Welcome to a brand new feature here at the ol’ Andertoons Blog entitled “Whatcha Think?!”
Every so often odd little questions about cartoons/cartooning pop into my head and I thought my blog would be the perfect way to exorcise some cartoon query demons and create a little discussion.
So, here we go!
OK, on Monday I blogged about a Get Fuzzy strip (click here to see it) in which Darby Conley makes a joke about the medium itself. Conley has continued the trend this week and I’ve really enjoyed them.
Here’s the thing though. I’ve found when I’m faced with a really bad cartoon idea dry spell I’m often drawn to writing about myself or cartooning in general.
Which got me thinking…
Are cartoons about cartooning/cartoonists fiendishly clever? Or, as I’ve experienced/heard offered up, simply a way to get past a particularly nasty case of writer’s block? Maybe a little from column A and a little from column B?
9 thoughts on “Referencing the Medium – Whatcha Think?”
Being the extroverted,exhibitionist (only on the drawing board) cartoonist I never miss a chance to insert myself into a piece. It's a lot of fun but can wear thin in a very short amount of time so it must be done sparingly. The viewer will tire of it very quickly so I try to spread out any use of that device so as not to render it useless. My editrial cartoons had a little character in it that people would say was me but I would deny it just to add a hint of intrigue which would prolong the ability to use it. After all, the two of us had been seen together in a couple of cartoons so how could we have been the same person? Cartoonists love to insert ourselves into our work being the vain creatures we are and because…WE CAN!
You know, I'm not sure I've ever really inserted myself into a cartoon, although I tend to use the name "Anderson" a lot in signs and for politicians and such. It's a generic name like Jones or Smith but it doesn't seem too generic.
I do have to admit, I sort of get a little kick out of using it.
I've griped about this before. I'm sure I'm a minority in this, but I find it very tiresome. Bunch of cartoonists navel-gazing and winking at each other. I can't help but wonder if it's because they can't think of a good gag. Sad thing is, I see a lot of it these days.
I was sort of put off by Conley's strip on Monday, I have to admit. It seemed like a really easy joke and certainly not up to his normal standard. But today's is really really funny. And it seems like it's trying to be a little edgy. Adult even! (Gasp!) What WILL the neighbors think?!
I think Conley's strip is funny, but I feel it's unfortunate that it makes the world he created a little less real. We all take a lot of time trying to make our cartoon worlds believable, but all that effort takes a hit whenever we remind readers that the whole thing is a farce.
I would have been much more impressed if he had created an edgy adult gag without having to fall back on the referencing crutch.
I dunno, I think once in a great great while it can be done well. But doing entire weeks on it…
The thing is, Darby actually hurt his arm. Some papers had to run recycled strips the week before.
I'm not really concerned about the quality of the artwork, and Conley, as I've said before is one of my current favorites, and I hope he feels better soon. I just thought Monday's strip was a good jumping off point for discussion…
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