Sunday, November 30, 2008

THIS GENERATION: THE NINE TYPES OF WHITE GUYS


OK, here's my understanding of the nine types of white guys currently on the street. I'll probably get this wrong, but I figure I'll never get straightened out if I don't hazard a list, so here it is...




1) HIP HOPPERS: Mostly black and Hispanics dress this way, but lots of white guys, too. Baggy, floppy tee shirts, long wide buccaneer shorts, exposed underwear, Pfat shoes, hoodies, bald head, tattoos, ear rings, etc. Baggies are on the way out, but you still see plenty on the street, especially baggy shorts.



2) SKATEBOARDERS: Lots of baggy and/or grunge, but now also tight jeans, like the 80s skater above, drawn by David Gemmill (all the drawings on this post are by David). Skater sneakers. Long hair or bald. Baseball caps on the way out, unless they have net sides and squarish fronts like the ones truckers wear.






3) EMOS: Ultra sensitive, concerned about global warming, wear tight black jeans, thick red and black flannel shirts for the skinny Canadian lumberjack look. A few wear eye make-up and get tramp stamps.



Emo Music: My Chemical Romance. Yuppie-type emos like Coldplay. Emos pretty much control rock.




INDIES: Emo sub-group that favors sentimental neo-folk music and is outraged when a band sells out. Eclectic dress that borrows from other groups. Music: Tegan and Sara (that's them above, singing "Nineteen"). Song: "How to Save a Life" by The Fray.





4)PREPS: Short for "preppy." They like to look good in clothes. METROSEXUALS: A sub-group within the preps, they're even more concerned about clothes and style (argyle). They're not gay, but some are influenced by gay attitudes.







5) ART SCHOOL HIPSTERS: Tight black jeans, 80s Rayban sunglasses, Hair over half the face.



When hipsters smoke, they smoke bidis (beedis?), a type of expensive, bad-tasting, hand-rolled, fruit-flavored, herbal cigarettes that come from India. Hipsters feel superior to emos, shop at "American Apparel."



6) GAY: Preppy, shop at Abacrombe & Fitch.

7) GOTHS: Tight black jeans, black everything. Critical, sarcastic, but not as surly as they used to be. Skinny goths shop at Hot Topic, fat goths at Torrid.



8) JUST PLAIN GUYS: tee shirt and jeans. Most guys fall into this category. Here David depicts a just plain guy (himself) encountering what I would call an art school hipster. Me, I like the way the girl is dressed, but it looks like David is critical.


9) NERDS: Cultural or intellectual interests, plain or eclectic clothes.


Well, how did I do? Did I get it right? Thanks to Kali Fontecchio for all the good information (probably messed up and misunderstood by me), commenters Darbyshire and Patrick who turned me on to Indies, and David Gemmill for the great drawings. David should do a book on the LA club scene!

Also, commenters brought up two more categories: Retrophiles (young fogeys into old media), and heavy metal rednecks. I completely forgot about rednecks! That's what happens when you live in LA; you lose touch with what's happening in the rest of the country!




114 comments:

PCUnfunny said...

Ah ! Brilliant post my dear Eddie. Notice how most of the styles involve tight pants ? I swear I see these teens look so gay and yet I see them holding a girl's hand ! I saw this white kid in Wal-Mart the other day and he was wearing a tight purple hoodie, pants, and purple gloves and he was holding a girls hand! In general ever since the 1960's, men have become far more feminite. The long hair was the first sign.

Darbyshire said...

You forgot the INDIE look.
(I can only speak for what I've seen in my area)

This group has parts of Emo and Hipster (Scenester), with a bit of "folksiness" added. They wear flannel shirts and blue jeans, both faded. They listen to neo-folk music, I guess you could call it. A lot of them become furious when an obscure band "sells out" (makes money in any way other than ticket sales at Emo/Indie clubs). But some of them don't seem to care, and listen to any popular music that's slow and whiny.

I've never seen an Indie fellow go halfway- you either completely submerse yourself, or you're out.

Also of note, I've never seen an Indie kid call him/herself an Indie kid. I think they may take offense to the term.

Anonymous said...

Not all gays are white.I'm gay but I seem to be halfway between a doofus hipster and a geek, hell I don't recall ever being in a Abercombie. It's a good post though i've met and seen plenty of people my age (21) that have aspects of one or more of these groups.

Anonymous said...

My problem with the nerd category is that nerds are probably the most fractured subculture of all.

You have my favorite group who are more like characters in Charlie Kaufmann movies that are still worldly and culutured and all that but obsessively devoted to their interests and indifferent to fashion and pop culture, then you have the modern day 4chan type gamer/computer culture obsessed nerd that uses phrases like "epic win" and lulz or defiantly refers to themselves as a gamer.

xkcd.com this comic is everything I dislike about webcomics and modern nerds, Its impossible to romanticize the internet and doing comics about specific aspects of it is vulgar

Anonymous said...

You are missing this subculture too
stuffwhitepeoplelike.com they aren't "hipsters" as much as "liberal upper middle class"

lastangelman said...

This is absolutely hilarious, but this is about young guys, right? I mean, what about the older people? The differing generations of those in their 30's 40's 50's 60's, and on and on. I find the people in their sixties right now to be the most diverse bunch of people in their sixties than I have ever known in my life.
For instance, I mean, some of the women in their sixties are either like trad notions of being like grannies, while others are totally pheromonally phenomenally hot, like I wouldn't mind dating them (for the record, I have - not bad at all! - no wonder they call them cougars, nowadays). You got old hippies, bikers, hikers, straight ups, codgers, and so many more. This has got to be the biggest generation of people to hit their sixties ever. It's weird right now seeing some of the original rap artists are now in their forties!

oh btw, totally off the subject, here's a link to a developing Slate article on Pirates of the Moluccan Straits in Indonesia, seeing everyone is going on about pirates lately. Think you'd like this little adventure.

patrick said...

