Scotus makes Gotus fall in love with it – A Toony Pretzels Cartoon. (Gay Marriages become legal)

On June 26, 2015, in a historic ruling, the Supreme Court made gay marriages legal all through the United States.

There are two sides to this coin.

Side 1 thinks of gays as an aberration, even an abomination, and while the moderates among these feel that gays may be allowed to do what they want in the privacy of their homes but marriage must only be between a man and a woman, as it was ordained by god as union for the purpose of recreation;  they hate Scotus for making gay-marriages legal.

Side 2 thinks that being gay shouldn’t mean that a person must either never marry, or marry a person of opposite sex in order to have a family and/or have children. They believe that they have the right to live life as they see fit and have a legal and ethical union with the person they love.

  • Does Side 1 own the institution of marriage?
  • Is Side 2 asking for the sky in asking for a legal and moral stamp on their union? 

Here’s a Toony Pretzel that I did a few years ago. It’s been sitting in the hard-disk of my computer…and I think it’s the right time to get a tiny smile out of it.

gay-marriages-legal-in-US-scotus-supreme-court-decision-love-wins-cartoon-toony-pretzels-by-shafali

Of course, there are other issues. Important ones. What happens in the military – where men have always been men and brothers-in-arms? What happens in the case of property disputes? How will the children that are adopted by such parents cope? The answer to all these questions is: we’ll know soon enough. I believe that humans are resourceful and they can usually find their way out of any situation.

Yet, in a world where we speak of the rights of people regardless the color of their skin, their gender, their religion; in a world where even convicts are allowed to marry and enjoy conjugal visits; why must people be discriminated against on the basis of their sexual preference? I’ve had some gay-acquaintances, they are some of the nicest people I know. I think the world needs to focus its attention on the criminals and the terrorists…isn’t it odd that America still hasn’t made up its mind about them?

 

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Evolution of a Cartoonist – Post 1 – How to Draw Cartoons – Introduction, Working Definition, and Three Examples.

This is the abridged first chapter of the of the book, “The Evolution of a Cartoonist,” which will be substantially richer in content (theories and methods,) graphics, and examples is expected to be published by June 2013. The book will also include cartooning problems and assignments for practice. During this time, as and when I find the time to scan/photograph my sketchbooks and put together a cohesive summary of the chapter, I will publish it on my blog here. 

I believe that everyone who can think and write, can make cartoons. Everyone gets ideas. Everyone would love to see their idea form into a cartoon. More often than not, the constraining factor is – the drawing skill. While almost everyone has got some experience with drawing, practical concerns made them forfeit their drawing skills. If you are such an individual, this book could help you rediscover and hone your ability to draw and motivate you to create cartoons that speak your mind.

About this Chapter:

This Chapter introduces you to cartoons, builds and explains a working definition of the term “cartoon,” and helps you establish the two essential dimensions of a cartoon. This Chapter is divided into the following topics:

  1. Introduction
  2. Cartoons – Definition and Illustrations
  3. The Two Essential Dimensions of a Cartoon
    1. The Visual Dimension
    2. The Conceptual Dimension
  4. Can YOU become a cartoonist?
  5.  End Note

1. Introduction

Let me begin in the usual lack-luster manner in which text-books usually begin, so that I may impress upon that this indeed is the first chapter of the book, “The Evolution of a Cartoonist.”

Here I go 🙂

Cartoons have always enthralled mankind, but with the advent of printing, their impact increased tremendously. Since the last century, cartoons have become a potent tool for bringing about social and political change. They’ve been the voice of the common man on street, and they’ve made many politicians shiver in their knickers.

However, the mighty cartoon has often been misunderstood. While cartoonists have struggled to find the middle ground between illustration and ideation, others have often wondered why they couldn’t be cartoonists themselves. After all, most cartoons look simple enough to draw!

2. Cartoons – Definition and Illustrations:

According to the two dictionaries that grace my cluttered and otherwise non-intellectual looking desk, a cartoon can be defined as:

A drawing intended as satire, caricature or humor…a ludicrously simplistic, unrealistic, or one-dimensional portrayal or version. – Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary

Or

A ludicrously critical or satirical drawing or caricature, as in a periodical. – Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary of the English Language.

I think that none of the two definitions do justice to the raw yet mysterious power of a cartoon. Let me use these two definitions as a base, add to them my own observations and experiences, and structure this simple yet more complete definition of a cartoon.

“A cartoon is a relatively simplistic and/or sometimes exaggerated visual portrayal of a critical, satirical, or humorous idea.” – Shafali the Caricaturist.

Let me illustrate this definition through some examples.

