Donnie Hoyle: Misunderstood Employee, Committed Husband, Photoshop Grand Master.

Today, the aforementioned poobah of graphic design has released his sixth installment of My Damn Channel’s cult tutorial, You Suck at Photoshop, which unlike other channels that have prominent placement on Damn’s homepage, is buried for only the most hip of web-vid aficionados to find.

In his latest episode, Hoyle employs the use of the filter tool. Guided by his own need to use the restroom after ninety-six hours of holding it in, he messes with a semi-headless picture of his boss, Jeff Swanson, “accepting an award he didn’t deserve.” Donnie makes the man look as bloated as he himself feels. In other words, this is stream-of-consciousness retouching at its most outrageous.

At face value, Donnie Hoyle is the worst kind of loser. He’s the equivalent of an angry son borne of Michael Scott and Comic Book Guy using Photoshop as a means of figuratively rectifying the problems he can’t address in real life. Fortunately, it would also appear that “Donnie Hoyle” is a joke. But then, who is he?

As tight-lipped as reps from My Damn Channel have been about the identity of the Bruce Wayne to Donnie Hoyle’s Batman, it actually adds to the fun of the “mystery.” Rumors of the real identity of the voice behind Donnie Hoyle abound on the internet, and Dane Cook appears to be the obvious choice. They have a similar sound and Donnie maintains pics of Cook on his hard drive – aptly labeled “d-bag” and “douche.” Others peg David Cross as the voice behind Donnie’s misery.

If Dane Cook (or even David Cross, to a less likely extent) is Donnie Hoyle, it would be the least surprising of results. If Donnie Hoyle is actually a real guy, who just happens to have a few anger issues and a penchant for Photoshop, then it would just be sad. But if, in fact, Donnie Hoyle is none of those people, and yet, has gotten a horde of fans behind the Cook/Cross theory, then that’s kinda genius.

Meanwhile, the series itself – whether you’re sharing in the joke of Hoyle’s alter-ego or merely enjoy watching, first-hand, the devastating unraveling of a fellow human being – is really funny. The standout episode has to be the second You Suck at Photoshop installment, in which Donnie takes a picture of his wife’s cat and magically moves the animal to the bottom of a trash bag. (Be assured, however, that no animals were actually harmed in the making of this jpeg.)

As for the identity of would-be celebrity voice, only time, or a really careless leak, will tell. Based on this week’s episode, I don’t think we’re getting any closer to the answer. And the mild meta-fiction surrounding Photoshop – most notably with a real-life auction of a wedding band that Donnie put on eBay – has not lent us any more clues.

Sometimes the least apparent choice ends up being the most fitting. But then, I always thought it was fairly obvious that Clark Kent and Superman were the same guy. Who knows.

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