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Thursday, April 21, 2011
Introducing The (Tentatively Named) 92Y Culture Diet Q&A


Drew Dernavich, cartoonist at The New Yorker and FISTICUFFS! co-creator, (where cartoonists battle the only way they know how—by drawing cartoons!) is the first subject of the new 92Y Culture Diet Q&A. Questions focus on discovering more about the subjects’ media and culture diet, for example, “What are your favorite websites?” and “What magazines do you subscribe to?”

The next FISTICUFFS! happens April 27 at 92YTribeca.

Without further adieu...take it away Drew Dernavich!

Where do you go for news when you start your day?

These days Lori [my wife] gets up a little before I do, so I get my first news from her. Twitter acts as a great news aggregator, too. Other than that I have no routine for getting my news and I actually try to mix it up - Times, Post, print, online, local, national. I like fake news even better.

What are your favorite websites?

I’m using Google Image search all the time when I’m drawing looking for reference, or looking for unusual word associations. I habitually go back to the Onion, McSweeneys, Print, and for news about my Red Sox, and because I’m a music junkie Pitchfork and Metacritic and Stereogum. There are a bunch of comics sites I like. And I’ll give a shout out to and to John Sakamoto’s “Anti-Hit List” blog for the Toronto Star as well.

How much do you use Twitter and Facebook (or other social networking services)?

I like Facebook, but I try to keep it to a smallish circle of people, as opposed to a networking tool. If I haven’t met you in person, or if my only association with you was that you sat behind me in high school geometry, I don’t need to see your family photos and I especially don’t need to know how often you play Farmville. But Twitter is currently my favorite way to fritter away huge chunks of time - random links, stupid hashtags and all those fun rabbit-hole types of diversions.

What book are you currently reading (or the last one you read)? Print or digital?

I just finished Mike Showalter’s Mr. Funny Pants, and I’m about to start Adam Hines’ graphic novel Duncan the Wonder Dog. I typically fall asleep within seconds of reading anything, though, so I prefer print. I’d roll over onto a Kindle and crush it.

What magazines do you subscribe to?

I like to buy them as I know I’ll have time to read them. But I do subscribe to The New Yorker, New York magazine, The Week, and a journal of the writer G. K. Chesterton. They make nice soft crinkly sounds when you fall asleep and roll over on them.

What are your current (or all time) favorite television shows?

I’m big on “Modern Family” and “30 Rock”, and “The Simpsons” is still great. I miss “Arrested Development.” My favorite shows all-time are “The Sopranos” and “Seinfeld,” although we’re currently plowing through “The Wire” and loving it.

What’s the last movie you saw?

I literally don’t remember, which speaks either to the quality of the movie or to the quality of my brain. Let’s go with it being an unmemorable movie. I just Netflixed a Godzilla movie, just to see if it was as fun as I remember it being as a kid. It wasn’t. I really want that Godzilla suit, though. Do you think they saved it?

What’s the last performance (dance/opera/theater) you attended?

I went to a wedding last month that turned into a hula hoop party, so I’m gonna say that counts as all three.

What’s the last music purchase you made?

It was Kurt Vile’s Smoke Rings For My Halo.

What radio shows or podcasts do you listen to?

“This American Life” is the last podcast I can remember listening to. I’ve sampled lots of others, but most of the time I find myself getting distracted or thinking or drawing, and then an hour later I’m sitting in silence and asking myself “now what was that I was listening to again?” So I usually put on music instead.

What’s your favorite piece of art on display in your home?

We’ve got this crazy antique etching that we found at a flea market called “The Dialogue.” It’s a pudgy priest who is backing away from this creature that looks like a hairy goat carcass who is smoking and drinking a martini. It’s supposed to be the devil. It’s hilarious and richly drawn. And there’s a bunch of my crap hanging on the walls also.

Where do you go / what do you do to “disconnect”?

I used to strap on those ear-smothering headphones and tune out listening to music. I don’t do that much anymore. I’d hardly call myself a workaholic, but now that I do a lot of work from home, it’s too tempting to noodle around with this or that, start a project or two, or try to multirelax instead of multitask - so probably a beer and a baseball game is the most effective way for me to check out.

Catch Drew and New Yorker cartoonists Matt Diffee, David Sipress, Zach Kanin and David Borchart at the next FISTICUFFS! this Wednesday, April 27, at 92YTribeca, hosted by David Rees.

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