The Rant: Introducing a D-Day in the Cause for Comics
Speaking from an extremely self-serving place -- that is, as both cartoonist and writer of features -- I can say with full confidence and honesty: I find today's "Mother Goose and Grimm" to be the funniest cartoon of the year. That is, if the only criterion be that the deepest, most cathartic "funny" hails straight from a place of unrelenting pain and suffering.
In other words: The abrupt bluntness of "Mother Goose" hits precisely where both I and my resume reside. (Not an easily scaled precipice, that.)
Not long after I was done laughing and wincing, another comic 2-by-4 thwacked my battered sense of well-being. There, striking even deeper, was "Brewster Rockit." (I chuckled aloud, once I was finally able to stanch the bleeding.)
The main reason I highlight both these strips today is because I offer them as Exhibits "A" and "B." Consider them State's Evidence for 'Riffs new proposal:
It's time that newspaper comic strippers set aside a single day to collude for the good and glorious cause of, well, newspaper comic strips.
Specifically: Every syndicated cartoonist could deliver a pointed gag or plot-point about the state of the comic industry, all on the same designated D-day. Imagine the publicity such a high-profile coordinated effort could garner -- provided there are enough non-laid-off reporters around who have time to actually report on the event.
If cartoonists trumpet the cause of stopping the shrinkage and clear-cutting of newspaper comics, perhaps the resonance would be greater than the proverbial sound of one hand drawing. Because more readers would have awareness raised to the matters at hand.
So when should this grand Day of Reckoning be? Well, May 5 is National Cartoonists Day -- a day often given over to such wacky stunting as massive character cross-pollination between strips. Instead of such standard high-jinks, though, why not reach the brighter star, the higher cause, the noble calling that is, for lack of a more mytho-poetic term, Soul-Grippingly Extreme Self-Preservation?
Comic strippers of the world, unite. We may not have Sting, Bono or Bob Geldof to spearhead our cause, but we do have a one great unifying figure to lead this fight: Bucky Katt. (Um...come to think of it, perhaps we're in even greater peril than I'd realized.)
In any case, come May 5: Rock the page, cartoonists....provided that come May, you still have enough devoted space on the page to rock.
| January 5, 2009; 11:00 AM ET
Categories: The Rants
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