Pizza Island

Some of the most inspired cartoonists of the 21st century all started off in a single studio space in Brooklyn: Pizza Island.

Lisa Hanawalt
Ian Linkletter [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
I’m a firm believer in Brian Eno’s idea of scenius – that what we think of as individual inspiration is often found in places where several talented artists can build on and feed off each other’s ideas. There are many good examples: the Romantic poets (Byron, Keats, Shelley), the Inklings (Tolkien, Lewis, and the other one), and the Algonquin Round Table (Charles MacArthur, Dorothy Parker, Harpo Marx). The idea of the lone genius, while popular, tends to ignore the influence of community in creative work.

Pizza Island, which only existed from 2010 to 2012, produced many luminaries, of whom my favourites are these three:

  • Kate Beaton, creator of the brilliant webcomic Hark! A Vagrant
  • Lisa Hanawalt, production designer forĀ BoJack Horseman and creator of the recent show Tuca & Bertie
  • Sarah Glidden, author of How to Understand Israel in 60 Days or Less

That’s not to knock the rest of the group! I haven’t read / watched / experienced their work yet, although I plan to.

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