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Match to Flame 11

posted on January 6, 2016

Match - Mateer

There are inflection points in life that, for better or worse, send you on a new path, and I was about to arrive at one. My high school art teacher, Jim Mateer, used to hold open sessions for his students in his art room on Saturday mornings. When I was his student, he’d never let me work on cartoons in class. He had various explanations for this, but I suspect that the real one was that he intuitively understood that telling me I couldn’t do something was the best possible way to motivate me to do exactly the opposite. Along with being an expert practitioner of reverse psychology, Jim was also a great teacher in the best and broadest sense of the word. Sure, he taught us art, but he also taught lessons about life. He had theories about almost everything, which he delivered in fascinating down-to-earth homilies that were generally right on the money. In my hour of wavering, I found myself heading to his open art room one Saturday morning to seek his counsel.
We spent the morning talking, and, over the course of our conversation, Jim presented his general theory of how people end up doing what they do in life, all the while taking great pains, of course, never to tell me directly what I ought to do. He described the various ways people tend to make decisions or the ways people let decisions make them. “And then, of course,” he said, “there’s the bulldog approach, where people focus on one goal to the exclusion of everything else.” I left his art room that morning having been cleverly nudged back onto the bulldog track. Careerwise, cartooning and only cartooning was where I was going to expend my energy. Sorry, Eastern Heights Junior High.

*From the introduction to The Complete Funky Winkerbean Vol. One

John Darling – Take 10

posted on January 4, 2016

John Darling - Take 10

Again with the explanation… Leon Spinks was a short lived heavy weight boxing champion who was noted for piling up his Corvette on numerous occasions. You sorta had to be there.

John Darling – Take 9

posted on December 23, 2015

John Darling - Take 9

Given that John Darling was easily the most topical of the three strips I created, I can see that I’ll have to be putting a lot of things into context as we roll along. In this case, the throw-away panels on top refer to political liberal Shana Alexander and  conservative James Kirkpatrick who used to duel and the end of Sixty Minutes back in the seventies. The bottom part with John, the media personality, selling his soul to the devil is pretty much timeless.