See All Topics

Home / Section: Blogs

Bob Staake: Most cartoonists can’t draw their way out of a paper bag

Over on Bob Staake’s blog he posted a flamer of a blog posting. In summation, he accuses most cartoonists as failures and the reason why cartooning will never be considered a legitimate art form.

The basic nobility of that cause innoculates (for the most part) cartooning against the accusations that it is a vocation filled with practitioners (98% male and white) who couldn’t draw their way out of a paper bag if their life (or their profession) counted on it.

Imagine turning on the Olympics and seeing 78% of the figure skaters fall on their asses. Imagine if 70% of all domestic flights crashed on take-off. Imagine if only 20% of vanilla yogurt wasn’t swimming with salmonella spores.

That’s professional cartooning. It’s only ineptitude, mind you — it’s the delusional view of a profession so out of touch with its collective by-product that it fails to recognize why it isn’t better respected as an industry — by editors, by fans, by art scholars, by other artists. Cartooning isn’t viewed, much less revered, as a legitimate art form, but the complaint consistently comes from one group: cartoonists. Individual cartoonists deserve respect, but just because they earn it doesn’t mean a positive residue should trickle down upon anyone who puts nib to paper, had a cartoon published in the Anchorage Antler and manages to squeeze into a tux for the National Cartoonists Society Reuben Awards.

For cartoonists to believe that respect would be a given when the vast majority of them would fail to push any aesthetic envelope or embrace even a modicum of visual experimentation is as audacious as it is self-delusional. While illustrators, designers, graphic artists have always been open to a broader myriad of visual influences (from architecture to industrial design, photography to typography) informing their work and infecting their subconscious, cartoonists tend to have more parachocial mindsets and remain comfortably influenced by, well, other cartoonists. Find a cartoonist who has heard of Phillipe Starck or Charles Eames or Walker Evans, and you better check his fingernails for ink.

Technorati Tags:

Community Comments

#1 Chippy Me Word
May/10/2006
@ 2:05 pm

I think Scott Adams and Cathy Guisewhite are crying all the way to the bank.

#2 Chippy Me Word
May/10/2006
@ 8:05 am

I think Scott Adams and Cathy Guisewhite are crying all the way to the bank.

#3 Daryl Cagle
May/10/2006
@ 2:20 pm

Most artists in every art form are lousy. Most writers are hacks. Most musicians suck. “Illustrators, designers, graphic artists have always been open to a broader myriad of visual influences” – and most of their work is banal.

The fact that only a very small percentage of artists are excellent artists is just the nature of art.

#4 Daryl Cagle
May/10/2006
@ 8:20 am

Most artists in every art form are lousy. Most writers are hacks. Most musicians suck. “Illustrators, designers, graphic artists have always been open to a broader myriad of visual influences” – and most of their work is banal.

The fact that only a very small percentage of artists are excellent artists is just the nature of art.

#5 Rob
May/10/2006
@ 2:22 pm

Of course cartoonists can’t draw their way out of a bag.
They don’t want to.
They want to draw on the inside of the bag.

Anyway, cartooning is more that just drawing. It writing and drawing, with writing being the more important element. The drawing is just the vehicle for the humorous writing.

Also, Bob Staake needs to work on brevity. His diatride is diarrhetic.

#6 Rob
May/10/2006
@ 8:22 am

Of course cartoonists can’t draw their way out of a bag.
They don’t want to.
They want to draw on the inside of the bag.

Anyway, cartooning is more that just drawing. It writing and drawing, with writing being the more important element. The drawing is just the vehicle for the humorous writing.

Also, Bob Staake needs to work on brevity. His diatride is diarrhetic.

#7 Norman Feuti
May/10/2006
@ 2:28 pm

“For cartoonists to believe that respect would be a given when the vast majority of them would fail to push any aesthetic envelope or embrace even a modicum of visual experimentation is as audacious as it is self-delusional.”

Yeah, YOU try drawing a Picasso in a 2-inch square … EVERY day … AND make it funny.

