Put Me In, Coach!

So I managed to draw a new comic for stimulus response today, which I’ll put up shortly. It’s about a mummy who’s dissatisfied with his sarcophagus. The usual kind of thing. I spent more time on drawing it that I usually do because I felt like it was worth presenting nicely, and because it’s good for me to occasionally spend a bit more time on drawing than the scribbles I tend toward.

Drawing this led me to think about The New Yorker, famous for it’s one-liner cartoons. And I thought to myself: this sarcophagus comic could totally be in the magazine – I mean, why not? It’s pretty funny, the drawing’s not a piece of crap. “Put me in, coach!” But, of course, that’s not going to happen. And, of course, that doesn’t really matter.

But it raises a pretty classic issue for people who make stuff – how should you rate what you do compared to “the big guns”? The New Yorker‘s particularly odd, I think, because, lately at least, so many of the cartoons have been quite mediocre. This emphasises the feeling that one could reasonable see one’s own work appear there. And so you sit around in your apartment muttering.

Except, of course of course, that the cartoonists for The New Yorker earned their place. Just because every cartoon isn’t necessarily funny doesn’t mean much about the people drawing them. For one thing, the drawings are almost always quite lovely – I’ve found myself stopping to study the lines long after I’ve read the joke and smirked or stared stony-faced. For another thing, what a job! Imagine trying to draw something genuinely funny each week. Nightmare situation.

I don’t have a very clear point here, I mostly wanted to reveal something of what goes through my stupid head as I draw comics and read The New Yorker, the worst kind of reader, the worst kind of cartoonist: “I could do that.”

14 November 2010
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