Art Department Weekly | Issue 111 Vol. 13

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Best of




variant CREATING A



One isn’t supposed to keep Pantone swatch books for too long because they lose their efficacy, but Luis questioned holding onto his old books at all when considering he hasn’t requested a Pantone spot in ages. I said other people are doing better things than I could with their old swatches, so I’m too intimidated to get creative with his old books. Looking back to see what 2021’s color of the year, I was instantly reminded of all the neutral and bright yellow (Ultimate Gray and Illuminating) interior decorating ideas that popped up last December. Can’t wait to see all the takes on Very Peri. —MV

PMS 219 was never color of the year, but Barbie celebrated it in 2011. Pantone 144 C really is that orange.

USEFUL GIFTS Ever since I passed up the opportunity to buy plastic pieces that protect the cords that connect iPhones to their chargers and headphones, I’ve started scouring bargain section technology. This particular neck lounger jumped out as funny—I told Luis he could use it to watch live sports while playing video games. If Adore! had used a commuter who needed to hold a pole and groceries rather than this woman in bed, I might have taken it more seriously. —MV

When the people who told you they don’t watch The Office are sharing and laughing at each other’s comparisons years later, it must be a good show, right?

IT’S AN IDEA I forget what the theme was for this listical but after seeing so many acquaintances apply to hundreds of jobs without results, I liked the thinking. It might originally be from 2019, but the desperation to just be in a work setting after pandemic is spot on. —MV

Just the classic and princess superfans...? Because I sent this to a Marvel and Star Wars superfan before remembering I love to tell him Princess Leia is a Disney princess.

Art Department Weekly is published by Dinosaur Girly Productions, 184 Bay 26th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11214. The entire contents of ADW are protected by copyright and may not be reproduced without expressed written consent of the publisher. ADW accepts no responsibility for unsolicited manuscripts and/or photographs and assumes no liability for products or services advertised herein. ADW reserves the right to edit, rewrite, refuse or reuse material, is not responsible for errors or omissions, and may feature same in other mediums for any and all purposes.






“Cheating is my special way of winning” -Boom

COMING SOON AS AN NFT The only way this gets better is if @freeze_magazine posed in front of a framed 30 x 40 print of one of these memes. Then he’d be stealing the way Emily Ratajkowski posed in front of a print of herself in “Buying Myself: A Model for Redistribution,” which I understand to be a print of an image of an NFT made using Ratajkowski’s Instagram account without her permission. The New York Times Magazine profile on her is worth the listen if you search “Sunday Read” under The Daily podcast. —MV

“It’s syyyy-mees. Not sy-a-mese” -Betty

“I know nothing about charging the power bumpkins” -Madeline

“Not everything needs to be a quote” -Luis

THAT REGISTERED My wedding registry included photography equipment, so I don’t think there’s anything wrong with adding Lego sets to the list of potential gifts. The man in the picture above added the Millenium Falcon to his wedding registry. According to Instagram, Andy Kim’s bride wasn’t thrilled when he added set 7965 but “to not seem completely self-indulgent, I told her I’d wait until we had kids to build it. Today, after 10 patient years, the adventure begins. #MayThe4th.” That set really did come out in 2011. I’m not sure if I’m more impressed they were able to keep the box safe for so long or awed that there really are other people with basements like mine. —MV

“You’re so pretty with your little head” -Luis

“Dude, I drop knowledge like that all the fucking time” -Luis

“So you’re gonna steal my quote and make it your brand?” -Madeline

“Fuck shit” -Jets fans

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PERCEPTION PATTERN Rounding up and sorting out what warranted a screenshot between issues

Girl, that brain of yours is a national treasure, you feel me? Light NOT HERMIONE


Without reading the caption, I thought American Girl had polished all the character out of this doll

A palindrome and an ambigram

...THEN THEY’RE SWEET Sour Patch Kids tried to comfort Team Swift

REDUNDANT The lid is designed to eliminate straws!

OVERPOWERED If you collect checks for dancing, TikTok should not be a challenge

The push to embrace the joy of missing out

GREAT EXPECTATIONS Because family is forever

GOOD RIDDANCE Lists like this remind me Shakespeare on the Ropes is still available for sale

GATHER Jesus might be the reason, but put on a mask



The new calendar alert felt like a blast from the past when it used “Indian”

Permission to shout curse words is good, but a hot dog suit is more memorable



Sophia from Hanson Robotics makes the dancing dog look tame

Woman faked blindness for 28 years so she wouldn’t have to greet people


Know this: the essential you has serious game. High five!


