Tonight I thought it would be interesting to talk about Charles Schulz and Brad Anderson and see if there wasn’t anything we could learn from our elders. Recently Peanuts turned 60 and Marmaduke, as I understand it, is in it’s 56th year. By my estimation this makes Marmaduke one of the longest running strips still drawn by it’s original creator. As stated in one of my previous posts I’ve been reading the Schulz biography. I also read a recent article (in the newspaper) about Anderson. One thing in particular that struck me about both cartoonists was that they started in an era when Cartoonists were held in high esteem. They themselves had such respect for the profession that they would usually wear business attire and work standard business hours whether at home or in a rented studio. I doubt highly that there are any web cartoonists out there in shirt and tie. It seems like such a crazy idea to our generation. Granted most web cartoonists have day jobs and their strips are drawn in and around their free time. Still I think we might learn a bit from our elders and try to lend as much professionalism as we can to the art form. I don’t know whether cartoonists, or any profession for that matter, will continue to embody the same kind of respect that they once did.
Gone are the Walter Cronkites, the Ed Sullivans and the Charles Schulzs. In the past with limited venues for news and entertainment one man’s vision could affect millions of people at the same time. Nowadays with so many options available to us there is no one source or unique vision that captivates the country as a whole unless you Dance with the Stars or fight with the blue cat people on Pandora in 3D. Is that a bad thing or a good thing? I’m not sure but it seems to make it difficult to cut through the chatter and for quality to overcome quantity. I have no idea what any of this means to web comics but at the very least I think it means we need to accept that we most likely will never have mass appeal like our predecessors. Some web cartoonists relish that idea and love speaking to a particular audience without any form of censorship or boundaries set in-between. There still are a few of us however, that long for the days gone by when there was an opportunity to entertain an entire country as a whole. It’s ironic isn’t it? The web while making it possible to reach millions also makes it virtually impossible.