Monday, August 25, 2008
Diffee in Ink ! ( Not Pencil )
In one of my travels to The Big Apple . . I found myself at the Union Square Barnes & Noble Bookaellers on the second Floor where one of The New Yorker Festival events was to take place . . The Mankoffer was giving a talk on the uniqueness ( is that a word ? ) of a New Yorker Cartoon.
Roz Chast gave a talk on HER particular material she does for The magazine. Also, Diffee was to speak later and I ran into him amongst the small mob . . I asked if he'd draw me a cartoon in my handy reliable sketch pad and he said yes . . I was kind of hoping he would've done it in PENCIL . . since all of his work I've seen in the magazine is rendered in pencil . . ( I thought, WOW! DIFFEE in INK ! I felt SPECIAL )
He seemed pre-occupied so we didn't chat . . he was probably thinking, who the hell is THIS guy ? I didn't get a chance to introduce myself and that was that.
Usually, most artists BEGIN their careers in pencil and then when the confidence builds they learn the skill of pen & ink with a pen point, brush . . but now most recently just skip directly from pencil to felt-tip pen . . ( except for Comic Books, thank God ).
Da Vinci, Michaelangelo, and most of the masters went on to master the tools of the trade ( charcoal, water colors, oils, etc. ) THEN they'd go and return to the basics . . the PENCIL . . It's what was done. And nobody questioned it.
Re: The New Yorker's Robert Weber drawings . . the loose pencil cartoons show the mastery of the pencil after years of rendering his cartoons in ink, finished washes and charcoal . . THEN and only THEN, like the masters before him, he earned the right to draw in pencil . . It's only MY opinion, but what the hell do I know . .
It's like juggling ONE ball ( with 2 hands ), while your collegues are juggling 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 balls with only ONE arm and one hand !
All this is masterfully done whilst DIFFEE is being called ( by the New Yorker staff ) the most talented new find of America's crop of the NEW New Yorker cartoonists !
Yes, he makes it look easy . . It's not him, it's me.