Art Department Weekly • December 2021




OLD SUDDENLY Sometimes I like to imagine what it would have been like if a pandemic had struck before it was so easy to go online. It’s fun to be scared sometimes. Then I go back on social media.

Fact: Your soul rains magic 24/7

Check it: What you got going on makes birds sing. That’s just science. BE JOLLY Boosting others’ moods is easier than ever with this pep talk generator from Raccoon Society. It also takes killing them with kindness to a whole new level when you’re speaking in a gibberish code.

My mom is one of those people who feels forever 25. Meanwhile, pre-pandemic I thought I was in my 50s. The best part of being old is the stories we can tell about what technology used to be like.

@jilliantamaki illustrates her memories:

Dang... Your hair today raises the roof. Now let’s dance.

SETTING PRIORITIES Betty currently has birthday issues trying to log into Among Us online, but all it wants is a date.

Back off, LinkedIn. Maybe saying “I have no time” means “I prioritize drinking wine and not giving a fuck about unrealistic expectations.” It’s okay to prioritize self-care.

The way survivors of puberty during times of ancient technology came together was magical.

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y ll a e r g n i th y H as an


The return of the New York City marathon felt like it should be a step toward pre-pandemic life. When the 2020 race was canceled, the 50th anniversary was canceled. Before I lived in New York, I knew people who wanted to run in the New York City marathon. When I moved here, I didn’t want to be a tourist. The first time I finally went to the marathon, George W. Bush was in office. Whole neighborhoods seemed to turn out to show some local pride. There are plenty of things to contrast between 2007 and 2021, like outdoor dining, bootcut jeans, pet dogs, and camcorders.


Art Department Weekly • December 2021

BLUE TAPE The police line used to only run down the middle of the street, so spectators ended up completely on the course (center left). As a rule follower, I want everyone to take the blue tape seriously. The women in front of CityMD were not behind the tape, but they were still on the curb— and they cheered so hard for every racer other spectators asked if they knew the racers personally. What irritates me to no end is spectators not only strolling down the down the street but parking themselves right in my kids’ sight line (bottom right). Hello? There’s so much room on the sidewalk!



BLURRED LINES Other than checking the file name, the slow shutter speed I used in 2021 is my only clue what year I shot the dollar bill suit at Central Park. People are blocking the gates that might not have been there in 2007.

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2007 Outdoor tables on the Upper East Side are full of people which is only so weird now because there’s a boarded up store front and cops. In the two pictures below, cycling equipment is more restricted and every street is blocked by city vehicles now. At the least, the handcycle is missing an orange safety flag and vehicles would parked sideways to protect everyone.

BEIJING OLYMPICS The red jackets on these guys trying to catch their friend on the course designates they had attempted to qualify for the 2008 Summer Olympics marathon. The 2022 Winter Olympics will also be in Beijing.


Art Department Weekly • December 2021

COMING THROUGH Apparently any car could cross police lines in 2007, pedestrians be damned.

Can you tell one page is from the Bush administration?

2021 The delivery guy who had to ditch his scooter is the most obvious current thing to me. If I hadn’t just ridden the subway and heard all the automated announcements for where elevators are located, I would assume wheelchairs were always able to access the race course. The outdoor extension of a restaurant and heavy duty NYPD truck at Mile 4 are new twists, but they’re a little inside baseball.

December 2021 • Art

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Seems familiar • Balloons • Colorful Umbrellas • Jumping fences





EVOLVED If you had told me in 2007 that everyone would use their phones to record video while wearing yoga pants with pockets and mesh cutouts, it would have sounded like sci-fi. Women walking around with phones in their pockets? But zoom in on the center picture. Meanwhile the crew with the thundersticks (center right) must have tiny flip phones.


Art Department Weekly • December 2021


Well that ’s different...

TRENDING Not wanting to cross the police line, I followed the tape and ended up on the green course (top) which was between waves leaving the street open to spectators. Back on the main course, there were influencers (left), what looked like a MAGA house party (center), and an inflatable unicorn costume (right).

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ALL NEW This spread is all from 2021. Motion blur isn’t new, but this year I played with a flash and Boom turned the the donut box into a drum. Low police helicopters felt new.


Art Department Weekly • December 2021

CHEERING SECTION The water station at Mile 4 is at the top of a hill so racers need extra encouragement. A family (opposite page and below) camped out at the start of the incline, picking names from the crowd, like “Annie” (left).

CROSSING The family of a girl dressed like she was coming from her First Communion waited for a break to cross near Mile 4.

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Art Department Weekly • December 2021

BROOKLYN The course felt quiet this year with fewer neighbors on stoops and fire escapes. Racers took their own pictures and cheered for police officers. Only once did I see spectators try to get off the course for police traffic (center right). There seemed to be fewer bands along 4th Ave., which might be even more why the baby (above center) was ready to rock out. Cross streets that were blocked off but not part of the course were used for other sports (above right).