Haha, it’s either ridiculously baggy pants or ridiculously tight pants!

Here’s a brief rundown of how I see it:

Nerd’s are accepted now. We’ve seen over the last few decades that they have positive things to offer society.

Emo’s are the new nerd. They are the butt-of-all-jokes in the teen/young adult bracket. They may be concerned with world issues but offer nothing to help. All the emos I’ve met have been pessimistic, hopeless and in most cases from middle/upper-middle class families. They may currently control pop-rock, but real rockers and regular people won’t let them win. Most people can’t wait for this fad to go away. Goths are even more accepted than emos.

I think “gay” is in reference to a term givin to the most extreme of the A&F shopping preppy/metros. They tend to be mommas-boys and love pop radio.

Hipsters are the ones that dislike being called by their title the most out of all the groups. They have a very post-modern outlook, tending to avoid anything that is current. They’re also usually steeped in underground pop-culture. They are sort of soft-core punks.

And like Derbyshire said; Indie kids. They are probably the most abundant of the groups, as there are not confined to one specific look. They are mostly regular people, but can borrow looks and mindsets from any one of the other groups to their individual preference. Their most distinguishing feature is that they do get upset when a band sells out. They mostly avoid popular current movies & music, sticking to the independently produced, hence the term indie. They’re a cross between regular person and hipster. Most have a fairly positive outlook but may play it down.

Hope that helps some!

patrick said...

This has really got me thinking, as most of your posts do.

It seems these lifestyles people latch on to are reactions, to their inablilty and/or unwillingness to deal with society and current state of the world; The people in the extremes either avoid it or become obsessed with it.

Hipsters are in denial about current affairs & culture, metros are slaves to it, punks are pissed off about it and Goths & emos ineffectually whine about it. While nerds and larpers(live-action role-players) go to great lengths to escape it.

Anonymous said...

Is the reason for this post cause you think cartoonists are supposed to make fun of other people?

Most webcomics are about very specific subcultures like videogames, star wars,computers etc. and the characters are the same 2 characters that stand in place for 4 panels having sarcastic conversations that end with one character saying the punchline with a raised eyebrow 'tude expression.

These are the sort of people cartoonists should be making fun of, not being used as cool lead characters. Im 20 and for me the people most deserving of ridicule are the twentysomething mba types. The sort of people who refers to him and his friends as "the future leaders of our generation" and wear suits everywhere, even to hockey games

Anonymous said...

My problem with most of the techguru futurist types that most slashdot.com type nerds revere as gods is their derision for art, and bland outlook on life in general, everything is just a problem to be solved.

Its to the point where humanity is starting to splinter into real people with lives and friends and values and all that and "internet people" who talk mostly in memespeak are huge pedants and get into heated arguments about which Final Fantasy game had the best plot yet have never read a book without elves or Star Wars characters in it.

only about 5% of people online are involved with messageboards and all that and the rest just use it to talk to friends and people they know and only visit sites friends send them.

Anonymous said...

one thing I dislike about most content created for the internet is that very few people are just having fun and being creative, once you start a blog or a comic you are making a "product" and the most important thing is to get as many hits and diggs as possible. And the type of criticism you get doesnt help either,

since the 95% of normal people with great personalities that could give you helpful feedback and advice tend to just enjoy content online and move on the only feedback you ever get is from joyless pedant shutin types, either "blah blah blah with all due respect I disagree with the premise..." (just think of an anime fan dumbass commenting on John K's blog trying to get him to click on dragonball z clips") or "this sux, epic fail, kil urself"

If something as big as Calvin And Hobbes comes out of the internet its going to come from a real person who put their stuff online to get exposure, not from an internet person who made sure to comment on all the latest internet trends and exploit social media.

If you have something amazing it should be a challenge for it not to get millions of hits in a month

Anonymous said...

sorry if I seem to dump random thoughts here, but youre one of the few non "internet people" online, when I found this blog I thought "wait a second, whoevers writing this has a soul, that cant be right"

Anonymous said...

Im with John K in that the world needs more MEN.

Even with people I like that are eclectic and laid back and well adjusted theres an innefectual blandness to them. Theyre content to sit around drinking coffee and discussing the latest movie and make good natured ironic jokes.

This generation isnt really aspiring to much

Anonymous said...

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/03/magazine/03trolls-t.html?pagewanted=1 another reason I hate the internet

Sagelights said...

Is it just me or did the emo stuff come out left field for anyone else. It just seemed to be there all old a sudden. Maybe it is just me getting old, cause no other trend had snuck up on me before like that one did.

Also I figured preppy guys and girls were the people who wear Volcom and Roxy like type clothes, the people who need to look like a walking billboard. I never understood that.

anyways funny post Eddie.I love the mad tv thing. Do one girls next <3.

Anonymous said...

I guess what Im saying with comics today is noones really standing outside of culture and observing it. It would be like if all cartoonists in the 70's did comics about specific brands of platform shoes and had guys standing around talking about pong

Anonymous said...

cartoonists shouldnt give a fuck about video games and star wars except as a way of pointing out how stupid people are

Anonymous said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EKDbXhYQwEY&feature=related

Is John K a fan of Trailer Park Boys? When he talks about how lame Canadian Television is and how we should be making shows about people getting drunk in the woods this show is what hes talking about.

Canadian tv is horrible otherwise, its all hip Toronto people that act like theyre in Taco bell commercials

Anonymous said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nxOqHAUk2EY&feature=related

You shouldnt have to deal with the sort of people that comment on youtube videos, watch that and then read the comments

Anonymous said...

One good thing about the internet is its helped cure my aspergers, I still rant and make weird non sequitors online (I dont post on messageboards or anything though) only blogs with no barriers to commenting, but its kind of been a "ghost of christmas future" for what unchecked pedantry and obsessiveness can lead to.

Anonymous said...

