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Wonder Woman Ties Up the Cheetah at And I Am Not Lying Live

June 13th, 2012 by Jeff Simmermon

Well, I’m tickled to all hell right now. We’re bringing the And I Am Not Lying live show to the Black Cat in DC on Thursday, June 14th, and I’m told that we’ve sold out the 8PM show. We’re adding a late show that night, with doors at 10PM. You can see more info on the Black Cat’s site here and get advance tickets here: And I Am Not Lying at the Black Cat, 10 PM show.

This is a photo from a show that we did last year at L’Etage in Philadelphia, just to give you folks at home a taste:

Runaround Sue, Brad Lawrence, Cyndi Freeman 3 (by Ryan Collerd)

This is Wonder Woman apprehending the Cheetah while Steve Trevor looks on with a stupefied, dreamlike amazement. I’ve never seen someone be more hesitant about their rescue in all my life. Cyndi Freeman/Cherry Pitz is Wonder Woman, Runaround Sue is the Cheetah, and Brad Lawrence is Steve Trevor. Photo is by the genuine, warm and spectacular Ryan Collerd.

As it turns out, we’ll be coming back to Philadelphia on August 4th, too. So keep watching the skies, people – we hope to see you really soon.

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E-Trek-tion 2012: Tuvok Obama vs. Gul Dukromney

May 15th, 2012 by D.Billy

The ever-increasing election coverage, combined with the Star Trek marathons that have been taking place at home, have made it hard for me not to see these resemblances:

References for the less nerdy: Tuvok / Gul Dukat

Images yoinked from TotallyLooksLike.com.
Font: Bajoran Regular by Eric Oehler.

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Cool Guys, 1992

April 5th, 2012 by Jeff Simmermon

Somewhere around the spring of 1991, my friend Frank Benson played the Cramps for me for the first time. He said “hey, check these guys out, I’m going to take a shower real quick.” By the time he came out of the bathroom, my head was full all kinds of sweet and rotten mutant fruits.

A year later, his mom took me and him and a date to see the Ramones at the Boathouse in Norfolk, VA and nothing was ever the same again. My glasses got knocked off and ground back into sand during the first 5 minutes of the show, and I took a boot to the face by the second set. The next day, I was half-deaf and limping around the house, clutching the walls to feel my way to my bedroom and all I wanted to do was get up on a stage and be Joey Ramone.

A week after that I quit the rec league soccer team by throwing my shirt in the coach’s face. During a game.

Something didn’t add up, though. Me and Frank were scoring acid from drag queens at the Rocky Horror Picture Show and had a direct line to all the best music this new burning world had to offer. With all this newfound punk rock swagger and the confidence of finally being down with the coolest guys in school, we figured girls would finally start paying attention.

Cool Guys, 1992

As it turns out, it took a little while. We had no idea why.

Frank Benson has hit his stride by now, and I guess I’m okay, too.

Anyone who tells a teenager that “these are the best years of your life” is only telling half of the truth. In my experience, we got to taste the potential that the world had — but actually feeling it fall into place day by day and year by year is even better. Frank and I hang out now. We both live in Brooklyn, but we’re both busting ass on our own art careers.

We don’t see each other as often as people who live three miles away from each other might. But every time we do hang out, one of is getting the other one really excited about some cool new stuff. We’re still kicking each others’ doors wide open.

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Psychedelic Robocop iPhone Art

February 27th, 2012 by Jeff Simmermon

Made this on my iPhone on the train this morning – started with this photo of a Robocop action figure on my phone and ran it through the usual bash of filters. I’m trying not to obsess about the upcoming show at Union Hall and the SXSW tent – after spending a weekend navigating the murky, weird world of Facebook advertising I just need to create something instead of promote stuff for a little while.

Hope you guys dig it:

Psychedelic Robocop

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Schedule of Events for And I Am Not Lying Tent at SXSW

February 22nd, 2012 by Jeff Simmermon


party park

Originally uploaded by greggrestonva

Via Flickr:

UPDATE – 3.9.2012

The tent at Palm Park is flooded out – there’s a whole ecosystem in there underneath the folding chairs. We are moving ALL of the And I Am Not Lying events scheduled for March 10th at SXSW to the Hilton Garden Inn in Downtown Austin – just a few blocks from Palm Park and the convention center. The hotel is at 500 North IH-35/Frontage Road, Austin, TX. Here’s a map.

Our stuff is now going to be on the 18th floor of the Hilton Garden Inn in Downtown Austin in the Colorado and Red River rooms. The content and times will stay exactly the same.

