Back to basics

I will be returning to drawing cartoons for the kids like I did much of last year. I want to see if I can affect the 2nd and 6th grades with the silly humor my kids come up with.

I ask them what they want and I draw it.

In High school a friend of mine and I used our study hall period to draw cartoons we left for my best friend at the time. (And brother-in-law to be since I eventually married his little sister).

Mike usually wrote the gags while I scribbled them on notebook paper in the 40 minutes we had “studying”

My senior year got me no where. I took everything I needed to graduate by junior year so I could spend my last year in the Art wing and all my electives.

Wanting to be a cartoonist is one thing, but I should have gone to tech.

But I digress…

My self appointed goal set in 8th grade to be a syndicated cartoonist like my heroes Charles Schulz, Bill Watterson, Berke Breathed and Gary Larson would soon come and go. Almost as quickly as the newspspers changed.

I no longer want to be syndicated but I would still love to get paid for my cartoons. My sketchbooks mock me.

I concentrated on writing well before cancer struck, because I realized how much writing actually went into a cartoon or a daily comic strip.

I have bounced back and forth looking for a balance between the two…because in the back of my mind that 14 year old kid who decided to set this goal to begin with gave me until my 30th birthday to accomplish it, continues to haunt me with the fact that I in fact did not achieve this goal (but researched the crap out of it into my late 20’s) AND that 14 year old kid still thinks a cartoonist is a gag writer at heart.

Trouble is I might be able to write…I just don’t have a lot of confidence in my gag writing.

And since I’m not trying to sell cartoons to the New Yorker…my days of being a gag cartoonist are behind me.

All the greats started out as magazine gag cartoonists. Kind of like a comedian’s rite of passage coming up in vaudeville. I think that’s why I keep coming back to it.

I have no ambition to start a web cartoon. I still enjoy a good single panel gag cartoon when I can find them.

And there is always Richard Thompson’s “Cul de Sac”…as good as Calvin and Hobbes ever was.

I doodle a lot and I experiment with watercolors and abstract art. I am looking for a happy medium somewhere in between.

I don’t think I will ever find it. But I need to get back to searching for it. Art is the only thing that keeps me sane.

When I make my kids laugh with a cartoon their idea sparked its worth all the money in the world.

Maybe I should collect those and just publish them.

Later, Scotty

Published in: on October 24, 2011 at 1:34 pm  Leave a Comment  
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