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CUPS This was the first year I saw someone sweeping the cups. Two funeral homes along 4th Ave. blasted music to motivate racers, but the one next to a water station had to rake cups as well.






Art Department Weekly • December 2021

THE USUAL Poland Spring and Gatorade from volunteers in orange coats near banks of portable toilets is not new. While I thought it was sad there wasn’t a band at the gas station this year (right), my pictures of that station in 2007 show gas was $3.27.


2007 UP HIGH Without crowds in 2021, there wasn’t really any reason for fans to climb anything like 2007.




2007 UNCHANGED Costumes and sidewalk runners are a staple.

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A mix of reactions Not every dog taken to the race was comfortable with all the people and ringing cowbells, but dogs were everywhere—even racing.


Art Department Weekly • December 2021

MORE DOGS Big and small dogs were all over the course this year, but I only took pictures of two dogs in 2007.


2007 FAIR GAME A woman hurried on the Upper East Side with a framed painting on her back. I needed to know if this was a joke she had with a racer, but Luis is sure she fished it out of the trash. There’s a delivery bike and a dog to complete my impression of 2021.

December 2021 • Art

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One time... 2007 was the only time I ventured to the Queens portion of the course near the 59th Street bridge. But then I hurried off to First Avenue and Central Park.

CROWDED FIELD The last mile of the course brought tourists, vendors, bands, and locals trying to enjoy the park on a Sunday.


Art Department Weekly • December 2021

FINISH STRONG A stranger on Central Park West stopped to offer me their badge because they were headed home and I had a big camera. It was a crazy nice gesture and gave me access to the finish line. Seeing so many people power through those very last meters is unreal.

December 2021 • Art

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TAKE TWO Betty dives back into colorful water BY MADELINE STRUM PHOTOGRAPHY

FULL CIRCLE The idea for this shoot

came up almost a year ago when Betty suddenly hated baths. The Crayola color drops were so vibrant and Kal’s hair was so long, a mermaid shoot was begging to happen. I was hoping the shoot for Issue 104 did not really act like propaganda to sway Betty back into liking baths. Instead she got there on her own.


Art Department Weekly • December 2021

December 2021 • Art

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Madeline challenged Luis to name five TV shows he loved in 2021 that he did not see on Disney+

1. Hacks

This HBO Max comedy series was my favorite show of 2021. Jean Smart as aging comedienne Deborah Vance and her relationship with new writer Ava (Hannah Einbender) is both poignant and hilarious. The dark mentorship between the uber successful Deborah and the entitled millennial Ava was the most pitch perfect thing on television this year.

2. Ted Lasso

There was no way Ted Lasso could live up to the hype. Then I got a free year of Apple TV+ and realized I was completely wrong. The show was perfect for where we were as a society in the second year of a pandemic. The highly entertaining Season 2 brings in a therapist who questions Jason Sudeikis’ eternally optimistic Ted. All the characters grow—and so does the show.

6. Heels

This Cinemax series successfully weaves outside of the ring drama with inside the ropes escapades. Set in Georgia’s Duffy Wrestling League featuring Stephen Amell (of Arrow fame) and Alexander Ludwig as the Spade brothers, it is chock full of wrestling terminology and overly dramatic family dynamics.

7. Lupin

I was pleasantly surprised by this French espionage drama on Netflix. Omar Sy is captivating as Assane Diop the Lupinobsessed main character who attempts to clear his father’s name, putting him in the crosshairs of a wealthy, wellconnected family. Highly stylized and entertaining.

8. Shrill

You wouldn’t think an aging television actor, a failed Broadway producer, and a young woman with a dark past would work, but this show absolutely does. Steve Martin, Martin Short, and Selena Gomez as podcast-obsessed strangers looking to solve a murder in their own building is the best thing hulu produced all year.

The final season of this Aidy Bryant vehicle was my favorite of the three seasons. The show was unexpectedly cancelled after filming which left them needing to re-edit the season finale as it was now the series finale. The ending seemed rushed but also realistic. Plus there was something heart-warming to the ending being Annie and Fran together, because in reality, theirs was always the most important and best relationship on the show.

4. Curb Your Enthusiasm

9. Cobra Kai

3. Only Murders in the Building

After 11 seasons, this show has not missed a beat. In fact, one of the best episodes of the entire series was in 2021. “The Watermelon” entered the pantheon as one of the most daring and improbable episodes of television ever.

