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My senior concentration has been driven by two somewhat contradictory themes that deal primarily with the questionable status of cartoons as art in the minds of much of the general public and some parts of the art community. I’m a cartoonist and humorist who has regular cartoons in campus publications and who has worked at MAD Magazine and The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, so I feel very strongly about the importance and significance of cartoons.
My cartoons have been the result of these two dueling concepts. One aspect of them is my small part in an ongoing fight for the validation of comics as an art form, and a somewhat personal vendetta against the inherently excusatory nature of “Art” with a capital “A”. Comics have to fight against the false notions that they are for just kids, or that comics are a low art compared to the high arts, a rather arbitrary line in my opinion. The opposing idea that’s driven my art is the belief that comics shouldn’t have to engage in this fight at all, and that they can exist purely for what they are; a very old, very unique, and versatile medium.
The cartoons in front of you are therefore a mix of these two themes. Some of them address this issue of comics as art directly, while others don’t claim to be anything more that what they are, humorous, somewhat irreverent cartoons. But cartoons that are confident that they too are art without the need for higher aspirations. Art is an infinitely broad concept, and there is room in for all sorts.