“big cartoons”

[Close-up of desertmanhattan, in its early "pencil" phase, Autumn, 2008.]
I was thinking earlier today how I had made my reputation drawing very, very small cartoons [i.e. "drawn on the back of business cards"], and now here I am, with The Marfa Series, going in the opposite direction i.e. very, very big cartoons. Two sides of the same coin, perhaps…
Yes, I’m still calling them “Cartoons”, even if the rest of the world will want to call them something else- “Paintings” or whatever. No matter where life takes me these days, I still consider myself first and foremost a cartoonist. Like I said over at Lateral Action, “I never liked calling myself an ‘Artist’. I think History decides if you’re an artist or not, not yourself.”
With the traditional cartoonist’s business model looking increasingly untenable (And it was in trouble LONG before the Internet came along , believe me), I think it’s a good time to ask the question, well, what is a cartoon, anyway?
Does the cartoon HAVE to be what it’s always been? Or can it evolve into something else more interesting? Does the cartoon have to be figurative, or is abstract perfectly valid, as well? Does the cartoonist HAVE to have an editorial or humorous slant, or are there OTHER spheres of human existence worth exploring?
It’s good to push the edges…

[Backstory: About Hugh. Twitter. Newsletter. Book. Interview One. Interview Two. EVIL PLANS. Limited Edition Prints. Private Commissions. Cube Grenades.]

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Hugh MacLeod is a genius.  Genius.

Seth Godin
Best Selling Author

His work acknowledges the absurdity of workaday life, while also encouraging employees to respond with passion, creativity, and non-conformity...   MacLeod’s work is undeniably an improvement over the office schlock of yore. At its best, it’s more honest, and more cognizant of the entrepreneurial psyche, while still retaining some idealism.

The New Republic
Lydia Depillis

Last year my State of the College address was 76 slides loaded with data. This year it was 14 cartoons that were substantially more memorable.

Len Schlesinger
Former President, Babson College

"There are only two daily newsletters that I look forward to opening and reading every time they show up to my inbox: Seth Godin's and gapingvoid."

Tony Hsieh
CEO, Zappos

In moments of indecision I glance at the wall [to Hugh's work] for guidance.

Brian Clark
  • Seth Godin
  • The New Republic
  • Len Schlesinger
  • Tony Hsieh
  • Brian Clark