Tedious Cartoonist

Artist: Chris Ware, Art 21      Image1 Image 2

While selecting an artist from the category of episodes on Art 21, I wanted to explore the mind of someone I could partially relate to. Then I ran across this extraordinary cartoonist by the name of Chris Ware. Chris Ware, who is deemed the master of comic art form, is highly known for his New York magazine covers and complex graphic novels. The theme behind most of his art work focuses on social isolation, depression, and emotional torment. Most of his stories focus on those living in the Midwestern suburbia neighborhoods as Chris reflects on the beauty of constructing the character’s identity. Chris was obviously not the most athletic kid growing up, so he needed to find something in order to stand out from everybody else. Being that he wasn’t good at sport activities, Chris Ware started drawing comics as a way of fitting in with his peers. Drawing was his needed getaway from reality, but it also helped Chris find himself.

The first influential character to capture Chris’ attention was Charles M. Schulz’s “Charlie Brown”. He felt as though Charlie Brown was the first cartoon character that tugs on the heart strings of the viewers. Chris feels as though he is the first character to promote empathy which sparks human emotions. The most interesting thing that I found about this episode was the course of how the artist operates. His everyday routine is very tedious and with a couple of adjustments, he is still able to fulfilling his fatherly duties. What makes this artist so compelling is the amount of energy, time, and patience it takes to complete the comic book. Chris explains how it takes him 40hrs just to complete one page of the comic, and 50% of that time is use for breaks to regain his sanity. I feel as though is can relate to Chris because he exposes a doubtful aspect of himself during the work period that helps me understand that even an artist of his status still question their ability. Chris’ voiceover in this episode helps accompanies his journey as an artist in this episode. Overall, this video was very insightful because it help me see the nature of a true cartoonist at work.

-Justin Crayton


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