Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Cuss Bus Pink

Bizarro is brought to you today by Intimacy.

I was at the Ohio State University Festival of Cartoon Art over the weekend and my oh my what a dandy it was. They do this thing every three years, there are only about 250 tickets sold, and the majority of attendees are cartoonists and serious collectors and aficionados. Also in attendance were Matt Groening, Art Spiegelman, Bill Griffith, Roz Chast, Patrick McDonnell, James Sturm, Jen Sorensen, Jan Eliot, Dave Kellett, Tom Gammill, Tony Cochran, and Steve Breen. I'm sure I forgot someone, please forgive me. It was a great honor to be able to tipple with some of my heroes, particularly Groening, Spiegelman, Griffith and Chast – all four are legends of intelligent humor, something that is always in danger of extinction in this reality-show, increasingly lowbrow world.

About this passel of cartoons I've posted today to catch up: "Adult Spelling Bee" is an idea I originally published in the 90s, I think. I came across it in my archives while looking for something else and thought it was a good idea and could be done better with a little tweaking, so I rewrote it a bit and redrew it.

Because I'm compiling cartoons for my super hero collection coming out in the spring, I'm still writing super hero gags. The one about the bus is a fantasy I've had many times. I loathe sitting next to strangers on public transportation, especially talkative ones, and will do almost anything to avoid it. I'm a friendly guy, but I can't stand small talk and think few things are worse than sitting next to a chatty traveler on a long flight.

The Mothman cartoon was a collaboration with my young teenage friend, Victor. It's colored that sickening pink because it was part of a breast cancer awareness project that King Features sponsored. All of King's cartoonists were asked to color their comics pink on Sunday, October 10. They asked me to do the poster for it. I'm not a fan of cancer research and don't like supporting it monetarily because a lot of that money goes toward torturing lab animals. If humans ate vegan diets there would be substantially less cancer, but rather than inconvenience ourselves or stop doing something we enjoy, we torture and kill millions of innocent beings every year in an attempt to find ways to survive eating the wrong foods. In spite of my objections, I participated in this project because it doesn't give money to the cause directly, but mostly reminds people to get screenings so they can catch it early. Just my take on it, whatever.

Thanks to Victor for his help on Mothman, I may recolor it for the book. The pink kind of turns my stomach.


Anonymous said...

Mothman is actually a superhero occasionally mentioned in the (great) graphic novel Watchmen.

James said...

Dan, you do realize that cancer has multiple factors besides diet, don't you? You're entitled to your beliefs, but saying that we shouldn't research cancer cures just because it offends your vegan lifestyle has caused me to lose a lot of respect for you.

Pies said...

I suppose you think all cancer is caused by eating meat?


It's cool that you are vegan, and I'm not saying it is wrong.

But, we kill growing things every time we eat a salad. Who is to say that trees, beans, or especially carrots don't suffer when we eat them?

What's a person to do?

Use this idea for cartoon use, if you like.

Richard De Angelis said...

I really wanted to go to the OSU event, but wasn't able to make it (I was just in the Columbus area a few weeks ago). I hope you had a chance to eat at Dragonfly while you were there.

That was quite a power quartet you got to hang with. A friend of mine actually proposed to his now wife through a published Zippy comic strip Bill did specifically for him. You might be interested on the paper I wrote on Maus, "Of Mice and Vermin," that was published in the Spring 2005 International Journal of Comic Art. It examines how Spiegelman’s use of animal imagery in Maus to deconstruct negative racial and ethnic stereotypes subtly perpetuates negative views of animals.

I'm excited about your superhero collection. When it comes out I'll be sure to plug it on my blog, Comic Book Justice.

Lastly, thanks for bringing up the ethical issues with supporting breast cancer research that involves animals experimentation. In addition to the suffering it inflicts on animals it squanders resources and hope on a scientifically flawed strategy that is unlikely ever to produce a cure for the disease.