Example 1: Peanuts

Peanuts by Charles M. Schulz is a cartoon (more specifically, a comic strip, which is a string of cartoons with a common idea holding them together,) because: It is a relatively simplistic and exaggerated visual portrayal (compare to realistic visual portrayal) of a (subtly) critical,  (sometimes) satirical, and/or (definitely) humorous  idea.

Example 2: Dennis the Menace

Dennis the Menace by Henry Ketcham is a cartoon, because: It is a relatively simplistic and exaggerated visual portrayal (less simplistic than Peanuts, yet a lot simplistic when compared to the realistic portrayal) of a critical (no,) satirical (no,) or humorous idea (yes, always.)

Example 3: Loneliness

While the other two examples were from popular comic strips, here’s a stand-alone cartoon. Let us see how this fares on the definition.

Loneliness” is a cartoon because it is a relatively simplistic and sometimes exaggerated visual portrayal (a simplified sad woman with an exaggerated expression of sadness, sitting in front of a simplified computer at a simplified desk, in a simplified chair,) of a critical (yes,) satirical (yes,) or humorous (not very) idea.

The three examples given above are enough to tell us how widely cartoons differ from one another. A cartoon could be made using a few lines (Dilbert) and it can be made by using millions (Kal’s toons in The Economist); it could be used to present criticism, satire, or humor; it could be done in black-and-white (Dilbert again) or in hundreds of colors (Asterix); it could be political, social, organizational, historical, or even educational. This is also why most of us have the potential to be good cartoonists in our own areas of expertise. It’s important to remember that to be a good cartoonist, you need not be a great illustrator. 

We’ll talk more about it in my next post, which will present the second part of this chapter, to discuss the two essential dimensions of a cartoon.

More Posts in this series:

 

 

 

Wicked dogs don’t want to work, and a depressed pretzel watches as Nike Women just do it!

When the Caricaturist was stuck inside her computer for three long days and three long nights, she spent most of her waking hours interacting with her files and folders. While there were many files that had to be “exterminated”, there were some that were saved. One of these files had some funny Search terms that had brought people to my blog in the past six months.

Here are some that I thought I must share with my sweet readers. I’ve added my first reaction to the term along. You are welcome to share yours 🙂

Search Term 1: Caricatures of wicked dogs

Huh?! Wicked dogs?  Really? Wicked DOGs? WICKED dogs? I don’t know of any, and I’ve known more dogs than humans. Excuse my brutal honesty, but wicked is an adjective that applies exclusively to humans. So, dear searcher, I am not sure if you’ll ever succeed in your quest. Even if you are able to find a caricature of a so-called wicked dog, I assure you that the subject of that caricature never existed – and so, such a caricature would be a work of fiction.

Search Term 2: Don’t want to work cartoons

Now this searcher has my complete attention. “Don’t want to work” is the stable human state. You know about stable states, don’t you? “Want to work” is the exact opposite state of “Don’t want to work,” and unfortunately “Want to work” a highly unstable, extremely volatile state to be in. If a person stays in “Want to work” state for too long, he or she might become explosive. I hope that this searcher succeeds in his or her quest of truth.

Search Term 3: Justin Beaver

Yep! Justin “Beaver”. It’s so much more meaningful than that other surname that he uses…Bieber or something.
Beaver, according to this Wikipedia entry here is: “a primarily nocturnal, large, semi-aquatic rodent.” Makes a lot of sense, especially to the Crabby Old Farts. While I am not sure about the “large” and the “semi-aquatic” part, I’d accept “nocturnal” (as it applies to everyone connected with the music industry) and “rodent” (check out his hair!)

Search Term 4: Depressed Pretzel

An oxymoron. I can’t believe that a pretzel can actually be depressed. This search term doesn’t make sense to me – unless the searcher was in fact looking for my Toony Pretezel about Loneliness and Depression. Hey Presto! Here’s the said Pretzel!A Toony Pretzels Cartoon - A take on Facebook Depression - Defining Loneliness - emails, facebook, twitter, blog - Depressed Woman.

Search Term 5: Nike women just do it!

I disagree. I think Nike women are a lot more discerning. They don’t just do it…they do it properly. But what would I know, I am an Adidas woman. Nike women are welcome to comment.

Search Term 6: How to draw someone holding a pencil in mouth

Easy! Draw someone and then draw a pencil in his mouth!

Search Term 7: Handsome Caricature

Hmm… Let me see. A handsome caricature…? I think I should point you to my Caricature Gallery. All my caricatures are handsome enough… at least they look handsome to me. It’s the same old reasoning that makes the Rhino-mom think that her baby rhino is the cutest kid in the universe…if you catch my drift.

Search Term 8: Brainy Kid Cartoon/Studious Girl Cartoon/Genius Caricature

Hah. You are looking for portraits…not cartoons or caricatures, my friend! Just get a photograph and you are done.

