September 8, 2016 – Hip Harry

 

What about Hip Harry?

 

Hip Harry, indeed, yes, but “Who is he?” you may ask.

 

Why, he’s an original cartoon creation from my college days and, coincidentally, I happen to have hundreds of his vintage cartoons around here someplace. I bolted upright, wide awake at three o’clock in the morning, thinking…

Where did I put him, again?

Oh, yes, now I remember…

In a plastic box under the bed.

I dragged out the bin and popped the lid and there he was, still as good as the day he was initially inked. Holy Crypt-Keeper, Batman, has it been 41 years already? I had this sudden vision of compiling all these artistic antiquities into a new publication, kind of a ledger from my early creative days at my drawing table.

Why not, right?

In the morning, I mentioned my abrupt brain-train of a flashback cartoon book and my wife, Cindy, considered it a groovy idea, too, dude. And off I went combing through my coffer of comics but I soon realized that I only had about 120 pages of finished material. I wanted at least 150 so I thumbed through my idea box, contemplating some new sketches.

Let me tell you about this idea box for a moment.

Sometimes, back then, when I sat down to ink up a new cartoon, a good idea would come to me but more often than not, none did. Worse than that, I couldn’t even remember the magnificent idea from just yesterday so I took to pocketing a notepad and jotting down the concepts as they popcorned into my mind without warning. I would then tear out the sheets and toss them into a shoebox.

Eventually, that box grew so full it overflows and I have to mash the papers down to get them all to fit inside, easily instigating several more cartoon books if enough people out there like my old friend, Hip Harry, and urge me to make more.

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, though…

One of my characters started running for president!

It’s incredible but totally true.

Keith Lippman, a chauvinistic blow-hard who thinks mainly of himself, spouts out his indecencies every chance he gets. Our hero, Harry, the perpetual observer, assumes that this guy is just slightly misdirected and will grow out of it sooner or later but, alas, he never does.

It hit me when I came across the Dictatorship cartoon and promptly posted it on Facebook where jaws dropped, especially mine.

Scott Shannon declared.

“Holy Crystal Balls!!”

Mary Kay Sherman roared.

“Corey, you rock!”

This universal recognition of the little orange man triggered a springboard of political satire that is most timely but, at least in Redneck FACE-land, fairly much unwelcome. Twitter has proven to be a more fertile ground for conceptual thinkers with warm hearts and people with a passion for social justice.

Many of my cartoons have been retweeted numerous times and the last cartoon I posted, admittedly the most scathing of the lot, garnished dozens of immediate followers and some of the previous cartoons, even more. We all need to do the diligence and stop allowing the media and the wealthy to manipulate our quality of life right down into the gutter.

 

Thank God some people are paying attention.

 

And Hip Harry is one of them.

 

 

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What makes an intelligent person opt out of rational thinking?

- TURTLE ISLAND