Its a good thing Ren And Stimpy came on in the early nineties cause I don't think John Wouldve gotten along well with the obsessive messageboard culture that wouldve built up around the show if it came out today.

People with no knowledge of animation or anything getting into heated arguments about Stimpy's origin story and turning catchphrases into memes.

Jim said...

Boooo emos are so 1997.

There are far too many types to plonk in just 9 categories?

I'm looking round the studio now and can't see a single fit.

I dunno. Not feeling this post!

Maybe because im English? Shouldn't make much of a difference though seeing as most english pop culture is American.

Otherwise your number 1 fan.

Jim

Anonymous said...

You a fan of Scorcese?

I like him but a huge overarching theme in his movie is Catholic guilt and all that and having grown up in a secular family its not something I relate to at all

Adam T said...

You're forgetting probably the most hilarious youth subculture of all, the douchebags. The Internet has wealth of information on the douchebag. Internet researchers are busy taxonomically classifying all subspecies of douchebag. Take a look at some of their research.

Jennifer said...

Uncle Eddie, you are a loony - that's why I like you!

Reading your commentary reminds me that everything old is new again. For guys, the skateboarders, goth and the preppy look was so in when I was a teenager back in the 1980s, and it's in again! Even the skinny jeans and tight fitting clothes on guys were in during the 1980s.

Let's just hope that the "hair band" look or any variation of it continues to stay out of vogue for the guys.

Anonymous said...

I mean John K is a nerd in some respects as far as his obsession with cartoons and animation goes but hes a normal well adjusted human being that is definitely not a pedantic pussy like some of the contrarian dopes that post in his comments

Chip Butty said...

Hahaha, oh lord, so painful and so true. Were I but a REAL MAN from the first half of the 20th century...*sigh*

(not emo)

Anonymous said...

I like blogs like this cause you talk about art and philosophy without adopting that pretentious wordy style of writing that most "intellectual" blogs have.

stuff like "musings on cinema" where they write like someone trying to make fun of stilted intellectual writing except theyre being serious.

Anonymous said...

theres a "depressed narrator" thing going on in a lot of webcomics these days, kind of like emo versions of Robert Crumb

Anonymous said...

It really does suck how fractured everything is for cartoonists, back when men were men you could draw everyone wearing hats and various suits depending on their social status, or overalls if they're hillbillies, Ironic fashion didnt exist cause people weren't retarded and people expressed themselves by their occupation and personalities

Eddie Fitzgerald said...

Darby, Patrick: Thanks for turning me on to the Indies! I added them to the Emo category and listed you guys as a source.

trevor thompson said...

Eddie, you forgot the most prominent of all the white devils: THE MAN!!!

These are your President Bushs, and Dick Cheneys all the way to the cop who writes you a ticket for jay walking.

Emo sub-group that favors sentimental neo-folk music and is outraged when a band sells out.

When I was a Projectionist Manager at an independent movie theatre, I was considered 'the cool manager' by the employees there ( they all fit these descriptions ) until I pointed out one day that there is no such thing as a band that doesn't sell out.

I said that if you've heard of them, they've sold out. Period. If they sell one ticket to a show in their garage, they've sold out. Period. If they record a shitty one track CD with GarageBand and only one person buys it, they've sold out. Period.

I guess I'm officially old now. Period.

- trevor.

Caleb said...

Hi Eddie, would jocks fall under the Hip hop category? I don't mean the guys that actually play sports, but the ones who wear the jerseys, watch ESPN constantly, and have many posters of muscular men in action poses on their wall. You know, the ones who yell at the screen for a sport they have never played themselves.

If anything these pictures prove the awkwardness of youth and what's available in stores. The cool kids with no money, invent a style that gets turned into an industry. Idiot copycats follow and you have another idiot trend. Repeat. The whole baggy pants thing started with someone who was so poor he had to share his big brothers pants! That guy was so cool, everyone started dressing like him. I predict a trend where kids will wear nothing but cloth sacks to prove who the most minimal is.

"but hes a normal well adjusted human being that is definitely not a pedantic pussy like some of the contrarian dopes that post in his comments"

Tough talk from 'Anonymous'.

Anonymous said...

Well have you ever read the Comments in John K's blog? You have intelligent stuff From Eddie, Mike Fontanelli etc. then wieners going "What do you think of the character designs for Final Fantasy? With all due respect your opinion on Disney is far too dismissive........"

Anonymous said...

Eddie, I think youre being grossly unfair to the Emo subculture.

Are you so arrogant that you will dismiss and mock an entire GENRE of music??? So what if they dont listen to big band music and Frank Sinatra or anything past 1953 that youre too closeminded to care about.

Emo music reflects the postmodern alienation and ennui of this generation and Bands like My Chemical Romance use irony and Dramatic videos to subvert the very culture that have led our youths despair. Unlike the stuffy "Men" from the 50's you seem to idolize our youth are not afraid to let out their emotions and express their creativity

trevor thompson said...

Emo music reflects the postmodern alienation and ennui of this generation

That's a fancy-ass way of saying 'music for bored sissies'.

Actually, what it reflects, He or She Who Hides Behind The Anonymous Moniker, is a pocket of teens who live in a world where all the great ideas have been done, all the great themes used up and turned into theme parks. These insipid youngsters wouldn't know irony if an Emo band named The Destitutes sold tickets for $500.

Now, I'm all for guys emoting ( hell, I'm probably the biggest nine inch nails fan you'll ever find ), all I ask is that you have a legitimate concern; being bored stiff because you live in the suburbs and girls don't want to fuck you is not a reason to write a song, let alone a concept album... it's a reason to kill yourself.

As for Sinatra, you will not find a better example of a Man, nor will you find a more emotional and consumate performer.

