Friday, April 20, 2007

Serious Hates Silly- rules vs fun

When I was a kid, everything had rules. Mowing the lawn had to be done according to the book. You had to read your comic books only at designated times. Hair couldn't ever be hanging over your ears. Tanning hides had its own special procedure at Chris Peterson's house. "Who taught you to hold a brain like that!?"

Rules made the world go around.

Especially at the dinner table.

You had to hold the fork in the right hand. You couldn't hold your knife facing the wrong way. I can't even remember all the rules, there were so many! There was a meat knife, a butter knife, a nose hair knife. The fork goes on the left side of your plate, the pickle fork goes in your ear...
What I do remember is how funny it is to break the rules. The more you did things wrong the more mad Dad would get. And even funnier than mad, sometimes is the frustration at how stupid and immature an 11 year old kid was to him.
"You're 11 years old now! GROW THE F***K UP!
It's time to put away your little comic books and starting thinking about the future!"

That line is burned in my brain forever!
Anyway, comedy is full of scenes where an authority figure is driven to violence by the immature and frustrating antics of the undisciplined silly character.

Remember how funny high school was? Did you have a history teacher who would get so mad at your talking and joking in class that he would break his pencils and throw them at you? Which would only make the situation funnier.How many times have you been told to stop laughing by a red faced authority figure?

This is how violations of sacred rules were resolved before political correctness ruined the world!

I've made this Stimpy face many times.

Look how satisfied Ren is that he has taught a valuable life's lesson.
Uh oh! another violation in table manners. You never balance a spoon on your head with the pea still in it!

My Dad used to shove his eyes into his brain all the time when lessons didn't sink in to my silly immature dumbass self.This didn't happen though. That's what cartoons are for.

Have any funny stories of you driving authority figures to frustration and rage?

I wonder why more cartoons don't get inspired by real life type situations and expressions? It's so fun to draw!
But you won't get any of the expressions off a model sheet. You'll have to observe the real world and find a way to interpret it.

BTW, The Animation world is full of arbitrary rules too (that change every few years), under the guise of "styles". You gotta get a lot of drawing skill so you can recognize what an arbitray stylistic rule or dogmatic routine action is, versus a solid principle. Then you can really start having fun. Of course the authority figures will hate you though.