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by Royston

Review: Modern Toss exhibition

July 3, 2010 in General, News

Modern Toss Turner
Royston Robertson reviews the Modern Toss exhibition which is at the Maverik Showroom in Shoreditch, East London, and has been extended until July 11.

In the spirit of Modern Toss, I should probably just say that this show is f***ing funny and leave it at that.

To be honest, there’s not much more than that you can say. For one thing, the mean-faced, foul-mouthed characters that populate the Toss cartoons almost deny you to make any deeper analysis. You’d risk looking like a pretentious chump (they wouldn’t say chump).

And for another, really what we have here is a lot of variations on the same gag. The joke goes like this: normal, upstanding member of society says one thing, and Modern Toss character replies with the kind of sweary abuse we all want to come out with in these situations but never do. It’s comedy Tourette’s (in fact, one of the characters takes that as his name).

There are a few pieces outside the usual formula, such as the brilliant Punctuation Networking Event, where punctuation marks chat about their traditional roles and how they’ve changes since texting and the internet, and the self-explanatory Periodic Table of Swearing.

Detail from Punctuation Networking Event

Good fun then, if a bit slight. The artwork on the walls is mainly prints which gives the whole thing a feeling of a shop rather than an exhibition. Still, it is marketed as a “Museum of Shit-Naks”, so as the Drive-By Abuser (pictured, top) might say, “Fair play to them, yeah?”

by Royston

Modern Toss makes a display of itself

June 21, 2010 in General, News

Modern Toss magazine
An exhibition put together by the makers of the cartoon magazine Modern Toss opens at the Maverik Showroom in London tomorrow (June 22).

If you’re not familiar with Modern Toss, it is an adult magazine that divides opinion. To some it’s the cutting edge of dark humour, to others it’s a load of scribbled cartoons that rely too much on swearing. You decide. The magazine also became a Channel 4 comedy, featuring animation and live-action sketches.

This writer finds it a mixed bag, but does enjoy some of the characters, such as Mr Tourette – Master Signwriter (you can guess the usual outcome) and, in particular, the Drive-by Abuser, who zooms around on a moped hurling pointless abuse at things. He criticises traffic lights for their “limited range” and a tree for shedding its leaves (“You gonna clean up that mess, yeah? You want a dustpan and brush?”)

Drive-By Abuser iPhone app

The exhibition, which will feature the Period Table of Swearing and a massive fly sculpture (because the fly is “really under-represented” in art) is organised by Sabotage Times, a web magazine run by the former Loaded editor James Brown. There’s an entertaining interview with the creators of Modern Toss on the site.

The Maverik Showroom is at 68-72 Redchurch Street, Shoreditch. The exhibition runs until July 4.

Left: Drive-By Abuser is now available as an iPhone app!