Cartooning is minimalism.
I’ve known plenty of people who really don’t equate cartooning with art. It kind of gets lumped into the ‘cheap parlor trick’ category.
So, I’ll just lay it out there – cartooning is minimalism…cartooning is art. In fact, Charles Schulz…a single, solitary panel of Charles Schulz…has just as much visual power and impact as anything Picasso, Munch, Hopper, or even Warhol ever produced. I know – I’d probably clear the room at your average gallery opening with that kinda crazy talk, but I couldn’t be more sincere. I can make the same case for Walt Kelly, George Herriman, G.B. Trudeau, Gary Larson, R. Crumb…I could go on, but you get the idea.
Cartooning may not be lush, painted landscapes, or obtuse expressionistic visuals…but it’s something equally as stunning. It’s taking 3, 4 maybe 5 lines and creating a concise burst of creativity, and communicating a ton of information. That’s the height of creative expression. It’s populist…it’s accessible…it’s art.
So, that’s how I look at cartooning’s place in the hierarchy of art. It’s right up there with the masters.
Fortunately, there’s a number of museums and colleges nationally that support my thinking. More on that later.