Doodle Tempest

The following represents an e-mail exchange I had today with a fairly well-known “B-list” cartoonist and humorous illustrator about the “Marginalia #2” piece directly below this post. To save embarrassment (to him) I’ll use our initials to indicate which e-mail writer is which. RD began with a snarky one-word critique of my post:

RD: Dull.

JS: Mean.

RD: Honest.

JS: Sad.

RD: My feelings exactly. I love to doodle…as do all cartoonists..but “real” doodles come form the subconscious..often leading to creations of ideas you would never have had otherwise. I’m always amazed at what doodles can often lead to. Your doodles lack that spontaneity. I’m not being mean, I’m just trying to be honest. If you don’t want a response…don’t ask for it.

JS: The funny thing is I totally agree with you about what constitutes “real” doodling. What you don’t get is I’m just having fun with it by doing an “analytical” number on it. It’s satire. Lighten up.

The fact that I had to explain what I was up to indicates that my mild attempt at satire failed, or perhaps it was too clever by half and simply went over RD’s head. But the thing I still can’t understand is why he would go to the trouble to send a mean-spirited response to it in the first place. I don’t understand pettiness in any form. (There was a bit more to today’s exchange, but in the later stuff RD went completely off the doodle track and began to critique my gag cartoons in political terms as “right wing.” Having self-identified my whole adult life as a left-leaning hyper-progressive but fiscally conservative liberal, that’s where he really lost me.)

Copyright © 2008 Jim Sizemore.

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