Emily Gordon writes:
Can I imagine life without the cartoonist-writer-painter-animator-multimedia artist-graphic designer-comrade-confidante-friend known to Emdashes readers as the daily comic commentator Pollux? No, I cannot.
Paul Morris arrived at my virtual doorstep in January 2008 like an encyclopedia salesman, except that the encyclopedia he was selling was himself, and he asked for no down payment. He soon became my co-conspirator in the quest to reinstall founding New Yorker art director Rea Irvin in the collective mind as the uncompromising impresario he was.
Not long after that, I started reading Paul’s online comic, “Arnjuice,” noting how the drawings’ elegant angles and intense conservation of line mirrored the dialogue’s dreamy humor and sharp insight into the vagaries of the human animal. As I dug deeper into his oevre, which is not a word you can use for the output of every twentysomething, and caught a glimpse of its fine art (like these recent portraits of jazz musicians—that’s “The Banjoist,” above), I further observed how Paul’s Spanish and British heritage expressed themselves in all his work in linguistically limber, deeply colorful, and agreeably dissonant ways. I was impressed.
So I asked on a whim if he was willing to draw a comic for Emdashes. He was. We named it “The Wavy Rule” after Irvin’s famous wiggly dividing lines. I was thinking of some sort of regular contribution; Paul made it daily. We needed someone to fill in on a few written posts for the blog; he did it so charmingly that he now writes a weekly column just about the cover art of The New Yorker. He stands at the essential center of the Emdashes tapestry along with Martin Schneider, Benjamin Chambers, Jonathan Taylor, Erin Overbey, and Jon Michaud, all of whom I applaud daily, if not hourly. How this all happens every day—often, these days, without me even clicking my mouse—is a never-ending source of wonderment. Paul, like everyone I name above, is (as Dylan Thomas would say) the force that through the green fuse drives the flower.
In short, we are in awe. That this is going to make him radish-red with embarrassment is one of the reasons he is so beloved to us. We here at the disparate dots on Google Maps known as Emdashes HQ celebrate all that is Paul, Pollux, and everything he is set to become. We couldn’t do without him, and we wish him a very happy birthday indeed.
Hello! I’m Emily Gordon, an editor, critic, copywriter, and pre-web internet nut. Emdashes, born in 2004, spent many years as a New Yorker fan blog. The project garnered some nice compliments and press.
The blog’s now treading the territories of punctuation, publications, movies, design, and other things that stir me.
Over the years, I’ve worked with a brilliant brigade of culture writers, editors, and artists. You can read all about the people who've helped build Emdashes here at “Who We?” (That’s a New Yorker joke. Old habits die hard.)
I welcome submissions, questions, corrections, and ardent, obsessive contributors. I also host occasional book-related contests and giveaways. Questioners and publishers, just email me.
Jennifer Hadley designed the original Emdashes pencil logo, based on a 1943 Dorothy Gray ad.