Tim and Jeremy are both waiters at a restaurant in downtown New York City. During slow times at work, to stave off boredom when it is slow, the two young men draw pictures. These pictures are made using ink and what is called the "Triple Dupe Pad," a book of paper used to place orders in the kitchen. The drawings usually take about a week to make, all the while also being used by fellow employees to take orders; this sometimes leads to other collaborators or in a couple cases, to the loss of the work. The drawings are then scanned and colored in Photoshop where they come to life in stunning technicolor! The subject matter varies from piece to piece, as they are made over a long course of time and under various moods and states of mind. They all retain a playfulness that serves as a coping mechanism after spending a night catering to the endless needs of hungry patrons.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

#62 "Blue Shirt, Period." June 6, 2013

(Click on the image to make it appear larger)

New York City certainly has it's share of pests.
They say that the rat population in New York is 8 million, meaning one rat for every person who lives here. I like that idea and I will continue to spread that myth even though there seems to be a much smaller number of rats living here. But, like anyone who has grown up with cartoons on the mind, the idea that there is one rat for every person makes for a great cartoon idea. I like the idea that there is a "rat Tim" and a "rat Jeremy" and so on and on until every person has a rat doppelganger. Like in the movie, "Ratatouille" the rats are having their own lives and going about it in a parallel miniature New York right under our feet. Some of the rats wear glasses, some of them have funny haircuts and tattoos. Sometimes they get into KFC and run around for the camera crews that show it on the news.
Thankfully, we have never had any rats in the restaurant. We've had other things, but never rats, thank goodness. As long as I have worked there, we have had cats. The first one was old when I got there, and though he was very loved by the staff and the late-night patrons, he wasn't very good at his job. Namely, catching mice. Now, before I go on, I just want the light-hearted readers to know that mice are a part of living in a big city. They live outdoors, but like any warm blooded creature, they like being warm more than being cold, so if they get the opportunity to be inside, the are going to take that opportunity. Sometimes, this means that they will live inside a huge building complex with multiple underground entrances that houses over 100 apartments, multiple restaurants and other businesses. So when you are in a New York City restaurant, remember that there has been, or currently is, an active pest presence. So anyway, this cat was pretty old and didn't have the will to hunt anymore. I resented him for that and I would always tell him to do his job and get rid of these little dudes. Well, he never listened to me and soon he died.
We replaced him with a brother and sister duo by the names of Coco and Felix. Coco was the star, and Felix was the workman. Coco would come upstairs at 10 or 11 and lounge on the bar liked she owned the place, which she kind of did since she was a "child" of the actual owners. We would put out plates of ice and she would lick the ice and the people at the bar would go gaga over her. Felix would hang back in the basement until everyone was gone and then he would do the patrol. This was the case for years and years until the NYC Health Department started cracking down on all furry residents and started giving out grades. Before the grading system, it was just pass/fail. Now they grade you. It's a racket though, as it is just another way for the city to squeeze money out of it's business operators since you can essentially pay your way to an A. When this system was first put into place, you might remember, the restaurant got a "C." I talk about it a little more extensively in this post from a couple years ago. Well, the cats got kicked out and we ended up getting an "A," but then we had mice. And those mice were brave. They didn't care about business hours or waiting until everyone had left the place to start foraging for the occasional french fry. No, they came out all the time. It was crazy. For a year or so, we had a really big problem with the pests. That was, until we finally had Felix come back to live there again. Now we have our friendly little buddy back with us and are once again pest free. We even maintained our "A."
I guess I started talking about pests since this one has some sort of bug being gassed while an evil Wibblesmack looks on laughing. I realize that this image might not even be the focal point of this piece, but I feel sometimes with these sprawling drawings, I have to pick one thing to discuss, since finding symbolism in a piece like this is usually difficult at best. I think some of them have overall themes, but this is one of the pieces that is a bit more abstract. I realize that sometimes these can hit you over the head with the themes, but this one is more like lightly patting you on the shin. Or brushing up against your rat doppelganger's tail.

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