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Clashing swords

By: Thalia - On: 19/12/2007 14:54:53 - Comments: 0

At the start of my fourth week here at CartoonStock I finally steal a few of these precious pre-Christmas minutes to put fingertips to keyboard for the sake of the company blog.


Readers of the blog will be pleased to know that I can confirm CartoonStock is not only a delightful working environment, as my predecessors have so dutifully stressed on these cyberpages, but it is also often a hotbed of lively debate and a forum for the sharing of contentious ideas. Recently addressed issues include 'What exactly is frumenty?'*, 'If someone gave you the wrong change – in your favour – would you give it back?' and 'Why do women buy each other underwear as presents?'.

Indeed, it was only yesterday that myself and Cornelius were discussing the various merits and attractions of our respective arts. (Forgive me, gracious interlocutor, if I misrepresent you, but) as a published artist, Cornelius was informing me of the comfort he finds in the fact that his art exists empirically somewhere, and that that will always be so. As an enthusiastic Thespian however, for me the attraction of watching and performing theatre is found in its very transience, its ability to convey truth through immediate and fleeting beauty.

My colleague at this point astutely and gallingly raised the issue of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, questioning whether it quite pierced the heights of beauty and truth of which I spoke. Admittedly I had been thinking more along the lines of Hamlet, Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolf? and other such triumphs. (Such is the fate of the artistically celestial; to be humbled by a mere toad.)

Another accusation levelled by my adversary at this most noble of arts is the age-old 'But it's essentially just lies, isn't it?'. Sigh. Is it really necessary to highlight how troublesomely slippery the nature of truth is, whether it be represented through art, historical 'fact', even our own perceptions? At this point I call the late great Mr Oscar Wilde to the stand in my defence: “Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.”

In an attempt to bring this back round to cartoons, I'm going to stipulate that all artists wear a kind of mask, and that perhaps the mask is the art; the form of representation and expression.

At this point I begin to fear my mask is slipping so I shall sign myself off –


* According to Cloven Hoof, tis a kind of spiced porridge popular in medieval times, which (arguably) morphed over the centuries into today's Christmas pudding.


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