Evan Dorkin's Welcome to Eltingville on Adult Swim Video

In the 90s, there simply wasn't a cooler cartoonist than Evan Dorkin, creator of Hectic Planet, Milk and Cheese, and Dork!. He's still really good, but he's kind of moved beyond the angry, vulgar, punk rock aesthetic that marked much of his older work-- now, he does a lot more work for kids (which is also quite good, but, you know, I don't have kids).

Anyway, one of my favorite Dorkin strips was The Eltingville Club, which is concerned with four adolescent guys who are way, way, way too into comic books, science fiction, animation, role playing games, and all sorts of other dorky shit. The brilliance of the strip is that these guys are obviously geeks, but that you also have to be kind of a geek in order to get the references and appreciate the humor (and, needless to say, the guy who created the strip must have been a total geek at some point in his life). The humor is really mean, but to read and laugh at the strip is to read and laugh at yourself too.

Anyway, several years ago, Dorkin and Adult Swim produced a pilot episode for an animated television adaptation called Welcome to Eltingville. Frankly, the cartoon isn't as good as the comic-- much of what makes the comic feel so realistic involves the fact that these guys are really, obnoxiously, profanely mean in their insults-- a whole lot of swearing and crude sex jokes. They talk like real adolescent nitwits, which you can't really show on television. Oh, and every strip ends with a series of panels of each guy at home, in bed, after the club has angrily disbanded over something utterly moronic... masturbating to fantasies of Wonder Woman, Emma Peel, She-Hulk, Counselor Troi, and-- at least once-- Robin (ostensibly by accident). So the content-- so hysterical in printed form-- makes the idea a little too adult for Adult Swim (although it seems to me that Adult Swim has gotten quite a bit edgier in recent years, so who knows what the show might have been had it been aired in 2008?).

Nevertheless, the show was good-- better than a lot of other so-called "adult" cartoons, and Adult Swim has it available on their website for the next few days here. The episode is called "Bring Me the Head of Boba Fett," and features an awesome trivia contest/ "fight scene" that hysterical because it's so nerdy and humiliating because I knew most of the answers.

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