Archive for July, 2008

Uneasy Chair

I know someday I’ll succumb to the old person thing of getting an easy chair and rocking away my days in sweet rhythmic bliss.  But that’s for another time.  Right now I don’t want to get too comfortable.  To me, there’s a real danger in getting too comfortable too early in life.  Something of the Romantic spirit is lost in the mad scramble for comfort.  Of course, these are the words of someone who had a great, solid childhood and who never had to worry about where their next meal was coming from, so I know I sound all middle class angsty here.  But it’s something to not live your youth for the sole purpose of pleasing your every need.  I think I put myself in a version of the “uneasy chair” often to goose myself into a real identification with the profane world.  I guess if I didn’t I’d be floating off in the ether somewhere, living inside my head. 

I think that if everyone who was lucky like I was to be raised by good solid parents in a safe environment just tried to deny themselves a little more once they got to the age where they could do real damage to the earth if they didn’t, maybe the world would come back into balance and we wouldn’t have these huge gulfs between the rich and poor.

Well, I think I’ve managed to suck every last drop of humor out of this cartoon.  Sorry for being heavy, I’ve just been thinking about it since the world seems so crazy right now.

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Existential Swinging

All right, I’m back in the saddle (sort of).  With all that’s going on in my life right now, I’m not going to be able to post as many cartoons for a while.  I’m not sure how many people consistently look at my pictures anyway, so I’m sure there won’t be a hue and cry over this.  Take care and, if you are a loyal visitor, please keep checking back.  And thanks for bearing with me!

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Cartooning Lull, Dark Knight Genius

Ok, so this is a purely word-only post today.  Sorry to deprive you of my genius comics, I know you can barely stand it.  And there’s no emoticon to communicate total sarcasm beyond this stupid one — ;P — so let me say I’m being sarcastic.  A lot’s been going on for me personally, and drawing cartoons, which is purely a hobby for me, has had to take a back seat.  Since I’m a crap-ass drawer, I’m not too worried about my skills suffering during the lull.  But I wanted to let my 3 or so loyal readers know I haven’t disappeared and that at some point I’ll start drawing and posting them again. 

One thing I do want to say here is that I saw the Dark Knight and it’s terrific.  Anyone who hasn’t seen it needs to see it at least three times.  Yes it’s super dark, yes it’s disturbing, yes it’s basically a huge bum-out fest of a movie, but there’s something beautiful in its twisted smoking hulk of wreckage.  I know why everyone and their grandma has hailed this movie.  I know why I hail it.  And yes, it is because of the Joker and Heath Ledger’s superhuman performance, though not for the exact reason everyone says it is.  The truth is that the Joker — and Ledger — tap into what we all wish we could tap, though without the evil: an infinite capacity for being honest with oneself. 

To me this is the essence of the movie and why everyone loves Ledger’s performance so much but can’t seem to find anything beyond a cliche to adorn it with (how many bloody times have I read the words “nothing short of spectacular”??).  He is honest with himself in a way I’ve not seen a character be honest with themselves in any movie maybe ever.  He has no inhibitions.  His only ambition is to kill and destroy everything that Batman holds dear.  There is no “purpose” to his life, as he sees it, greater than his own demented enjoyment (he complains at one point that things have gotten “boring”).  This is not a socially-sanctioned ambition, but he doesn’t care — in the Joker’s mind he’s the toughest guy in town so he thinks he can remake all the rules.     

People in general, but we Americans in particular, have difficulty, ultimately, with being honest with ourselves.  Maybe this is why it took an Australian actor to to pull it off.  We fake ourselves into believing that purchasing crap will make us feel better, that people respect us more when we blow them off, that we can follow a passion and let the consequences be damned.  There is a huge paradox in this Joker in that his acknowledgment of how people are limited by their hypocracy frees him to be just as damned hypocritical as he wants to be because he’s not a faker.  This is what gives him his power and ultimately is one of the main reasons he freaks us the hell out.  

He’s not driven by money or even respect, really — although he gets lots of both in the film.  He luxuriates in hurting others.  It’s fun for him.  He enjoys the domination.  I think most of the world’s population can identify with this, given the current power structure of most of the world’s countries.  We identify with our tormenter in this movie in a way we are unable to quite identify with our real-life oppressors.  I’m not complimenting the Joker here — he’s a pit of bottomless despair and Ledger makes sure to show that he’s a very, very sad man, and this is probably another layer on which we “identify” with him while simultaneously despising him. 

You have to give the Joker credit for one thing, though: he doesn’t hide behind anyone.  He is who he is, for all the world to fear.  He is bold and does not prevaricate when things don’t quite go his way.  He “follows his passion” as we are all told to follow ours; the only problem is that his passion is to, as Alfred Pennyworth puts it, “watch the world burn.”  

Heath Ledger makes this happen with his boundless gifts as an actor, perhaps the best of his generation and, if he hadn’t died, maybe the best ever.  I can’t wait to see his final final final performance in “The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus”.  Sounds cool.  And Christopher Nolan is the man behind it all, so you have to give him tons of credit.  This movie is about much more than entertainment.  It’s about the state of the world into which we all perceive ourselves to have fallen.

Anyone else have any comments on the movie?   

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Fallout Web

Some really depressing/pragmatic economist guy was on Glenn Beck’s horsecrap show tonight saying that we’re heading for a really bad economy.  Like on par with the 1970’s and whatnot.  But the thing was the guy wasn’t like many of Beck’s usual guests who puff up their chests and scream.  He was all resigned and stuff.  Like all prognosticating hell on earth while shrugging his shoulders.

I believe this man.

When bad news is packaged with abject resignation on a t.v. show known for its bombastic guests/host, and it’s a very conservative show at that (I don’t care how hard he tries to come off as middle of the road gee whiz Midwest guy, Beck is a complete narcissist a-hole), when it’s packaged like this, I absolutely believe the economist.  He’s saying that in the not-too-distant future we’ll no longer think of the American Dream as attainable and it will cease to exist.  This is how bad it has gotten.  No one trusts the government.  It has lost the trust of its people.  This is very bad.  Our buying power will diminish significantly in the coming years as Asia rises.  So build those fallout webs, my pretties.

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Super Flip Vs. The Building Facade

 

Took a road trip this weekend with my lady and I sketched out some new drawings.  You’ll see them all (probably) in the coming days.  We’ll see if they make the cut.  Anyway, I’ve found that pound for pound, drawing is the best way to be creative in the car while simultaneously not tuning out the other person you’re road-tripping with.  If you get an imaginiative itch and have to do something about it, but don’t want to create a potentially lethal confrontation over not listening to your significant other’s conversation, then I highly recommend drawing. 

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The Nomad Hermit

This is me.  I’m a nomad AND a hermit.  I have to relocate to another city every few years or else I feel stagnant, but most people frighten me.

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Super Flip In Four Panels

I don’t really know what brought this one on.  I’ve been wanting to experiment with some color lately, so I guess that’s one thing.  Hope you like it.

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