Sunday, November 9, 2008

This I Know . . ( or do I ? )

When one looks at so-called "good " ( ? ) magazine cartooning as The New Yorker Magazine purports to exercise . . . You look at some of the newer cartoonists there . . of the last 20 years or so, ( not all, but you know who you are, the ones that irritate most readers and other cartoonists, especially the ones who can't sell there ) . . . . A student of art can't help but bring to mind the famous statement by Josef Albers ( 1888-1976 ), the German-born American artist, was called an artistic adventurer in 20th century modernism.
His famous statement: " ART IS A SWINDLE. " I think was the truth. He was engaging in it and was benefitting immensely. I think he was trying to tell us something. He was an honest man.
His Socratic-like honesty is admirable. Sometimes what you think something is, it turns out to be just what you thought it was. ( But were afraid to say, because you might be tagged as unsophisticated . . and for God's sake, who would relish THAT ? ).

The odd thing, to me, is that the writing of the cartoons in The New Yorker is fine. But a lot of the ones almost nobody likes are drawn by writers . . Hell, no wonder the drawings stink . . It's like hiring a housepainter to fix your plumbing problems . . most housepainters are lousy plumbers. Most writers are lousy cartoonists. Most atomic physicists are lousy tight-rope walkers . . . IT'S NOT THAT COMPLICATED !

Actually, the writing is usually so good that you don't need ANY drawing at all !

Many are just illustrated jokes, They could be displayed similar to a section that used to run in past Reader's Digest magazines called " Cartoon Quips ". . . What they did, was described the scene and then give you the "gagline ". Hell, the same thing could be done at The New Yorker . . Who wants to look at a repulsive or stupid or amateur drawing or painting ( Unless, like Albers informed and enlightened us about the swindle ). I just like to know ahead of time I'm in the middle of a swindle and I'm getting the shaft or the short end of the stick .

Sometimes, the truth hurts ( Some people ) . . And as Jack Nicholson told Tom Cruise, in " A Few Good Men " : " You can't HANDLE the truth ! " ( Some people can't. )

As Lew Card used to say: " Nuf sed. "


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