Art Department Weekly | Issue 88 Vol. 12

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ADW art department weekly issue 88 Vol. 12

On the Edge

all about population density

mini BoArD is it people? Did they pick the name for this plant protein drink thinking it would be memorable? “In the year 2022, the cumulative effects of overpopulation, pollution and some apparent climate catastrophe have caused severe worldwide shortages of food, water and housing” to create the setting for Soylent Green (1973), according to The company in the movie gets its name from soy and lentils, but the current says nothing about lentils... or people or the sea plankton everyone was supposed to be the protein supply before they found it was actually people. Every time I see the ad, I have the same look as this guy they stopped in Times Square: Uh, no thanks. —MV

fAr, fAr AWAY rUstY or trUstY?

I only saw the story this week, but back in 2018 a lecturer at the University of Kaiserslautern on the campus in Zweibrücken helped turn an observatory into a giant R2-D2. The Zweibrück Observatory of the Natural Science Association is a public observatory in Zweibrücken, Germany. Hubert Zitt, author of non-fiction, lecturer, and Star Trek expert (these are the credentials I found online), gave the observatory some pop culture flair with the help of painter Klaus Ruffing and some of Zitt’s own students, according to the New York Post.

into the streAm One of the smartest moves by any company during this crisis has been from Disney. No one thought Disney+ would replace ticket sales, but the streaming service is giving families the escape they need. Onward, which had been the No. 1 movie in America after its March 2 theatrical release, moved to digital sales March 20 and began streaming for Disney+ members on April 3. Frozen 2, originally set to hit Disney+ in May, became available for all members on March 14. Rather than hold onto content to protect the bottom line, they are rewarding fans.

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sports these DAYs DirecTV still has a score guide available to let you know that everything canceled. But people want to watch sports (and place bets). Enter new partnerships: The NBA, National Basketball Players Association, and 2K produced an NBA 2K tournament of 16 NBA players playing NBA2K. The winner’s prize money will go to charity. ESPN kicked off the tournament with half-hour preshow Friday, April 3. Some coverage airs on ESPN2, but you can watch them play until Saturday, April 11. Pro athletes flocked to Twitch and YouTube to stream themselves playing esports, according to The Verge. F1 driver Lando Norris raced in a virtual version of the Australian Grand Prix using F1 2019 on March 22. What will be next? —MV

D r A he

t r A n

r e v o


“No. No.” -andrew

“That joke was k-killer” -madeline

“I taught you negative numbers. I didn’t mean to...” -krista

“The fast and the furiously stupid” -luis

“Is your tail all wet because you stuck it in my coffee?” -madeline

“What does ‘discharge’ mean?” -kal

hoW not to lose LV: You see your hand and then make your bid, so you bid zero, and if you don’t win any books, you get a hundred points. MV: Are you so competitive you would go for no books? LV: No, I would never bid zero. I always want to win a book.

“When it’s 4, it’s time to pour” -mara

“You look like you’ve been cutting your own hair, which some people are good at, some people are not” -Chris

March 24, 2020 • Art

Department Weekly 3

A Different episoDe one MAST was kind enough to share a scan of this ink and paper piece Luis saw on @indeliblefunk’s story. Now that MAST is trapped indoors, he’s creating more digital work, but you can still see all of his murals, graffiti, and fine art in color at

Dethroning the QUeen Arguably the hottest young talent in all of wrestling is Rhea Ripley. She burst onto the scene two years ago during the Mae Young Classic. Since then she has completely transformed her look and taken the wrestling world by storm. With a lengthy stint as the NXT UK Women’s Champion it was only a matter of time till she would make waves on the main roster. She announced herself in a big way during Survivor Series weekend by pinning Charlotte on Smackdown Friday night, winning WarGames Saturday night, and then winning for team NXT on Sunday. She followed that up by finally ending the reign of Shayna Baszler as NXT Women’s Champion. I’ve constantly said she is the closest thing I’ve seen to Charlotte Flair (who I think is the greatest female wrestler of all time). This weekend during Wrestlemania I get to see them go one on one. Rhea was also the most recent subject for one of my illustrations. I tweeted a work in progress picture, and it made my day when Rhea herself retweeted it. A steady stream of likes followed. Here’s hoping that Rhea’s star continues to rise and she can overcome the Queen. —LV


