Tuesday, February 3, 2009

On the LDS Cartooning Sub-Genre

I have come to the realization that I am working in a sub-genre that is somewhat limited. How many gags can various LDS cartoonists create about green Jell-o and the Osmond family before my ideas overlaps onto another person’s and vice versa?

About a month ago, mere weeks before The Puzzle Book for LDS Kids was due to appear on bookstore shelves, my heart sank a little as I flipped through one of Pat Bagley’s I Spy a Nephite books. On one of his pages, Bagley included a small sight gag of two children making snow angels on the ground. One snow angel was a traditional snow angel while the other was the angel Moroni as seen on top of the temple. I was discouraged because I had come up with the same sight gag independently and included it on a page of my soon to be published Puzzle Book. Apparently great minds think alike.

Someday I hope to be the person who flips through a new-release from another LDS cartoonist only to see a small detail of mine overlapped into their book.

Thankfully in this pool of LDS culture there is a bit of room for continued creativity and independent thoughts. There are also many different styles of art, so there may be a future for me yet. It will just require me to be even more creative.

Yeah, it’s a dangerous line of work I find myself in, but nothing ventured, nothing gained.

3 comments:

  1. As an artist in the narrow genre of LDS culture cartooning you've got a tough line to walk. You've got to be just a touch irreverent or it's not funny, but not too disrespectful or you risk offending your audience. That tightrope is much narrower than that of the political satirists, who enjoy broad license to offend. A good example of the perfect mix is your gag of the missionary telling Santa what he wants for Christmas. Another is the 3-panel missionary cartoon you included in your first blog entry--I personally think that's the funniest one you've come up with. Somehow I think you'll manage to continue to put out quality stuff.

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  2. Arie Van De GraaffFebruary 5, 2009 at 1:42 PM

    Thanks for the nice words. The concept of a tightrope between irreverence and offense would make an interesting blog entry. Perhaps if I could figure out a way to do it in a non-offensive way.

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  3. Arie Van De GraaffFebruary 5, 2009 at 1:48 PM

    I should also point out that as my brother, Eric has no choice but offer nice words.

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