Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Sound of One Hand Inking

Today's Bizarro is brought to you by Singing Monks.

Okay, I admit I don't know anything about Zen Buddhism, but the whole "nothingness" thing is a common conception and cartoons are often built on these, whether correct or not.

Like the Moses cartoon from a couple of days ago; several readers left comments on the inaccuracies of my drawing – from the error of having the burning bush and the ten commandments in the same picture to the fact that Moses is wearing shoes on "hallowed ground." I also got a few emails of this sort.

Being neither a Zen Buddhist nor a believer in the historical accuracy of the Bible, I admit that I don't get very nitpicky about these things. I just draw the cartoon in a way that everyone can understand and move on to the next crushing deadline. I don't mind the corrections, by the way. I'm kind of a trivia buff anyway, so I always enjoy a few more tidbits of knowledge.

In spite of this flippant attitude toward history, I actually do try to be more accurate in my cartoons than do most cartoonists. I research historical costumes and such, to get things mostly right, and often look up what certain objects look like to add that extra bit of convincing detail, even though I'm perfectly capable of an approximation out of my own head. But if the accuracy conflicts with the joke, as it would have in the Moses cartoon, I toss it out and use the common misconception instead. Moses talking to a burning bush is immediately understood; Moses talking to a blinding beam of light would have been widely misconstrued to be a scene from Star Trek.

Of the handful of "Zen" cartoons I've done over the years, here is one of my favorites:

12 comments:

Waldo said...

Oh no.... You added Davy Jones in your blog!!! We all know what happens when an entertainment outlet (sitcoms, cartoons, etc..) incorporates Davy Jones... they are on the downward slide. Next stop... Fonz jumping sharks.

Examples:
- Davey Jones on the Brady Bunch (off air couple of years latter)
- Davy Jones on Scooby Doo (The program soon goes to ABC, Scrappy Doo appears, and all is ruined)

Oh well... it was fun.

N Prado said...

Actually, this panel is a fair representation of Zen Buddhism. The rebuff parallels traditions of dismissing authority (If you see the Buddha in the road, kill him). The incongruity of the declaration represents their [post-logical] mode of thinking. Perfect.

Anonymous said...

You should retitle this "Republican Birthday Card" because they don't think about anybody but themselves. I hate Republicans.

sheer.nothingness said...

Alternate: "Not wishing you anything on your birthday."

Oliver in Toronto said...

I found the crossword puzzle hilarious and kept it on my wll for months. Thanks!

Pagani said...

This is my favorite post in a long time - I laughed really hard! :) Thanks. :)

And Dan, I wasn't picking on your biblical inaccuracies. You're the tops as far as I'm concerned! I just have way too much Bible crammed in my head and it has to get out sometimes.

BTW, Moses *is* a Star Trek scene. Was it ST V? I forget. Anyway, like many people who got too much Bible education, I'd take Buddhism any day: All of the ethics, good deeds and good words, none of the bigotry and violence.

munchy365 said...

I have the blue book and the cross-word puzzle is one of my favorites in it.

LaLa said...

Me likey!

PIRARO said...

@ Pagani...
No worries, like I said, I enjoy the trivia. And I could tell by your comments that you aren't a zealot. :)

edjusted said...

This one brought a smile to my face :)

Anonymous said...

Hope you are well and your head is quite, some of the time! Love and light, KBaronet

Mahalaxmi said...

Your cross word puzzle is a great thought. Words from Zen monks are usually humorous for those who concentrate on external world. Their real meaning can be realized by the people who concentrate on inner world. If you find time please spend some here http://mahalaxmitr.blogspot.com/