The new and improved D+L is live!

Plus: An interview with Chinese animators, and all the news fit to toon into.

Welcome to the newsletter of The Dot and Line, where we’ll send you the best of all things toons, all the time.

Here you’ll find a bit of EVERYTHING! That includes stories young and old, now all wrapped up in the shiny new clothing of a relaunched website. We're still working out some kinks, so bear with us, and definitely let us know what you think.

Oh, and this newsletter? It's our second! Every month (for now), we’ll send some of the best of the best from the site straight into your veins…uh, we mean to your inbox. Since this is our sophomore send, we welcome any notes, feedback, and—especially—tips on what to watch next. We hope you dig it.


What’s neeeews, pussycat?

Goofballs on deck!

We celebrated the 3rd anniversary of The Dot and Line with a contributors’ rooftop party at the beginning of May, along with another big update…

Our beloved website has gotten a makeover

That’s right, welcome to an all-new, all-different D+L! We’re happy to say we’ve transitioned from Medium.com to a Wordpress-powered site (with a theme designed by MysteryThemes). Editorially, nothing’s changed: we’re still the same site, publishing the same stories about animation, but the change of clothes gives us more control over those stories and lets us experiment in ways we couldn’t on Medium. If you have notes or feedback, send ‘em to us at thedotandline@gmail.com! (The vast majority of our posts have been imported and redirected, but we’re still in the process of getting the last ones published. If you spot anything missing, please be patient.)

The Batman: Hush Trailer is Here

This new Batman film drops later this year, with a murder-mystery introducing the villain Hush and a packed cast of characters including Catwoman, Superman, Lois Lane, and Lex Luthor. How will it stand up to other Batman films? We’ll find out when the film drops on DVD and Blu-Ray (and likely on the DC Universe service) later this year. Hot off the presses, read all about it from Eric Vilas-Boas, who...may or may not have once cosplayed as the titular villain.

Mainland China’s Urban Indie Cartoons

While abroad, Isabel Galwey sat down with Chinese indie animators who waxed poetic about transforming the way Western audiences think about East Asian animation. In a new piece synthesizing those exclusive interviews, the power of the underground cartoons in the world's largest country takes on wondrous shapes and forms.


What else is another year older?

Who can say where the rooooooooooad goes, where the daaaaaaaay flows? Ooooooooonly time. Okay, we won’t serenade you but we will remind you that every second is another oppor-toon-ity for another classic’s anniversary.

Trigun is 21 this year and Meryl Stryfe is getting fuuuuuuucked up on some whiskey. Read our tribute to its 20th anniversary last year here.

Join us as we raise a glass to Trigun, which turned 20 last year and, as of 2019, is officially old enough to get sloshed at a saloon. In this essay, illustrator, writer, and scholar Wyatt Erchak pays tribute to the way that Trigun told its story, and how the unique storytelling made it so unforgettable.


Revisit some of our greatest hits!

Macie and Me and the Little Seal Girl Makes Three

There are some problems you can only understand when you’re half-girl, half-seal. Macie from As Told by Ginger not only knew how to put that struggle into words, but wow, could that girl belt. Here, Corinne Segal attaches her seal of approval to the character and touches on how the little finned girl who could managed to shapes her feminism and inform her queerness.


What we’re watching right now

John is watching…Albatross Soup

[CW for suicide mentions in this short film.]

Riddle me this, reader: "A man walks off a boat. He walks into a restaurant, orders the albatross soup. He takes one bite, pulls out a gun, and kills himself. Why did the man kill himself?" It's a classic riddle, and it's also the premise of a new animated short from director Winnie Cheung, illustrator Fiona Smyth, and animation director Masayoshi Nakamura.

In it, 50 people try to determine the answer asking only yes and no questions, many of which are set to animated sequences awash in bold color combinations and a lo-fi hallucinatory style that makes you wonder what the promotional art for The Endless Summer would look like had it been illustrated by Michael DeForge. It's compelling, a bit disturbing, surprisingly funny, and very worth seven minutes of your time. You can watch it for free on Vimeo.

Eric is watching…The Simpsons

I know it's not exactly a new and original choice, but I'm in awe of how this show managed to predict so many cultural moments ahead of its time—like the penultimate episode of Game of Thrones—with laser-like accuracy. From Donald Trump to Lady Gaga's Super Bowl show to Nobel Prize winners, our world events have proven over and over again what The Simpsons knew all along: Life is a joke.

After years of only catching reruns here are there, I've started on its first episode.

Sammy is watching…She-Ra and the Princesses of Power

I finally listened to my wise toon-loving friends and started Netflix's She-Ra and the Princesses of Power, and holy mother of god, it makes me feel like I can do anything. Badassery! Strong complex female characters!! Queerness!!! (On this topic, we’d recommend Maya Gittelman’s article, “What She-Ra Gets Right About Angsty Queerness.”) Somehow watching a show about war, rebellion, and destruction feels like getting an empowering, glittery hug? I kind of hate myself for saying that, but it's true.

And hey! If you’d like to send us a few lines about what you’re watching, email us at thedotandline@gmail.com! We’ll reprint them here.


Aaaaand…that’s all, folks!

Thanks so much for reading. This newsletter was produced by Elly Belle. If you liked it, forward it to your friends, yell in their face until they forward it to all of their friends, and then we…do what we do every night, Pinky: Try to take over the world!

Love,
The Dot and Line