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‘Hipster Animals’ illustrator spoofs NYC scenesters

Dyna Moe, here in an East Village cafe, is an author of "Hipster Animals," a picture book of anthropomorphic animals with beards and skinny jeans resembling some of NYC's most favorite/reviled hipsters. Jeenah Moon/for New York Daily News

Dyna Moe, here in an East Village cafe, is an author of “Hipster Animals,” a picture book of anthropomorphic animals with beards and skinny jeans resembling some of NYC’s most favorite/reviled hipsters. 

At least New York hipsters can laugh at themselves.

In “Hipster Animals,” a new book out Tuesday, illustrator Dyna Moe reinterprets scenesters as selfie-obsessed anthropomorphic animals dressed in skinny jeans and downing artisanal snacks and cocktails.

Flannel fans in hipster havens like the Village and Williamsburg not only weren’t offended by the drawings — they eagerly ID-ed their spirit animals.

“That’s me!” says painter Bar Benvakil, 26, pointing to the “Street-Level Trendspotter” gliding possum in the book, who’s wearing a floral headband and carrying a parasol.

  "Hipster Animals" by Dyna Moe.an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC/Reprinted from HIPSTER ANIMALS

  “Hipster Animals” by Dyna Moe.

In reality, Benvakil — who was on her way out of Beacon’s Closet vintage clothing store in Greenpoint — looks more like the scarf-wearing “Fashion Plate Photo Diarist” iguana in the book, especially after she strikes a pose. “My friends and I dress like this,” she adds. “These pictures are very realistic. This is the neighborhood — it really is.”

Andrea Katz, 29, from Greenpoint, who’s the spitting image of the porcupine “Lead Ukulele in Gangsta Rap Cover Band” thanks to her green hair and neon-print skirt, agrees.

“No one wants to call themselves a hipster, but we all know we are. I’m not gonna lie,” she laughs. “Unfortunately, this book is pretty accurate. I’m not surprised everyone in the country is making fun of us now for being like these people — or, animals.”

The Fashion Plate Photo Diarist from "Hipster Animals" by Dyna Moe. an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC/Reprinted from HIPSTER ANIMALS

The Fashion Plate Photo Diarist from “Hipster Animals” by Dyna Moe.

Enlarge Aug 31st 2015 A stylish Brooklyn artist is posing with her awesome everyday cloths on Bedford Ave in Brooklyn, New York. Jeenah Moon/for New York Daily News

Aug 31st 2015 A stylish Brooklyn artist is posing with her awesome everyday cloths on Bedford Ave in Brooklyn, New York.

Enlarge

Artist Bar Benvakil looks a bit like the “Fashion Plate Photo Diarist” iguana.

Moe, a freelance artist and comedy writer, previously created the retro-style cartoon art AMC used on the network’s “Mad Men” website, which led to a 2010 book called “Mad Men: The Illustrated World.”

She started the “Hipster Animals” blog in 2011 as a quirky change of pace, occasionally posting her illustrations satirizing the too-cool creatures overrunning the East Village, where she’s lived for the past 15 years.

It became so popular that it was almost adapted into an animated TV pilot and a different book incarnation before the current field guide was greenlit. Moe spent a year traveling to hipster communities in Portland, Seattle and Los Angeles to draw on material, but there’s no place like home for spotting the cream of the counterculture crop.

The Lead Ukulele In Gangsta Rap Cover Band from "Hipster Animals" by Dyna Moe. an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC/Reprinted from HIPSTER ANIMALS

The Lead Ukulele In Gangsta Rap Cover Band from “Hipster Animals” by Dyna Moe.

Enlarge Aug 31st 2015 Andrea Katz is wearing her favorite sunglass from Italy and walking on Bedford Ave after work in Brooklyn, New York. Jeenah Moon/for New York Daily News

Aug 31st 2015 Andrea Katz is wearing her favorite sunglass from Italy and walking on Bedford Ave after work in Brooklyn, New York.

