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Lisa Hanawalt

Thrillist

How Nickelodeon, Annie Proulx, and Trolling Inspired Lisa Hanawalt for 'Tuca & Bertie'

Tuca & Bertie is one of the richest texts of modern women's experience that just so happens to be a joke-stuffed cartoon. Its titular best bird friends, voiced by Tiffany Haddish and Ali Wong, will be going through something dark—crippling anxiety, workplace harassment, searing period pain—and then an airhorn blares. Its tonal flexibility is part of what makes the series so immensely (re-)watchable, along with its mile-a-minute visual gags, original showtune asides, and bright, surrealist landscapes. As a writerly pitch to compel more people to watch, it's often mentioned in the same breath as Broad City and, more recently, Hacks, two messy-gal comedies about millennial women figuring out their shit, but creator Lisa Hanawalt welcomes the comparisons. "It makes sense why different artists would conquer the same topic," she says over Zoom. "It's really juicy, and I think there's a lot of extra juice in there."
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Animated Animals: How Lisa Hanawalt Portrays Humanity So Perfectly

Humans are complicated creatures, and it is sometimes difficult to break down and fully explore what it means to be human, even in film or animation. So, it comes as a bit of a surprise when some of the best representation of human nature is done so through the use of animals; more specifically, anthropomorphic animal-human hybrids, like the ones found littered throughout the art of Lisa Hanawalt. Perhaps best known for her work as the production designer on Netflix’s Bojack Horseman or as the creator of Tuca & Bertie, Lisa Hanawalt is a prolific modern artist, whose personal comics also delve into the human psyche and nature, and, like her cartoons, use strange humans with animal heads (or maybe animals with human bodies?) as a mode of delivery for her various thoughts and sometimes comedic commentary on life.
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