The music videos, on the other hand, are the best thing about these bands, and that's not saying much. Very often you have a director, being assigned to the job as opposed to seeking out talent he really liked, who doesn't really know what the song is about and has to interpret it, invariably making it someone else's vision. Plus, I'm all for cinema verite, but for the love of Christ, there's a difference between a handheld shot, and one that is frenetic and aimed poorly.

I've seen less than a handful of good Emo bands, so you can't knock me for dismissing 'an entire genre of music', but that was back in 1997, and they were local when the genre first started. Now, it's annoying with no improvement. There's nothing special about it.

The same thing happened with the goth kids. Mine was the last generation of goths who actually weren't part of a click because there usually weren't any other goths in the school. But then, Manson became popular and Hot Topic came out, and the mantra of the black ones became: I wanna be unique and different.... like everyone else.

Don't knock Eddie because he claims to not like Emo. His tastes are far wider than yours or even mine, so respect is in order. Besides, typing with your thesaurus in arm's reach doesn't make you sound smart, it only decorates a silly point of view.

Carry on my wayward son.

- trevor.

Eddie Fitzgerald said...

Anon: I never think of anything I do as "mocking" anyone, if mocking implies the desire to hurt somebody. If I were high school or college age I'd probably wear something drastic. I'd be aware that it's funny, but I'd still wear it. I mean you can't go around naked and you want to make a statement.

Trevor: When I'm not thinking like an artist I'm not as down on the man as you are. After all, the man makes the water come out of the tap and gives us jobs and some continuity with the best of the past. I respect that. Believe me, you wouldn't want to live in a society without the man.

On the other hand, when I think like an artist another side of me comes out, and I go out gunning for the man and anyone else who deserves it. Artists aren't supposed to be toadies.

Anon: Thanks for the compliment! That's one of the reasons I like John K's blog. He has a soul!

Sage: Yeah, I know what you mean. One day Emo was just there, and it had taken over rock!

Jim: Fascinating! What types do you see in the studio? Maybe I missed something!

Eddie Fitzgerald said...

Anon: I know guys who dress like emos and who like the same kind of media that I like, so it's hard to generalize.

The emos who obsess over global warming and social problems, and get all depressed over it, seem to be missing something in my opinion. It's better to get good at something you intend to do for a living and get obsessed over that. You can still have social opinions, outside interests and all that, but your main strength and identity should come from your profession.

Anonymous said...

I was joking with that "how dare you make fun of emos!" comment, I was making fun of the people on John K's blog who get mad at him for not liking anime and family guy

Darbyshire said...

You're welcome and thank you, Eddie. And thanks patrick, I wasn't sure how far the Indie style had gone, geographically.

I think this one may take a while to die out, vis-a-vis the ability to 'customize' the style.

By the way, I think you struck Anonymous oil, Eddie!

Anonymous said...

thats true, Al Capp said 'You cant draw a picture of a dog without making a statement on the condition of dogs'

Anonymous said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V5Z_ZducwbQ

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G-wyZty-rsU (the voice of the rat in ratatouille)

Heres some really good Stand up sets on Indy culture and hipsters

Anonymous said...

http://flabbergastedly.com/?p=206#more-206

youll love this

Anonymous said...

Good show, uncle Eddie!
You did however, miss another certain group, but I don't blame you because they're extremely rare. I'm talking about the Retrophile (aka young fogeys), the young fella that embraces and adopts the culture of a bygone era, usually the from 30's to the 50's. They almost always wear vintage or retro clothes, listen exclusively vintage music, and find anything post-1960 to be completely alien or repulsive (with few exceptions). I should know, I'm one of them!

C.H.

Caleb said...

"...then wieners going "What do you think of the character designs for Final Fantasy? With all due respect your opinion on Disney is far too dismissive........"

I agree Anon.- I enjoy picking John and Eddie's brains for useful information on animation, not their opinion on a fading trend like FF. Unfortunately, that is a problem with this kind of public format.

Aaron said...

Awesome and informative post!

Caleb said...

I think it's interesting how most groups don't name themselves. It's a name usually given by outsiders who feel the need to label a phenomenon they don't understand. Words like punk and grunge were never used to describe a scene until the magazines called them that.

PCUnfunny said...

First of all Emo is not a subculture by ANY MEANS, they are a counterculture. Secound, most of them having nothing to complain about. They are spoiled upper class white kids who feel that their lives are meanlingless because they have everything handed to them. Since they feel they have no purpose, they just whine about the problems of the world that hardly effect them in anyway. I'll be fair and say not Emo boys are gay but they act feminite because they simply wimps who can't take life. I am not a manly man by any means and I struggle with life in general but I am not a punk who will dress in black and refuse to even confront his problems.

Anonymous said...

If "Internet people" (Ftw, epic, fail, ur doing it wrong, etc.) were the majority and not just a tiny fraction of humanity Id commit the sort of suicide sociologists talk about where you no longer feel any connection to society

Adam T said...

Unlike the stuffy "Men" from the 50's you seem to idolize our youth are not afraid to let out their emotions and express their creativity.

These emotions you're praising are typically of the depressed or angry variety. That's a bit one sided isn't it? Emo subculture has gone commercial too. Teenagers are being sold an image that encourages them to be even more aloof and depressed than they naturally are. That seems pretty irresponsible to me.

I have no problem with youth expressing their creativity but there's a whole range of emotions, colors, and hairstyles out there to play with that emos seem to reject on principle. It seems too regimented and negative as a whole for anything worthwhile to ever come out of it.

Anonymous said...

Could you give me a short paragraph on why you like the Far Side? Id really appreciate your thoughts on it

Anonymous said...

The whole baggy pants thing started with someone who was so poor he had to share his big brothers pants! That guy was so cool, everyone started dressing like him.

I've always read it started in jails-belts were taken away from inmates resulting in pants hanging down low. That, and the ease with which weapons could be concealed in "baggy" pants and jackets/shirts hanging out-result was a whole gangbanger look. Which other dopes and wannabes adopted.

