Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Meta Humor in Sherman's Lagoon. Part 1

Jim Toomey's "Sherman's Lagoon" ran a sequence in late February 2015 that I found fascinating. In it, Sherman and Hawthorne observe a cartoonist on the beach. As I read each day's installment, I was lead in some unexpected directions. The first part seems pretty straight-forward. (click on images to enlarge).

It starts by playing off the misconception many have that comic art isn't "art."

In the second, we get a little taste of the meta. "Norman's Reef" is clearly an alternate version of the very strip the characters are living in.

The third seems a contemplation on the paradox of cartooning (and other creative work) -- solitary creation for mass consumption.

And the fourth continues riffing on the low status of the cartoonist.  Toomey seems to be speaking through his characters to comment (and make fun of) his occupation. And it appears that the cartonnist in question is, in fact, himself. But then something strange happened... (as you'll see in Part 2).

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