Art Department Weekly • April 7, 2020

creAtors Who cAre The comic industry has been hit extremely hard during Covid-19 (like most industries). Marvel and DC have issued pencils down orders to all creators. This leaves comic book shops in deep trouble. On Friday, April 3, DC announced that they were creating a $250,000 fund to help some of these shops and their owners. DC also announced they would be financially taking care of their freelancers during this pandemic. Several big name creators have decided to help in their own way. Tom King has taken to social media to buy lots of books from independant creators through store sites. This gives a rub to both the creators as well as the stores. Jim Lee and Rob Leifeld are each creating original art that they auction off via social media to support different comic shops each day. Jim Lee will be creating 60 pieces over 60 days for this effort. These pieces should all generate necesary income for the stores of the creators’ choosing. Also, each winner of the auction gets to pick the next piece’s subject. It’s great to see creators giving back to the shops that have supported them for so long. —LV

SO many mEmES

@dj_fattony_ is the source of this regram. There are plenty more laughs on that account.

April 7, 2020 • Art

Department Weekly


old complaints that are still kind of relevant by Madeline Vega

My mom never wanted to drive me across town. We lived in the far west suburbs of Chicago. It wasn’t like driving from the Holland Tunnel to the Brooklyn Bridge. As my life drained away behind the wheel taking kids to school and track practice and searching for parking spots, I wanted to justify why my deal was so much worse than my mom’s—and that I was not just becoming my mom! The more time I spent writing a snarky piece in my head (and I say “in my head” because I spent a lot of time in the car—one day I filled up on gas, reset my odometer to zero, and an hour later—driving the whole hour—it told me I had gone 1.7 miles) to describe what it’s like to drive in an urban area, the more petty and unoriginal it seemed. I scouted where I might take pictures to compile an illustration. But numbers are all that really matter here. There are too many people so there are too many stop lights to try to control the flow of traffic and protect pedestrians. There are too many double parked delivery trucks. Too many Ubers making stops. Too many school buses stopping across multiple lanes. Right now in a pandemic it would still take me 25 minutes to get Kal to school from our apartment because red lights still work. I love drivers who act like I am the worst for driving 25 miles per hour and they have to pass me. And then we sit at the next seven red lights together. It’s all timed out. Relax people. Let the pedestrians cross. Wait to turn left safely. Try not to be such a dick. So, there are too many people following their own rules with no space to get around them and even less space to park. I randomly walked across the 59th Street Bridge in Feburary and was delighted to capture cars crossing in the walkway on the opposite side of the bridge. It might be Luis’ least favorite thing about city driving. Want to see what it looks like through the windshield at night? Check my IGTV


Art Department Weekly • April 7, 2020

April 7, 2020 • Art

Department Weekly


From the top “Fuck Cars” jumped out at me—I think whoever decided to use a walkway as an outbound lane for cars (see previous page) had that attitude. The joggers and the biker are on the same path. Cars drive a path the same width on the other side of the bridge. Parking meters are not in effect during alternate side parking, however I purchased time at a meter. Two minutes after my time expired, the cop wrote me a more expensive ticket for violating ASP. The app’s judge did not rule in my favor even with a picture to show a lack of an ASP sign and my meter ticket. Months later I saw a (new?) set of signs... Every morning, cars are parked in crosswalks (and “the box”) because that’s all that was left the night before. New signs seemed to pop up everywhere in February. The stop signs that didn’t also get a stop line were the worst. One time I parked under a tree for a few days. Delivery trucks will unload with no regard for the fact your meter ran out and you have things to do. I thought these boots were festive when I noticed them in December.


Art Department Weekly • April 7, 2020

Make it make sense Numbers are fun to look at and shake your head, but why not bring them to life? by Madeline Vega I decided my driving problem was not really about speed or even distance. My mom used to act like an 8-minute trip over 2.9 miles to drop me off or pick me up from the high school was too much. It might take me four times as long to go only two miles farther to drop off my middle schooler. Why? There are more people in one square mile in Brooklyn than there are in my mom’s whole suburb. With all the people come all the stop lights and all the double parked vehicles. There are basically no parking spots, so almost everything requires parallel parking or blocking traffic—or blocking traffic while you try to parallel park. When I started looking into population density to see how much more crowded it is where I drive than where I needed my mom to drive me, I easily found census data for how densely populated hot spot New Rochelle is (7,445 people/mile2) and Broward County Florida (1,444 people/mile2) that refused to let cruiseships dock. Rather than bore you with my analysis and commentary, though, I made models with Lego people. Enjoy!

