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April 29, 2004: CulturePulp captures the scene at the 21st-annual table-coloring contest at the Brasserie Montmartre.

Endnotes and Digressions:

1. Grey-tones for this installment provided by Chad Essley.

2. Yojimbo, immortalized by Akira Kurosawa, is the errant samurai who, as Conch put it to me later, "provides his services to one faction, then the other, in a town torn by rivalry."

3. A sad observation afterward, also by Conch: "The artists at the contest this year were being a lot less profligate in their food and drink purchases than in the glory days of Vinton, Flying Rhino, and Wieden & Kennedy.  In fact, I got the impression that some of the artists -- who I know have gotten behind on their bills lately -- could really have used the prize money."

4. Sure enough, beautifully rendered, largely abstract crayon drawings swept this year's contest -- with the winner laying down multiple layers of yellow, orange and black crayon and scraping away at it with a dinner knife to make a groovy typographic study.

You can download a high-rez PDF of CulturePulp 002 right here: CulturePulp002.pdf

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Mike Russell is a film writer and cartoonist living in Portland, OR. ... full profile