I love Roz Chast’s memoir Can’t We talk About Something More Pleasant?, and while she was recounting the story of her aging parents, I think the phrase is particularly appropriate today. Today, we are not going to talk about any of the appalling news that has happened in several parts of the world, or about political candidates and the stupid, insensitive things that they may or may not have said.
We are going panda panda panda with some of the cutest panda cartoons of all times.
When I first started drawing panda satire, I went through this intensive period of what I called, “Learning From the Masters” and immersed myself in books of collected cartoons by Bill Watterson, (Calvin and Hobbes) Garry Trudeau (Doonesbury) Steven Pastis (Pearls Before Swine) and Darby Conley (Get Fuzzy) among others. recently, I received the exhibition catalog from a 2014 show of Bill Watterson’s original cartoons at Ohio State University’s Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum. I’m in the middle of reading an interview with Watterson and it is full of Calvin-ish wisdom. Have I mentioned Calvin and Hobbes is my favorite cartoon series ever?
Anyway, although I was making notes on some of the most significant points in the interview, I seem to have misplaced the paper I wrote them on. (this happens a lot around here) but if I may paraphrase some of the statements I loved best:
On the difference between editorial cartooning and comic strips: You get to make stuff up.
What characters say: When you are really in tune with your characters, it’s not so much writing dialog, but listening to the characters own voices.
Yeah, see? it IS Pinky saying all that stuff! I think I need to go on a road trip to all the cartoon museums in this country.
And because this will always be one of my favorite Wu-toons,
Mittens will return on Sunday. Stay tuned.
Be the Bear,
Bob T Panda