Anonymous said...

http://ca.answers.yahoo.com/question/index;_ylt=ArVmjysf9ysPi7szO_Di.JnAFQx.;_ylv=3?qid=20081203192257AAesZEj

I hate meanspirited trolls, but it can be an awesome comedy excercise if youre just being dumb

Anonymous said...

http://nedroid.com/ have you seen these yet? its the best webcomic after pbfcomics.com

Anonymous said...

I see all those types here around Atlanta, Georgia. But you missed the obvious and biggest white guy stereotype here in the South...and I'm sure there are a few around the rest of the US - REDNECK white guys.

Redneck guys stereotypically wear blue jeans (loose or tight...or anywhere inbetween), camo, painter jeans, carpenter jeans, T shirts, flannel shirts, sports jerseys, any kind of blue collar work clothes, as well as military and hunting inspired gear. For head coverings, it's: trucker caps, baseball caps, skull caps, boonie caps...you get the idea. Oh, and some guys like to put those round Skoal cans in their back pockets in the same place every time to make a worn ring in the pocket. It's like a badge of honor for "dipwads".

The stereotypical redneck haircut is either a mullet, or shaved - military inspired or not. They wear other hairstyles, but these are the most obvious.

Redneck guys don't only listen to country...they listen to old school hard rock, and heavy metal as well. In fact, most redneck guys I know listen to more rock/metal than country.

The redneck humor and overall personality (at its best) is very much self-deprecating, sarcastic and "earthy".

I've never been anywhere but the South. And I've lived in Texas, Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia. I grew up within the stereotype, so I know it well.

The culture is a lot more sophisticated than Jeff Foxworthy would have you believe. There are a lot of variations within the stereotype...a lot of subtle things that are hard to pick up on unless you've lived here for quite a while. I should write a book about it. :)

Chip Butty said...

Are all these anonymous the same person?

Whit said...

Someday the gaming media will have a lot more to answer for than televised media ever did.

Eddie Fitzgerald said...

Anon: The Farside? That was my very favorite modern newspaper cartoon. Fans used to apologize for Larson's drawing ability, but I thought he was a terrific artist. All you have to do is compare him to his imitators to see how unusually clear and beautiful and funny his layouts were. He was so good at layout that the staging became a joke all by itself: the ridiculously high ceilings, the glimpses of passers-by disappearing behind a corner, lots of open windows so we can see how the world outside contradicts what people are saying inside. My guess is that the newspapers imposed that awkward sit-com panel size on him and he made the size of the panel part of the joke.

I was really sorry to see him go.

About the links: I'll look at them tomorrow over coffee.

Eddie Fitzgerald said...

Anon: Rednecks!? Aaaargh! you're right, I was forgetting about the South!

Anon: The Retrofile (phile?)!! You're right, but there's not an enormous number of them. I almost wish there was.

Taber said...

Frat boys? I don't see the Bro's represented! Oh those lovable Bro's...

Jorge Garrido said...

This is your best post yet, Eddie. Although I gotta say, I find the term "Hispanic" offensive. The preferred term is "Latino." Also, isn't it weird how emo started off as just regular geek fashion and turned into a fuse between gay, goth, punk, hip-hop and geek?

I'd say I dress as a cross between preppy, nerd (argyle, vest, cardigan), hip-hop, "plain guys", retrophile, and 50s greaser.

Is it just me, or is mainstream fashion getting alot better this year? At least in Canada. Everything's in grey tones, plaid, argyle, skinny ties, peacoats, reto styling is coming back with a vengeance. It's awesome

Eddie, there's a terrific website you'd love that is like this post: http://www.yourscenesucks.com/ My Favourite is the prehistoric emo.

Make sure you "choose a scenester!"

Of course, none of the commentators here know what emo actually is.

Hint, it's THIS from 1993. The stop/start time signatures, the loud crushing chorus with the soft verses, the polyrhymic drumming, the twinkling guitar crossed with dual distorted guitar arpeggios, the complete elimination of the traditional rhythm and lead guitarist, the vague, poetic lyrics and indiscernible, almost mumbled nasally vocals that would roar inro panicked and tortured screaming and ranting at the drop of a hat. This was music. The beauty of emo was that it took the ingredients of traditionally heavy and unmelodic music (like, for example, heavily distorted guitar) and made it melodic, yet in a way droning and repetitive. But in a good way. A way that sounded like a dreamworld that would shift into a nightmare in the chorus. This was REAL music!

Emo was an amazing style of music in the 80s and 90s, stemming from punk and influencing grunge, alternative, indie and pop alike, but it devolved in the 2000s into something ungodly and completely faggy. I blame George W. Bush. (J.J. Hunsecker still considers it better than Glen Miller, though)

The golden are of emo was the greatest form of "rock" music (wherein I wrongly but nonetheless do NOT include the infinite forms of punk and metal) since the 1950s.

The WORST part of emo and what they now call "screamo" is that it starting influencing metal and what we used to call "moshcore" more and more, into it devolved into this weird blend of metalscremocore that they call "metal" now.

Jorge Garrido said...

By the way, everyone on my night crew dresses half hip-hop and half "plain guys," and My Chemical Romance aren't an emo band. They're a rock band.

Caleb said...

"I've always read it started in jails-belts were taken away from inmates resulting in pants hanging down low. That, and the ease with which weapons could be concealed in "baggy" pants and jackets/shirts hanging out-result was a whole gangbanger look."

The prisons started the no belt, underwear hanging out thing which just reeks of intelligence. Break dancers started the baggy pants before that because you can’t dance in the super tight clothes of the 80’s. Most guys will choose sex appeal (will THIS get me laid?) over the ability to conceal a weapon.

Anonymous said...

All of this may be true, but if Joe Ruby and Ken Spears got to produce the definitive cheap animated series starring an emo today, the character would still be wearing a 1938 jughead cap. Just sayin'.

