Individual Voices: Nicholas Kawaguchi

A picture taken in WSU’s Art Museum Collection Study Center of David Lasky’s “Cartoonist Sur L’Herbe”

Visiting the art museum and getting the chance to view the exhibit was certainly interesting as it was comprised of, not only comics that were similar to those in the MASC, but also getting to see certain sections of pieces that stood as accurate statements for the artist. Many of those pieces were very intriguing, especially after reading the description, but one in particular was David Lasky and his piece entitled “Cartoonist Sur L’Herbe.” What really stood out to me by simply observing the picture is that the subjects each have their comic character close to them. Lasky tries to bring out the fact that many comic artists were “expressing their own dysfunctions for the reader … [stating,] ‘you’re not alone’” (qtd in WSU’s Art Museum Collection Study Center Northwest Alternative Comics exhibition 2016). I like that fact that artists were creating characters that represented the complexity and flawed personality of humans rather than a perfect, flawless figure; everyone has their flaws. Depicting this type of concept through a comic of his own fellow artists enunciates his own belief that his work does and intends to do the same.   

Having drawn all the subject with a more realistic approach, they all resemble their real life counterparts rather than being blank slates. However within each bubble they have above them is, what seems to be, one of their characters from an iconic piece they have created is associated with them, seemingly to show that that character is the one that stands as their comical representation. By incorporating each of these artists with their character within a single frame, Lasky captures a moment in time where several events are occurring, with each subject possibly discussing their own created character. Also, by his image more picture-specific, leaves some ambiguity to the image as far as the specific relations for each subject and the characters in the bubble. The only words present on the image or those in the bottom left corner where a pile of comics lie which could possibly hint towards the characters’ talks over comics.

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