Book Review: Funny


Creativity is a messy, messy endeavor. One of my favorite books on the process is about Pixar (Creativity Inc.) which tells the story of how creativity thrives in a corporate environment. If you've ever worked in a corporate setting, this feels like a ridiculously miraculous feat. Like parting-the-Red-Sea miraculous.

And so, when I saw the release of Funny! Twenty-Five Years of Laughter from the Pixar Story Room, I had to snag a copy.

I'm so glad I did.

This isn't a typical, sit down and read in a week and learn creativity hacks, but more akin to a coffee table book about play. What you see is the way illustrators play.

For the non-sketchers in the mix, the illustrators' skills will seem radically unfair. Such talent!

But the process still feels very messy.

"A gag session isn't the sort of thing I'd volunteer for, as I don't see myself as a particularly funny person in a room. I'm the guy that thinks of something funny to say about three hours after a party has ended."

There's plenty of evidence about why some of the gags don't work, but there are also moments of genius. Mostly, there is fun.

"We have a pee gag in almost all of our Pixar movies...You know urine a great company when pee gags are still funny."

I don't feel comfortable reproducing the images on this blog since that's the appeal of buying the book, but I love them! Though the whole family has finished Funny, it now rides in the car with us (along with Calvin & Hobbes) for quick jolts of joy.

Speaking of car rides, if you don't do so already, I HIGHLY recommend having cartoons in the car to help keep kids entertained. (We have a "no-electronics-in-the-car rule" - but that's a post for a different day!)