Anonymous said...

re: Chip Butty, Nope

Anonymous said...

You left out the Anime nerd

http://ddrshoehead.files.wordpress.com/2007/06/otaku-2.jpg

trevor thompson said...

David Gemmill for president!!!

- trevor.

pappy d said...

Is the 'Anonymous' who doesn't care for Gary Larson the same as the one with Asperger's?

Eddie, I've said it before but never in caps: You have the BEST BLOG EVER. Your eclectic subject matter is always fun, thought-provoking or just plain fascinating & sometimes hits a big vein of modern culture like this.

I'm from a shrinking demographic who favor the cardigan & bolo tie look with pleated pants that come up over my belly button. I used to wear a bucket hat because it looked so cool on Grim Natwick, but then the kids started wearing them, so at my age I felt ridiculous in it.

Caleb said:
"It's a name usually given by outsiders who feel the need to label a phenomenon they don't understand."

Amen!
In the early 60's conformity was cool. Young guys wanted to be the guy in that ad that asks, "What kind of man reads Playboy?" You always assumed he had a work hard/play hard lifestyle & a cool job that offered lots of travel like 'international arms merchant'. Then, with the civil rights movement, dissent became respectable & everyone wanted to present himself as an unaffiliated individual. Advertising had to start to sell stuff as "an expression of your unique lifestyle".

All these social groups are named by people who study them as perversions of mass markets; beatniks (note the pinko inflection), hippies (I wish I had a piece of those stick-on daisies that covered the rust holes in millions of VW vans), freaks, punks, preppies, etc. Today there are so many groups they all overlap & bleed at the edges. The one thing everyone equally resents being lumped under a brand of consumer.

PCUnfunny said...

Anon: Ah yes, those god damn "Otakus".

Anonymous said...

Jorge- How can one be offended by Hispanic? Last time I checked, it's just a broader alternative to Latino. Why exactly would Latino be "preferred"?

And let's remember neither term has to do with race, just ancestry.

Anonymous said...

I absolutely love Gary Larson! I only asked Eddie what he thought cause I knew hed have really interesting insight into what made the Far Side so great, and he did! Its modern webcomics I dont like, Im not the only anonymous here though

Julian said...

Jorge, tell you what you can whine about people using the term hispanic when you stop yelling faggot in order to make some half-assed attempt at being Anti-PC and edgy.

Josh "Just What the Doctor Ordered" Heisie said...

That about sums it up.

I guess I fit into the "nerd" category, meaning I wear hawaiian shirts with jeans or khaki pants.

But at least I'm not dressed like a woman, or like I want to kill myself!

Geez, I hope these trends hurry up and change...

Anonymous said...

The Far Side and the 2 dozen ripoffs that came after it are a good example of when John K talks about people making superficial imitations of great cartoonists work.

People think, hmmm all I have to do is draw fat people with glasses and talking cows!

http://comics.com/rubes

http://www.gocomics.com/theargylesweater

gocomics.com/looseparts

these are the three obvious examples but theres a dozen more.

Its mostly laboured puns, or literal versions of proverbs or idioms. They completely miss the point of the third person caption as well, Gary used it as a way of setting the mood or to mock the sort of captions youd find in National Geographic.

Todays cartoonists use it as a way of explaining the cartoon and usually killing the joke. Gary realized that the best cartoons made you wonder whats about to happen or what kind of backstory led to the moment he decided to show us.

A guy and a duck stuck together on a desert island, and the duck saying "we meet again, but this time the advantage is mine! hahahaha!"

or a snake charmer with a crowd surrounding him and the snake has just popped out of the basket with the charmer thinking "ill get him for this"

Part of the fun is imagining what bizarre past a man and a duck (or snake) could have that led to their resentment of one another.
A syndicated panel cartoonist would give a paragraph explanation under each of those cartoons.

If you read through too many syndicated cartoons you almost get the impression that its illegal to be funny

Anonymous said...

John K should really do a massive critical post on Pixar

Anonymous said...

I love the Far Side but hes not the Be all end all of cartooning.

In some ways his range was limited to his obsessions like Natural history, anthropology and Old Detective and Monster movies. And this is why his imitators are so obvious because theyre handcuffed to making superficial copies of what Gary drew. This is why you still see Cavemen and Talking cows all over the "funny pages" except the jokes lack depth and any real observation of humanity.

The "next" far side isnt going to be like the far side at all, it will have the same solid fundamentals but will be even weirder and funnier.Itll be like the difference between Bach and Jazz or Warner Brothers shorts and Ren and Stimpy

Anonymous said...

What really made the Far Side great was Gary Larsons indefinable "larsonesque" quality to his sense of humor and writing. The guy was self actualized as an artist in the same way Scribner Clampett and Jones were.

He had a unique outlook on life and sense of humor and was special in a way that 99% of cartoonists by definition of the world "Special" arent. Most cartoonists (Not you and John K) have lame "cartoonist" senses of humor, its like if you ever go to a website for a top pixar or disney artist and they have ridiculous life drawings and sketches and a "just for fun" type section and its their attempt at syndicated style strip and its just awful, like if you were visiting their studio and they brought them out youd have to pretend to laugh.

Ill pick on Mike Peters cause he has a pulitzer.

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/fun/mgg.asp?date=20081129

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/fun/mgg.asp?date=20081127

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/fun/mgg.asp?date=20081123

Nothing but crappy puns, you cant come up with more banal gags than that

Anonymous said...

Syndication is kind of a dead road, the path to success today seems to be get in 30 or 40 alt weeklies, start a website but try to insulate yourself from the "internet people" that want you to write about video games, science and the iphone, and then get a book or tv deal. look at pbfcomics.com

With the internet theres really no excuse for failure anymore, in the 80's you could blame the idiots at the syndicates but if you cant build up a following online the problem is on your end

Anonymous said...