Seriously though, I think it’s unfair to judge the artistic merit of comics based solely on visual presentation. The comedic talent and writing involved is equally if not more important.

Unless newspapers are willing to devote more space, there’s going to be visual limitations.

#8 Norman Feuti
May/10/2006
@ 8:28 am

“For cartoonists to believe that respect would be a given when the vast majority of them would fail to push any aesthetic envelope or embrace even a modicum of visual experimentation is as audacious as it is self-delusional.”

Yeah, YOU try drawing a Picasso in a 2-inch square … EVERY day … AND make it funny.

Seriously though, I think it’s unfair to judge the artistic merit of comics based solely on visual presentation. The comedic talent and writing involved is equally if not more important.

Unless newspapers are willing to devote more space, there’s going to be visual limitations.

#9 Rob
May/10/2006
@ 9:06 pm

I agree with Daryl that Most artists in every art form are lousy, But in cartooning you have to succeed in two arenas, writing and drawing. There are really only a small percentage of cartoonist that are excellent in both fields.

If you look at some of the cartoons on sites like Comics Sherpa you see a lot of would be cartoonist struggling with this. Mostly they fail in both. A few do succeed.

#10 Rob
May/10/2006
@ 3:06 pm

I agree with Daryl that Most artists in every art form are lousy, But in cartooning you have to succeed in two arenas, writing and drawing. There are really only a small percentage of cartoonist that are excellent in both fields.

If you look at some of the cartoons on sites like Comics Sherpa you see a lot of would be cartoonist struggling with this. Mostly they fail in both. A few do succeed.

#11 R Thompson
May/10/2006
@ 11:16 pm

I understand that, for his next big trick, David Blaine will be attempting to draw his way out of a paper bag.

#12 R Thompson
May/10/2006
@ 5:16 pm

I understand that, for his next big trick, David Blaine will be attempting to draw his way out of a paper bag.

#13 Rick
May/12/2006
@ 3:46 pm

Help I’m stuck in a paper bag with a #2 pencil!!! Somebody draw me out!

#14 Rick
May/12/2006
@ 9:46 am

Help I’m stuck in a paper bag with a #2 pencil!!! Somebody draw me out!

#15 Chippy Me Word
May/12/2006
@ 8:51 pm

God knows you couldn’t punch your way out.

#16 Chippy Me Word
May/12/2006
@ 2:51 pm

God knows you couldn’t punch your way out.

#17 God
May/13/2006
@ 4:04 pm

I’m sure he can Chippy.

#18 God
May/13/2006
@ 10:04 am

I’m sure he can Chippy.

#19 Monty Rohde
May/15/2006
@ 1:40 am

My two cents:
As an aspiring cartoonist/ editorial cartoonist this is a question I’ve frequently considered, as I first stumbled upon this in the Calvin and Hobbes 10th anniversary Edition when I was a teenager.

Art works if it “fits” with the writing. This is why I don?t have a problem with Dilbert, Pearls before Swine, etc. (Or Ted Rall and Tom Toles) The crude artwork goes hand and hand with the writing.

The thing about it is that good art allows an artist to make their comments far more powerful than they would normally be and it allows them to comment on far more things than the average writer.

With all due respect Mr. Cagle the best editorial cartoonist aren’t editorial cartoonists. They’re illustrators. For example: Steve Brodner’s work is far more successful visually than any editorial cartoonist and only a handful can touch him conceptually. Compare his work to that of an average editorial cartoonist and the results are embarrassing. Granted I?m talking about the cream of the crop but let me get to my point.

I believe this guy?s point is valid because while yes, 99.9% of graphic artists, illustrators, and designers produce banal work there are hundreds of thousands of them. There are only a few hundred regulars cartoonists, and less than two hundred professional editorial cartoonists. It is extremely depressing to see the same small group of people produce cartoons with similar banal artwork and stale political gags day in and day out. On certain days the lack of creativity and ability throughout the profession becomes clearly apparent. (Reagan?s death was an especially egregious example of this.)

