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Comedian Demetri Martin, probably best known for his Comedy Central show Important Things with Demetri Martin and his short stint as a correspondent on The Daily Show, released the imaginatively titled book This Is a Book to some acclaim (and even more sales success) last spring.
He followed it this spring with his sophomore print effort, Point Your Face At This: Drawings by Demetri Martin. While there’s no mention of cartoons or cartooning anywhere in or on it — the suggested subject on the back cover is “Humor/Illustrations” — I’m having a hard time thinking of any way to define the work within without calling it cartooning.
The book’s 280-plus pages are filled with jokes, all of which are told visually through a drawing, a particular arrangement of words, or some combination of the two. In addition to being a stand-up comedian, writer and actor, I guess Martin is also a cartoonist. And rather remarkably, given how talented he is at some of those other things he’s become, he’s a damn good one.
Now, he’s not the greatest of draftsmen. That image on the cover, a self-portrait of sorts, isn’t entirely representative of the work within — it’s actually one of the more complicated and sophisticated drawings, and it contains some color. His human beings are all just one step above stick figures, with nothing but clothing and hair utilized to tell you if they are men or women, firefighters or dentists, Indian fakirs or executioners.