Off the Rails

Owing to the increasing unpredictability of the C train, I arrived late to a release party thrown by Public Transport Magazine (PTM). “Good small talk for this crowd,” I thought to myself. But soon after arriving at Nothing Really Matters, a bar located inside the 50th Street station, I sensed something was off. In place of the transit nerds I had expected to find were aspiring comics and aficionados of the funny pages. There had been signs, of course. The promotional flier advertised a “punchline contest,” and the conversations I overheard before the stand-up got going went something like this:

“Do you have a day job?”

“I used to.”

PTM is a project of Al Mullen, a comic and sometimes contributor to the New Yorker whose editorial mandate consists in platforming cartoons, gags, and humor writing that often, but not exclusively, concern commute-related ails. He leaves copies of the hand-stapled zine in strategic places throughout the MTA system so that one encounters the publication as one does the leaflets for Keano “the Spiritual Consultant,” tucked into the corner…

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