Trying to unravel a street art mystery.

Sometime this spring, likenesses of the “Futurama” character Zoidberg, an animated lobster-doctor of questionable competence, began appearing on the sides of buildings located primarily on the South Side. “Futurama,” created by “Simpsons” mastermind Matt Groening in 1999, raises animated satire to a high art, and the Zoidberg-ing of the city took its most lurid and lovable character and portrayed him as an all-seeing icon. The phenomenon didn’t last long as property owners have already painted over some of the Zoidbergs, although we observed three survivors in person. We asked Stacey Williams-Ng, organizer of the Black Cat Alley street art festival (Sept. 17-18), if she knew who was Zoidberg-ing the city, and she said she didn’t: “It’s probably someone who doesn’t want to be found.” But why Milwaukee? It turns out that within the show’s mythology, Milwaukee is the most romantic city in the world and the “birthplace of beer goggles.”

“Lobster Tale” appears in the August issue of Milwaukee Magazine.
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