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Cartoon Friday Watercooler: Ballad Of A Wifi Hero & #SXSW Shorts


It’s Cartoon Friday, again!

Ballad of a WiFi Hero is a fantastical take on a very mundane situation. If you’re someone who knows how to make technology behave, then you may have been hailed as a mystic warrior a time or two yourself. Or perhaps you’ve been on the other side, awed at the seemingly occult prowess of your geeky friends.

WiFi Hero is narrated by H Jon Benjamin, one of my favorite comedians and voice actors (previously on Cartoon Friday, Home Movies: “Director’s Cut,” Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist: “Thanksgiving,” and a discussion of Bob’s Burgers.

It was created by Vulture, based on a story in McSweeney’s Internet Tendency. Entitled, “In Which I Fix My Girlfriend’s Grandparents’ WiFi And Am Hailed As A Conquering Hero,” author Mike Lacher writes:

And at last the warrior arrived at the Router. It was a dusty black box with an array of shimmering green lights, blinking on and off, as if to taunt him to come any further. The warrior swiftly maneuvered to the rear of the router and verified what he had feared, what he had heard whispered in his ear from spirits beyond: all the cords were securely in place.

The warrior closed his eyes, summoning the power of his ancestors, long departed but watchful still. And then with the echoing beep of his digital watch, he moved with deadly speed, wrapping his battle-hardened hands around the power cord at the back of the Router.

Gripping it tightly, he pulled with all his force, dislodging the cord from the Router. The heavens roared. The earth wailed. The green lights turned off. Silently the warrior counted. One. Two. Three. And just as swiftly, the warrior plugged the cord back into the router. Great crashes of blood-red lightning boomed overhead. Murders of crows blackened the skies. The Power light came on solid green. The seas rolled. The WLAN light blinked on. The forests ignited. A dark fog rolled over the land and suddenly all was silent. The warrior stared at the Internet light, waiting, waiting. And then, as the world around him seemed all but dead, the Internet light began to blink.

Thanks to the AV Club for sharing this cartoon.

Through cartoon images side-by-side: A nude person enters the water, a close-up of a man's face, and a woman from behind as she walks through a snowy landscape.

Through The Hawthorne offers three perspectives on one psychiatrist’s visit.

I’d like to take a moment to highlight two great cartoons from SXSW’s Animated Shorts series (also featured last week on Cartoon Friday):

  • Through The Hawthorne is actually a triptych of short animated films — unlike anything I’ve ever seen. Each film represents one of three perspectives: a young man with schizophrenia, his mother, and the psychiatrist they visit. Playing out simultaneously, the three short films offer a unique perspective on human interaction and mental illness.
  • Yearbooka quirky and touching film about a man who’s asked to compile all of human history before aliens can destroy the earth. The humorous premise leads to a reflection on mortality and the impermanence of human experience.

Unfortunately, neither one is available online so you’ll have to keep your eyes out for festival screenings.

Seen any great cartoons lately? Tell me about it in the comments.

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This is our latest MyFDL open thread. Come chat with me about anything below!

Image courtesy Through The Hawthorne.

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Kit OConnell

Kit OConnell

Kit O’Connell is a gonzo journalist and radical troublemaker from Austin, Texas. He is the Associate Editor and Community Manager of Shadowproof. Kit's investigative journalism has appeared in Truthout, MintPress News and