Saturday, July 04, 2020

On Deck Circle

Happy Independence Day, fellow Americans. As we grill our hot dogs in isolation, and listen to neighbors risk bodily harm to set off amateur fireworks, let's look at the week's Bizarro cartoons.

Monday's gag ran the risk of angering my colleagues for revealing a trade secret, but everyone was cool. 
 
Before I do any work in Photoshop, I take a few practice swings with an IMSAI 8080 computer.
 
Insert celebrity parent name here.

This panel raises a question: What do porcine bikers call their motorcycles?

This stone age driver has just updated his automotive decorations. When he was younger and wilder, it sported a drawing of a mischievous cartoon kid peeing on a neighbor's wheel.

As soon as I sketched this shriveled-up character, I knew I wanted to feature him in a gag.
My sketchbook drawings are usually quite messy, and there are a few that even I can't decipher.

Saturday's drawing is loosely modeled on my friend Teresa Roberts Logan, who's a standup comic as well as a very funny cartoonist. I highly recommend her comic, Laughing Redhead. She has a unique humorous voice, and I enjoy the organic look of her artwork. I don't actually know how she feels about feng shui. That part, I made up.

For additional graphical merriment and pithy commentary, please visit Dan Piraro's blog, where you can also admire his latest widescreen Bizarro Sunday page.

Dan often opens his blog posts with well-reasoned and entertaining commentary on current ridiculous events, but the intro to last week's entry was a change of pace. Dan discussed some ideas that he formed, in part, as a result of reading The Ascent of Humanity by Charles Eisenstein. That post aligns with thoughts I've articulated (much less eloquently) regarding the way that mass-media entertainment, and technologies like radio and television, replaced self-made entertainment, and in some ways made people less social.

At one time, most homes had a piano and other musical instruments, and family members were able to play together for fun. Making music with other people is one of life's great joys, and at its best it's a social activity that relies on cooperation, listening, and empathy. When mass-marketed recording came along, I believe that people who made music for the pure enjoyment of it, began to compare themselves unfavorably to professional entertainers, felt that their efforts weren't worthwhile, and gave up on music, except as passive listeners.

Something similar happens with visual art. Just about all kids love to draw and color. Drawing is a form of communication that predates written language. It seems that at some crucial point in childhood, many kids become discouraged, whether it's because of parents, teachers, or peers. They decide that they can't draw, and give up, never developing artistic skills, and that's a shame.
 
Of course, some kids are wonderful, special, obsessed weirdos, who never take "no" for an answer, and pursue their creative passions despite forces that would discourage them. These are the people who create great stuff, and I'm glad to know quite a few of them.
 
A surprising number of cartoonists also enjoy making music, including Robert Crumb.
The tagline at the bottom of this 1972 Crumb record is a profound statement:
"Music self-played is happiness self-made."
 
Thanks for following Bizarro.
 
Bonus Track

10 comments:

Jeff Barnes said...

I always liked to draw, but an eighth great art teacher kind of shattered my confidence, so I really appreciate what you said here.

wordsmith said...

Wayno, I love your work, but I detected a small error in the "Hardcore tat" cartoon--it contains 4 secret symbols, but the "credits" list only 3--there's a crown around the O2 symbol.
Hope you had a good and safe Fourth and thanks for brightening up my Saturdays!

Unknown said...

Ah, a truly rare recording to share with my musician friends, thanks!

Unknown said...

Do you really have an IMSAI 8080? I do, still works.

Some Guy said...

This is absolutely the most fun I've gotten from any blog ever. The R. Crumb material is fantastic.

Wayno said...

Sadly, that’s a familiar story, Jeff. So sorry to hear that. The saddest part is that a small act of encouragement from a teacher or parent can be much more powerful.

Knowing you, though, your creative soul shines brightly.

Wayno said...

You’re right! A few months ago, when I sent this in, the editors (or maybe Dan) caught the error and corrected the file that King Features published, but I apparently forgot to correct my file copy!

Sometimes, I manage to hide a symbol from myself...

Wayno said...

I love that kind of music, too. Glad you enjoyed it.

Wayno said...

Ha! No, I don’t, that was just some jokesterism on my part.

Wayno said...

Crumb made a lot of great records!

One of the members of his group, Robert Armstrong (another great cartoonist), released a wonderful album with a group called The Joy Buzzards. If you get a chance, check them out.