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is there zen in cartooning?

Feb 29, 2008
We are a visual species We react to what we see. And to a lesser degree, we are auditory. We also react to sound

How do cartoons fit into this?

A belly laugh can help us cope through the whole day, and there is a good reason for that. Many eastern philosophers and yoga experts believe that the laughing chakra is in the same area as the sex chakra. I guess the powerful lesson here is to use them wisely and not at the same time. In other words this could be very upsetting to a soul-mate unless you can tactfully explain that your laughter chakra short-circuited during lovemaking. Stranger things have happened I guess. One caveat: If you are the female partner and should this happen to you, please respond, without missing a beat, the predictable compliment/lie "But size doesn't matter, it's how you move!" Yeah, ok.

Men know better but we play along with a smile.

But back to cartoons. Cartoons are truly nothing more than a small piece of art, hopefully humorous, that tell a much longer story, using what I like to call "extreme editing". Though we call ourselves writers, we truly are more editors than writers. Yes, we can write, and, though a cartoon may not have any caption or "word bubble" at all, generally some text is added to "drive the point home" Most cartoonists are instinctively aware, though, that if it can be done with no wording, a picture only, that is a triple bonus to the psyche, and, when we can occasionally do that, we get complimented way beyond our actual talents. But that's ok. It's good for the ego.

A cartoon is powerful. It has a life of its own and can make a major difference in the way we think. So we often look at the cartoonist as "bigger than life". I can assure you, being one, we are just like everyone else. We just don't crave the limelight; but the limelight craves us, it appears. This fascinates people. When you mention names like Charles Schulz or Gary Larson, some wonder if they are even in the same species. They are. Laughter is the motivator of most cartoonists. Yes, we love to make a good living, but if people aren't laughing, the money does not mean a lot.

So laughter, humor, and cartoons all contain zen, if you will. As long as we are alive and breathing, we will love to laugh. And cartoonists, hopefully, will serve it to us on a silver platter. That is our goal.
About the Author
The Internet's top offbeat cartoonist and gift entrepreneurs, Rick London loves to read about Eastern thought and philosophy. He is convinced laughter contains "zen energy". Click Here To See The Rick London Collection Of Cartoon Gifts & Collectibles
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