April 7, 2020 • Art

Department Weekly


According to, Bensonhurst—less than 3 square miles in its estimate—has a significantly higher population density rate than New York City as a whole.


48,400 people/square mile new york city 27,578 people/square mile

The difference between where I drive now and where I learned to drive

Kane County 990 people/square mile

The kind of place police write tickets for not stopping long enough at a stop sign. St. Charles, IL 2,257.7 people/square mile


Art Department Weekly • April 7, 2020

All of New York City (305 miles 2) could easily fit into Kane County (502 miles 2)

176 Lego people paris

55,855 people/square mile

fit on one board to represent 55,855 residents of Paris (the highest population density I had found)

176 = 0.00315106 55,855 or more simply 317 1/3 residents =

1 Lego person 1 mile 2 = Green Square

By the numbers

How crowded is New York compared to other big cities?

data from

New York City

Greater London











305 mi

606 mi

233.7 mi

845 mi

41 mi












Three states similar in size geographically but different in containment approaches

data from

Broward County 1,444.9 people/square mile


New York







55,518.93 mi

47,126 mi

53,624.76 mi








MIami-dade County

1,315 people/square mile

Lego people




Stay Home order

March 21 at 5 p.m.

March 22 at 8 p.m.

April 3 at 12:01 a.m.

April 7, 2020 • Art

Department Weekly


Crossing the line

Some states made alliances, some made threats

On March 18, Pennsylvania joined NY, NJ, and CT in a regional coalition to combat COVID-19, closing indoor spaces such as malls, bowling alleys, and amusement parks.

Rhode Island announced every NY license plate to enter the state would be forced into quarantine. It didn’t make sense to focus on only NY when CT was separately demanding to be recognized as a hot zone, but I felt like I understood their governor better after making the models.

NY maSSaChuSEttS 839 people/mile2

nEw yOrK 411 people/mile2

data from



rhOdE iSland 1,018 people/mile2



pEnnSylvania 283 people/mile2

COnnECtiCut 738 people/mile2

I pulled the hands off the PA Lego figure. Having him headless seemed too much.

nEw JErSEy 1,195 people/mile2


nEw JErSEy


rhOdE iSland









44,742.7 mi

7,354.22 mi






4,842.36 mi 738.1


1,033.81 mi 1,018.1


7,800.06 mi



nOt hiS FirSt puBliC hEalth CriSiS As New York Magazine

pointed out, de Blasio managed Ebola and Legionnarie’s outbreaks. Why is he fumbling the city’s management of COVID-19? The mayor has alternated between defensive and hopeful tones in the press conferences I’ve watched. I remember when it was breaking news that two cases had become four cases. And then breaking news: 13 cases. The mayor warned us to be ready for 1,000 cases. Now we have more than 2,000 deaths. Seven days a week, sometimes twice a day, he asks New Yorkers to practice social distancing and respect humanity—but also respect checks and balances. Reporters ask about uninsured patients, protection for renters, food pantries, remote learning, closing parks, business loans, why de Blasio didn’t wear a mask... It’s a wild range of questions from quite an ensemble. I find listening to the mayor pretend to be unflappable kind of reassuring.


Art Department Weekly • April 7, 2020

viral Star The mayor’s ASL interpreter Jonathan Lamberton has been stealing the scene for years. I’m disappointed when he’s not there.

winnEr, winnEr I did not

realize eggs were hard to find until I read the tweets warning people not to raise chickens in a pandemic. Then I saw the cupcake skirts. Then Popeye’s had me wondering how many will become dinner rather than egg producers.

dOn’t BE liKE that I was about to take a picture of

the glove when I noticed this Dodge had taken two spots. Then I turned around and saw someone ditched a cart that close to the actual cart return...

i Can’t Quit yOu My assortment of Facebook groups

currently have so many racist and antisemitic posts I’m sure I should stop visiting the site. But I can’t help it. Not only do I get a view of what’s happening at different stores, restaurants, and local politics, there are things that make me laugh. I bought Avocado, Lime & Cilantro Triscuits. They are so bad. And the string of comments treating Boeing like poor people was brilliant. The horrifying far outweighs the humor, but it’s the slot machine effect—and I’m addicted.

