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The Antiquated Art of Satire

The Antiquated Art of Satire published on No Comments on The Antiquated Art of Satire

When I was a kid I was addicted to Mad magazine. Which tells you something about my age. We used to have to get our satire at the newsstand before getting that paper copy of the Onion at the student center. I loved everything about Mad. I loved the writing, the irreverence, the detail- but what I loved most of all was the art. I was especially enamored of Mort Drucker, whose insanely intricate cross hatched masterpieces were right up there with anything John Tenniel ever did for Lewis Carrol’s books and it was every bit as iconographic.

Mad doesn’t hold the same audience it used to anymore. I think it’s at about a tenth of the size it was at the height of its circulation. The Onion is more known as a website than a newspaper, the same way Cracked is known for its online presence instead of the Mad magazine knockoff I grew up with back in the day. Bill Watterson took Calvin and Hobbes out at the height of their dominance at least in part due to the declining influence of the funny pages. Aaron McGruder left the Boondocks after a few years for television pastures on animation late night.

But there is one place where I think the best of cartoonists are still practicing their art at the height of their game. No, I’m not talking about the Family Circus, though I will admit that circular frame is pretty groundbreaking for a feature so square. I’m talking about the political cartoonists. These are the guys you see on the editorial page that aren’t Doonesbury and don’t have names even though they have recurring characters. There it is just smack dab on the page, that’s ART.

These troops in the trenches come in at varying skill levels just like any other genre of cartooning out there (and if you have thoughts to share on my level- be kind. I’m new) and the one I’ve been most entranced by is David Horsey. He has been cartooning longer than I’ve been alive- and it shows. His art is every bit as detailed and exaggerated as Mort Drucker’s work and the nuance and insight with which he illustrates make for immediate poignancy. He’s a columnist too (and a darned good one), but the words are almost unnecessary as his pictures are worth about 3156 words.

In the works of Horsey I see the best of both worlds. He is an obvious master with a pen and his lines are confident, flowing and varied. I don’t know his method for color, but it’s obviously done digitally and right skillfully as well. It’s easy in these rapidly changing times to try to cling to rules that no longer make sense, but I admire artists like Horsey who see the evolution of art and hang ten on that wave, holding for dear life. That’s inspirational.

I look forward to David Horsey and other eagle eyed Americans looking out for our interests for the next four years (more or less). I hope someday to be within telescope distance of these great satirists someday. In the meantime, I leave you with this cartoon which I swear is political. Think about it.

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Now Back to Our Show

Now Back to Our Show published on No Comments on Now Back to Our Show

Ok, I haven’t felt much like updating lately because my goal here at the end of the day is to be above, all other considerations, a humor site. I mean, a comic strip should be funny, right? It’s not like we’re at the New Yorker here

*disclaimer: If any of you are scouts for the New Yorker, I retract and I would be proud to appear in your fine publication

 

**disdisclaimer: If any of you are White Supremacists who have no use for New York intellectuals or their namby pamby sympathizers, I retract and would under no circumstances appear in that commie rag

 

***disdisdisclaimer: If you are white and offended that I used the phrase White Supremacist than you are free to go and read the New Yorker, The Guardian, The New York Post or any other publication more aligned with your proclivities. Or you can write and tell me why I’m wrong. Martin is not above intelligent discourse from the fan.

So…. yeah… not feeling funny and I decided to go and lift my spirits by going to see Christopher Titus, my all time favorite comedy legend. For an hour and a half I laughed until my sides hurt

Then I was back here. In the world. Where things are happening.

ticket
Things like this.

Or not happening. I’ve been told those things may be in my head. But they seem to be in a lot of friend’s heads as well. So maybe we as a nation lost our minds collectively in some sort of Jungian soup. Or maybe it’s the Matrix, Neo. Or it’s possible it’s the Economy, stupid. I know I feel malaise but I can’t pinpoint the source.

Repetition
I’m not smart like this guy.

 

But then, I go to tie my hair up and I can hear something crinkly and I feel something papery and I know there’s something in there. Leaf? Receipt Jimmy Hoffa? I spend a good three minutes trying to comb it out before I realize I still have my wristband from the show on and the paper is rubbing the hair by my ear.

mnr
I’m also not smart like these guys.

I’m provided a moment for self deprecation, wry introspection and a moral (just because you can’t find something doesn’t mean it isn’t there and the things you find may be different than the things you sought) as well as a way through my writers block to this very blog entry.

And  when I (re)discovered that paper strip all I could hear in my head was Titus ultimate line from his 5th Annual End of the World Tour, thinking about the loonnnnng buildup to his father’s final punchline.

Oooooohhhhhhh………

Funny, a**hole.

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The Home Stretch

The Home Stretch published on No Comments on The Home Stretch

I know these past few months have been rough on all of us and this is the last chance I have to throw my two cents in before we pull the ripcord on this freefall. I know that the idea that voting for the lesser of two evils is still endorsing evil is a tantalizing proposition (in a loose sense- because it’s not exactly going to get Tantalus foaming at the mouth like one of Pavlov’s dogs), but there comes a time when the focus needs must go onto the lesser part.

devilfin

I know that’s not very elegantly phrased but I was hoping to confuse anyone who might want to send me to a camp next week. Oh please, let Born in East L.A. stay an amusing vehicle for Cheech Marin and not a harbinger for an entire disinherited generation. I don’t want to go to a camp. I’ll be good! … ish…

In the mean time, please enjoy this new comic as the first in my new side series, 99 Ways to Spi. It’s a gentle and hopefully cute reminder that no matter what your creed, color, orientation or presentation, there is still one common enemy of which we can all be soundly afraid.

spider1

And that enemy is spiders. Spiders that will kill us all.

May (deity, ideology or force of your choice) have mercy on us all in 2017 and protect us from the spiderwrath,

Martin

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