'Lost': Framing the Discussion

Lost, Carlton Cuse | THE CRASH Eric Tan's contribution to the 'Lost' Underground Art Project
Image credit: Eric Tan/ABC
THE CRASH Eric Tan's contribution to the 'Lost' Underground Art Project
LOST POSTERS FOR LOST ''POSTERS''
Behind the scenes of how ''The Lost Underground Art Project'' rocked Lost's Web fandom

On July 25, comedian and seriously legit Lost fan Paul Scheer showed up to the Lost panel at Comic-Con in San Diego and presented exec producers Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse with an artful expression of his obsessive appreciation: a black velvet painting of Damon and Carlton in tuxes, smiling and giving the thumb's up sign and draping their arms around...a polar bear. He then mentioned a website entitled, appropriately enough, DamonCartlonAndAPolarBear.com. Everyone suspected that it was the beginning of something, perhaps some new Lost alternate reality game, or more likely, some goofy spoof on Lost fan craziness. Instead, what we got was an ambitious and ingeniously creative expression of both Lost fandom and Lost fan appreciation.

Meet Jensen Karp. Karp runs a very cool art gallery in Los Angeles that specializes in the intersection of fine art, underground art, and pop culture. For example: Gallery 1988 recently commissioned and organized an exhibition of paintings by various artists inspired by filmmaker Kevin Smith (Clerks, Dogma) and his ''SModcast'' podcasts with longtime producer and friend, Scott Mosier. You can check out the gallery's website— and/or you can watch the short summary of the Smith/Mosier-homage ''SMart Show'' below. Warning: It probably goes without saying that the artwork, produced by hardcore Smith fans, captures the director's notoriously edgy comic sensibility.

Karp is a Lost fan. And as it happens, the people at Lost are fans of Gallery 1988, especially Lost associate producer Noreen O'Toole and co-producer Samantha Thomas. Not long ago, they all got together and brainstormed a very novel idea: a Lost-inspired art initiative, but with a viral component involving websites and events that would allow fans from all over to buy limited edition prints of the art. The initiative would also have another purpose: serving as a big Thank You from the producers of Lost to the Web-based loyalists who've spent five years faithfully obsessing over the show.

And so was born the Lost Underground Art Project. Karp reached out to 16 well-respected poster artists who were also serious Lost aficionados and asked them to create a piece that re-articulated a classic Lost moment in their own unique style. The Scheer stunt at Comic-Con helped launch the online hub for the viral component, DamonCartlonAndAPolarBear.com. Scheer generated even more attention for the site with a comic video chronicling his attempt to infiltrate the Lost writers' offices. After getting lost on the Disney lot — and bumping into Lindelof and Cuse without realizing it — Scheer rummaged through the trash and discovered a shredded document that turned out to be the cover page of the script for season 6's first episode. The skit created a stir among Lost fans because it gave us our first official tease about the new season, as the cover page included the episode's intriguing title: ''LA X.'' Suddenly, Lost's Web-dwelling fans were visiting DamonCartlonAndAPolarBear.com daily to see what would happen next.

NEXT PAGE: Spoilery fun...but only if you want it

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