#20 Monty Rohde
May/14/2006
@ 7:40 pm

My two cents:
As an aspiring cartoonist/ editorial cartoonist this is a question I’ve frequently considered, as I first stumbled upon this in the Calvin and Hobbes 10th anniversary Edition when I was a teenager.

Art works if it “fits” with the writing. This is why I don?t have a problem with Dilbert, Pearls before Swine, etc. (Or Ted Rall and Tom Toles) The crude artwork goes hand and hand with the writing.

The thing about it is that good art allows an artist to make their comments far more powerful than they would normally be and it allows them to comment on far more things than the average writer.

With all due respect Mr. Cagle the best editorial cartoonist aren’t editorial cartoonists. They’re illustrators. For example: Steve Brodner’s work is far more successful visually than any editorial cartoonist and only a handful can touch him conceptually. Compare his work to that of an average editorial cartoonist and the results are embarrassing. Granted I?m talking about the cream of the crop but let me get to my point.

I believe this guy?s point is valid because while yes, 99.9% of graphic artists, illustrators, and designers produce banal work there are hundreds of thousands of them. There are only a few hundred regulars cartoonists, and less than two hundred professional editorial cartoonists. It is extremely depressing to see the same small group of people produce cartoons with similar banal artwork and stale political gags day in and day out. On certain days the lack of creativity and ability throughout the profession becomes clearly apparent. (Reagan?s death was an especially egregious example of this.)

#21 Monty Rohde
May/15/2006
@ 1:47 am

To Norman Feuti:
Art is all about learning to work within limitations. Walt Kelly did it, so did Bill Watterson & Gary Larson, and Wiley Miller & Lynn Johnsoton currently do it. While I do believe comics SHOULD be given more space, the lack of space is no excuse for generally bad art and lackluster writing.

#22 Monty Rohde
May/14/2006
@ 7:47 pm

To Norman Feuti:
Art is all about learning to work within limitations. Walt Kelly did it, so did Bill Watterson & Gary Larson, and Wiley Miller & Lynn Johnsoton currently do it. While I do believe comics SHOULD be given more space, the lack of space is no excuse for generally bad art and lackluster writing.

#23 Norman Feuti
May/15/2006
@ 1:23 pm

Limited space is certainly no excuse for bad art, but it should definitely shape your expectation of how far one can “push any aesthetic envelope” or be able to “embrace even a modicum of visual experimentation”. Limited space is no excuse for poor writing either, but Mr. Staake doesn’t say much about that … which was kind of my point, his view of why cartoonists are “failures” is pretty narrow.

Limitations are good — they force you to give a specific structure to an abstract thought. Working without limitations is much harder. But, becoming a master of the space allowed by comic strips takes time. Unfortunately, the market is so tight that most new cartoonists don’t get the opportunity to come into their own before they get the axe.

There are a lot of factors that have contributed to the state of cartooning. To sum it all up with a mean-spirited and narrow diatribe that says “most cartoonists suck because they can’t draw”, just isn’t fair.

#24 Norman Feuti
May/15/2006
@ 7:23 am

Limited space is certainly no excuse for bad art, but it should definitely shape your expectation of how far one can “push any aesthetic envelope” or be able to “embrace even a modicum of visual experimentation”. Limited space is no excuse for poor writing either, but Mr. Staake doesn’t say much about that … which was kind of my point, his view of why cartoonists are “failures” is pretty narrow.

Limitations are good — they force you to give a specific structure to an abstract thought. Working without limitations is much harder. But, becoming a master of the space allowed by comic strips takes time. Unfortunately, the market is so tight that most new cartoonists don’t get the opportunity to come into their own before they get the axe.

There are a lot of factors that have contributed to the state of cartooning. To sum it all up with a mean-spirited and narrow diatribe that says “most cartoonists suck because they can’t draw”, just isn’t fair.