Last week (I think) I may have mentioned that we’re putting on a whole tentload of activities at South By Southwest Interactive this year. If I am completely honest, it’s all I can do not to tear my shirt off and swing through the streets of New York screaming about this like a somewhat flabbier Tarzan.

We’ve finally gotten some stuff locked down with the tent and the order of events, and I just wanted to use this blog post to detail everything so you, me, and airbody else can hose down the Internet with this thing.

First of all: all of this takes place on March 10, 2012 in a tent in Palm Park, adjacent to the Austin Convention Center. Map here.

We’ve got a Tumblr blog set up especially for news about this which you can see here: And I Am Not Lying at SXSW. You can follow us on Twitter at @andiamnotlying and/or by using the hashtag #notlyingSXSW.

The And I Am Not Lying tent will be next to a tent sponsored by Miller. Miller will be giving badgeholders 2 free beers apiece. So there’s that to look forward to.

We’re going to be offering programming based around standup comedy, improv, and storytelling from 11 AM to 6PM, all day long. That programming is predicated around this one simple concept:

Stories are ancient and awesome, everyone loves to laugh, and Web conferences – even the best Web conference in the world – can get SO. FRICKING. BORING.

It’s not really the fault of the programmers. It’s just that … sitting there with a bunch of people while looking at a Powerpoint presentation is not that inherently exciting. Sitting around and pretending to be fascinated while someone guy in a blue dress shirt says “we’re going to leverage the API to drive traffic into out key niche markets, improving ROI and capture metrics” is exhausting. Doubly so when it comes from someone that works in marketing.

A lot of panelists are there to sell you something, to flog their book or promote their startup. We’re not. The only thing we’re trying to sell is our skill as storytellers and comics, and maybe get some better shows out of it in towns that we’d like to visit.

We’re going to sell that to you by being awesome at what it is we do: telling stories and making people laugh.

I know a lot of people come to Interactive for work, and are under some pressure to demonstrate what they learned and justify the expense. We think you learn more when you’re having fun – and honestly, what’s the better learning environment? The dim and stuffy conference room with flickering fluorescent lights, and a guy droning on about “leveraging the power of digital storytelling in a Web 2.0 environment” — or the people that do this on stages, in boardrooms and in burlesque bars 5-20 times a week? This stuff applies to pretty much any discipline, really.

Here’s a breakdown of what we’re offering, hour-by-hour. This is the copy I submitted to the folks at SXSW, anyway, but it’s not on the official schedule or the SXSW app yet, so you may have to write it down on your hand or something:

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Beauty is Embarrassing : Wayne White Documentary

February 3rd, 2012 by D.Billy

Sweet jumping Jeebus, I love me some Wayne White.



He makes beautiful, funny typographic additions to found oil paintings, he designed sets and puppets for Pee-Wee’s Playhouse, he art-directed the Smashing Pumpkins’ gorgeous, Georges Méliès-inspired “Tonight, Tonight” video, and he generally embodies the kind of artist that I want to be.

And now Wayne White is the subject of a documentary entitled “Beauty is Embarrassing”, which is premiering at SXSW 2012. Here’s the trailer:



I want to watch this film with all of my heart and soul. (And also my eyeballs.)

Archives Posts

Never Let Your IQ Get In the Way Of A Good Time: And I Am Not Lying is Live At Union Hall on December 10th

November 30th, 2011 by Jeff Simmermon

Man. I can’t believe it’s showtime again already. But me, Brad Lawrence and Cyndi Freeman are bringing our live show back to Union Hall in Brooklyn on December 10th at 8PM. And it don’t cost but ten bucks, people.

People keep asking me, “so, what’s this show about? What’s your hook?” And man, I have no idea. I used to think it was a live version of this blog. But now this blog is turning to a blog version of the live show. All I can say is that it reflects a huge lesson I learned sometime in college:

Never let your IQ get in the way of a good time.

Basically, we’re cock-rocking the NPR crowd with burlesque, storytelling, comedy and sideshow acts. Sound fun? It better. If that’s not high-quality Saturday night entertainment for you, I don’t want to know what is.

I’d strongly recommend getting advance tickets, which you can do right here: And I Am Not Lying Live at Union Hall on 12/10/2011 — $10

If you’re really into the Facebook thing, you can click here to see the invite and RSVP. That doesn’t actually help anything, but it massages my starving ego.