5. The Wonder Years

I was skeptical of ABC’s relaunch of The Wonder Years. I hold the original in such high regard. The remake focuses on an AfricanAmerican family in late ’60s Alabama is the best new network TV show. Narrated by Don Cheadle, it gives such a sweetly nostalgic view of civil rights, race dynamics, and the Vietnam war through the eyes of young Dean. A rare successful remake.


Art Department Weekly • December 2021

Season 3 of the series was a fun nostalgic trip through the history of the Karate Kid movies. Daniel’s trip to Japan has him run into Komiko and Chozen (both from Karate Kid 2) while Johnny rekindles a relationship with Ali (Elizabeth Shue), his high school flame from Karate Kid. Johnny and Daniel ultimately realize they have to come together to defeat the real enemy, John Kreese.

10. Schmigadoon

Another Apple TV+ entry, this Lorne Michaels produced musical series features Cecily Strong and Keegan Michal Key. A wrong turn on a hiking trip leads this struggling couple to explore themselves and their relationship in the musical town of Schmigadoon. The musical moments are incredibly well produced and performed. If you’re a musical fan, this is the show for you.

A PHENOMENAL YEAR FOR DISNEY+ Every Marvel and Star Wars series was an absolute homerun. Here is how I would rank them...


Snappy dialogue with star making turns from Hailee Steinfeld and Florence Pugh (really building off her performance in Black Widow) make the title character (Jeremy Renner’s Clint Barton)a costar in his own series. It draws heavily from the Matt Fraction/David Aja series. The most comic-inspired live action series from Disney, it is absolute perfection.


The first and hands down the most emotionally gripping Marvel series. When Vision tells Wanda “But what is grief if not love persevering” you instantly get the emotional motive for Elizabeth Olsen’s Wanda Maximoff. This series will have the heaviest impact in Phase Four of the MCU. Also, a special shoutout to Kathryn Hahn who is perfect as Agatha Harkness.


Tom Hiddleston returns as the mercurial God of Mischief in a reality bending hop through alternate realities where Loki looks for variants of himself wreaking havoc throughout the multiverse. Sophia DiMarino’s Sylvie is a scene stealing dynamo opposite Hiddleston. Along with Wandavision, this series will have echoes

throughout MCU Phase Four. In the season finale, Jonathan Major as the unnamed Kang sets the stage as a major villainous player in the Marvel Universe

Star Wars Visions

Expansions to the Star Wars universe are generally met with disdain by the fickle fan base. Star Wars Visions was just the opposite. Widely-praised, these animeinspired takes on the Star Wars mythology were beautifully animated, wonderfully written, and featured a top-notch voice cast (Lucy Liu, Allison Brie, David Harbour, Neil Patrick Harris, and Kyle Chandler). I can’t wait for further Visions.

Falcon and Winter Soldier

Taking place right after the events of Avengers: Endgame, this series features Falcon (Anthony Mackie) and Bucky/ WinterSoldier (Sebastian Stan) as they confront their pasts while paving the way for their new futures. Along the way, they go on a globe-trotting adventure that brings them into contact with Sharon Carter and Baron Zemo. While the series was built as a vehicle for the ascension of Falcon to Captain America it also gave us the debuts of U.S. Agent and Valentina


Allegra de Fontaine (the incomparable Julia Louis Dreyfus).

What If?

Playing to the multiversity laid out in both WandaVision and Loki, Marvel expanded upon that notion with What If? An animated romp through the multiverse, the Watcher looks in on alternate versions of main characters from the MCU. As the series progressed an Infinity Stonepowered Ultron had to be dealt with by the characters we had been introduced to throughout the season. The standout for me (and for Marvel as she is currently getting her own comic series) was Captain Carter, a super-soldier serumpowered Peggy Carter.

Bad Batch

Any expansion of the animated Clone Wars is a good thing. This series did not disappoint. Following the exploits of the Bad Batch (who were originally introduced in the Disney+ Clone Wars Season 7), we see them deal with the effects of Order 66 while helping another clone (Omega) escape from Kamino. The crew become a family as they journey through the universe on adventures.

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COMICS OF THE YEAR I read more comics (virtually) in 2021 than I did in 2020. I mostly followed the creators I love who have a proven track record with me —LV


Jorge Fornes and Tom King put out my favorite comic of 2021. Another great expansion to the brilliant world of The Watchmen. More political thriller/ detective story than an outright Rorschach book, this title completely delivers. Incredibly smart and wellconceived. Fornes is an absolute revelation.

Strange Adventures

Another masterpiece by Tom King. This time the art chores are divvied up between Doc Shaner and Mitch Gerads. The book puts an intergalactic spin on the story of a war hero returning home and trying to settle back into life. Haunted by his decisions, Adam Strange (a wonderful and often over-looked character) has to deal with the far reaching ramifications of his actions. Mr. Terrific (who has never been better) ultimately has to make incredibly tough decisions in one of the top books of the year.