#25 Monty Rohde
May/16/2006
@ 2:20 am

I agree that there are severe limitations on how far the strip cartoonists can push boundaries, and that a lot of cartoonists do get the axe too quickly. Fortunatly you can practice with a web strip nowadays, before selling your soul to the syndicates, but getting the constructive feedback necessary for development with a web strip can be difficult.

Personally I fault the syndicates and the newspapers for the sad state of the profession at the moment, though it would help if the professionals actually got themselves organized and formed some sort of union or guild like actors or songwriters.

Mean? Yep. Narrow? Yep. Fair? Somewhat. It hurts because there is truth to what he says.

#26 Monty Rohde
May/15/2006
@ 8:20 pm

I agree that there are severe limitations on how far the strip cartoonists can push boundaries, and that a lot of cartoonists do get the axe too quickly. Fortunatly you can practice with a web strip nowadays, before selling your soul to the syndicates, but getting the constructive feedback necessary for development with a web strip can be difficult.

Personally I fault the syndicates and the newspapers for the sad state of the profession at the moment, though it would help if the professionals actually got themselves organized and formed some sort of union or guild like actors or songwriters.

Mean? Yep. Narrow? Yep. Fair? Somewhat. It hurts because there is truth to what he says.

#27 Joe Parker
January/5/2008
@ 1:55 pm

To compare cartooning to other forms of art and judge it on that basis is hardly fair. It is not painting and it is not writing, it is a combination of both resulting in a unique artform. As in any artform, each practitioner has his or her own unique style and approach. While not all cartoonists make a connection for me personally, each approach is valid and many different types of strips and panels have brought me enjoyment, amusement and pleasure over the years.

By the way, Mr. Feuti; I spent almost 40 years in retail and your strip is “right-on!” I love it.

#28 Joe Parker
January/5/2008
@ 6:55 am

To compare cartooning to other forms of art and judge it on that basis is hardly fair. It is not painting and it is not writing, it is a combination of both resulting in a unique artform. As in any artform, each practitioner has his or her own unique style and approach. While not all cartoonists make a connection for me personally, each approach is valid and many different types of strips and panels have brought me enjoyment, amusement and pleasure over the years.

By the way, Mr. Feuti; I spent almost 40 years in retail and your strip is “right-on!” I love it.

#29 Corey Pandolph
January/5/2008
@ 2:57 pm

I love it when folks reach a high point in their profession, get the respect of their peers… And then promptly turn around and bash everyone else in said profession as if they are the new God.

#30 Corey Pandolph
January/5/2008
@ 7:57 am

I love it when folks reach a high point in their profession, get the respect of their peers… And then promptly turn around and bash everyone else in said profession as if they are the new God.

#31 Dawn Douglass
January/5/2008
@ 4:38 pm

Who ever said that cartoonists need to be able to draw?

I think he’s confusing comic illustration with cartooning.

Cartooning is unique as an artform because it is so accessible to all. In that way, it’s a HIGHER form of art.

There is no room for elitism in cartooning, IMO. Cartooning, by definition, is democratic.

#32 Dawn Douglass
January/5/2008
@ 9:38 am

Who ever said that cartoonists need to be able to draw?

I think he’s confusing comic illustration with cartooning.

Cartooning is unique as an artform because it is so accessible to all. In that way, it’s a HIGHER form of art.

There is no room for elitism in cartooning, IMO. Cartooning, by definition, is democratic.

#33 Wiley Miller
January/5/2008
@ 5:13 pm

I have always equated drawing ability for a cartoonist with vocabulary for a novelist. The greater a writer’s vocabulary, the easier it is for them to express themselves in telling a story and projecting a mental image for the reader.

For a cartoonist, the greater their ability to draw, the more tools you have to tell a story and get more information across visually rather than relying on dialogue by talking heads. This is a far more effective means of communication that goes all the way back to cave paintings.

And I disagree with you somewhat, Dawn. Without “elitism”, there is no standard of excellence for us to strive for. This is true in all the arts. One needs to earn an elite status of professionalism if you really want to succeed in any profession. When the standards get watered down by those who lack the ability or are just to lazy to improve their work, it denigrates the profession as a whole. Lowering the bar to make it more “democratic” doesn’t work in any profession.

