a fair chance you might like the people I enjoy too. Each week I will be sharing a new person who tickles my fancy. This week’s someone is…
Remember when I mentioned last week that there are few rare ‘born cartoonists’? Yeah. Sofia is one of those. She writes, she draws, she innovates, she’s now a published author, and as your luck would have it: She’s also a Substacker.
I’ll let Sofia take it away:
Hi, I’m Sofia! I’m very nosy and very bossy, and I want to tell you what to do.
When I’m not giving advice, I draw comics. Maybe you’ve seen some in The New Yorker, Catapult, Narrative, or Instagram. Maybe you even read my graphic memoir, Radical. But frankly, I only do it to fill the time, and I’d really rather be telling you what to do.
So can I help you? What’s your problem? Submit an anonymous question anytime here!
We’re doing an event for Substack in New York tonight and I can’t wait to report back on the insanity that will ensue.