Okay, it’s critique day.

Troy is actually doing lessons with the legendary animator Don Bluth (I’m crazy envious), and so pulled this particular cartoon out of his files rather than doing new stuff for today (his lessons involve doing many, many drawings of the Cheshire Cat, if I understood right, leaving little time to think up new ideas, sketch out said ideas, tighten up the best ones, choose the single best one, ink, scan, and possibly color said concepts and then send them to me before I nod off on Wednesday.)

So, classroom time!

Review and Critique. You guys feel free to join in if you have something constructive to say.  (I learned in college that this simple phrase gets misinterpreted often- some people thinking it was an admonition to say only positive things, and others thinking that only serious, deep conversation with lots of vaguely mystical, multi-syllabic words were appropriate.)  In this case “constructive” means useful.  Non-sarcastic, carefully considered, academically useful.

So here’s mine:  “The Blue Lagoon” was a strong movie way back when. It’s not so much any more.  That’s often an issue with some cartoonists.  I worked with a guy for a few years doing editorial and sports cartoons who LOVED doing movie references, but he’d quit seeing new movies years earlier.  His references were often dated.  In Troy’s defense, he had homework to do, so went into his archives.  That’s fine as far as it goes because he’s burned through a lot of his archive here when time wasn’t on his side.  On the other hand, a working pro might’ve skipped over this one, it being a cartoon that dates itself in a serious way.  I’m not saying that you guys are 20-somethings, but you might not leap instantly to memories of The Blue Lagoon when enjoying your morning comic strips, either.  Considering the audience is part of cartooning.

Considering only the theme and the art, I think it’d be better if it tied tighter into the movie- solidifying the fact that it’s referencing the movie at all.  If it were on a beach and the legume were wearing a loincloth and curly wig and sitting next to a legume with only a passing resemblance to Brooke Shields, I think it would, in the parlance of an old editor of mine, “bring the whole concept full circle”  Sitting on a park bench is for Forrest Gump.  The wordplay is fine, I just don’t see the reason for steering away from the movie.  Peanuts are Legumes, right?  What if it were Mr. Peanut on a tropical island?  There needs to be more than that, of course.  What makes that movie stand out?  Brooke Shields with no shirt on?  The two castaways having a baby?  Whatever it is that stands out in that movie for the largest number of readers ought to be in the cartoon, I think.  Mr. Peanut could still be looking melancholy and all, thus making him a Blue Legume, but I can’t see abandoning the movie reference altogether.

There you go- my college critique of a perfectly serviceable cartoon.  Feel free to remember that I’m old and cranky, and can therefore successfully be ignored.