Merry Christmas, everyone.
Merry Christmas, everyone.
Fame is a fleeting, and tenuous creature. I have a deep and abiding love for the next-to-famous, the guys who hold the other end of the gold record for the writer-guitarist-lead-singer-handsome-one. The co-stars. The sidekicks. The John Oates’ to the Daryl Halls. The Andrew Ridgleys to the George Michaels. The idea that you can be in fame and talent without necessarily being of it. This, of course, as is the nature of these Thumbnail Thursday posts, predates our current culture, where the preponderence of reality TV means anyone can be famous, regardless of proximity to the merest whiff of talent or charm or worth.
Pity, then, the memories of these fine gentlemen. I’m marginally proud of the fact that you can tell which is which.
John Oates and Andrew Ridgeley spent a lot of times in celebrity kitchens during the 80s.
I only ever drew two Halloween-themed thumbnails. The first I posted a while back. Here’s the second.
You can see why, really.
“Umm… trick or treat?”
Ever seen a broken spiderweb and wonder what happened to it? Anthropomorphism is a key component of cartooning: animals that look like humans, and/or behave like them. Of the two, I prefer animals that behave like humans while still resembling animals, but it’s… uh… horses, for… you know…
“Well, well, well. Lovely web you got there, guv’nor. Shame if anyfink happened to it…”
If it’s illicit, it’s grounds for humour. And an act can be have just as much a double meaning as a spoken sentence. Why would a monster hide under the bed? Well, here’s another possible reason…
“You know, I’m 18 now. You don’t have to sleep under the bed anymore.”
Growing up in the bogan reservation that was Rockingham in the 1980s, there was always one thing that made life seem liveable– the knowledge that the neighbouring town (I say town. I mean field of burning Holden Torana corpses as far as the eye could see) Kwinana was infinitely rougher, uglier, and stupider. It’s a bottom-of-the-barrel snobbishness that has never left me. Kwinana remains the punchline for any joke involving criminal behaviour, alcoholism, reverse evolution, or knuckle-dragging bogan behaviour in general. Which explains the title of this post….. The cartoon, well, hey: if, as Christopher Eccleston’s Doctor proudly proclaimed, every planet has a North, then it’s likely that every planet has a Kwinana analogue as well. And, sooner, or later, we’ll encounter them.
And then they’ll go to Bali, but that’s another cartoon for another time…
“If there’s no life on other planets, then you tell me what’s happened to our tyres.”
Anthropomorphism is a gift to cartoonists. From Bill Watterson to Stephan Pastis to Charles Shulz to Walt Kelly, cartoonists have known one thing for sure: turn your everyday hooman into a beastie that walks, talks, obsesses, and generally acts like a hooman, and you’ve tapped into comedy gold. (Okay, nobody told Jim Davis about the comedy bit. You can’t win them all).
Find a way to match your animal character with exactly the things that make its humanity a giant, cosmic, banana skin, and you’ve got something that might actually work. So: mayflies, lifespan of a day. Job interview, standard stupidest question ever. And for once in my misbegotten cartooning lackocareer, I think I nailed something pretty well.
“Where do I see myself in 5 years? What is this, some kind of sick joke?”