Ron Woodall's 500th cartoon

This week is cartoon number 500. A few thoughts.

The quirkiness of Bowen is hard to put into words so how about pictures?

This place is not hilarious funny but charming funny.

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Cartoonists get a special hyperbole pass that allows them make things up and draw cheeky stuff no decent person would think of.

Extracting little absurdities requires empathy and sensitivity, qualities which I lack and so depend on the missus to ensure.

So, 495 of these did not actually hit a raw nerve. We do have to live here, the best ideas —the edgy ones — are seldom seen.

It is always a tricky needle to thread. 

Unlike political, editorial, cartoons which are downright savage, we have three self-imposed rules:

(1) It must be Bowen-specific.

(2) It must not be personal.

(3) It must not take sides.

Which means it must focus only on the issue. Some leftie bias does seep through but as much as possible, the editorializing is left  

to the editor.

Sure, they look dashed off but they always seem to inflict a couple of days of angst.

The single panel cartoon, which is what these are, is a dying breed — still surviving in The New Yorker but few other places. Sadly, even that magazine now hires staff writer/artist teams.

An era is over.

The single panel is called the "Haiku of Comic Art." 

A precise self-contained unit which distills all context and relevance to a fleeting glance. Imagine standup comedy with only one sentence for an entire act.

A cartoon can often seem abstract. I explain that it’s like jazz. You may not hum the melody but it’s still music..

It took at few years on the island to give it a try.There was, and still is, that danger of newcomer condescention. 

By definition, that's what cartoons do.

I explain it this way: "If the ferry's on time, there is no gag."  

The first cartoon happened by chance.

A sign on Doc’s lawn read, "Dog Days Are Cancelled." That seemed funny. Wondered if the cats might seize this window of opportunity? Drew a ‘toon which was well received by The Undercurrent.

Even better, it was free of charge so could there be another for next week? 

Nevertheless, for 10 years there has been weekly remorse and contrition when reminded of The Undercurrent's wholesome and affirmative approach to journalism.

The paper is divided into three parts:

(1)The serious citizen and stakeholder’s mature, responsible concerns part.

(2) The kids and moms fundraising for Africa and prayer through spitirtual yoga and creative visualization at the commons “luv ya” part. (3) The squiggly box in which an 83 year old geezer-child likes to draw the ferry sinking or U-Pik dog poo.

Now for the second 500.

© Copyright Bowen Island Undercurrent


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