Lev Yilmaz

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Lev Yilmaz
Yilmaz with the camera rig for the live part of the show in Paris.
Yilmaz with the camera rig for the live part of the show in Paris.
BornLevni R. Yilmaz
Boston, Massachusetts, United States
OccupationComics artist, Animator

Levni Yilmaz (born 1973)[1] is a San Francisco based independent film maker, artist and publisher, best known for his "Tales of Mere Existence" animated comic series.

Early life[edit]

Yilmaz was born in Boston, Massachusetts to Turkish physicist Hüseyin Yılmaz (author of the Yilmaz theory of gravitation) and Karen Carlson.[2] He has two older siblings.

Tales of Mere Existence[edit]

The "Tales of Mere Existence" series began in 2002 as a series of animated comics that were shown at film festivals.

Each video in the "Tales of Mere Existence" series shows a series of static cartoons, which appear gradually as if being drawn by an invisible hand. Yilmaz' technique is inspired by the French documentary "The Mystery of Picasso" (1956), which similarly shows Picasso's paintings appearing from the other side.

Yilmaz writes, draws, films, edits, and narrates all of the "Tales of Mere Existence" videos. He often recounts personal anecdotes and observations and discusses his views on interpersonal relationships, society and human behavior. His videos are told from a rather pessimistic viewpoint and tend to have a sarcastic undertone.

In 2003, Yilmaz began to sell DVDs that contained some of his short comic films. Along with the DVD came the first print version of the "Tales of Mere Existence". Over the next six years, Yilmaz published three more books, as his fan base grew to thousands. His first official book, "Sunny Side Down", was published by Simon & Schuster in 2009.


In recent years Yilmaz gained a large fan base around his animated comics on YouTube.[3] He uses this online popularity to promote his books and DVDs, which are sold from his personal website. Yilmaz made appearances in New York for events such as Rooftop Film Festival, performing live readings from his books.

The "Tales of Mere Existence" series has accumulated over 49 million views on YouTube on his channel AgentXPQ [4] as of July 2016.

In October 2010, his comic "God" was featured on Franco-German TV Network arte.[5] In December 2010 "A Few of my Highschool Teachers" aired on Showtime.[6]


Tales of Mere Existence
  1. Tales of Mere Existence I (2003)
  2. Tales of Mere Existence II (2004)
  3. The 7 Habits Of Highly Negative People (2006)
  4. Sunny Side Down (2009)
  5. The Doom Room (2013)


  1. ^ Ganahl, Jane (16 November 2004). "Life is funny. And mundane. Just like in a cartoon by Lev". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 1 April 2011.
  2. ^ Article about Yilmaz Archived 2012-04-25 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ YouTube user page
  4. ^ Yilmaz' youtube channel
  5. ^ Comic as seen on arte (german)
  6. ^ Comic as seen on Showtime

External links[edit]