#34 Wiley Miller
January/5/2008
@ 10:13 am

I have always equated drawing ability for a cartoonist with vocabulary for a novelist. The greater a writer’s vocabulary, the easier it is for them to express themselves in telling a story and projecting a mental image for the reader.

For a cartoonist, the greater their ability to draw, the more tools you have to tell a story and get more information across visually rather than relying on dialogue by talking heads. This is a far more effective means of communication that goes all the way back to cave paintings.

And I disagree with you somewhat, Dawn. Without “elitism”, there is no standard of excellence for us to strive for. This is true in all the arts. One needs to earn an elite status of professionalism if you really want to succeed in any profession. When the standards get watered down by those who lack the ability or are just to lazy to improve their work, it denigrates the profession as a whole. Lowering the bar to make it more “democratic” doesn’t work in any profession.

#35 Dawn Douglass
January/5/2008
@ 6:07 pm

“One needs to earn an elite status of professionalism if you really want to succeed in any profession.”

But is that dependent on drawing ability when it comes to cartooning? No.

Wiley, I dare say that Scott Adams makes more money from Dilbert than almost any cartoonist who draws very well, and I personally wouldn’t call those few web cartoonists who are making a good living off their strip “elite.”

I very much agree with you there there needs to be standards of excellence to strive for, and I wish you and others at your level would articulate them. We’ve been through this before. ;)

The point is that you don’t have to be an elite “artist” to be a great cartoonist. That’s the nature of cartooning. I, for one, think that’s a good thing.

#36 Dawn Douglass
January/5/2008
@ 11:07 am

“One needs to earn an elite status of professionalism if you really want to succeed in any profession.”

But is that dependent on drawing ability when it comes to cartooning? No.

Wiley, I dare say that Scott Adams makes more money from Dilbert than almost any cartoonist who draws very well, and I personally wouldn’t call those few web cartoonists who are making a good living off their strip “elite.”

I very much agree with you there there needs to be standards of excellence to strive for, and I wish you and others at your level would articulate them. We’ve been through this before. ;)

The point is that you don’t have to be an elite “artist” to be a great cartoonist. That’s the nature of cartooning. I, for one, think that’s a good thing.

#37 Wiley Miller
January/5/2008
@ 6:54 pm

“The point is that you donâ??t have to be an elite â??artistâ? to be a great cartoonist.”

I’m not saying that, Dawn. Cartooning is a unique artform, combining writing and drawing. In order to be successful, the style of the art needs to match the style of the writing. I have been a staunch defender of Scott Adams’ artwork for many years, pointing out to his detractors that his drawing style flows with his writing beautifully. If Dilbert was done in my drawing style, it probably would have failed miserably years ago. The same is true for Pearls Before Swine. I think it’s a wonderful strip that is enhanced by Stephan’s drawing style, matching the abstract writing in a marvelous fashion.

Drawing in a professional manner does not mean you have to draw like Rembrandt.

#38 Wiley Miller
January/5/2008
@ 11:54 am

“The point is that you donâ??t have to be an elite â??artistâ? to be a great cartoonist.”

I’m not saying that, Dawn. Cartooning is a unique artform, combining writing and drawing. In order to be successful, the style of the art needs to match the style of the writing. I have been a staunch defender of Scott Adams’ artwork for many years, pointing out to his detractors that his drawing style flows with his writing beautifully. If Dilbert was done in my drawing style, it probably would have failed miserably years ago. The same is true for Pearls Before Swine. I think it’s a wonderful strip that is enhanced by Stephan’s drawing style, matching the abstract writing in a marvelous fashion.

Drawing in a professional manner does not mean you have to draw like Rembrandt.

#39 Dawn Douglass
January/5/2008
@ 7:07 pm

Okay then, Wiley, I guess we agree with each other.

