I wanted to start off this section of Art and Essays from teammates from Team Frederator, with my art piece for the Awards Booklet. Kicking things off, so to speak. -Jeaux
most people will tell you their childhood cartoon experience started on a saturday morning. well, mine were in the morning, but most of my cartoons were watched on the weekdays.
my mom and dad both worked so my sister and i were dropped off at susan’s, the babysitter. she was a large woman with a big bleached blonde beehive, long press on nails, and a big heart. she’d take us to the park right outside her apartment complex and we’d tag-a-long on her daily errands around queens.
to be perfectly honest i really couldn’t give a crap about the park or the sale that the local bodega was having on green beans. i wanted to get indoors, sit down with my baby sister on the green shag carpet in front of the big tv while susan’s son robbie slept on the cheeto stained couch and watch some fucking cartoons.
for the average four year old weekday cartoons started at about six in the morning, which was about the time i arrived at susan’s. there was thundercats, dennis the menace, scooby doo, transformers, voltron, my little pony and jem (two shows i sat through ’cause my sister loved ‘em) and my all time favorite he-man and the masters of the universe . (wow, i never knew how ridiculous and long that title is.)
let me take some time and talk about he-man for a bit. he-man, to a four old is probably about the coolest dude in the world. he is super strong, has a magic sword, rides on a giant tiger like thing called battle cat, and his arch enemy is a goddamn skeleton! how fucking cool is that? uh… really fucking cool. what really sold it for me was he-man wasn’t he-man at first, he was some nerdy prince dude named prince adam. he did prince like things like wear purple shirts and pants. however give that dude a sword and have him recite some magic words about castle grayskull and bam! he becomes the master of the universe. awesome.
now i could talk about how it all came crashing down with the live action movie starring mr. ivan drago himself, or the thousands of times i got pinched by the evil spring loaded “damage indicators” on the battle armor he-man action figure, but i’ll save that for another essay.
the cartoons i watched as a little kid may have been corny and not the best, and most of them were probably made just to help toy sales, but that really doesn’t matter. all that matters is that they were cartoons. cartoons that took you away from reality if only for 22 minutes. i <3 cartoons.
Why Cartoons? What a strange question. I think what we should be asking ourselves is, “Why anything BUT cartoons?” What other human achievement is more pure, powerful, and vital to the well-being of mankind than cartoons? Nothing. Have you ever LAUGHED from science, engineering, architecture, or politics? No.
The cartoonist should be hailed as a SAINT. No other vocation is as selfless and important (ok…maybe doctors, firemen, teachers, etc. but whatever). As the saying goes, “If you’ve made one person laugh you’ve saved the whole world.” I think Ghandi said that… or maybe the guy who created Dennis the Menace.
Cartoonists save the world and ask nothing in return. They are like modern-day MARTYRS; aching backs bent over drafting tables and Wacom tablets, eyes blinded by Mac screens, evenings of selfish fun sacrificed to omnipresent deadlines. And all to save the world. Cartoons have stopped wars (can’t think of which particular war at this moment). Never do they cause violence or unrest (except for Danish cartoonists).
They are mystics, saintly artisans placed by cosmic destiny to eliminate pain and suffering from a cold galaxy of uncaring animalistic savagery. Cartoonists deserve the entire world’s utmost respect and a comprehensive dental plan. This will probably never happen… but at least they have the Freddy awards; a night in which cartoonists can honor each other.
Cartoons make us human.
They are responsible for kids getting up at 7 a.m. on a Saturday morning.
They poke fun at political figures.
They make us laugh so hard that milk squirts out of our noses.
They describe how to use your seat cushion as a flotation device.
They grace our favorite album covers.
They sell our breakfast cereal.
They dawn our metal lunch-boxes.
They teach children to speak other languages.
They tell stories.
Well, why the hell not?
by: Lee Rubenstein