Just as poetry is the most difficult of all literary forms, so is humor the most difficult of literary styles. As the old saying goes, “Dying is easy, comedy is hard.” After ruling out the puerile smut and scatology of drooling Neanderthals unworthy of our attention, one is left with a small, elite band of practitioners.
Even the most casual observers of my oeuvre, (a word I simply cannot say often enough), know that humor is at the very center of everything I do. While there is nothing less droll than deconstructing chuckling, I will say that humor is a matter of perspective, not telling jokes. Hilarity cannot be taught; it is the result of being kicked in the head once too often.
As a child poring over the cartoons in Punch and The New Yorker, I became fascinated by the idea of compressing an entire funny concept into one single frame. Later, cartoons in The National Lampoon introduced me to a darker, more irreverent perspective. Over the years I wrote funny books, scripts, skits, speeches and more – but it wasn’t until 10 years ago that I tackled cartoons themselves. My inability to draw was overcome by hours of trolling for interesting photographs. Importantly, I looked for shots that were generic and had no intrinsic humor. Then, I returned to them and added in the humor by creating captions.
My cartoons have been snatched time and again, appearing now on websites all over the world. To this day they remain among the most popular of all my creative enterprises. I have generated nearly 1000 and, in the near future, will release a “Best Of” anthology. Why are they called “El Lagarto” cartoons? That’s another subject for another post.
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