However, I still say that cartooning is and should remain democratic. Of course, not everybody is going to be “professional” at it, but so what? They will be the professionals’ biggest fans and no art piece is actualized until it has viewers.

#40 Dawn Douglass
January/5/2008
@ 12:07 pm

Okay then, Wiley, I guess we agree with each other.

However, I still say that cartooning is and should remain democratic. Of course, not everybody is going to be “professional” at it, but so what? They will be the professionals’ biggest fans and no art piece is actualized until it has viewers.

#41 Wiley Miller
January/5/2008
@ 7:26 pm

“However, I still say that cartooning is and should remain democratic. Of course, not everybody is going to be â??professionalâ? at it, but so what? ”

Well, that’s true of every artform, Dawn. You don’t have to be a professional to enjoy playing the piano or painting.

#42 Wiley Miller
January/5/2008
@ 12:26 pm

“However, I still say that cartooning is and should remain democratic. Of course, not everybody is going to be â??professionalâ? at it, but so what? ”

Well, that’s true of every artform, Dawn. You don’t have to be a professional to enjoy playing the piano or painting.

#43 Dawn Douglass
January/5/2008
@ 7:40 pm

Of course, Wiley. So why is it that elitist cartoonists get freaked out about people who don’t draw well? It’s not just Bob Staake. This comes up repeatedly, from Bill Watterson on down.

Why doesn’t Barbra Streisand gripe and moan about all these amateurs who sing in their showers or even put MP3’s on their blogs.

It gets absurd. Staake charges that all poor drawers hurt the art form. I think elitist attitudes hurt the art form. If he wants to be ARTIIIISTE let him move to old painting. Cartooning is for the masses.

#44 Dawn Douglass
January/5/2008
@ 12:40 pm

Of course, Wiley. So why is it that elitist cartoonists get freaked out about people who don’t draw well? It’s not just Bob Staake. This comes up repeatedly, from Bill Watterson on down.

Why doesn’t Barbra Streisand gripe and moan about all these amateurs who sing in their showers or even put MP3’s on their blogs.

It gets absurd. Staake charges that all poor drawers hurt the art form. I think elitist attitudes hurt the art form. If he wants to be ARTIIIISTE let him move to old painting. Cartooning is for the masses.

#45 Wiley Miller
January/5/2008
@ 8:28 pm

“Of course, Wiley. So why is it that elitist cartoonists get freaked out about people who donâ??t draw well? Itâ??s not just Bob Staake. This comes up repeatedly, from Bill Watterson on down.”

It’s like any other profession. A professional can see when others are coasting and not putting their best effort into it. I think that’s what Bob Staake was really getting at. There’s a laziness in our profession that diminishes the entire field as it lowers the bar. It’s not a matter of getting freaked. It’s a matter of being genuinely concerned about the course of the artform.

#46 Wiley Miller
January/5/2008
@ 1:28 pm

“Of course, Wiley. So why is it that elitist cartoonists get freaked out about people who donâ??t draw well? Itâ??s not just Bob Staake. This comes up repeatedly, from Bill Watterson on down.”

It’s like any other profession. A professional can see when others are coasting and not putting their best effort into it. I think that’s what Bob Staake was really getting at. There’s a laziness in our profession that diminishes the entire field as it lowers the bar. It’s not a matter of getting freaked. It’s a matter of being genuinely concerned about the course of the artform.

#47 Rick Stromoski
January/5/2008
@ 8:55 pm

Um…has anyone noticed this thread is about 2 YEARS old?

#48 Rick Stromoski
January/5/2008
@ 1:55 pm

Um…has anyone noticed this thread is about 2 YEARS old?

#49 Dawn Douglass
January/5/2008
@ 9:12 pm

I would argue once again about the need for top cartoonists to articulate and teach what those standards are, but I don’t want to be a broken record.

Is it “laziness” that they don’t? Or do you guys SAY you care, but not really enough to actually DO something about it?

