NYC Basic Tips and Etiquette
Nathan W. Pyle
$10, 144 pages
I kept expecting this book of cartoon tips to be funny and it wasn’t. Then I realized it wasn’t meant to be funny. It was meant to be what the title says: tips and etiquette, like how to order pizza and how not to hang on the subway pole (I admit I do that because I don’t like touching its mega-germy surface), avoiding garbage and similar pieces of wisdom. Most of these tips—like the smelly garbage one—would be germane in 50% of the places on earth, but there is the occasional nugget like the Horror Of The Empty Subway Car (usually involves two or more of the following: a bum, puke, piss, poo.)
This book started as a webcomic by Pyle, a recent Ohio emigre who came to NYC to produce TV shows. The tips got socialed all around and a book deal followed. Pyle’s art falls into one of the Seven Kinds Of Weak Comics Art categories that I have identified over the years, namely “Thinks He’s Toth, But He’s Not”—relying completely on contrasty pages with stark white and black areas, without really having a great grasp of anatomy or architecture. The simplicity of the imagery does carry it through though, and people like diagrams.
Despite these flaws, this is a useful book if you have just arrived in New York or even if you needed a brush up on some of the basics. Now that NYC has been turned into a complete shopping mall/holiday for nouveau riche euro trash, Hedge funders, trustafarians and Tom Brady, it’s good to remember the olden days when street smarts—and not the Benjamins—were the key to survival.
I have never used this particular TJs technique but might give it a shot.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.