Here’s a poster, lineup published for Google SEO trickery after the jump:

And I Am Not Lying at Union Hall, 12.10.2011

The show features …

Storytelling from

Jeff Simmermon (storyteller featured on The Moth Podcast and This American Life)
Cyndi Freeman (Wonder Woman: A How-To Guide for Little Jewish Girls)
Brad Lawrence (The Moth GrandSLAM champ)

Comedy by
Michael Che

Burlesque by

Fem Appeal,
RunAround Sue & Cyndi Freeman

and a VERY special appearance by
Mat Fraser & Julie Atlas Muz

Hope you can make it out.

Archives Posts

The Convergence of Twitter, Sports, Batman and Letterpress Printing

November 9th, 2011 by D.Billy

I’ve been taking a letterpress class at Cooper Union, and Jeff recently tweeted something that I thought deserved memorializing in type and ink.
So last night, I grabbed a few fonts of wood type and locked up the form on one of the Vandercook SP-15 presses:

I hand-inked the type with brayers rather than inking the press rollers, so I could print two colors simultaneously and easily change colors later. After some trial and error with ink amounts and pressure, I pulled the first decent test print:

And a while later, I had a small edition of posters in four different color schemes:

It was a really fun exercise. For those of you unfamiliar with the process of letterpress printing, check out the sweet little video below. And if you’re near Brooklyn, be sure to check out The Arm for letterpress classes, or to book press time if you already have letterpress experience and just want to make some things.

Letterpress from Naomie Ross on Vimeo.

Archives Posts

Black Centipede In A Blue Velvet Closet: Live at Union Hall

October 26th, 2011 by Jeff Simmermon

There’s a lot of talk about stopping childhood bullying online and on TV these days. Good, I say. I got bullied pretty badly when I was a kid, and I’m glad to hear that people want to put a stop to that kind of a thing. But on the other hand, you can’t stop rampant assholery. It’s a big brown glacier that just creeps across humanity, and it’s going to come out and express itself in some other weird way.

At least you’re allowed to punch a bully right in the face.

When my family lived in the DC suburbs in the early ’80s, it was pretty bad. I got beat up a lot and I was pretty scared to leave my house. My family was tremendously loving, and I had a dog that was my best friend in the world. But once I left the yard it was like a movie about Vietnam directed by Todd Solondz.

Nobody ever talks about this, though: a lot of times, the kids that are getting bullied get pretty mean, too. Being and underdog and a good guy are not the same thing.

I told this story at the And I Am Not Lying live show at Union Hall back on October 5th. It goes long, but I’m pretty proud of how it turned out. I tried to compress it to a tight 5 minutes for a Moth Grand Slam last week and it was a stunning failure. I got more nervous than I’ve ever been in my life, skipped parts and just blacked out completely on my feet. It wasn’t booze-related, just flop-terror. I came to a few seconds later, literally standing in front of several hundred people who were looking at me expectantly, waiting for me to say something intelligible into a microphone.

A lot of people have that experience as a nightmare.

I hope you guys enjoy my telling of this story more than I did teliing it the other night, anyway.

I’m also obliged to mention that I’m coming to DC on November 2nd and Philadelphia on November 6th with Brad Lawrence, Cyndi Freeman, and Runaround Sue. You can get tickets for the DC show here: And I Am Not Lying: A Night of Storytelling, Comedy, & Burlesque.

Archives Posts

There’s More to iPhone Photography Than Hipstamatic: Take a ‘Deetour’

September 13th, 2011 by Jeff Simmermon

That Hipstamatic app sure is popular. It’s fun to use, and it makes your photos look cool.

But it’s not as fun now that everyone’s using it. I mean, it still looks cool and all, and if you’re having fun with it, go nuts. Or continue going nuts. I’ll have to cop to a certain amount “before it was cool” mentality here, and admit that I have this deep and maybe not incredibly attractive need to have people know exactly how creative and special I am all the time.

This feature got me all excited and inspired to go beyond taking a photo, running it through an app, and calling it a day: Tricking Out Your iPhone Photos.

The iPhone is such a powerhouse of a tool for photographic creativity. It’s our century’s Polaroid, right there in your pocket. Rather than emulate the look of a time past, why not get stoked on creating a look for now?

I saw this girl in the mall by my office that looked like she fell through a wormhole in 1974 and landed up against that wall smiling and playing with a BlackBerry. She was kind enough to let me take her picture, despite probably finding me a little creepy. Fair enough.

I’ve had Karen Young’s 1982 jam “Deetour” on a permanent loop on my iPhone for a couple days, too. It makes the commute into this spacey disco loop, like someone tied my brain to a rollerskate and sent it over a beige rainbow bridge. I probably listened to the song ten times while I ran this young lady’s picture through Decim8, Instagram, TrueHDR, TiltShiftGear and StripeCam — ultimately ending up with this:

Deetour 4

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