Thursday, April 26, 2007

Famila Feliz / Beetle Power

Familia Feliz 'happy family' cartoon

Click above to view larger image. Largest.

Drawing in progress for a new Familia Feliz cartoon, a charity in Brazil which contacted me a number of years ago and uses my work on T-Shirts, postcards, etc. Bethany College of Missions in Bloomington has connections to the charity, and I've met with a missionary from Bethany here at my home to discuss these cartoons in the past. The cartoons first started as promo pieces featuring different, real life children (Familia is run by a couple named Gledson and Célida who have adopted more than fifty children, some actually found abandoned on the street or in garbage dumps) but I've tried to expand this to a broader theme which addresses the plight of poor children in general. Still trying to get around to contacting O Estado de Sao Paulo (one of the larger papers in South America, based in Sao Paulo) to see if they'd like to run these cartoons as a continuing feature. These, and my other dialogueless Christian themed toons I think would make for a nice international cartoon.

For those who might assume this should be the territory of a 'liberal' cartoon; I disagree. Private giving has always formed the foundation of American charity, and far outweighs coerced publicly mandated 'donations' which are both wasteful and deplete the resources of those who give without political agenda. Conservative and Christians shouldn't allow detractors to co-opt these themes, any more than they should the territory of art, or opinion.

For those who are new to this blog, my modus operandi for developing cartoons is to fling them up on the web, then stand back and admire how my pretty my work looks backlit on a computer screen. It may take a week or longer to get around to finishing the above. Some I abandon entirely, but this one I won't.

From a post yesterday made on Something Awful, (Adult content) one of the sites mentioned on City Pages which decipher my cartoons. This is my response to questions about the Kurt Vonnegut memorial toon I posted here last week-

BunnySkull posted:
Actually, Kurt Vonnegut worked at GE before quiting to become a writer. I believe he was still working there and that was partly the inspiration for "Player Piano." Working at GE (or at corporations in general) in Vonnegut's opinion, was somewhere between purgatory and hell on earth. I think that's what he's referencing in the cartoon as well. (I think)

That's exactly what I was referencing. C.S. Lewis in his Screwtape Letters portrays Hell (and Heaven, by implication) as bureaucracy. Lewis was a strident atheist who converted to Christianity partially by influence of the very Catholic Tolkien. Hell is a brutal bureaucracy; and we can see shadows of that here in our earthly systems, which mirror but fail to achieve the perfect bureaucracy of Heaven.

BunnySkull posted:
I to am confused by his Vonnegut strip. Though I think his graphic portrait of Vonnegut is good and accurate (I like him smoking his Pall Mall too.) - I don't like the implication that due to the lack of "saving" Vonnegut is in purgatory. Vonnegut would agree that purgatory is as much of a fairytale as heaven and wouldn't like to be depicted in either fantasy land. So I'm going to take the strip as yet another flame of sorts. My interpretation: Dan thinks even though Vonnegut was a great guy and writer, due to his lack of saving he won't be in "fake-heaven", though he doesn't deserve be in "pretend-hell", so he's placed in "non-existent purgatory." Though, of course, I am assuming that Dan takes the above mentioned stations in God's human storage compartments (assigned by soothing his apparently huge ego) very seriously. Yet since he likes Vonnegut on some level couldn't bring himself to deposit him in hell although an unsaved atheists such as himself would normally be placed there.

That's as good a memorial cartoon as you can get from a Catholic conservative for a past President of the Humanist society. Once Vonnegut gets to Purgatory, he'll be asked 'who sent you?' and when he answers 'the cat from Hell' he'll be told the cat doesn't have any authority and he'll be promptly forwarded back to Heaven, and the cycle will continue into perpetuity. Vonnegut himself might be satisfied with that, because he didn't really want to go to any of these places, didn't believe in them, and besides, he'll be in a constant state of depression about his situation, which he lauded as being necessary for writing. So it's a good thing.

Bunnyskull posted:
Dan, did Vonnegut's beloved mother go straight to hell because she committed suicide, or is she hanging with him in "purgatory" ? (Also, is Dan a born-again Catholic? Because I thought Catholics were the only group agreed on the purgatory concept. I've also never know about a big "born again" Catholic sect.)

I couldn't tell you, not knowing his mother's state of mind at the moment of her death. Was it positive and indirect, negative and direct, or negative and indirect?
Look, people who purposefully die for others also willingly commit suicide, but the Church doesn't consider them guilty of unforgivable sin (there's only one), nor does it fault the insane. All suicide is done without consent of God, and is a definite spiritual fau pax, but it doesn't automatically condemn someone to Hell.
I'm not a 'born again Catholic' but I am a charismatic Catholic, which means I have nice hair and smile at people a lot. I've gone from Catholic to Atheist to Agnostic to born again Pentecostal, and back to Catholic. I was a big fan of Vonnegut (and Nietzsche) during my atheist days, but stopped reading him around Slapstick, when he sort of walked away from his characters.

Nice conversation started there, but then I was banned, I suspect because I was being the guy who draws faithmouse again (Christian=reach out). The NSFW in progress features my characters Taint and Fetus, and is by request of a music oriented board which I've contributed to over the past year or so. It's meant to serve as a cover for a CD compilation of original music by board posters. It's a surprise requested by the person organizing the project, so I can't reveal the name of the board until Saturday. Like the Familia Feliz cartoon above, it's not what you might expect. Art, I think.

Thanks to Shot In The Dark for the congrats and heads-up in their Clear Sympathies post.

Chad the Elder at Fraters Libertas has nice words for faithmouse in today's Common Grounds post. The last time I saw St. Paul (the blogger) was at the Hugh Hewitt / Peter Beinart debate two years ago (for which I drew a toon) and where I was able to present to Hugh a collection of Pookie18's Today's Toons at Free Republic. I remember introducing myself to Scott Johnson of Powerline, but I believe he thought I was trying to sell him a pair of shoes.

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