If brick masons can’t communicate the professional standards of what a good wall is, seems to me they don’t have a lot of legitimacy when griping about how somebody isn’t getting it right. “It’s not good because I say it’s not good” is very different from “It’s not good because the lines are hesitant, the format isn’t balanced, the lettering is inconsistent,…”

An elitist cartoonist saying “his work is lazy and he’s not putting in his best effort” without explaining the whys and hows of what he’s seeing that the rest of us don’t, doesn’t impress me.

What that statement is REALLY saying is, “I don’t want you to get better so that the art form is raised, I want you to quit so that you don’t lower it.”

I suppose that given a profession that has suffered such decline as cartooning, it’s not surprising that standards to lift up more artists (more competitors) haven’t been created and espoused. I just don’t like elitist cartoonists always pointing the finger and not taking any responsibility. If you want higher standards, then communicate what those standards are or just be quiet.

Okay, so I AM sounding like a broken record.

#50 Dawn Douglass
January/5/2008
@ 2:12 pm

I would argue once again about the need for top cartoonists to articulate and teach what those standards are, but I don’t want to be a broken record.

Is it “laziness” that they don’t? Or do you guys SAY you care, but not really enough to actually DO something about it?

If brick masons can’t communicate the professional standards of what a good wall is, seems to me they don’t have a lot of legitimacy when griping about how somebody isn’t getting it right. “It’s not good because I say it’s not good” is very different from “It’s not good because the lines are hesitant, the format isn’t balanced, the lettering is inconsistent,…”

An elitist cartoonist saying “his work is lazy and he’s not putting in his best effort” without explaining the whys and hows of what he’s seeing that the rest of us don’t, doesn’t impress me.

What that statement is REALLY saying is, “I don’t want you to get better so that the art form is raised, I want you to quit so that you don’t lower it.”

I suppose that given a profession that has suffered such decline as cartooning, it’s not surprising that standards to lift up more artists (more competitors) haven’t been created and espoused. I just don’t like elitist cartoonists always pointing the finger and not taking any responsibility. If you want higher standards, then communicate what those standards are or just be quiet.

Okay, so I AM sounding like a broken record.

#51 Dawn Douglass
January/5/2008
@ 9:16 pm

Yeah, I noticed that it’s two years old. The “all you fellow cartoonists suck” argument is actually much, much older than that, and yet it’s still timely and relevant because it’s never been resolved but keeps getting said, if not publicly, then privately.

#52 Dawn Douglass
January/5/2008
@ 2:16 pm

Yeah, I noticed that it’s two years old. The “all you fellow cartoonists suck” argument is actually much, much older than that, and yet it’s still timely and relevant because it’s never been resolved but keeps getting said, if not publicly, then privately.

#53 Wiley Miller
January/5/2008
@ 9:19 pm

“An elitist cartoonist saying â??his work is lazy and heâ??s not putting in his best effortâ? without explaining the whys and hows of what heâ??s seeing that the rest of us donâ??t, doesnâ??t impress me.

What that statement is REALLY saying is, â??I donâ??t want you to get better so that the art form is raised, I want you to quit so that you donâ??t lower it.â?”

No, what he’s saying is, step it up and work harder.

#54 Wiley Miller
January/5/2008
@ 2:19 pm

“An elitist cartoonist saying â??his work is lazy and heâ??s not putting in his best effortâ? without explaining the whys and hows of what heâ??s seeing that the rest of us donâ??t, doesnâ??t impress me.

What that statement is REALLY saying is, â??I donâ??t want you to get better so that the art form is raised, I want you to quit so that you donâ??t lower it.â?”

No, what he’s saying is, step it up and work harder.

#55 Rich Diesslin
January/5/2008
@ 10:15 pm

Wiley, perhaps he (Staake) is saying work harder, just not in a very inspiring way. Perhaps the failure to communicate here is on the word “elite.” Basically what I think Dawn means by elitist is an attitude (a.k.a. egotistical arrogance) and what you seem to mean is elite in terms of level of professionalism. If it’s possible to set standards or objective measures of excellence for cartooning, I haven’t heard any yet. Hindsight sees 20/20 with what has worked … your post-facto assessment of Adams is okay, but I doubt very many elitist cartoonists would have looked at Dilbert before it proved itself in the market place and said “wow, now that’s a high standard in cartooning.” I’d have to say that Dawn’s assessment seems more valid. It seems to be an art form for the masses.

