Parenting is a wonderful, amazing, painful, terrific, terrible, funny, heartbreaking, heart-filling event, and Brian Gordon’s great “Fowl Language” comic shows us the comedic ups and downs of parenting through the eyes of some ducks. After 18 years as an artist for Hallmark, Brian hit it big in Internet-Land with his comic, and his new book, “Welcome to Parenting” is available now. Join us as we talk about his early influences, the positive and negative things about internet fame and Reddit, and how being single-minded in your approach as a cartoonist has both benefits and drawbacks!
One of my favorite drawings, easily. I love everything about this one, especially how it’s even funnier side by side with yesterday’s one with Gretl. I like thinking that the editor who mistakenly mixed up “Grendl” and “Gretl” pretty much doomed poor Hansel to this fate. Great use of crosshatching here. Good work, Tom.
Here we reach what very likely is my favorite 2-day sequence of BookSmarts. The gag is obscure, but makes me laugh to this day…the art is sharp and tells the jokes…and I don’t care if no one but me laughed at them. This is part one…I love Gretl’s position and expression, I love the fourth-wall stare of Beowulf, I love that I was able to use my English degree for something silly. And what really got me with this one was how it set up tomorrow’s….
Here’s a great example of how I think the writing of a gag is strong, but the art didn’t “sing.” I remember distinctly cracking up at the term “..Vaguely Satisfied Men” when I thought of it. “Robin Hood” (1939, Errol Flynn) is one of my all time favorite films, and I’ve read all sorts of stories with “the Merry Men.” But, can men be Merry all the time? Surely there were days of boredom, ennui, or even perhaps a little anger. I just wish the art was a little sharper here.
Also, “Phil” is a funny go-to name for a character. It’s up there with “Carl.”
This is a personal favorite. Mine usually are the obscure ones. As a former DJ, I’ve always wanted my own talk show. (Note that this was drawn a couple of years before I would start podcasting…heck, it was before I’d HEARD the term “podcasting.”) I just like how it’s a Beatles reference, a radio joke, and a Lewis Carroll gag all at once. (Note the name off the station…KRRL. I found that particularly witty.)
Art Notes: This was the first BookSmarts with the new font for the captions…much easier to read. Myriad, I believe. Also, whatever I used to write the dialog was way too thick and pisses me off.
I remember reading something by Gary Larson about how he’d get in trouble with places like “Amnesty International” whenever he did a “guy in a dungeon” gag. I’m a big old liberal hippie and all, but I don’t think gags like this are trying to make light of actual people who find themselves locked up in a medieval-type dungeon. Besides, they obviously admit they were trying to rob the king, which is going to involve some sort of jail time if they’re caught. Also, they were nice enough to give the guy on the right a footstool.