A cartoon-packed critique from a Virginia-based comedian, John Poveromo
By Daniel Mosakewicz
American culture today is essentially a gold mine for comedy to the observant, and local comedian John Poveromo certainly proves his powers of observation in his recently-released collection of cartoons, Drawings From A Nobody. Poveromo picks at society to create a humorous collection of cartoons and perspectives, producing some truly memorable depictions. Many address recognizable subjects, from the animals in parks incidents in 2016, to gun rights, with the majority being on technology and its effect on our communication.
With the wide variety of content, there is bound to be at least one, but most likely more, panel for everyone, no matter who you are. That said, his strongest content comes almost entirely from two themes: technology’s impact on our in person interactions, and animals. The technology pieces succeed completely in making you cringe and chuckle at the same time. Some of the stronger pieces in this theme are the “what filter,” “sit on the machine,” and “not enough gyms.” “What filter relates back to the theme of communication, with a man staring into his closet and asking his wife “which filter” he should wear out that night. All the stereotypes of vanity attached to clothing can now apply in every moment. Even in the comfort of their own home, one way worry about their appearance, and how to present themselves. It brings an outside social world into a place that is much more intimate.
Of the three technology pieces mentioned above, “not enough gyms” represents the other main technological theme very well. “Not enough gyms” is the depiction of a husband and wife talking to their realtor while both stare down at their phones. The wife comments that they “like the place” but worry that “there aren’t enough gyms in the area” referencing the popular app Pokemon Go. This drawing, and a few others like it, explore how technology is gaining priority in the loves of Americans, affecting even important decisions such as place of living. There is apparently nothing else wrong with the house other then its function in an app game. Of course, it’s an absurd idea (one that has certainly actually happened), but what technology do we consider when making decisions?
The collection has its moments of brilliance,an overwhelming diversity of themes can give a reader tonal whiplash pretty easily. An example of this would be the Batman v Superman panel, which centers around Batman’s reaction to the name Martha. Although superhero commentary is certainly relevant to society, the concept of the the panel has already been overused inside the superhero fanase, while those outside of it will have a much more difficult time getting the joke.
Overall, the collection is funny, creative, and the good slap in the face everyone needs sometimes, even if we don’t agree. It’s only weakness is in a lack of overall focus. Nonetheless, it is still entirely worth your time, so if you see a copy, flip through it, and look at some drawings from a nobody.