Thursday, January 3, 2013

Best Cartoons from Imgur

It's taken a few years, but I have masterfully constructed an internet-based network for all my art influences. It is a veritable interstellar-highway of that art-I-wish-I-could-do pumping into my computer all day, every day. This comprises of an engorged NetVibes feed art pages and art groups, a painstakingly-categorised (that was a long evening) bookmarks folder for artists and art networks, a huge list of art pages I've subscribed to on Facebook, and many bulging volumes of files for art I find about the internet that I will definitely, definitely need later for copying.

The particuarly inspiring cartoon images I have saved to my "Cartooning and Caricatures Ideas" folder (oh, how it heaves, whilst my "Finished Work" folder does not). These are specifically three-panel-style cartoons, funnies and gags, not illustration per se. Anything that's .jpg and that makes me want to draw and write a better cartoon strip ends up in here.

These cartoons can have a particuarly good layout, a great sense of humour that gets me completely, a message that I want to communicate, an art style that speaks to me the most, etc. And sometimes you get a cartoon that boasts all of these.

All personal and overly nostalgic cartoon-taste aside, where do I frequent the most to find the very best of cartoon-commentary? That diffuses straight out of the zeitgeist, the media that speaks the truth about the unique experience of our generation? That is the most relevant to our times?

Sometimes, just sometimes, it can be genuinely productive to fall into procrastination pits like Imgur (queue the inspirational quotes for sensitive artists about procrastionation being useful for creatives). But I think it is one of the best places to find cartoons for inspiration.

There are lots of funny, meme and image-sharing websites about the place, but so many cartoons get posted on Imgur. Besides making me super jealous and more and more anxious to copy their style and content, I find the variety and type to be terrifically telling for art and audiences. The way I see it, the cartoons that gain the most popularity on Imgur's up-voting system are the art and ideas that are generally fashionable and that impress the current generation of user-consumers the most. Unfortunately, I won't be depending on this for an Ozymandius-wall-of-TVs-style litmus test of artistic trends for very much longer. An insular community culture has taken over Imgur by it's "imgurian" users to an extent that it's ability to reveal trends and ideas about the broader internet shrinks more and more every day.

Art Zeitgeist
"Twitter is like Ozymandias' wall of tv's in Watchmen. You don't read every tweet, but from the whole you can absorb the zeitgeist." - Mike Pohjola, on Twitter

However, one major problem I have with this constant stream of cartoon variety is that, more often than not, the artist of said artwork will not be credited, unless it is the artist himself who has uploaded the image. This displeases me greatly. Let that be a lesson to you cartoonists and artists to stick your name and website at the bottom of every image you let loose into the internet. Which is why I will now post just a few of the best from my personal collection of winners:

The Irreverant and Damn Funny

The Political

The Artistic

And these are a few of the online comics that I admire the most, for style, content, humour and spirit. The ones that have it all:

Zen Pencils by Gavin Aung Than

Stop Paying Attention by Lucy Knisley

Doodletime by SaraSeeAnderson

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