Enlarge

Andrea Katz is from Greenpoint and she bears resemblance to “Lead Ukulele in Gangsta Rap Cover Band” porcupine.

“I spent all day looking and griping,” she jokes. “When I finished the book, I felt really angry, because I had spent so much time listing every hateful thing about the people around me.”

Like in her picture of the “One Step Behind” French bulldog, who’s wearing a flurry of fashion faux pas, including a 2003 trucker hat, a pair of 2007 shutter shades and sporting a “Three Wolf Moon” shirt that hasn’t been popular since 2009.

And who hasn’t seen the “Community Vegetable Advocate” turtle pedaling a bicycle loaded with local produce while wearing a hemp sunhat and printed smock covered in berry stains?

The Self-Elected Arbiter of Taste from "Hipster Animals" by Dyna Moe. an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC/Reprinted from HIPSTER ANIMALS

The Self-Elected Arbiter of Taste from “Hipster Animals” by Dyna Moe.

Enlarge Aug 27th 2015 Johnny Wilson is resting after skating on East village in Manhattan, New York. Jeenah Moon/for New York Daily News

Aug 27th 2015 Johnny Wilson is resting after skating on East village in Manhattan, New York.

Enlarge

Skateboarder/filmmaker Johnny Wilson has something in common with the “Self-Elected Arbiter of Taste” lizard from “Hipster Animals.”

Moe includes character traits for each figure, including their diets (like the various species of foodies obsessing over sriracha or goji-flaxseed cookies) and their mating calls (such as the Kraft Brue Know-It-All repeating, “I can really taste the hops”), which bring each archtype to life.

“Most hipster humor I thought was very lame because it was very unspecific and general,” she says, “and the difficulty here was making this accurate enough that people can recognize their friends in it, and still general enough so it’s not super alienating.”

Of course, many hipsters reject being labeled, including some specimens Moe pointed out to the Daily News on a recent tour around the lower East Side and the Village.

The Farm-to-Table Waiter from "Hipster Animals" by Dyna Moe. an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC/Reprinted from HIPSTER ANIMALS

The Farm-to-Table Waiter from “Hipster Animals” by Dyna Moe.

Enlarge Aug 27th 2015 Emily Dunlop who is a hipster and moved from Toronto is walking Chinatown hood in Manhattan, New York. Jeenah Moon/for New York Daily News

Aug 27th 2015 Emily Dunlop who is a hipster and moved from Toronto is walking Chinatown hood in Manhattan, New York.

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Emily Dunlop has a similar outfit as the “Farm to Table Waiter” goat from “Hipster Animals.”

“We’re Bohemian chic,” corrects Deborah Copeland, 34, wearing an oversized yellow jacket on a 90-degree afternoon.

“This coat is actually a Japanese designer who’s getting pretty hot right now — G.V.G.V.,” she explains, sounding like Moe’s “Thrift Store Quarterback” tapir while also resembling the “Architectural Salvage Upcycler” seagull. “I found it in L.A. in a vintage store. My wardrobe is based on what’s being sold at the moment, but I appropriate it to my own style.”

Emily Dunlop, 30, on the Lower East Side, pauses on the photo of the “Farm-to-Table Waiter” goat in the book, who’s sporting squared glasses and a plaid shirt.

“I’ve definitely seen this guy,” she says, seemingly oblivious to the fact that she’s wearing almost the exact same outfit. “I wouldn’t say I dress like a hipster per se, though. I think of myself more from the punk genre.”

Johnny Wilson, 22, a skateboarder/filmmaker from the Lower East Side who’s a dead ringer for Moe’s “Self-Elected Arbiter of Taste” lizard, also denies being a hipster.

Wilson was spotted on Stanton St. in leopard-print shorts, a graphic t-shirt designed by his friend and fellow skater Sean Pablo, 17, and a hat. “The people around here are pretty hip, I guess,” he says. “But there’s no label for me.”

Moe begs to differ, pointing out, “The first rule of the hipster is that you don’t consider yourself a hipster.”

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Music & Arts – NY Daily News

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