Sunday, October 18, 2009

WHAT IT'S LIKE TO BE SICK


I'm afraid I'm still down with the flu. I'm just too zonked to write a blog. Cold pills help a lot, but when I take them too frequently I get dizzy, so I have to go off them once in a while...like now. Anyway, I thought I'd post some of Don Martin's drawings, the ones where the characters look the way I feel. Nobody draws sickly and gruesome like Don Martin!



Here (above) the character is depressed rather than sick, but the guy sure looks sick. That first drawing where he drinks and claws the bar is genius. Click to enlarge.


Here's how I feel (above) when I'm not on cold pills.


Sick people (above) are self-absorbed and oblivious to the world's problems. That's one benefit of being ill: you're closer to the zen ideal of being in the here and now. It's strangely comforting to put your worries and anxieties aside and see yourself as a shellfish on a beach struggling to survive.

The next time a family member gets sick, I highly recommend cleaning their room for them and giving them fresh, clean sheets and a meal in bed. Do it for them even if they're not quite sick enough to need it. Being pampered when you're under the weather is one of life's great pleasures. If you were hit by a car and had minutes to live, I wouldn't be surprised if one of the images that would flash before your mind was how good it felt to slip between crispy sheets and have a smiling face give you a cup of soup.


26 comments:

Niki said...

Hope you get better, and when you do I'd like to see some of your drawings cause I don't think i ever seen any.

Eddie Fitzgerald said...

Niki: Thanks! My sketches are all over the archive. I have no trouble coming up with them when I scan random months, especially in the first couple years of the blog.

Lately I devote my free time to learning computer programs from books, which is a time consuming method that drains me. I wish i didn't have to do that.

RooniMan said...

Eddie, in the condition I'm in, I no doubt feel your pain.

David Gale said...

Hey Eddie, am I right in assuming this is early Martin? It's more loose and interesting than the stuff I'm used to seeing.

Candace X. Moore said...

Eddie, First, let me say that most women (including myself) think guys are total babies when they're sick. That said, your post has given me new insight into the masculine mind. I never thought of mothering...I mean, pampering during the flu quite like that. However, I read your post to my husband and he let out a man-ish "ooh-yeah" to that death bead image. Not many men could articulate it like that, your brilliant.

Love your blog, by the way. Hilarious AND insightful.

Eddie Fitzgerald said...

Candice: Thanks! I wasn't thinking of genders here. I would hope that men would do this for women as well as the other way around.

Eddie Fitzgerald said...

David: Yup, early Martin! I wish he'd kept that style longer!

talkingtj said...

didnt know don martin could draw sexy women.been reading his stuff for years and dont know much about him.its funny how someones work in media can be such a huge part of your life but the person who created it remains a mystery.saw a documentary about charles schultz recently and to say it didnt paint a flattering picture would be an understatement.recently bought a book about osamu tezuka, the guy who created astro boy, had no idea that i was familiar with so much of his other work, he has been an influence on me since childhood and i didnt even know who he was, weird! same with jack kirby, the fleischer brothers and many others, thank god for information technology, now i can google anyone!

Needles G.'s Urban Exploits said...

I like early don martin a lot. He had more variations of the lummoxes he drew and he had a special talent for drawing morose common men like the drunk and sicky. He also could draw diffrent kinds of women other then your hideous aunt. John once brought up one of his really famos early ones where a man in a black suit gives out popcorn that everyone loves but is found out to be spiked at the end and kills everything, hillarious lunacy and deranged oaf drawings.

Anonymous said...

It seems that most cartoonists style crystallizes after awhile then gradually degenerates as they get older. Do you know of any artists whose styles noticably evolved over the whole of their lifetimes? Maybe Milt Gross?

What are your thoughts on aging and creativity Eddie?

Eddie Fitzgerald said...

Anon: Aging and creativity? Interesting question. I do believe creativity diminishes with age. Even highly creative old people are probably less creative than they were in their younger years. My hunch is that creativity in males is partly linked to sex hormones, which older men have less of. They could take hormone injections but that would raise their risk of cancer. That's the way things stand in 2009. Depressing isn't it?

Well, thre are exceptions. Some people are so creative at the start that you could cut the level in half and they'd still be creative dynamos. Others may have challenged themselves with such frequency over the years that their brain has built strong connections which are resistent to deterioration. Brains are like muscles...use them or lose them.