Rick, yeah, I was surprised at the date on the thread to! I guess it seems relevant since the other Skaate thread on drawing with photoshop 3 was recently posted. As much as I like drawing in photoshop (with ben and sketch pad), what he does is not freehand drawing. It seems odd to read these excerpts (which appear as Dawn described them – egotisitical arrogance) and then see that approach to cartooning (which isn’t drawing per se).

#56 Rich Diesslin
January/5/2008
@ 3:15 pm

Wiley, perhaps he (Staake) is saying work harder, just not in a very inspiring way. Perhaps the failure to communicate here is on the word “elite.” Basically what I think Dawn means by elitist is an attitude (a.k.a. egotistical arrogance) and what you seem to mean is elite in terms of level of professionalism. If it’s possible to set standards or objective measures of excellence for cartooning, I haven’t heard any yet. Hindsight sees 20/20 with what has worked … your post-facto assessment of Adams is okay, but I doubt very many elitist cartoonists would have looked at Dilbert before it proved itself in the market place and said “wow, now that’s a high standard in cartooning.” I’d have to say that Dawn’s assessment seems more valid. It seems to be an art form for the masses.

Rick, yeah, I was surprised at the date on the thread to! I guess it seems relevant since the other Skaate thread on drawing with photoshop 3 was recently posted. As much as I like drawing in photoshop (with ben and sketch pad), what he does is not freehand drawing. It seems odd to read these excerpts (which appear as Dawn described them – egotisitical arrogance) and then see that approach to cartooning (which isn’t drawing per se).

#57 Rich Diesslin
January/5/2008
@ 10:17 pm

Make that a pen … not a ben! ;)

#58 Rich Diesslin
January/5/2008
@ 3:17 pm

Make that a pen … not a ben! ;)

#59 Dawn Douglass
January/5/2008
@ 11:15 pm

“Basically what I think Dawn means by elitist is an attitude (a.k.a. egotistical arrogance) and what you seem to mean is elite in terms of level of professionalism.”

Yep. Thanks, Rich.

#60 Dawn Douglass
January/5/2008
@ 4:15 pm

“Basically what I think Dawn means by elitist is an attitude (a.k.a. egotistical arrogance) and what you seem to mean is elite in terms of level of professionalism.”

Yep. Thanks, Rich.

#61 Seriously
June/20/2008
@ 3:07 am

I think you all need to get over yourselves. Just draw and have fun for God Sakes. Don’t take yourselves so seriously. Bob Staake is a great illustrator – the guy isn’t a god. Oh neither was Picasso by the way.

#62 Seriously
June/19/2008
@ 9:07 pm

I think you all need to get over yourselves. Just draw and have fun for God Sakes. Don’t take yourselves so seriously. Bob Staake is a great illustrator – the guy isn’t a god. Oh neither was Picasso by the way.

#63 George McCleary
November/2/2008
@ 5:33 pm

So, I assume then that Bob Staake is implying that he CAN draw? I haven’t seen any evidence of that yet, nor have I seen any evidence that Mr. Staake could write a gag that wouldn’t make Curly wretch. Mr. Staake is mediocre hack illustrator with a big chip on his shoulder. Take away his circle templates and primary colors, and you’ve disabled him for good.

#64 George McCleary
November/2/2008
@ 11:33 am

So, I assume then that Bob Staake is implying that he CAN draw? I haven’t seen any evidence of that yet, nor have I seen any evidence that Mr. Staake could write a gag that wouldn’t make Curly wretch. Mr. Staake is mediocre hack illustrator with a big chip on his shoulder. Take away his circle templates and primary colors, and you’ve disabled him for good.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.