Human Target

While only two issues of this series have been released in 2021, it is absolutely worthy of entry on this list. Tom King crafts another wonderful tale this time featuring the more comedic cast of the JLI and human target Christopher Chance in an epic story involving big baddie Maxwell Lord. I can’t wait to see how this title plays out over the rest of the year. If you haven’t seen Greg Smallwood’s lush art on this book, run to your nearest shop and snag a copy.

Superman Son of Kal-El

No book generated quite as much buzz this year as Tom Taylor’s book featuring new Superman Jonathan Kent. While much of the press focused on Jon coming out as queer, what they’re really missing is a sweet coming of age story. While Jon has been experienced for years, stepping into the role of Superman comes with its own unique set of pressure.


James Tynion IV and Jorge Jimenez dominated the sales charts this year with their take on Batman. Introducing a ton of new characters (Miracle Molly, Punchline,


Art Department Weekly • December 2021

Clownhunter, Underbroker and the Designer) in an epic battle for Gotham which ultimately led to Harley and Poison Ivy admitting their love for each other in an in canon story. An epic run by this fan favorite creative duo.

We Have Demons

The first in a trio of Scott Snyder comixology originals has him paired with his best-selling co-creator Greg Capullo. The book features a team of demon hunters as they try to indoctrinate a new member after the death of her father. With a traitor in their midst, the team tries to continue their demon hunting ways while looking for the enemy within. Really nice start to this series, and, as always, beautifully illustrated by Capullo.


My favorite of the three Snyder comixology originals features brilliant pencils by Francis Manapul. A futuristic techno-noir whodunit is quickly paced and features some of the best art on the market today. The coloring by Manapul is so lush you will feel like you are part of their world.

Night of the Ghoul

A creepy horror title by Francesco Francavilla and Snyder. A decades spanning tale which brings us from World War II all the way to the current day in a senior hospital. Francavilla truly is a master of horror storytelling. Brilliant book. I can’t wait for more.

Black Widow

This book deserves to be on this list simply because of the unbelievable cover work of Adam Hughes. Hands down the best covers on the planet. I gush over them every month. If you crack the book open you will find an emotional, epic journey written by Kelly Thompson. It’s the best the Widow has been in years.

VIDEO GAMES OF THE YEAR according to LV MLB The Show 21

For the third year in a row, the class of the sports simulation division was MLB The Show. While nothing was done to upgrade the offline franchise mode (much to the dismay of many offline content creators) the Diamond Dynasty game mode continues to be head and shoulders above the competition in card collecting play. Easily the most rewarding to its fanbase and the only one of the three major sports simulation games that does not require a single financial investment after the initial purchase of the game.

NBA 2K22

A huge rebound for this game after the disappointment that was 2K21. The game features a much more intuitive defensive AI and a much more rewarding offline experience. The introduction of Clutch as a game mode seems to have revitalized the online gameplay community as it’s a shorter more offensive 5x5 battle. The game’s not perfect, but overall, a huge step in the right direction.

Madden 22

My first step back into Madden in almost five years. While I enjoy the gameplay (all offline) and their card collecting mode, I find their multiple forms of currency mind-boggling and utterly unnecessary. Defensive AI is not very challenging to defeat if you are a veteran Madden player. So, while I don’t have a huge point of comparison, I’ve actually enjoyed Madden, which is something I haven’t said in years.

Miles Morales Spider-Man

Even though this game came out in November of 2020, my son and I didn’t finish this until January ’21. An absolutely stunning sequel to the original Spider-Man game. The graphics are so visually stunning you will really feel like you are swinging through Manhattan. A fun original story with killer graphics make for one of the best gaming experiences of the year.


A phenomenal PS5 expansion of the Little Big Planet universe. A more 360 experience this game is totally immersive and fun. While learning some of the new gadgets and which buttons activate them can seem challenging (they seemingly change every level) the game is a delight for all ages.

EXPANSION PACKS I started designing concept cards for MLB The Show earlier this year as a way to kill some time while I waited for the new version of the game to be released. Here is a sample of some of my favorite cards I designed in 2021. The Barry Bonds was my most popular card of the year on Twitter.

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MOVIES OF THE YEAR With kids stuck at home until August, Luis saw a lot more than 10 movies 2021 This was an incredibly strange year for movies. With the pandemic still ravaging parts of the country, most movies were released on streaming services. As Spring turned to Summer,

1. Spider-Man No Way Home The best Spider-Man movie to date, and quite possibly the best Marvel film ever. I’ll resist the urge to include a spoilery by simply stating it’s a visual masterpiece that is so deeply emotional and actionpacked at the same time. Tom Holland is the heart and soul of the new MCU.

