Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Drinky Crow Show!

The Drinky Crow Show is one of the best things on T.V. right now. The loosened restrictions on content for late night cable have allowed Tony Millionaire to transport his cult classic comic Maakies onto Adult Swim with all of the misanthropy, violence and self-destruction intact. But much like "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia", "The Drinky Crow Show" doesn't just throttle any button labeled "offensive" or "controversial" relentlessly, it's also genuinely funny and occasionally sweet.
Production-wise, "Drinky Crow" not only brings to life Millionaire's gorgeous, anachronistic ligne-claire drawings of square-rigged Schooners, deserted islands, and fantastical contraptions, but steps the animation into full-on 3D rendering for the Gunship battles and encounters with Sea Monsters. And the character design stays true to Millionaire's vision, from Drinky crow himself to his lecherous, debased Uncle Gabby, the dastardly French Lizards, and the Captain's daughter looking like a down-on-her-luck Betty Boop.
The show has more of a true nihilistic punk aesthetic than anything I've seen last more than a few episodes on TV. Just like in Maakies, Drinky Crow himself lives in a contant state of romantic despair that leads him to drink to the point of oblivion and commit comic-strip suicide, where he blows his brains out and then gets back up in the next panel. All this because of the sexy bombshells that pop in and out of Drinky Crow and Uncle Gabby's lives, wreaking havoc. Women here are regarded by Millionaire, in true teenage punk fashion, with alternating romanticism, reverence, objectification, vilification, and outright misogyny.
Yes, "Drinky Crow" is a long-overdue dispatch from the days just before the rise self-censorship and the-social-movement-formerly-known-as-political-correctness, more specifically from the garrets of the 1980s Lower East Side, where Millionaire began penning his D.I.Y. funnybooks. How fresh it seems still when compared to other mainstream entertainments speaks mainly of the continuing triumph of the underground.
Watch the Dirnky Crow Show from Adult Swim's gorrible website

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