Digital Americana: Midsummer Night Toons III

Recently I signed on for an internship with The Digital Americana, an iPad literary magazine. As you all know, I’m super down with the future so it seems like a great fit for me.

My first assignment was to cover Midsummer Night Toons III, an annual animation showcase obviously on it’s third year. Well the new DAM issue is out and my report on the event is located around the 30th ‘page’, or pixel spread, or whatever you want to call it. I know that most of you don’t have iPads, but I suggest that you get one so that you can read my awesome review.

Here’s an excerpt:

“By the time I got to Slate for the Midsummer Night Toons (MNT) III, an annual animation showcase now in its third year, the bar was already packed. To a casual bargoer, perhaps drawn in by the happy hour specials or the loud music and bright lights, the crowd would have seemed an odd stew of sweaty people caught in a shuffle of drinking minglers and those between drinks who were cramming around the bar in full effect. Lot’s of Threadless t-shirts and expensive eyeglasses belying the ultimate successes that a life of determined nerdery can accomplish. In one corner, opposite the foosball table, was a group of young men dressed all in black with their hair done up in wacky gelled shellackings, drawing anime characters in each other’s sketchbooks. Every time I turned around I’d catch a glimpse of some hair color I hadn’t seen since the 90’s (how bizarre). This was solidly the Comedy Central demographic. These people watch The Daily Show and post articles from the Onion onto their Facebook pages. These people watch Cartoon Network and Adult Swim with zeal.

It’s no wonder, either. Many of the animators in the lineup that night have done work for the most popular cartoons of the past five years, and the rookie talent, Zach Bellisimo—whose fourth year thesis project, Blenderstein, was the first toon up—might just create the next. I’d been given the name of one of the animators. A man who goes by Gary Doodles, popularly, and had agreed to help me get any interviews I might need. But there was no chance I’d find him in that place. The stew was teeming, there was no safe passage, and everybody already seemed pretty happy talking to their current companions. I had no hope that they’d take the time to steer me through the masses. I decided to step outside for a cigarette.”


If you do have an iPad, get a subscription to DAM. It’s cool.

“The new issue covers that sacred tradition that we revel in each year: the Great American Summer. Within this issue’s 114 pages you will find a history of graffiti in America and a look into MFA critiques (with an accompanying novel snippet from the author). You’re going to get a view of the darker side of Americana as we interview David Schmid and a modern view of classical music during a chat with Salon97. What about reflecting on the classic American roadtrip or what classics to read over the summer months? We’ve got that, too.” -DAM June ’11 Summer Issue.

Stay tuned for the next issue where I review a Fourth of July party that you really wish you had gone to.


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