Adam Blatner

Words and Images from the Mind of Adam Blatner

Roz Chast’s Cartoon Anthology

Originally posted on July 15, 2009

This lady whose cartoons often appear in the New Yorker makes me smile and want to share so many of her creations. I can’t technically worship her, but I can witness to how much I like what she does. She speaks especially to a part of me that identifies with the ordinary and slightly timid, easily overloaded, rather mediocre in many ways. [I know I have some roles in which I’m higher than average in knowledge, skill, etc; but I also have some where I’m lower than average, and many that would fit more in the main part of a bell-shaped curve of statistical distribution of whatevers. And along with these various types of roles there are associated attitudes, a few tinged with vanity, some with almost overly-deferential humility, and a lot of just ordinary self-acceptance. This last, majority-role group is exemplified by my fantasy of creating a comic character called “mediocre-man.” Can leap tall curbs with a single bound. ]

Anyway, Ms Chast has a relatively new anthology titled Theories of Everything—a big book—and she’s also put out a variety of smaller collections. I don’t get tired of re-visiting these cartoons. (In this way her work is like that of another favorite of mine, Gary Larson, whose Far Side cartoons spanned much of the 1980s and 90s before he retired.)

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