does segar suck?

Bloggers may or may not chime in here.


eeTeeD said...

gee. what a surprise. the first reponse is a guy saying “... wah. this is not fair. it isn’t the BEST example of his work...”
yeah. let’s choose something later, like when he had ghosts and assistants doing the work for him.
besides, you should always judge men by the BEST things they have done.
i had to cut out the last part of what i wrote... even *I* can’t say such a thing.

Jed said...

Well, you know, this was just feeble, Eeteed. I don't know what to say. This was obviously a self-serving and completely unrepresentative example. I mean, come on. And you obviously misread or misunderstood my argument in the first place, choosing to focus on a point I never made about Segar's secretly awesome chops.

This, in essence, was all I meant to argue:

1. You can't tell from Segar's MATURE work, one way or another, how good a draftsman he is, by the CRITERIA YOU MENTION ie anatomy, proportion, and perspective. An accurate representation of human anatomy and perspective wasn't what he was after, and wasn't relevant to what he was doing. Was he untrained? I don't doubt it. It wasn't the fact that he was untrained that I was disagreeing with, but the argument that you could determine this by the above criteria from an evaluation of his mature work. All I was saying was that for all I knew, maybe that coorespondence course was the bees knees. Sure, from looking at your out of context example there, I'd lean towards the idea that this was probably not the case, but all I'm really interested in is the man's mature work. The GOOD stuff. Did he have ghosts and assistants? Maybe so. But it's a good strip, it's good cartooning, and just what are we evaluating here? When I think E.C. Segar I think Thimble Theatre and more importantly, Popeye.

2. Segar's MATURE work (assistants or no) is beautifully designed, drawn, and acomplished.

Outside of this, I don't really know what we're arguing about. I'm confused about whether we're talking about the quality of the man's work, or how well he could draw. Just what were you trying to prove? WERE you trying to prove that E.C. Segar sucks, or that he was a bad draftsman? In your long out of context hatchet job, it seems like you were trying to prove a little bit of both. You might've made a good argument about his draftsmanship, but what I want to know is what could it possibly matter? When I look at his mature work, I'm just not worried about his figure drawing skills, or whether the perspective is accurate or not.

What it comes down to, is: what IS good cartooning? If you think the very compelling, funny, and character rich Thimble Theatre is bad cartooning, and bland, slick, Little Audrey is good cartooning, then we're definitely at odds.

Otherwise, yeah, whatever, Segar can't draw. Who cares?

Jed said...

"You should always judge men by the BEST things they have done."

Ok, ok, let me get this straight: instead, we should judge them by the shittiest things they do? Well that's kind of cynical, isn't it?

eeTeeD said...

jed, i am no expert on segar, nor on his work. if you have an example of his work (that is indeed his, and not the work of a ghost or reworked by an assistant) that you feel is a better example, please share it.

Jed said...

Thimble Theatre, once Popeye came on the scene, was a great strip. Period. Authenticity of authorship--the question of whether one guy besides Segar was more responsible for the strip than Segar--has never presented itself as an issue. I really don't care whether ghosts and assistants helped give his work polish. The truth is, the strip wasn't as good when Bud Sagendorf took it over after Segar's death, which says to me that whatever made the strip great died with Segar.

Like somebody suggested on the TCJ board, read the "Plunder Island" strips from the Smithsonian book of Newspaper Comics, or take a look at some of those sunday's in the new Fantagraphics collection if you want to see better examples, but really, I'm exhausted. I have no idea what your beef is with Segar. I'm baffled how you can maintain such a low opinion of the strip if you've seen any of the good stuff, so I can only assume you haven't. And if you have--there's no way I'm going to convince you otherwise.

I think you've sunk your teeth into an untenable position, and aren't willing to let go. I mean, there's nothing wrong with your panel-by-panel, point-by-point deconstruction of a strip published at the very beginning of Segar's career. That was very well-considered. It just has nothing to do with why Segar is considered great. If he'd done a body of work that was no more remarkable than your example, you might've had a point, but that just aint so.

And I'm STILL not sure what we've been arguing about here. Is it that Thimble Theatre was a crappy strip, or is it that Segar can't draw? The question of whether or not Segar was a good draftsman, a competent draftsman, or a shitty draftsman has little to do with what made him a good cartoonist and storyteller.

So, you know, give up the ghost, dude.