2. In The Heights

Having never seen the stage version, I wasn’t sure what to expect besides great music and choreography. I did not expect to instantly be transported to Washington Heights in a peek at what was eerily reminiscent to my upbringing. I was absolutely blown away.

3. Encanto

The rare Disney film with no main villain, Encanto follows the Madrigal family through the eyes of Mirabel, the lone non-magical member of the family. In lieu of a main antagonist, the film finds each of the major characters struggling with their inner demons and self-doubt to rescue themselves, their family, and their neighborhood. That plus the original music from Lin-Manuel is phenomenal.

the movie studios pivoted and released some of the larger tentpoles to theaters. Almost every movie on the list below is available via streaming, save for one, which is my favorite.

4. Black Widow

Released simultaneously on streaming and in theaters (making its $183 million box office even more impressive) this release put a perfect bow on Scarlett Johansson’s time as Natasha Romanoff. The introduction of Florence Pugh’s Yelena imbued the entire franchise with a jolt of energy that I feel Marvel will benefit from for years to come. Also, the version of “Smells Like Teen Spirit” during the opening credits was pure perfection. Great take on that Nirvana classic.

5. The Micthells vs. the Machines

The best non-Disney animated film since Into The Spiderverse (also by the same team) follows a family that is seemingly drifting apart while on a road-trip when they all have to work together to defeat a global robot takeover. Hilarious and full of heart, one of the best family films of 2021.

BEST OF New technology expanded so Luis ranks services


s the pandemic raged on and the Delta variant begat Omicron it became another year that meant if you wanted new content, you had to subscribe to streaming services. For most that meant subscribing to multiple services. The streaming services shell out more money for top creators and content, which means network TV has fallen way behind in producing quality content. Just about every Emmy award winner this year came from a streaming platform or premium cable (which now mostly have their own streaming platforms as well). DISNEY+ was by far the most viewed platform this year for us. The MCU television series were all huge hits. Premiering Black Widow to a streaming audience worldwide also proved to be a smart business decision. While it was a quiet year for live action Star Wars (both animated series that launched were critically well-received), they look to end the year strong with


Art Department Weekly • December 2021

STREAMING the Book of Boba premiering on the final Wednesday of the year. Raya and the Last Dragon as well as Encanto quickly came to Disney+ as well after short stays in the theater. If this is their future model, I don’t see any service knocking off Disney+ soon. APPLETV+ proved to be a nice welcome addition (yay, to a free year-long subscription). The brilliant Ted Lasso and Schmigadoon made for a nice one-two punch. With other sci-fi titles, I can’t wait to take a larger bite of the apple. HULU was my third favorite streamer of the year. With great original content that skewed more comedic (pen15, Shrill, Only Murders in the Building) it became our go-to when we wanted to look for something to make us laugh. This is another streamer that I need to dive into more as they have an expanding partnership with FX. (I really want to see What We Do In The Shadows and Reservation Dogs.)

6. Luca

This gorgeous, coming of age, literal fish-out-of-water story was another homerun by the team at Pixar. You will feel like you are transported to the Italian Riviera watching the exploits of Luca and his best friend Alberto.

7. Judas and the Black Messiah

My favorite drama of the year starred Daniel Kaluuya as charismatic Black Panther leader Fred Hampton and his betrayal by LaKeith Stanfield’s Bill O’Neal. Very powerful, I wish we had gotten to see more of Fred’s life, as Kaluuya’s performance was my favorite of the year.

8. Shang-Chi

The charismatic Simu Liu burst into the MCU in this origin story. While the story included more fantasy elements than I expected, the movie paid homage to the great Chinese fantasy epics of the early 21st century. I was not very familiar with the character before this movie, but I want to see more of Simu and Awkwafina in the Marvel Universe.

9. The Suicide Squad

James Gunn took this DC franchise and gave it the Guardians of the Galaxy treatment. An off-beat team of villains and castoffs, they band together to defeat the Kaiju-style starfish Starro. Margot Robbie (Harley Quinn), Idris Elba

(Bloodsport), John Cena (Peacemaker) and Sylvester Stallone (King Shark) are all perfectly cast and shine with Gunn’s quirky dialogue and characterizations.

10. 8-Bit Christmas

A sweet, fun holiday movie starring Neil Patrick Harris as he recounts the tale of his journey to acquire a Nintendo video game console in the mid-80’s. I didn’t expect to like this movie as much as I did, but as a gaming obsessed dad, it hit me right in the sweet spot.

