With the entry of my “evil” twin brother Jed into the world of low-end didactic cartooning,the hue and cry has been overwhelming; we need a contest.
Who, indeed, is the best blogger/cartoonist in the Twin Cities?
For years, it’s been generally recognized that Tom “Swiftee” Swift- auteur of “Life In The Dumpster” -has been the dean of Twin Cities blog cartoonists. “LITD” has long combined trenchant satiric observation with the sort of gritty anti-style that only the best cartoonists can master.
But much has changed since “Dumpster” earned its first accolades. Ken “Avidor” Weiner continues his prolific output under various names, some not even made public. Tiger Lilly, from the Night Writer blog, has driven minimalism to its far edge. Joe “Learned Foot’ Tucci from Kool Aid Report made “Fleen” – a story of a loveable family of prickly cyphers – into a local tradition before perversely pulling it from circulation. And I gotta say, I think my twin bro is an up-and-comer. (We’ll leave Dan Lacey from Faithmouse out of it for now; in contrast with the rest of the list, he’s an actual professional and recognized artist).
So who’s the best?
We’ll let you decide!
First – the nominees:
Nomination 1: Tom Swift
The cartoons – done in Microsoft Paint, usually with no more than a thumb and index finger – and intended tolook crude, slapdash and half-finished, as if Swift is commenting on the overproduced, over-colored, over-stylized, self-consciously “Retro” stylings of too many underground cartoons.
Nomination 2: Fleen
Tucci’s been praised for his style – deftly suggesting dynamism and motion even though his characters remain superficially motionless, as if daring one to keep up. It reminds one of the great Danish neo-structuralist cartoons from the sixties through the early eighties.
It’s edgy stuff; some wondered if it didn’t take too much out of Tucci for it to continue, when he pulled his Bill Watterson-like retirement from cartooning last year.
Nomination 3: Planet Terry
This strip is drawn by my twin brother Jed, who says “my aim is to convey everything – love, hate, rage, sex, laughter – with as little effort as possible”.
Some criticize his work as derivative and excessively inky. You be the judge.
Nominee 4: Anorexics Inaneymous
Minimal as it is, the strip conveys deftly conveys an amazing range of feeling.
Nominee 5: Bicyclopolis
Looking as if it was cribbed from a 1977 issue of High Times, Bicyclopolis depicts (apparently) a fictional world where peoples’ hands are frozen into grotesque parodies of…I dunno, ham carved into hand shapes. Which is a searing commentary on man’s inhumanity to cartoon hands.
It’s a tough decision, folks. Which is why I’m fobbing it off on all of you.
Who is the best online cartoonist in the Twin Cities?
UPDATE: And that’s a wrap:
Congratulations to all the contestants – because in the world of Twin Cities blog cartooning, just showing up makes you a winner!
I told you so, JedHead.
Mommy always liked you better.