About that last point: a study I heard about on TV said that the brain builds new connections equally for both the old and the young. Interesting, huh?

My advice to older men is to become stimulus junkies. Cultivate an extreme distaste for boredom. Start a new business if you're able. Also, if you're unattached you should chase women.

Roon: Thanks!

Talking, Needles: I think most of Martin's women are beautiful, in fact he's one of my favorite sketchers of comedic women.

thomas said...

A remedy :

2 or 3 cloves of garlic mashed into 4 -5 pats of butter;

smear onto white bread

fold

eat

If it helps, you can imagine you're a Don Martin character while you're preparing it and eating it.

Justin said...

I like the early Don Martin style too. It reminds me a lot of George Price's New Yorker cartoons.

Get better soon Eddie!!

lastangelman said...

Sorry you the flu. Thank goodness it's not the swine flu - it seems to be taking out people of all ages.
Right now I'm playing nursemaid to my roommate who severely sprained both ankles falling down the stairs. Curtailed many planned activities, like visiting the State Fair of Texas (I miss the old freak show on the Midway, perhaps Jim Smith can regale you with some tales). Anyway, she appreciates everything from cooking meals to fetching movies for DVD. She's happiest on Facebook playing online sim-like games called Farmtown and Farmville (stay away from them, I repeat DO NOT PLAY THESE GAMES, NOT EVEN FOR SAKE OF RESEARCH, THEY SUCK YOU IN AND TAKE OVER YOUR LIFE, LIKE TAMAGOTCHI!!!!).
Here's to your getting better and less "balloony" on cold symptoms pills.

Jennifer said...

Get well Uncle Eddie!!!!

Eat lots of chicken soup and garlic, drink lots of herbal tea with lemon, and watch a lot of funny shows.

Anonymous said...

That smiling, confident guy standing behind the depressed guy in the Martin cartoon looks strangely haunted, more like an Arnold Roth drawing than a Martin one. Perhaps Roth was a wee bit inspired by this element in Martin's early stuff, which Martin would soon unfortunately leave behind.

Anonymous said...

What do you Think of Gary Larsons drawing style for the first year or so of the Far Side? You can really see the heavy Gahan Wilson influence, although I do prefer his signature Far Side drawing style.

Do you agree that the quality of The Far Side went down after his hiatus?

Lester Hunt said...

Get well soon Eddie! Like most workaholics, I hate being sick and generally resist admitting that I am, when I am.

Anonymous said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IeGzgobV_-k

Bob said...

it's the don!

Jenny Lerew said...

"It's strangely comforting to put your worries and anxieties aside and see yourself as a shellfish on a beach struggling to survive."

One of your best-ever sentences. Really.
Sorry you were feeling lousy. Better now?

Gabo dela Cruz said...

hey uncle eddie! how are you feeling? been a silent follower for quite a while.. not until you got sick. hehehehe seriously though it was not until mr. john k locked his blogspot! is there any chance you could tell your friend to invite me to his blogspot? please? thanks much!

Eddie Fitzgerald said...

Thomas, jennifer: Garlic in both remedies. Thanks! It makes sense.

Justin: Yeah, Price was great.

Anon: Interesting comment about Roth and Martin. I didn't know that Larson left the strip for a while. I guess his creativity problem started earlier than I knew. I still love the guy.

Lester: Next time you're down with a flu, allow yourself the luxury of being pampered.

Jenny: Thanks for asking. The flu's diminishing but still keeps me at a low energy state. i guess it'll probably stay that way for a week or so. I have to be careful not to drink any alcohol during that time. Doing that always gives me a relapse.

Gabo: John's on Facebook. Try that. I'm still hoping he'll go public again. Another commenter suggested that he go private with the comments but not the blog.

Eddie Fitzgerald said...

Anon: Thanks for the Daddy video! About artists who reached a creative peak in old age...all I can think of is Matisse, who hit his stride in his 40s and was creative ever after. Maybe Miro, I'm not sure.

W.C. Fields was funnier as an older man, and so was jimmy Durante. How about Elspeth Dudgeon from "Old Dark House?"

Anonymous said...

I think with Larson the motivation to put everything he had into the Far Side eventually waned more than any decline in skills. I have a ton of respect for him hanging the strip up instead of letting it settle into what he called "the graveyard of mediocrity".

Cartoonists shouldn't have tenure

Gabo dela Cruz said...

yay! thanks for the tip uncle ed!