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Pulp Culture
'Eltingville' gets laughs
by taking aim at geeks


February 28, 2002
By Franklin Harris

Josh, Jerry, Pete and Bill are no ordinary geeks.

Josh is the Secretary of Science fiction. Jerry is the Secretary of Fantasy Gaming. Pete is the Secretary of Horror. And Bill is the Secretary of Comic Books.

Together they are the Eltingville Comic Book, Science Fiction, Horror, Fantasy and Role Playing Club.

From left: Josh, Jerry, Bill and Pete are the Eltingville Comic Book, Science Fiction, Horror, Fantasy and Role Playing Club, shown arguing about life and death in Dungeons and Dragons.
Courtesy art
From left: Josh, Jerry, Bill and Pete are the Eltingville Comic Book, Science Fiction, Horror, Fantasy and Role Playing Club, shown arguing about life and death in Dungeons and Dragons.
To know them is to pity them.

Anyway, Josh, Jerry, Pete and Bill are the stars of Cartoon Network's newest cartoon, "Welcome to Eltingville," airing Sunday at 10 p.m. Central.

"Welcome to Eltingville" is based on Evan Dorkin's "Eltingville" comic strips, collected in the comic book "Dork!" and available from Slave Labor Graphics.

Dorkin created the Eltingville Club to vent his frustration at obsessive fans, but maybe his plan backfired, because his loathsome foursome became some of his most popular characters.

Which is why Dorkin and his longtime partner (and recent wife) Sarah Dyer are bringing us the cartoon version.

"Is the cartoon any good?" you ask?

Yes. It's a fast-paced send-up of rabid fans of all stripes. It barely lets you catch your breath before hitting you with the next joke.

Remember: You're not laughing with them; you're laughing at them.

It helps, of course, if you're something of a geek yourself. Otherwise, you'll never get all of the punch lines. (Although anyone can catch the obvious "Star Trek" and "Star Wars" references.) And it also helps to be a thick-skinned geek so as not to take it all too personally. After all, Dorkin is talking about those other geeks. You know: the losers. Isn't he?

I mean, I may have to take blood pressure medication every time someone uses "Sandra Bullock" and "Wonder Woman" in the same sentence, but that's only natural, right? I mean, nobody but that idiot producer Joel Silver thinks Bullock should be Wonder Woman. Get real.

And how did Akiva Goldsman ever get an Oscar nomination for best adapted screenplay? This is the same man who wrote "Batman and Robin." Is everyone insane but me?

But I digress.

The Eltingville Club's members are the worst fanboy stereotypes hopped up on steroids and cloned to infinity. Josh is the guy you saw attacking random strangers after he finally realized that he just spent three months waiting in line to see 2˝ hours of Jar Jar Binks and Baby Vader.

The club members can barely stand each other, never mind the unimaginative pod people they see making up the rest of humanity.

The pilot episode airing Sunday (be sure to watch, so Cartoon Network will order more) pits Josh and Bill against each other in the most intense trivia contest of all time. Alternating questions, 30 seconds to answer and the winner gets the ultimate prize: the right to spend $300 on a mint-in-box, 12-inch-tall Boba Fett action figure, complete with Wookie scalps.

This is no contest for the timid.

Cringe at the insanity of Pokémon card collecting. Fear the power of Josh's +1 Dungeons and Dragons battle ax. Join Bill as he explores strange, new and oily worlds. Thrill at the thought of seeing your favorite "Star Trek" actresses naked. (Actually, you won't see that, but neither will the Eltingville Club.)

Is "Welcome to Eltingville" vicious?

Yes.

But it's also funny. And, after all, Dorkin is talking about those other geeks. So, there's no need to be offended.

Right?

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