Get SF Weekly Newsletters
Pin It

That’s Life 

Wednesday, Jul 8 2009
Videos created by Levni Yilmaz, a local cartoonist, have received 12 million views on YouTube. Did he get hit in the balls while cartooning? Drink Diet Coke and eat Mentos while cartooning? No, it’s nothing like that. He just films himself drawing from the other side of the paper, a simple, exquisite form of animation that Picasso and director Henri-George Clouzot pioneered in 1956 for The Mysteries of Picasso. Only the ink is visible on the screen, appearing through the sheet, blooming into art. Actually, Yilmaz is both a filmmaker and a cartoonist, since his series of videos, “Tales of Mere Existence,” also features narration, careful editing, and storylines with a little or a lot of sadness, depending on your worldview. His main character, presumably based on himself, due to the hair, wanders limply through his young, aimless life, pining for love, scared of everything, trying to find happiness, hoping for a good stretch of sleep or a girl who will spend a little time or the rest of her life with him. It’s a bleak, existential outlook, glowing with the mundane — you’ve been there. Everybody’s been there, hence the 12 million views. Along the way Yilmaz has released his work in book form a couple of times, but never published by Random House. Sunny Side Down, released this month, features typical “Tales” storylines: There’s one about his mother calling him on the phone, that's it, and another with the title, “What I Thought My Life Would Be Like When I Used to Look at My Dad’s Old Playboy Magazines.”
Thu., July 16, 8 p.m., 2009

About The Author

Michael Leaverton


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed
  1. Most Popular


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"