Which you shouldn't take as evidence that King Features, where Tina's Groove is syndicated, has a different policy on ass-less chaps than Universal, which handles Pooch Cafe.
Nor should you take it as evidence that Canadian cartoonists have a particular fascination with ass-less chaps.
At least not for two weeks, until we've seen the photos from this year's Reubens.
So here, instead, is the Juxtaposition of the Day
Rex Morgan has been on an extended storyline about little Sarah's work on an art project for the local museum, which began innocently enough until she began taking guidance from a wealthy benefactress whose connections are becoming darker and darker.
Meanwhile, Danae -- another preternaturally articulate child with a dark pageboy haircut -- is expressing equally guileless pragmatism on the subject of art and money.
Well, as Dr. Johnson noted, "No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money," and I don't see why you couldn't apply that to little girls, and to painting and the arts in general.
There is a spectrum of cynicism here, from Danae's absolute level, through Sarah's more ingenuous take and to Johnson's nuanced expression.
Which is to say that Sarah and Dr. Johnson, while fervently unwilling to go unpaid, both enjoy what they do, while Danae is, well, Danae is delightfully consistent with her character in the strip.
All of this ties back into yesterday and Rina's ongoing discussion of comic strips and censorship, because, while Rina is discussing how the commercial medium of syndicated comic strips might operate, other commentators are ignoring the fact that syndication is a business transaction.
Which is the difference between offering a critique and whining.
And at least some, if not "much," of that ties in not with Dr. Johnson's dictum above, but with the words of Lady Bracknell, "Never speak disrespectfully of society, Algernon. Only people who can't get into it do that."
You don't need to be a syndicated artist to comment on syndication, but you should make an effort to understand how it works, unless you don't mind being mistaken for a whiner.
By which I mean the sort of person who posts memes on Facebook about how nobody should ask artists to work for free.
Or complains that the people who give money to artists for work keep wanting some say in what they are paying for.
Somebody posted a listicle the other day of the differences between amateur and professional artists, and I can't find it now because Google turns up piles of those lists, none of which ever seem to boil it down to this rather short one:
1. Amateurs sit around discussing art while
professionals are producing it.
I know this because I have read Turgenev's "On the Eve," and because I have read W. Somerset Maughm's "Of Human Bondage" and because when I was young and didn't yet have my feet under me, a professional writer kindly but bluntly told me to "stop trying to be an entrepreneur and just write."
Go thou and do likewise.
You are not engaging in a debate. Nobody honestly believes that artists should work for free.
Nor should anyone expect a artist to produce something totally outside the style that led them to hire that particular artist in the first place.
People who ask artists to work for free, or who hire Jackson Pollock to paint like Mary Cassatt, are out of line. That's just as much a given as that people shouldn't park straddling the lines in a parking lot or smoke in restaurants.
And yet they do.
But so what? Don't make me quote Ann Landers, for godsake.
It's up to artists to set their own limits. Sarah and Danae may have unrealistic expectations of how it all works, but they are about eight years old. What's your excuse?
Aesop tells the fable of the hungry wolf who met up with a well-fed dog and considered joining him, until he realized the dog wore a chain, at which point he declared he preferred lean freedom to fat slavery.
Fair enough, but, like all fables, it lays the choices down in a binary form that is no more realistic than the talking animals themselves.
Van Gogh was an artistic genius who painted what he wanted and took no guff from anybody about his art. He also took no money from anybody for his art. He took it, instead, from family and friends, and it's not clear how much real choice he had in how his life played out.
And what about that guy who used to crank out paintings and statues to order for those rich De Medici snobs? Was he a sell-out?
If you really can't see a difference between John Singer Sargent and the guy doing caricatures at Faneuil Hall, I can't help you.
We all make choices, and sometimes the choice is to make money from 9-to-5 and to enjoy our artistic freedom in the evenings, and sometimes we can blend the two.
And if that's hard for you to work out at this stage of your development as an artist, at least break away from the "I meant to do that" crowd and take James McNeill Whistler as your model.
He not only dug in and earned the right to be arrogant, but his whining and whinging and carping was highly entertaining (and he was, not in the least coincidentally, a good friend of Oscar Wilde. See Lady Bracknell, above).
John Ruskin: "The labour of two days is that for
which you ask two hundred guineas?"
Whistler: "No. I ask it for the knowledge I have
gained in the work of a lifetime."
Two and two continue to make four, in spite of the whine of
the amateur for three, or the cry of the critic for five.
And, best of all:
I am not arguing with you — I am telling you.
Now here's your moment of whining