April 7, 2020 • Art

Department Weekly


wE arE all dumBEr nOw Facebook’s algorithm matched up these two stories about the private sector and COVID-19 which highlights for me how divided everything is right now. For every post that includes a picture of someone in a mask, there is a post about how mainstream media has it all wrong. I had to check the math on the tweet about Bezos (he’s worth $113 billion) because I just assume everyone is wrong all the time now.

Laundry with press conferences and reminders not to put dirty laundry in rolling carts

OnE Sunny day Stephen Reynolds captured haunting video of normally crowded places. Check it out at a SpECial CauSE I love the throwback to when every awards show presenter had a different ribbon.


Art Department Weekly • April 7, 2020

Welcome DistrAction The Vegas sportsbooks are now accepting bets on marble races, so I’ve taken solace in the bizarre empty arena shows the WWE has continued to put on because they are sports entertainment. On Wednesday, March 11, NXT performed in the WWE Performace Center in front of live crowd. Little did anyone know that would be the last live crowd for the forseeable future. Then came the announcement that furutre editions of RAW, Smackdown, and NXT would emanate from the PC without a crowd. Left in limbo was Wrestlemania 36. Vince McMahon played a game of chicken with the city of Tampa Bay before finally moving the “showcase of the immortals” to the PC as well. The shows have been understandably odd, with performers who generally feed off the crowd having to tell more of the story in the ring by themselves. While the in-ring action has been fine, the promos have been absolutely fantastic. Wrestlers have been able to take their time, make eye contact with the camera and really sell the naminG thE winnErS Luis likes to have everyone pick the winners for emotion of their story arcs. Edge, Paul each match. The first night, was extra exciting Heyman, and Randy Orton have been because Betty picked 100%. The results were: absolute standouts. What’s also been a plus is the opportunity to edit in different Betty 10/15 camera angles to create more drama (as Kal 8/15 evidenced by The Fiend and Bray Wyatt Luis 7/15 being able to be in two places at once, Boom 6/15 and King Corbin tossing Elias off the Madeline 5/15 elevated stage). While not ideal in any sense, I’m still greatly looking forward to Wrestlemania. It will be two nights of entertaining original programming during a time when we could all use a major distraction... And who knows, with the strength of the current promos, maybe some long term changes to the presentation will finally happen. Sunday Update: Last night was the first time the novel Corona virus was not a Top Ten trending topic on Twitter because of Wrestlemania. Hashtags included Becky, Seth Rollins, Elias, and Boneyard. I usually make fun of people who live Tweet, but I enjoyed knowing I wasn’t the only one watching. I felt more like I was at a party. Monday Update: As promised, Wrestlemania 36 provided the entertainment and distraction we all needed. Both nights featured great in ring action, but the standouts of the weekend were the more cinematic matches between the Undertaker and AJ Styles andthe Firefly Funhouse match between John Cena and the Fiend. All in all, I think what was achieved over the weekend was spectacular and a true Top Ten Wrestlemania. When you think about expectations and everything (the expectations were low and this over delivered mightily), this has to rank right up near the top.

April 7, 2020 • Art

Department Weekly


five things on the mind of tori who is quarantined outside NYC

puzzles In another life, I was part of a puzzling empire. Everyone in my family gets really into it... It’s weird, but I kinda love it. I guess we are related after all... My dreams have been really vivid. Either I’m sleeping

too much or I don’t sleep enough out of quarantine. Either way, I’m highly entertained every night. #TodayisCancelled feels so right. I need to better monopolize on this. But also, maybe I got a taste of my own medicine. Literally everything every day is just cancelled.

Are we going to get like a month off in the future because the ozone is healing itself and the environment is rapidly getting better? I hope so. Mostly for the environment, but also for me. I never really wanted to buy an I <3 NY shirt, but I’m thinking it might be my “quarantine is over” comeback shirt.

I think I would have really thrived in the olden days. Not biblically or during the Salem Witch Trials, but definitely a time when a lot less was happening...

I’ve been able to get back to my roots in cowtown Connecticut


Art Department Weekly • April 7, 2020

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