The lights are down at the West Side Y, but Kim Deitch is having a hard time overcoming some A/V glitches: The film projector keeps burning up stalled frames, and he constantly loses contact with the microphone as he stiffly reads his notes. But as slides of his work hit the screen, this seminal underground cartoonist with the lank gray ponytail suddenly becomes animated, supplying myriad voices for his characters, even vamping a scraggly baritone for one luckless crooner who bemoans "Ships That Never Come In." Then, while waiting for a reel of 70-year-old cartoons to be threaded into the projector, he tells the story of some hapless young animators who screened a pornographic cartoon for bossman Walt Disney's birthday, way back when. He imitates the Master's calculating laugh: "Ha ha ha! That's great! Who made this?"then a stammer"Uh, well, it was Charlie, and, uh, um, Joe there, and . . . uh, me."... More >>>
By illustration: from The Boulevard of Broken Dreams (Pantheon)
Welcome to the machine: a scene from Kim Deitch's Boulevard of Broken Dreams.