Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Awwwww ain't it cute?

At the time I drew this, fatherhood could not have been farther from my mind...or so I thought.

Around the time I made this drawing, I had picked up a book of Shel Silverstein cartoons. Most people know Shel Silverstein's work from his children's books. But fewer people know he was a cartoonist for Playboy and other publications, and produced several books of just his cartoons. They are exciting books - not just funny but also amazingly drawn. The range of characters and body types he used in those drawings made me realize just how limited the subject matter of my own cartooning was. Outside of the myriad life-drawings I had done, my range of cartooning subjects was pretty narrow: superheroes, samurai, superhero-samurai, and samurai-superheroes. I decided it was time to expand my repertoire, and the drawing above was one such attempt.

Why a father and son, you might ask. Was there some subconscious thing happening? As a recent college graduate, was I drawing a window into my own future, mulling over the adult responsibilities that surely lay in wait for me? Was I thinking about my father, perhaps nostalgic for the simpler times of my childhood? Which of these characters was I? Was I in fact both?? Stradding the divide between the carefree child, ghostly white as if to suggest the fading of a time long past, and the stalwart man, fully rendered but just waking up, only recently emerged from the chrysalis of university life, was I reflecting on the duality of my own consciousness?

To answer these questions, and show you just how deeply I think about these thinks, I will leave you with a sample page from one of my early, early college sketchbooks. I have no doubt that this will clue you in to a possible answer to the questions I've posed above. It will also give you a taste of the kind of things I was drawing before picking up that Shel Silverstein book, and taking my cartooning more seriously.

If you notice, I couldn't even spell Physics properly - that little "h" is obviously jury-rigged.

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