What do you think of "fratire" Eddie?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fratire

What I love about guys like Mencken and Swift was how subtle they were, if they wanted to take down a person they wouldnt say "fuck this guy, look at his stupid face, what an asshole, epic fail"

They would caricature their style of writing or speaking or turn them into a character, or write an essay "agreeing" with them but agreeing with what they saw as their true motives or viewpoint and the results would be absolutely devastating.

Nowadays bloggers just write a post calling someone an asshole, then the other blogger writes a "no youre an asshole" post and the fanboys of both bloggers invade the others comment threads and messageboards and its just a depressing scene altogether

Anonymous said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Evc8KTGdF7E

The pythons are making fun of David Frost in this sketch, he was very hurt by this

Anonymous said...

meant to add that the snake in the Far Side cartoon has popped out a set of Groucho Marx novelty glasses.

Id just link to the cartoons except Gary dislikes the internet more than I do and refuses to let people post his cartoons online

Anonymous said...

http://www.theonion.com/content/news/this_american_life_completes

I read an interview with Ira Glass where this article was brought up and he threw up his hands and said "theyre right, we have to change"

Anonymous said...

I really like Kliban as well but I think Gary was funnier. Kliban had more depth on a philosophical/satirical type level though.

A good way of comparing them is to put their cavemen cartoons side by side. Far Side Caveman cartoons usually worked by taking modern inventions and ideas and reducing them to a comically simple degree.

Two caveman scientists studying a mammoth ones looking at it through a giant rock microscope and says "Looks like a mammoth", or 2 cavemen playing rock paper scissors and getting endless ties of "rock, rock"

Klibans cartoons were meant to show mankind at its most primitive and that we're still basically animals and how absurd our attempts to escape our true nature is.

One caveman trudging away from his caveman extended family saying "fuck this primitive shit" , its hilarious but in a way hes making fun of modern day Thoreaus who say "fuck this modern shit"

Dont worry Im NOT going to ask for your thoughts on Kliban Eddie!

Anonymous said...

http://youthoughtwewouldntnotice.com/blog3/?p=288

Even when cartoonists arent blatantly ripping off the Far Side, theyre using Far Side cartoons as templates for their own cartoons

Anonymous said...

I think in some ways the fact that Gary Larson Wasnt a master Draftsman worked in his favor. Ive known some amazing artists and animators and when I ask them if they could draw something like a Cowboy for me they say "sure!" and 20 seconds later I have a disney style sketch of a cowboy.

The construction and line of action and all that are perfect but theres no personality to the drawing, I have no idea what the artist thinks of cowboys, whether he sees them as noble relics from a bygone era or as Silly men living out childhood dreams.

Gary thought very carefully about every aspect of his drawings and every detail was hilarious.

Theres a really funny anecdote from him about a cartoon he drew about Houdini reduced to a skeleton because of chinese finger traps. He realized that he was in a very difficult spot regarding the expression on the skull.

Too realistic and the cartoon would be too grisly and detract from the gag, A smile wouldnt make any sense.

He ended up drawing and erasing the skull dozens of times till he ripped the paper and had to start over, he joked that if he didnt have a deadline hed probably be stuck drawing houdinis skull for eternity till ending up like the cartoon he was trying to draw.

A lot of Cal Arts types won't understand that story at all but to me thats the consummate cartoonists anecdote.

Sorry to rant but Im probably more pissed off at the state of syndicated cartooning than John K is for animation.

Anonymous said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kSkVjmRGUaw

are you a fan of Chris Morris? I think hes the best satirist alive

Marlo Meekins said...

here in philadelphia, we have a lot of "indie beards" young guys covered in a huge beard and pseudo-hippy clothes. they all seem to play bass

Anonymous said...

I dont want to come off as some kind of comedy snob. I love stupid humor,If somethings funny I like it. There arent any funny cartoons in syndication despite being over 300 of them. Anyone with a good sense of humor is writing for The Office and the Colbert report, there isnt really incentive to try and make it as a cartoonist these days

Anonymous said...

I mean I like the Far Side a lot obviously but I dont see it as the "platonic ideal" of what a panel cartoon is supposed to be.

Anonymous said...

The best signs that a box cartoonist is a hack is when the eyes take up the entire forehead and theres completely straight eyelid lines splitting the eyes in half, a ton of gags involving talking carrots appliances and other inanimate objects and the phrase "Suddenly realized" is used extensively.

Jorge Garrido said...

I love when Eddie's post turn into shouting matches (always under the guise of "debate") about unrelated topics. With a hint of sarcasm.

"Jorge- How can one be offended by Hispanic? Last time I checked, it's just a broader alternative to Latino. Why exactly would Latino be "preferred"?" And let's remember neither term has to do with race, just ancestry."

Because Hispanic comes from "Spain" but the people of Spain are of different origins and racial make-up than the Indians, Ladinos, and Meztizos that live in South America. I am the same race, as a Guatemalan, as a Meztizo from Brazil, than from a white person from Spain. Yet the term Hispanic excludes non-Spanish speaking countries. The term Latino does not include any European country but it does include Brazil, although it should be noted Brazil has lots of races in it, from Black to White.

Actually, all of Latin-America has black people and white people, but the term Latino means Meztizo, Latin or Indian people from Latin-American countries. Black people from Latin-America usually identify as black, not latino.

The term "latino" is our word. The term "hispanic" is our "slave name," as John Leguizamo so succinctly put it.

"Jorge, tell you what you can whine about people using the term hispanic when you stop yelling faggot in order to make some half-assed attempt at being Anti-PC and edgy."

That's very uninteresing.

Also, what the fuck is up with all the anonymous posting lately? What is this, 4chan? It's not as if Eddie is known to attack people for disagreeing with him. (That's my job.)

William said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RGiBYh_XyxI
Eddie, you'd love this. It's directed by Sofia Coppola...is that Francois Hardy singing?? What song is that?

