Saturday, May 19, 2018

Miscellaneous + Around Town etc's

One of my recent posts of a doodle done in desperation got some great coverage on social media.
I swear that's the time of the year when the gears start squeaking up in the mental gymnasium.... still some snow on the ground around the cabin as of this posting.

A recent episode of The Simpsons featured the work of one of my personal favorites in animation, Bill Plympton. The above screen grab illustrates his gestural style of drawing - even a snapshot in stasis seems to writhe alive - in conjunction with a palette of warm pastels using I assume is colored pencil. The original version that this Homeric homage refers to appeared back in 1987 - I recall seeing it first on a big screen as part of an annual animation festival that the film department at Syracuse University would host.

Now it seems The Simpsons are back in the spotlight for a couple reasons: the first being breaking the record for all-time longest running scripted TV sow (with 636 episodes). Also the recurring controversy regarding the nature of its sense of humor - specifically the stereotyping of one of it's many stereotyped characters, Apu.
"Comedy particularly needs to be defended against ideologues. Humor is the most resilient enemy of zealotry, which is why so many fanatics have tried to ban or police it, from the original Puritans to the new PC Puritans." - Andrew Sullivan 
There is no shortage of different perspectives on the issue, some more measured than others, especially the predictable outrage from over on the fainting couch of comedy. Go watch a true master at work to see + study the range of impressions (derogatory stereotypes) he does over the course of his performance. This is why there are no limits, and no exceptions. Ever.

I've often called the clippings on refrigerators as second only to the outhouse as far as hallowed ground for the display of one's work. And yes, I admit to still, even after all these years, being apprehensive and even a little bit pinch-me over every day that I run down to the corner store on Sunday for a peek at my panel on the page.

It's still satisfying, even more gratifying and humbling to hold it your hands, as the flickering & fleeting on-line arena evaporates pretty quick in comparison. Still, social media is basically a big ol' sandbox where one can wade right in and get dirty on the playground of ideas. It's a great resource especially as a sort of sounding board, testing the cartoon waters with a tenuous toe-tip as it were.

Take for example the trial run of a new character: "Herman the Ermine… a weasel at his easel." So far the suggestions for a sidekick range from “fartin’ Martin” and “a stoat afloat on a boat in a moat” to “a mink wearing pink holding a drink in a sink,” and “a ferret with merit.”

Here's a perfect case in point as to the relative subjectivity of what some folks find funny.
Below is my (second) contribution to the ambiance of our local diner scene was upgraded at Sourdough Sam's (I got a breakfast on the house, which is what it must feel like to be a real celebrity). Also the frame is perfectly at eye-height for the demographic to which it will give childhood traumas...

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