I am wondering now if it is appropriate to call what I do in my writing and my cartooning humor. I tell stories. As a school teacher in both junior high and high school, I told stories in class and made kids laugh. (Okay, I admit, kids that age mixed with hormones, experiments with sex and alcohol, and under-developed frontal lobes in their brains will laugh at practically anything. I know a teacher who crosses her eyes when talking to kids about their mistakes, and she has them rolling on the floor with giggle-fits. This is now my fourth longest parenthetic expression, also known as an aside. They would probably laugh about that.) But is it fair to call that humor?
I write stories filled with feel-good crap. I’m as likely to make you cry as I am to make you laugh. (At least, that is my intention. You may laugh at things I intend to make the reader sad, and be sad or nauseated by the things I think are funny.) How does that fit with the definition of humor on the internet? I get a big kick out of some humor blogs I found on WordPress. http://https://irtfyblog.wordpress.com/ I Refuse to Follow Your Blog is a master complainer. He disses and crabs and totally kicks butt about a number of things. (Though I must admit I used his list of un-funny humor blogs to follow a few more that give me chuckles… What can I say? I’m a contrarian at times. How can you teach seventh graders and not be?) http://https://buffalotompeabodyblog.wordpress.com/ Buffalo Tom Peabody not only rocks my rib-cage with his wonderful photo-shopped self-cat-portraits, he makes a really guffaw-inducing set of videos on YouTube. http://http://bensbitterblog.com/ Ben’s Bitter Blog is blithely bitter and better at bitter than any bitter blogger blogging bitterly that I have ever found. Ben blogs bitter better than other bitter bloggers who blog with bitter butter… (All right! I know. Alliteration by itself isn’t funny. It took me tons of tempestuous years teaching to learn that.) http://http://dougdoeslife.com/ Doug Does Life does a blog with a monkey that you have to see to believe. They all make me laugh and they all seem to know better than I how to do the humor shtick. So how dare I call what I write humor?
After the Charlie Hebdo incident, (which you may have noticed has seriously bruised my cartoony little heart) I have to take humor and comedy in a whole new, more serious light. Ralph Bakshi, a master cartoonist whom I adore, says that if your cartoons don’t piss somebody off and make some enemies, then you’re doing it wrong, and you have to stop calling yourself a cartoonist. He says you are just an illustrator… in my case a children’s illustrator. Do I need to be insulted by that? Am I not a humorist? Am I not funny? I will tag this lunatic post as humor even though it’s not funny… well, not funny funny… just funny odd. Will I get in trouble with the cartoon gods for doing it? (Wait a minute… cartoon gods? Are they gonna zap me with a cartoon fun-bolt or hit me in the face with a pie or something? If they send terrorists, it may elevate my status.) So I am asking a whole lot of questions and not answering them myself like usual. After all, who decides if this is humor? Not I.