Cartooning

My father didn’t quite make it into the 21st century. He died in 1996, at the age of 90. We didn’t always get along. He was a pragmatist, and I was more or less an idealist in those days. Dad had no problem with shading the truth a bit when it was necessary for making a better deal. He did what he had to do in order to accomplish the tasks he set for himself. At the time I thought I had the moral high ground on him, but now I can see where he was coming from. He wasn’t wrong.

I inherited that pragmatism. I used to feel a little guilty about bending the rules a bit in order to achieve a greater good. Sometimes guilt gets in the way of doing the right thing. When Dottie Christensen and I started a group home for adults with disabilities, we didn’t take the time to jump through all the hoops. Considering that homes such as we proposed did not exist at the time, at least in the U.S., we likely would have had to wait years. We couldn’t live with that delay, knowing that people were literally dying from substandard care in nursing homes and institutions, so we went ahead and did it, and did the hoop jumping later as necessary. For about a dozen people with severe disabilities, we made a big difference, and, in part, I have to thank my father for that.

This blog has been my attempt to introduce a little sanity into the debates over human rights, individual freedom, our responsibility for protecting the environment; things like that, things that ought not be controversial but are. Now I am branching off into a new venture, one I believe will reach a broader audience. Of course, as my father would have done, I am not waiting until everything is polished and ready to go.

Free Living Organisms

I am putting myself through school, again. I am transforming my talent for analysis and synthesis, together with my weird sense of humor, into a comic strip I call “Free Living Organisms.” Don’t worry, what you see there is not the finished product, yet. I want you to be able to follow along as I build up a set of characters and their personalities, and watch them get into odd situations.

I am putting myself out there. You can watch me grow and develop my talents, or fall on my face. Either way it’s exciting, right? And, assuming my readership grows and I don’t wash out, my team and I will bring all this into animation. That’s right, watch the action unfold once I have a handle on armatures and things, maybe in a year or two, if the gods are willing.

So thanks, Dad, and thank you to my family and supporters. And thank you, my readers, for putting up with my silliness and taking the time to understand and sympathize. The world is more beautiful and less horrible when we can laugh at the nonsense, and there can be poignant significance in the smallest of things.

 

Farside cartoon Gary Larson
Gary Larson
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