Homage


I can proudly say that the vast majority of the ideas for KerDoodle content are 100% original. They are all me. They all squoze out of the imagination organ secreted somewhere behind my whotsit, and plopped unceremoniously out onto the ‘page’. Some, though, were more inspired than others.

I’ve talked about Peanuts before – my love of Charlie Brown and the gang, so we’ll start there. But then we’ll move on to real artists throughout the spectrum of legitimate creation. I loved and appreciated them before I started doing these little creatives, but then? I appreciated the true genius of those incredible artists so much more after I started trying to draw. As much as I enjoy drawing these little guys, there really is no comparison with the real artists of the world, and I know it. So, the best way I could think of to show my appreciation was to draw an KerDoodular homage to the ones I appreciated the most. So here are my favourite head-nods, cap-doffs, and solemn bows to the true greats of the art world, amongst whom in my opinion I only aspire to wish to want to belong.

It seems that everyone in the Village requires the psychiatric assistance of my rendition of Doctor Lucy Van Pelt. Dogs, cats, rabbits. Horses. We’ll see the animals more in a little while.

This next one is not so much a literary or aesthetic reference as an historical one. Mount Rushmore, of course, shows carved (read, exploded) renditions of the most famous, revered and important American presidents, and I thought some respectful KerDoodle presidents would not seem amiss.

Note that I drew them so that there’s no more room for additions. That’s because I don’t think there should be. In many ways the unifying message of those four has been lost in the noise of the present-day, and adding anyone else to that reverent place would, to me, be an absolute travesty.

Ok, you won’t recognize this next one. It has a family angle. The original – the one that I’m honouring here – was drawn by my grandfather, Stanley McDonall. He was a sign-maker, a cartoonist, and a window-drawer back when store windows needed to have things drawn on them. Here’s a photograph of his original. Rather appropriately, it’s hanging on the wall of my sister’s barn, in the darkest wilds of Ontario.

He was undoubtedly an artist, don’t you think? He used real paint, real canvas. There was no delete button, no ‘undo’ to make corrections. If he made a mistake he had to fix it. Of course, we could argue the pros and cons of the available technology all day, but what purpose would that serve? That’s why I consider my version an homage. It’s not better. It just nods to his work as a way of saying, ‘nice job, Gramps.’

I didn’t know my grandpa all that well – he lived in a different country, at the other end of the continent. But the fact that I started drawing at all – even all these years later – makes me wonder if there isn’t some kind of genetic predisposition in our family to render the world around us in – if you’ll forgive the pun – palatable terms.

Anyway, here’s my version. See what you think.

It has the same elements as the original, but a slightly different treatment. For this production I actually had to learn how to draw cobwebs, if you can imagine that – I had to go to school for that. The other, outside, KerDoodle, looking in, is an added bonus. His job is to affirm that this situation is, in fact, funny. You know, in case you missed it.

When I drew this I had not seen the original work in decades, so my homage is strictly from memory. It certainly wasn’t an attempt to copy the original, but I think it works. Anyway, at the very least it’s done with love and appreciation for the idea.

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