Search Term 9: Handsome Indian Men Naked

How many times do I have to tell you, my dear searcher o’mine blog? For Indian men, handsome and nakedness don’t go together! In fact, handsomeness and Indian-ness seldom goes together. We are some of the smartest people on planet Earth (and we are smart enough not to let people know that we are,) but we aren’t really “handsome” or “beautiful” – and we aren’t talking about the exceptions who prove the rule. (One exceptionally creative Italian lady would like to mention a few names here. She will try her best to discredit me, but then I ask her – has she seen those “handsome” India men naked? Ever?)

Search Term 10: Indian Nudes

Oh, c’mon! The only Indian artist who had the guts to have herself photographed naked and then paint some naked self-portraits was Amrita Shergill, and she couldn’t have done it if she were a commoner or even completely (and I mean it in the genetic sense,) Indian. Her mom was French, and Indians are quite forgiving of the lapses by semi-firangs (semi-foreigners.) And yet, something drove Amrita Shergill to commit suicide at the young age of 28.

 We have come a long way since then…my friend. Now we don’t even dare to think of doing “terrible” stuff like that. Stay safe, my friend, stay safe!

For some inexplicable reason, if you are interested in reading more SEO Humor (humor? Really?) posts, here are four other loony posts that I made in the past.

Toony Pretzels – Flint: Feeling Flinty? Find some Steel!

Most of us have our highs and lows, and for most of us neither the highs nor the lows define our normal states. But then there are those of us who feel depressed and unhappy all the time. They say, they need the spark; they are the Mr. (and Ms.?) Flints who are looking for some steel that they could interact with and produce that spark. This post is about flint and steel.

A Toony Pretzels Cartoon - A depressed, sad, unhappy man looking for inspiration - Flint and Steel.

Flint and Steel

Here are some Flints looking for some steel.

Generally,

  • An artist trying to find inspiration.
  • A writer struggling against writer’s block.
  • A man who has lost sight of his purpose.
  • A woman who wants to get out of her daily rut.

and more specifically!

A Toony Pretzels Cartoon – Defining Loneliness

Loneliness once was a real feeling resulting from lack of real friends and real family. Now…they say that the feeling of loneliness still is quite real, but its drivers have changed. I grew up in a time when there was no Internet and in places where there was no television, no telephone, and at times no electricity. There were times when my family stayed in places where there were no other families around. Was I lonely? I don’t think I was. I had so much to do. I’d bind my own books, make my own dresses (and my doll’s dresses too,) study, draw, grow vegetables in my mom’s kitchen garden, and even cook. I don’t remember feeling lonely ever.

But now, I hear of loneliness ever so often. I hear of kids not knowing what to do if they didn’t have their smartphones with them, I hear of young girls and boys jumping off the high-rises because they were depressed, and I read about women in apparently happy relationships suffering from anxiety and depression. I am sure that the feeling is extremely real for them, but I can’t really get a handle on the causes…

I just wonder whether we were a stronger lot before Internet shrunk our world into a ragged ball of tangled connections.

Presenting…

Loneliness!

A Toony Pretzels Cartoon - A take on Facebook Depression - Defining Loneliness - emails, facebook, twitter, blog - Depressed Woman.

Loneliness is the state of feeling sad or deserted due to isolation.

If you are troubled by this cartoon, you should click the following links:

PS: If your virtual life appears empty and meaningless, walk out of the door into the street. The real world too has a lot to offer. Give it a chance 🙂

Toony Pretzels Cartoon – Essentials of Asset Evaluation by Shrew and Shrewd!

Toony Pretzels by Shafali - Cartoon of a Nagging Wife and a Cheating Husband - The Shrew and the Shrewd and some Asset Evaluation

If you haven’t done your share of Asset Evaluation, here’s a quick definition to get you going.

Asset Evaluation is the process of determining the current worth of a portfolio, company, investment, or balance sheet item. (Source: Investopedia here.)

I don’t know why but this cartoon reminds me of “The Trump Card,” a twisty tale on the matters of fidelity.

And if you aren’t touchy about the issue of fidelity (or infidelity, for that matter) enjoy some cool jokes about cheating at the following links.

Toony Pretzels – Understanding Theory: To Save or to Practice – That is the Question!

Theory

The term “Theory” is defined as:  Fundamental or abstract principles underlying a science or an art.

Toony Pretzels Cartoon of a doctor operating upon a patient while a nurse looks on - Theory vs. Practice

It’s time for a reality check. We need to know whether the doctor who’d be cutting us open, studied in a medical school with a lab and got some practice…or whether he got that degree online…or did he just buy it off the shelf?