sábado, 4 de outubro de 2014

The Secrets Behind Cartoon Tropes By Robert Mankoff



The Secrets Behind Cartoon Tropes
By Robert Mankoff

Last week, the cartoonist Joe Dator facetiously explained how the facts of his own life combined to create a drawing that seemed as though it was a figment of an artist’s fevered imagination.
In a similar vein, this week, the cartoonist David Borchart takes us behind the scenes to view the real scenes underpinning some of our most enduring cartoon clichés. O.K., David, open that vein:
The desert island featured in hundreds of New Yorker cartoons actually exists. You can see it in Eastchester Bay, about forty yards from City Island, in the Bronx.


The Grim Reaper in New Yorker cartoons has been portrayed since the nineteen-seventies by the veteran character actor Vera St. Croix. She took over the role from longtime reaper Marjorie Breek.


That well-worn analyst’s couch is actually a custom-made cat bed. It’s twenty-five inches long and stands just four inches off the floor.


The guru on the mountain is a private-cave owner named Olmer Sky, and the location, as many alert readers have noted, is Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey. While not a guru, Olmer is a lay speaker in his Methodist congregation.


And those sun-addled wretches crawling through the trackless desert wilderness, painfully dragging themselves toward a distant punch line? With selective framing, no one needs to know that they’re in Brighton Beach.



Thanks, David. Great work. I just hope some of these hitherto secret locations don’t get overrun by cartoon tourists and groupies.
One of the definitions of “trope” is “a common or overused theme or device.” So, when looked at that way, some of the cartoon tropes that we’ve examined here might be considered a bit, well, de trop. A reader might ask: After literally hundreds of desert-island scenarios, guys crawling in the desert, gurus, shrinks, and the like, shouldn’t cartoonists abandon these clichés and start thinking outside the box? No.


http://www.newyorker.com/cartoons/bob-mankoff/secrets-behind-cartoon-tropes?utm
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