Monday, February 1, 2010

"Blog Like A Cartoonist"

Via Mike Lynch's excellent cartoon blog (incidentally the gold standard of cartoonist blogs that continually astonishes and humbles me with it's output + coverage) comes a repost of "Blog Like A Cartoonist" by Mark Anderson from his equally outstanding blog "Andertoons."

This series literally illustrates some basic, common techniques utilized for writing and drawing gag panels.  Anderson's examples'll make for a spiffy resource in the classroom for the summer's "Cartoon & Comic Art" studio course - especially seeing as how, ironically enough given my experience, generating ideas for cartoons is probably the weakest section and the hardest to teach.
Not only will it prove useful in conjunction with an open jam session using material from my students, it in turn inspired me to "translate" it into Alaskan...

 #1 COMBINE: "Take two or more incongruous subjects or scenarios and find a way to either use them together, or compare them."

#2 EXAGGERATE: "Increasing or minimizing an idea to outrageously improbable ends..."

#3 REVERSE: "Flip something normally taken for granted on its head."


#5 EXPOSE: "Revealing an unspoken truth..."

#6 MODERNIZE: "Refresh an old topic or idea with new techniques, technologies or trends."

Now a couple of these posted samples are gonna get tweaked some more before submission, or tossed into the recycle bin, or trashed altogether, and at least one if not two are in the realm of editorial panels. Anderson's categories cover a lot of fuzzy gray areas (the nature of comedy - there is no fail-safe formula for what's funny). Most overlap or can be combined with other elements: add to the list switching to customize a regional flavor; and the whole experiment would fall under the "snowball" exercise of tossing around non sequitur concepts for stream-of-consciousness (mental jam session) spontaneous evolution (the Jacob's Ladder of Humor); and most importantly the ideas generated by the simple act of writing and drawing (Perspiration versus Inspiration).

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