It was interesting to read some of the comments about my cartoons on Metafilter, from where about 1600 visitors arrived on Friday. Some were along the lines of:
Good to see that the Anglican sense of humour is as bloodless, insipid and dessicated as their religion.
Fair enough. I found this one rather more thought provoking though:
For all the gentle self-mockery of these cartoons, there is something quite complacent about them. They seem designed to prove that ‘we’ (= liberal Anglicans) are better than ‘them’ (= conservative bigots) because ‘we’ are capable of laughing at ourselves. Interestingly, Dave Walker’s cartoons for the Church Times often have a sharper edge, and give the impression of being produced by someone who secretly despises the entire Church of England.
This one is quite a good example of his sharper, more satirical style of humour. This one too. I have to be honest and say I don’t find either of them particularly funny, or even particularly accurate, but at least they express a point of view, which many of the other cartoons don’t. As to why I don’t find them particularly funny .. well, I think the only way to be funny about the Church of England is to treat the whole thing as a surreal fantasy. These cartoons do their best to be surreal, but they don’t go nearly far enough. In fact they are considerably less surreal than the real thing.
I have learned, when viewing criticism to:
- Not worry too much about negative comments about my work
- Place little importance on negative comments from those who don’t know me
- Place even less importance on anonymous negative comments, which is effectively what these on Metafilter are
Having said that I find it interesting that the humour not being ‘edgy’ enough seems to be the recurring criticism. Interesting, as I personally find most humour described as ‘edgy’ a lot less funny than more subtle humour. And humour that is trying too hard to ‘say something’ is often the worst.
I know I need to carry on doing what I do without letting what people say affect me. But I would be interested to know from some of the regular commenters which of my cartoons they find the funniest. For instance, do you like the ones where I am trying to make some sort of point, or those where I am drawing something amusing because it is an amusing picture and for no other reason? Do you like my entirely inoffensive pictures or prefer those times when I have been a bit grumpy and done a drawing to ease my fury? I’m happy to hear which kinds you find less funny too – I really won’t be offended.
As I need to fill up some blog posts while I am away during August I may well post some of the cartoons you say you like along with a link to the blog of the person who made the suggestion. Feel free to suggest cartoons in the comments or via e-mail.