It's like 45 seconds to make your day immediately better.

trevor thompson said...

Hey Anon:

Does Asperger's Syndrome mean you have borrowed opinions and all the time in the world to type them up?

My last landlord had Asperger's, and I'm about to take him to court for failing to do anything right while I was living in his home. You appear to be every bit as manic and removed from reality as he is.

Also, Mike Peters is my friend. Leave him alone. He earned the hell out of his Pulitzer.

Marlo:

I'm pretty sure I bought weed from several of those dudes. Hell, you probably did too. Philly's a small town.

- trevor.

pappy d said...

The term "latino" was coined because of the lack of a word for 'not-gringo'.

I saw a T-shirt in my neighborhood that read:

not hispanic
not latino
Mexican!

"...they all seem to play bass"

That seems appropriate. Lead guitarists are in greater moral danger of stardom. Philadelphia seems like a good place to hide from A&R men.

Eddie Fitzgerald said...

Jorge: Thanks for the info. I thought Hispanic and Latino were interchanable. I had no idea that anybody resented Hispanic. Well, now I know!

Anon & Anon: Thanks for the Retrohile and Redneck categories. I went back and added them to the post.

Anon; I'll put up more thoughts on Larson in a seperate post, but I'm not likely to better your own analysis, which was pretty good!

Commenters: Sorry I haven't replied to some of the links that were sent over the last few days. I all of a sudden got busy at home and haven't had time to try all of them, but I promise to do that over the weekend!

Also, I got a link to a new Love Nerds video that I can't find now. Can you send it again, to the latest post on this site?

Anonymous said...

I think everything sucks and everyone is a hack sell-out

my mommy agrees with me

Gerard D. de Souza said...

Hmmmm. Am I white? I am caucasian. I'm a just plain. My son is an indy - metrosexual IMO.
That pants down style has got to be the most stupidest impractical style in the history of so-called fashion. Do girls even like that?

Here are some high-fivin' white guys for you to add to the list:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LxQir5rAAes

Adam T said...

I live right outside of Boston, MA, and it's funny because each tribe people mentioned in this post usually amass in certain neighborhoods. No other city I've lived in has such high concentration of stereotypes in distinct locations.

Few of you will find this interesting but I made this list to amuse myself.

*Hip Hoppers - Dorchester, East Boston, Allston ( kinda )
*Skateboarders - The teenage ones live in *Brookline, then when they get older they move to JP or Allston
*Emos - Allston, JP
*Indies - Somerville, JP
*Preps - Back Bay, Southend, Northend, Brookline
*Art School Hipsters - JP, Mission Hill
*Gay - Back Bay
*Goths - This is mostly seen in the burbs. I don't see too many around.
*Just Plain Guys - They're sprinkled about everywhere. For the most boring "just plain guys" visit Brighton.
*Nerds - Cambridge probably has the highest concentration of nerds on the planet. Somerville gets some spillover.

Michael R Darbyshire said...

Hispanic and Latino are somewhat interchangeable in American English.

Hispanic = Origins in any Spanish-speaking country. Latino = Origins in Latin American

So, Hispanic is indeed just a more general term than Latino. And, as already stated, neither refers to race.

I don't know how it is in other English Speaking countries, but that is how the terms are used in the USA.

Anonymous said...

Im sorry if I hit a nerve with Mike Peters. From what Ive heard hes an incredibly kind person who goes out of his way to help out young cartoonists. Most cartoonists, even the people who write stuff like Hagar the Horrible are great people.

That doesn't excuse him for blatlantly ripping off the Far Side though

Anonymous said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iSRX3v_JGgk&feature=related

Have you seen the program "Peep Show"?
Its the best thing on television right now

Julian said...

Jorge, I should have been more polite, instead of acting like a spiteful idiot. But since I’m gay I was just frustrated over the fact that you use the term faggot all the time, and since you were correcting people about a term you find genuinely offensive I was confused as to why you then use fag when you know other people are offended by it. Eddie, in Sydney we have a group called Lads, they’re generally rich kids who get bored and decide to mug and harass people. Also some of my friends who go to art school seem to dress too creatively to fit into one group, do you think there’s another category just for eccentrics

Anonymous said...

You seem like a pretty cool guy Trevor, Im not the sort of Aspie that lashes out that anyone who disgrees with him.........

Julian said...

And what about surfers?

Anonymous said...

How does Mother Goose & Grimm even slightly resemble The Far Side? Was The Far Side created without any outside influences?

Anonymous said...

Its pretty funny when older syndicated cartoonists try to make fun of the youth of today since the humor comes more from how comically out of touch the artist is.

Guys with boomboxes going "yoyo homie"

Anonymous said...

The only time the far side ever missed the mark was when it touched on modern pop culture and music

Anonymous said...

If a guy ever posts a followup quote about gary larson and isnt anonymous please dont publish it

Eddie Fitzgerald said...

Julian: Ahhh, surfers! I live in LA and I forgot the surfers! The Lads is a great name...wait'll you see, we'll get them too!

Anon: Thanks for the Peep show link! It was great!

Adams: I've gotta send that list to someone I know in Boston!

Marlo: Good to hear from you!

Eddie Fitzgerald said...

William: Perfume ads are always interesting. The best I've seen is the channel #5 one with the Ink Spots music.

Gerard: The Five white Guys all look like people I know!

Eddie Fitzgerald said...

Anon: The Chris Morris was great! The Larson rip-off was amazing. I'll explore that site when I get more time.

Eddie Fitzgerald said...

Anon: Do those fratire books really exist?

The Python/Frost sketch was great!

Eddie Fitzgerald said...

Pappy: Thanks for the kind words!

Anon: Those minimalist/nihilist comics are funny on some level but the drawing is too crude for me.

Anonymous said...

I may not be an emo person but I agree that sometimes you just need to be mature and accept that not everyone thinks the same as you and therefore they have different taste in(for example) music.