His blog is worth a visit, because he'll generally let a cartoon sit for a short time and then talk about it, which is (A) why I said what I just did about it and (B) artistically very cool: Let people bring their own thoughts to the work and only "explain" it later, as a bonus.
As I've suggested here before, the artist's intentions are less important than audience reaction. As an artist, you need to accept that some people just won't get it, but you also have to accept that, if a whole lot of people don't get it, you didn't put it out there the way you intended, which brings it back to your doorstep.
So this is, yes, a bit like lying in the grass looking up at the clouds and telling each other what each one looks like to you.
And what it looks like to me is the way commercialism intrudes upon childhood.
I'm pretty darn sure that's what Dan intended, but today's rant is about not allowing secondary figures to intrude on the intentions of artists, and I'm not the guy who drew it.
But I'm the guy inspired by it to open some old wounds that ought not to be allowed to fester unhealed:
Back in 2007, this Lio sparked memories of what was, by then, a ten-year-old rant about Pooherphernalia and the commercialisation of not just Pooh but Laura Ingalls Wilder and Maurice Sendak and childhood in general.
It seems like every childhood pleasure must needs be turned into a profit center, so that not only did there have to be a movie of "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs" but there is even a freaking sequel to the thing, and next month, we'll see the movie version of "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good,Very Bad Day."
There, isn't that what you pictured as you nestled in mom or dad's lap while they read you that book? Steve Carell and Jennifer Garner with Wiley Coyote powder burns, surrounded by the same goddam sitcom family that you've seen in every piece of predictable commercial crap that has come down the pipeline in the past 20 years?
Ruben Bolling took it on in 2009, and he's right: There is no pleasure so innocent that it cannot be commercialized and Disneyfied.
Or worse: Tim Burtonized into some unrecognizable, unloveable quasi-artistic vanity project.
I was in a bookstore yesterday and noted, as I walked through the children's section, a book in which some author was "re-imagining" Becky Thatcher in what they tell me is a "creative spin on Mark Twain’s beloved The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, complete with illustrations."
I'm not offering a link. Let her think up her own damn story if she's so creative, and maybe I'll link to that.
Same to you, Tim Burton. And double shame-on-you, because you've proven you can.
"Creative spin" my ass. I'll let Opus have the final word.
Juxtaposition of the Week
On the off chance that the foregoing was not depressing enough ...
(Matt Davies -- in his new gig at Newsday!)
Now here's your moment of zen