Sunday, February 19, 2006

Fantagraphics Eye for the "IT" Guys

The IT Crowd, currently available on the UK's Channel Four, is the latest sitcom from Graham Linehan, one of the writers behind two of the funniest sitcoms the UK has produced: Father Ted and Black Books. Quick-n-dirty description from the official website:
The high-rise towers of Reynholm Industries are full of go-getters, success stories, and winners... apart from [the IT department] in the basement.
While their beautiful colleagues work in fantastic surroundings, Jen, Roy and Moss lurk below ground, scorned and mocked by their co-workers as geeky losers, doomed never to make it back into normal society.
So far The IT Crowd doesn't quite live up to its predecessors, but it certainly has a similarly good toe-hold on "zany, madcap kooky-funster" humor, this time upping the "geek" factor to the Nth degree. I'll give it time, though, considering its pedigree.

So why mention it here? Take a look at the pic above (apologies for the too-tiny image; I hope to have a better one soon): The basement office, where much of the series takes place, is stuffed to the gills with swag based on characters from comics published by the fine folks at Fantagraphics and mostly produced by painstaking Presspop. Get out your magnifying glass, and you can make out [1] Chris Ware's Jimmy Corrigan vital animus; [2] Jim Woodring's Frank lithograph; [3] Peter Bagge's Buddy Bradley doll; [4] Dan Clowes' Pogeybait doll; [5] Kaz's Smoking Cat (I think); and possibly more.

Also check the other items of geek-cred, like the Fair Use Has a Posse sticker on Roy's desk, and (not pictured) an icon of His Holiness, the most holy Flying Spaghetti Monster (Blessed be His Noodly Appendage, Ramen).

I can just imagine Gary Groth, Kim Thompson, and Eric Reynolds pulling up outside the office building, running down the stairs, and getting to work....

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Blogger C. Margery Kempe said...

So does geek Americana qualify as "exotica" in Britain? Or do you think this is meant to be insider humor for those in the know (a lá Spaced)?

Is that chocolate on your forehead...?

2/19/2006 12:02 PM  
Blogger Gene Kannenberg, Jr. said...

Oh, I'd guess insider humor. These cartoonists are probably just as well-known in the UK as they are in the USA; possibly more. Even places like Forbidden Planet and Gosh! are swamped with US comics (for good and ill)...

2/19/2006 12:29 PM

2/19/2006 12:32 PM  
Blogger eirwenes said...

You know what I love about this? I say this without seeing the show. I love it that the IT guys in the show are advocates of fair use. The reason? IT guys are the ones that invent programs and applications! I know IT guys often advocate fair use, even when they stand to benefit from making their creations their property. How cool is that? It inspires me.

2/27/2006 10:34 PM  

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