KAL’S TOP 5 CARD GAMES 1. Magic the Gathering 2. Pokémon 3. Here to Slay 4. Exploding Minions 5. Exploding Kittens

NETFLIX was fourth on my list of streaming platforms. The OG didn’t pump out a lot of original content I was interested in watching this year. Besides Lupin and Cobra Kai, I can’t think of another big original thing I watched on the platform in 2021. It did prove essential in re-watching some of the shows I had seen in the past (Breaking Bad, Narcos, Daredevil, etc.) HBO MAX is hard to rank as a streaming service. While being a great landing spot for all of HBO’s regular content and original series, they started to release a series of their own original

I really like Magic the Gathering and the Pokémon trading card game. They are both really fun with cool cards and cool art. My strongest card from each is Shadrix Silverquill and rainbow Vikavolt GX.

titles. One of which was very own series of the year, Hacks. HBO Max benefitted from having all of the WB movie releases simultaneously released on the service at the same time. I can’t imagine that will continue in 2022. The least watch service has to be AMAZON PRIME. Besides Boys and Invincible, I can’t think of a single other thing I watch regularly. With the Lord of the Rings on the horizon that should change, but unless they announce a third season of Fleabag, I can’t imagine coming back to this service regularly.

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BEST OF BROOKLYN Not really. But these are all things ADW saw in Brooklyn since the last regular issue • The DMV • Bus Ads • Selfies • Mega Wall-E • Playground Exercises • Dog Harnesses • Coach Beard • Jibaritos

LEFT SIDE Madeline took pictures of Luis taking a selfie to pressure him into being in the selfie. Judge must not have been alone in escaping his harness if another harness was tacked to a telephone pole. Luis wore sunglasses for the first time.


Art Department Weekly • December 2021

RIGHT SIDE When Madeline arrived for her DMV appointment, the line was so long outside the building that she was bored enough to write captions on her phone about all the insurance, lawyers, key chains, printing services, and so on for sale in her picture of the lobby. When she left, there was no line at all. Bus ads for Bergen Basin Realty follow Madeline everywhere with what looks like a man trying to fake being tall. What looked like Wall-E followed a man with a remote down the street. Betty tried to relax at the park while a stranger did pull-ups and stretched his groin on the fireman’s pole. Luis danced with joy after eating really good alcapurrias at the jibarito restaurant.


ROUND UP More from the end of 2021 we want to address New York elects its next mayor in off year races—when there is no state or federal election. After the city’s first ranked choice primary and months of hearing elections are stolen, it seemed like no one showed up to vote at the polling site I worked November 3. Sliwa had a lot of voters and some of our city council races were really tight, but I think the Sliwa yard sign in a trash car during early voting was a pretty clear forecast for how things would go. His “please vote” signs were all over the neighborhood in places that hopefully celebrated Sesame Street’s newest puppet. But “we” also voted in a Representative in D.C. who might not support books about Ruby Bridges in classrooms— she goes on TV to defend ignoring the insurrection (even though her contact page warns threatening calls will be prosecuted to the fullest extent).

NOTICEABLE America’s first woman president took office briefly in 2021. Former Sen. Claire McCaskill will not take credit for baking that cake behind her. The Starbucks near the Freedom Tower wants you to never forget 9/11 just in case seeing all the signs for “One World Trade Center” have you thinking maybe only one tower fell. And the Today Show snuck in a disclaimer to say, “Taiwan is self-governed” but also highlight it as part of China when identifying where in the world their Beijing correspondent is.

December 2021 • Art

Department Weekly


ELITIST GLORY Madeline tries to capture it while she can When Meredith bought out and then moved into the last building Time built, the first thing Luis relayed was there were printing plates covering the walls by the elevators. It’s one of those bizarre things you can’t really explain to a generation that sees everything 3D printed. (Throw back to Page 5.) I had to see the plates, but I also had kids to drop off and pick up from school. It took until Dotdash bought Meredith to suddenly make time to pay homage to the plates while I could. The same way Hamilton is super out of fashion now, I’m sure Henry Luce is the pinnacle of main stream media telling the general public what to think about world events. But I loved Time Inc. I moved to New York very suddenly to be a TI custom publishing intern. Let me have a minute.

When Madeline worked for Time Inc., the AOL deal was falling apart and this view was a smoldering mess.


WHAT MADELINE SEES Far left and far right are the faces of two guys not taking pictures because they know it’s a waste of film. They are on the wrong side of the ring. Whatever they take will not be framed 30x40 in the future. They would go down in history as a warning in journalism school to be (thankful to be) in the right place.