The Snake's Mommy said...

Apologies in advance for the inevitable hatemail you'll suffer for refusing to buy into the breast cancer screening nonsense and thus opening yourself up to accusations of misogyny. I just blogged a rant on the subject of titrot hysteria a couple days ago.

Your moth superhero who gets distracted by the light seems perfect to be colored pink... since missing the forest for the trees is what the hysteria is all about.


Anonymous said...
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Moose said...

I actually thought that you were one of the few cartoonists who actually incorporated the pink well into the cartoon, rather than just staining everything like most cartoonists did. The pink creates a nice shadowy atmosphere, and while it may not be the best choice of color, you certainly did a good job under the restrictions you were given.

Anonymous said...

Actually most cancer is caused by chemicals in the environment most notably plastcizers which act as endocrine mimikers and are directly related to breast cancer and mutations of the sexual organs in lower animals and right up to deer. For more information about the actuality of cancer and the lies we have been told read The Secret History of the War on Cancer by Devra Davis. Diet has little to do with most cancers except perhaps colo-rectal. No indigenous peoples are vegans. Vegan-ism is an ideology. Like, where do you get your B-12 if you are not eating animal products. Seems we evolved to eat animal products if we can only get B-12 from animal sources.

El Zombre said...

"If humans ate vegan diets there would be substantially less cancer"

Uh huh - and where did you get the data to support this assertion? I'm tempted to write a simple two word answer to your sentiment, but that wouldn't be productive at all.

For many if not most people, the genetic causes of their cancers existed before they were born. If diets affected whether full-blown cancers develop later on, I haven't seen any data that would come close to justifying the statement you made. At best we're talking marginal differences.

It's fine and good to be happy with your lifestyle, but to attribute other people's illnesses to their refusal of the same lifestyle shows of stunning self satisfaction and ignorance of cancer epidemiology and etiology.

Full disclosure : I am a cancer researcher, and as much as I hate it, I'm dissecting some tumor bearing animals tomorrow. I hope they will not have died in vain, that they would yield data that advance our understanding of cancer. We do try to make them comfortable while they're alive and their deaths painless. It sucks, but the moral compromise is one I'd make again and again as long as there is no other way to model cancer progression and drug response.

Someone who raised me also is battling cancer and struggling to survive to see her son graduate high school. I hope she does - there are some very promising drugs that are coming along.

So yeah that post struck several deep nerves.

If you want to keep believing medical use of animal models is not an ethical compromise, that's perfectly fine. Really. We are animals after all. I wouldn't even ask you to acknowledge and/or repudiate the medical advances that will continue to let you live in good health because they were tested on animals. I wouldn't wish the ravages of cancer on anybody, nor a life w/o modern medicine.

Just don't delude yourself into there's good science behind your claims. Or that some people wouldn't trade the lives of rodents for those of their loved ones, who pretty much got cancer through no particular fault of their own.

Piraro said...

@James, Pies, Anonymous and El Zombre...See my post of October 20, 2010.
REGARDING B-12...Humans only need very small trace amounts of B-12, which we easily got from the remnants of soil that was left on plants before we began cleaning them so thoroughly. These days, vegans take a tiny B-12 tablet once a week just to be sure.

Piraro said...

@Moose...thanks for the compliment, I tried to make it work as best as I could.
@Richard de Angelis...Thanks for all your comments and I'll take you up on your plug offer!

Scott Thomas said...

Since you brought up the Festival of Cartoon Art, Dan, I'd like to say that I think your presentation was one of the highlights. I hope I get the chance to hear you speak again.

This was my first time attending the FoCA and it really was great fun. Too bad we have to wait another three years.

Anonymous said...

I find your comment about avoiding cancer by being vegan to be incredible. Particularly coming from someone whose blog picture shows him sucking on a cigar.

Anonymous said...

Your poster is awesome. You not only drew the characters, you drew them IN character. [beam]