M. Wartella

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M. Wartella
Born 19 August 1976
Nationality American
Occupation Cartoonist, Animator
Years active 1994-present

Michael M. Wartella is an American underground cartoonist and animator based in New York City who generally publishes under the name "M. Wartella". His animated cartoons currently appear weekly on Cartoon Network's MAD.


While a student at The University of Virginia,[1] Wartella created the absurdist art comic Ackxhpæz (1994–1996) which was later expanded and syndicated to alternative weekly newspapers from 1998-2000. The nationally syndicated version of the comic featured an unpronounceable title devoid of any alphabetic characters whatsoever, using instead graphic symbols of three hickory walnuts to represent its title. Commonly referred to as Nuts,[2] the humor in many of the cartoons was controversial as exemplified in a 1999 comic about the Columbine High School Massacre which prompted an outrage when it was published in Denver.[2][3]

In 2007, Wartella's reportorial cartoons began appearing regularly in The Village Voice.[4]

Wartella's sequential comics work has appeared in Eisner and Harvey Award nominated anthologies from DC Comics and Fantagraphics Books and in magazines including Andy Warhol's Interview and Spin. His illustrations have primarily appeared in "underground" publications including Arthur (magazine), Pop Smear (magazine), and he was the creator of the infamously rare[citation needed] scratch-off cover of Vice Magazine.

Wartella contributed several titles and paintings to the "all-new" series of Wacky Packages trading cards from Topps, and created similar product parody spoofs for Nickelodeon Magazine in the 2000s (decade).

Wartella is also a noted animator,[5] profiled as a pioneer of online animation by The New York Times in a 1998 article which described his early animated web short The Dinky Dog Archive as "the Steamboat Willie of the internet".[1] In the new 2000 millennium, Wartella has contributed to animated segments on MTV2's cult hit Wonder Showzen (2005–2006), Adult Swim's series Superjail (2008–2009) and Xavier: Renegade Angel (2007–2009), in feature film The Ten (2007),[6] and in several music videos.

As of 2013, Wartella's studio Dream Factory Animation has conceived and developed the animation for the Wired animated web series Mister Know-It-All for Condé Nast and @radical.media.[7][8]



  1. ^ a b Animator Pursues a Minimal Approach to His Art, The New York Times, March 19, 1998
  2. ^ a b Off Limits, Denver Westword, July 01, 1999
  3. ^ Sell Your Soul To Evil, Channel 9 (KUSA) News at 10 with reporter Heidi Hemmat, June 23, 1999
  4. ^ M. Wartella starts Runnin’ Scared for Village Voice, Editor & Publisher, July 17, 2007
  5. ^ M. Wartella Animation on Xavier: Renegade Angel Cartoon Brew, March 19, 2009
  6. ^ IMDB IMDB Filmography
  7. ^ "Introducing: Brooklyn's DREAM FACTORY ANIMATION". Gateway Pictures. Retrieved 2013-08-11. 
  8. ^ C. Edwards (13 July 2013). "M.Wartella Launches His Dream Factory in Brooklyn". Cartoon Brew. Retrieved 2013-08-11. 

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