Art Department Weekly • December 2021

head, whoever is tearing plates off the wall thinks they are a real print person and would not want to see the Luce Auditorium renamed.

ARTISTS WE LOVE: MADELINE VEGA To which Madeline objected because basically every issue is already devoted to her art, but what other artist could Luis love (and support) more? How do you define an artist? Webster’s dictionary defines it as “a person who produces paintings or drawings as a profession or hobby.” I find that definition limiting and lacking. An artist is so much more than that. A good artist can transport you with their work all the while crafting a story that you feel like you are a part of. All I’ve ever wanted to be was an artist. Here at ADW we’ve covered Artists We Love for a long time now. This issue’s Artist We Love is very personal to me and my absolute favorite artist, Madeline Vega. Whether it’s through the lens of a camera, the tip of a paint brush, or from her Wacom pen, Madeline creates immersive pieces of art. She creates pieces that generate a reaction while telling the story of the subject. In an era where everyone fashions themselves a photographer because they can take stylized picture with their phone, rare is the person who makes a connection with their subject and in turn can make you feel the same connection. Madeline achieves this. I’ve often told Madeline that she goes beyond simply taking a picture to find the emotional core of a subject. In a career that has spanned more than a quarter century, I’ve rarely if ever met a photographer that can not only take a good picture but also find and connect with the subject in a way that she does. It is a rare and unique talent. Madeline has a chameleonic ability to adapt her art to fit whatever the situation calls for. Her economy of lines is something that as an artist I constantly am in awe of. Her use of color is soft and delicate and rarely over powering. She is as complete an artist I’ve ever been around... in multiple mediums, which is unbelievable. The eyes are often said to be the windows to the soul. It’s the first thing I look at in any piece of art, be it a photograph, illustration, or painting. When you look at a piece of Madeline’s, you see a deep soulful connection. One that is mesmerizing, transformative, rare, and inspirational. Madeline Vega... an artist I love.

From a model who knew she was being used for a lookbook to Christian Siriano at the end of a day of filming, this is an abbreviated collection of Madeline’s subjects.

December 2021 • Art

Department Weekly


BACKUP MEMORY Copying old hard drives unearthed a few things worth sharing

FOR THE DUBBS Pictures of our TV had to be taken in the hope it’d become future content.

The Western Digital used clicks to beg the data be transferred before it was all lost. A bunch of images are corrupted, but in the way I went through every last jump drive and external to get the jump on future problems, I finally found the pictures of Luis’ old neighborhood we needed as art for “In the Heights” (Issue 109). If you could see the full size version of the track picture, there is clearly graffiti on the buildings in the distance and that looks like Chucky’s ice cream truck parked on the corner (Issue 110). Green Lantern and the two Supermen fell over during the August 2011 earthquake. More shocking is realizing that Disney bought the Star Wars franchise in 2012 and George Lucas might have made $10 billion off the 55% cash/45% stock sale. —MV LV might own the same sweater as Reed from The Fresh Beats Band.

CeeLo Green looking like a Bond villain on The Voice.

Jeopardy was once appointment viewing here for at least a year.

LAMEBOOK Before apps, there were so many sites for laughing at social media.

Carla Gugino on Saved by the Bell. “She doesn’t age,” Luis says.

OLD SCHOOL I used to make a monthly printed newsletter, but someone else turned the lyrics from Hamilton into a cheer for kids.


Art Department Weekly • December 2021

Ye way before he put on a MAGA hat and ran for president.

WINNING THE SUPER BOWL My favorite Madden experience has always been creating Team Backup. Finding hidden gems was a staple of my gaming. Madden11 on the PS3 was quite possibly my favorite Team Backup. Led by Tim Tebow, we ran a full RPO offense all the way to a Super Bowl win, meeting Obama. I think I played five full seasons with them. My research on team depth charts translated to dominating fantasy football leagues. I won multiple leagues over the years on my way to the nickname Vegatron (the fantasy football cpu).

THIS IS HOW WE LIVED When I see Kal sitting on the coffee table that was supposed to stop him from getting near Tiny, the TV, that makes sense. Kal with a couch full of animal crackers? Sure. That’s so 2011. A wall full of Post-It art? Of course. That’s what happened at Maxim. Things don’t look like this anymore, but that’s because Kal doesn’t believe me he doesn’t need big curves to make a good figure eight and it would definitely not be cute if he dumped his snack on the couch. Luis, meanwhile, uses color but does not display his work.

December 2021 • Art

Department Weekly



And few more from Boom’s sketchbook


Our local manger scene was guarded by a German Sheppard and ugly sweaters duke it out.


Art Department Weekly • December 2021

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