The Man Who Loved Breasts by Robert Goodin

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The Man Who Loved Breasts
By Robert Goodin
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robertgoodinthemanwholovedcoverIt’s hard to be genuinely funny in the comics medium. It’s a truth that countless syndicated strips remind us of on a daily basis. In some ways a certain portion of their failure to amuse can be chalked up to the parameters within which they must operate in order to appease the manner of mainstream audience that comes with widespread syndication.

While a fair argument can be made for the skill of a true comedian’s ability to embrace such constraints, underground cartoonist have tapped into one key truth about humor: sick shit is funny. The perverse, the unspeakable, the social unacceptable—it worked for Lenny Bruce, Richard Pryor, and Bill Hicks, and thanks in no small part to the immediacy of visual stimuli, it’s worked for cartoonists from R. Crumb to Ivan Brunetti.

Let’s not, however, overestimate the importance of the visual in the equation. While plenty of artists know their way around a nice piece of graphically suggestive imagery, that skill alone does not a funny cartoonist make. As lowbrow as the work of, say, Kaz or Johnny Ryan can appear, there’s an oft unappreciated level of craftsmanship required in the execution of a truly laugh-out-loud piece of sequential art.
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