2 min Read
January 3, 2011


Big Duck

To be honest, I am in no way sad to see 2010 go. I mean, come on, the year had continued economic hardship, earthquakes in Haiti, and psycho-partisan flame wars. Plus, almost every famous couple I ever heard of broke up! (Al and Tipper? What is the world coming to?!)

In a year like this one, I often needed just a bit of comfort to reassure me that the world was not entirely peopled with jerks. (Working at Big Duck helped a lot, but sometimes I needed even more reassurance. What can I say? I’m sensitive, darnit!)

So in the hopes that 2011 sees a little more awesomeness and a little less jerkiness, I’m sharing some of the online videos, illustrations and stories that made me think, maybe, just maybe, the world’s wonderful/smart/cuteness can overcome its mean/exasperating/jerkiness.

(WARNING: As my fellow Ducks will tell you, I am an outrageous sap. So proceed at your own risk. There are baby animals involved!)

10. Kate Beaton, a brilliant comic artist who is creating a sexy revolution in history comics!

9. The Perry Bible Fellowship comic. Try to resist Planet Pupulon if you dare!

8. The BBC’s In Our Time podcast with Melvyn Bragg. 45-minute podcasts on the history of ideas. Dry, funny, fascinating essays on everything from the Cambrian Explosion to Aeschylus’s trilogy of tragedies, the Oresteia… and it’s free!

7. Maira Kalman, Pursuit of Happiness Blog. This ended in 2009, but I still go back to read Maira Kalman’s personal and funny musings and paintings about American democracy.

6. Christoph Niemann, Abstract City blog. These visual essays, built with everything from cookie dough to torn leaves, always make me laugh, and the New Year’s post is especially good.

5. Plastic Bag narrated by Werner Herzog. This video is 18 minutes long, but beautiful and funny and sad, and proves I’m not the only one obsessed by the Pacific Trash Vortex:

4. Ornithoblogical. My friend Anna launched an illustrated blog of 365 “birdies on my brain.” Last week’s Bluzzard was especially well timed!

3. Mr. Rob Ryan’s blog. This and this are just two of my favorite paper-cut illustrations from this London artist. Sweet and weird and intricate. I have a total art-crush on this dude.

2. My First Crush. Wonderful, whimsical animation paired with interviews of people talking about their first crush.

1. Fuzzy, Fuzzy, Cute, Cute. Having a bad day? Break out the big guns with this ridiculous video. Be warned, this video is baby animal madness!

Happy New Year, everyone!