The Boulevard of Broken Dreams - Kim Deitch

The Boulevard of Broken Dreams is about the world of animation, starting in the 1910s, and going through the 1990s. The drawing style is reminiscent of 1920s cartoons (think Betty Boop, Felix the Cat) and filled with details—the pages are dense with ink. The story has many characters, but are all tied together by Waldo the Cat, a Felix-looking character who seems to be haunting Ted Mishkin, one of the animators at Fontaine Fables. It's hard to separate how much is a parody of the real animation industry (Winsor Newton is certainly based on Winsor McCay) and how much is more made up. Either way, Deitch is pretty critical of the Disney-fied world of animation now, with its cutesy characters and mass merchandising. The tone of the book is more along the lines of underground comics of the 60s, and you get the feeling that Deitch would have preferred that animation take that route instead.
Because of the drawing style, the book is a little difficult to read (your eyes just don't know where to start), but it's an imaginative, mind-reeling take on the world of animation.

Fed to jonathan's brain | September 05, 2003