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Abraham Dubin loves being a cartoon character

If you’re into the more weird side of skateboarding, you’ll surely have seen a Fancy Lad video and probably remember this guy dressed in orange who appropriately goes by the name “Orange Man.” According to his ID, he’s called Abraham Dubin, and besides being into wearing orange, he’s also into doing tricks on crazy boards. His approach to skateboarding is definitely a special one and we wanted to get a glimpse of his world, now located in California, where he’s constantly working on new boards and a full-length as well.

Memorized by the bright colors and cacophonous noises of cartoons, my shag carpet metamorphosized into a flying carpet and I was levitated far from my suburban basement and to a world of pure imagination.

The animation of the ‘80s and ‘90s was more than a feast for the senses and, to my malleable mind, it was an immersive educational experience. Looney Tunes introduced me to Mahler and Mozart while the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles transported me to the maelstrom of modern metropolis. Captain Planet embodied the power and ephemera of our natural world and the urgency to protect it, and Inspector Gadget’s preoccupation insisted on innovation and the transcendent legs up of technology. The Care Bears ripened my budding heart into a vessel of empathy and compassion, and Batman showed a man dwelling in existential dread, a misunderstood martyr, grieving and guided by an uncrackable moral code unironically embodying the shadow self. And then there was Bart Simpson: bad boy, class clown, prankster, and skater. There could be nothing better to aspire to!

These animated masterpieces have sculpted my psyche. Characters with shrill and squeaky voices, whose bodies and backdrops morph beyond the bounds of physics, their situations appear and disappear into the ether, and either way, they stay infinitely the same. Cartoon characters cannot age, and their wardrobe is an unquestioned uniform day in and day out. Narratives where anything can happen compelled my sensibilities to this day. I guess what I'm trying to say is, I love being a cartoon character in the cartoon of reality.

I’ve been drawing since I was a kid. Drawing was my first language and I use it to express every thought, feeling, whimsy, and worry. I enrolled in a state art school, and four years later, I graduated with a bachelor’s in illustration and a minor in finding obscure Bostonian crusty bank spots.

All of my tricks begin as blueprints. Schematic sketches detail the construction of each contraption, a visual way to wrap my head around tricks that are otherwise impossible. With a Sharpie and a notebook, I depict the skateboard and myself entangled in balletic postures. Is it true what they say, the pen is mightier than the board? I attempt to dissect the skateboard in every way. Like Dr. Frankenstein, I take the dredges of splintering, grinded-down remains and inject a new spark into their veins. How can the trucks blast off? How can the griptape suddenly split and twist? How can the skateboard fit perfectly into the forgotten urban crevices? What size of trucks, what type of wheels? Who makes a 20-inch wide board? It’ll be hours of drawing and then several more making gestures with the jigsaw and penetrations with the drill.

My friend Dan Chrisjohn loves cartoons as well, and in the time of our fast friendship, Dan has transitioned his unique, absurd, and horrifically detailed surrealist-paintings approach into the digital 3D realm as I have melded my own skateboarding and illustration practices into a living comic strip. Orange Man’s Deluded Daydream is our combined vision, one part bizarre animation and one post-modern skateboarding video, and we are so psyched to premiere it at the Vladimir Film Festival this September!