Below is the latest The Pain -- When Will It End?
I was halfway through a cartoon cruelly
caricaturing our current "leadership" in this country, when I unexpectedly
came up with this one. For a while I worked on them both at the same time
to see which one would turn out to be funnier, and this is the one that cracked
me up first. (Yes, I laugh at my own cartoons. I guess I should be embarassed
to admit it. But if I don't think they're funny, nobody else will.)
I think the thing that finally gave it the edge over the other one was the
football helmet with the cardboard lightning bolts attached. So once again
silliness wins out over political satire. I don't know why, but it's very
tricky to be both political and funny. Most political cartoons are either
obvious and pedantic or--this is especially symptomatic of liberal cartoons--self-rigteous
and smug. I'll keep working on the other one until it's funny enough; I may
yet run it next week. But a guy hooking his tongue up to a car battery is
comedy in its purest form.
Although I only started it last week, I honestly can't remember where this
cartoon came from. The title "Adventures in Poor Judegement" recently
popped into my head in the shower. And for years I've had this odd, troubling
little doodle in my files that just shows a car battery with the note, "IDEA:
HOOK TONGUE UP TO CAR BATTERY." But
as soon as I hooked the jumpers up to my friend Boyd's tongue (in the drawing,
I mean) I realized what his motives must be. Boyd's constantly talking about
how much better both his life in particular and the world in general would
be if he had superpowers, what he'd do with them if he had them (kill evil
people, spy on women, fly naked over large cities and pee on everybody), and
asking me whether I think God might grant them to him if he were to undergo
enough suffering (getting divorced, driving his car into a KFC, or drinking
more than two Samiclaus belgian ales).
I hope it won't be presumptuous or intrusive if I just discreetly direct your
attention to the various characters in the background who've gathered to witness
Boyd's amazing transformation. It's details like this that raise what is basically
a pretty stupid idea into the realm of Art.
I have no idea what it looks like under a car hood and as I am presently in
New York without my car I wasn't able to open it up and look, so I just faked
it, made stuff up and put it wherever I wanted it, and I'm sure I got everything
embarassingly wrong. I know the battery's in more or less the right place,
and so is the engine block, because they're the things I most often ruin and
have to replace in my own car.
Just last night while finishing this drawing I had an unpleasantly vivid fantasy
of some suburban parents finding their dumb burnout fourteen-year-old kid
dead in the garage with his black exploded tongue hooked up to the battery
of the family Windstar in a tragic copycat incident and suing the bejesus
out of the City Paper or me personally or both and the case dragging
on for years, me weeping with remorse on the stand, being financially ruined
and denounced in editorials as an example of irresponsible artists leading
our youth to destruction, etc. A nightmare. So in case any impressionable
[i.e. stupid] young people are reading this, I will say now for the record:
Do Not Try It. You Will Be Killed.