A long, long time ago cartoonist were the toast of the town. They were as popular and twice as dashing as matinee idols, they dined with dignitaries and dipped their pens in different inkwells nightly. Oh, what a time to have been alive! Sure, whooping cough, World Wars, and syphilis were looming around every corner, but it was still the greatest time to have been an American cartoonist.
Flash forward to now. All of us have second jobs, eat at soup kitchens, or are under the tyrannical control of clueless art directors and women execs who resent that cartoon networks show cartoons anyway. O, bygone era. What happened? Where did we go wrong?
Sure, the fall of theatrical cartoons, print, and readers certainly didn’t help, but the blame falls on the shoulders of us, the cartoonist. How, pray tell, do we expect to be treated like the manly men that we are if we don’t look like men? Go to a comic convention or any animation studio… T-shirts and shorts and beards as far as the eye can see. Just because your work environment is ‘laid back’ or your boss is ‘really cool’ does not mean you should come to work in your jammie jam jams. Look, the world will respect us again, when we look like we belong on a bottle of Barbicide.
I know, I know. Before the onslaught of angry emails from slobs comes in to say, “Oh yeah, what about, blah blah blah, he’s famous and he wears sock and sandals!” I get it. Sometimes poorly dressed cartoonists slip through, and by the grace of God make it without fashion sense, but what are we doing talking about him? We are talking about you. I guarantee a lot more people will be doing the same if you dress dapper.
“I don’t worry about clothes; I am too busy making art!” As if the two are mutually-exclusive. All artists should care about clothes. You like color and pattern right? I am telling you, man. Let’s face it, clothes talk with word balloons. You ARE your art.
All hope isn’t lost. Let your old pal Josh give you the ins and outs of cartoonist fashion. While my career is hardly anything to envy, I got a hot girlfriend, so I must know a thing or two about this. Sit down and take it in. You are gonna need all the help you can get, dude.
- YOUR HAIR: Ever notice that everyone in your high school year book’s hair looks silly, yet if you look at a picture of your grandfather from his wily days of youth he could travel through time and go unnoticed? That’s because all the good haircuts were invented 60 years ago. If your sweet Grandpappy didn’t sport it, well, neither should you. Style your shit with pomade and never ever dye your hair.
- YOUR SHIRT: While t-shirts are okay (with nothing on them if you are over 30) it’s best to keep to a well-tailored buttoned up collared shirt. It’s hot out? They make ‘em in short sleeve too. Tuck your shirt in if you are skinny.
- YOUR PANTS: I am about to blow your mind here, but jeans are always cool. Just make sure they are dark and crisp. If you can see your socks or can’t see your shoes then you are in the wrong jeans, my friend. Oh, and no matter how well the jeans fit. ALWAYS wear a belt. Please note, short pants are only worn in the privacy of your own home.
- YOUR SHOES: Dude, enough with the chucks already. Buy a pair of shoes from the men’s section. Leather will always suffice. Unless you are playing basketball or whatever the hell it is you do, athletic shoes are a no no. Oh, for G-D’s sake, never, ever, ever wear sandals or flip flops. I don’t care if it’s the dead of summer and you are on a beach, never, ever, ever wear flip flops. Flip flops tell the world you value your personal comfort above all else. It’s our world, men, make sure of it. Keep your feet under wraps always.
- YOUR ACCESSORIES: As I mentioned before, no man should be caught dead without a belt. I would say a nice watch is something else you should look into. I mean, like, I know we all have cell phones that tell us what time it is making watches impractical, but that’s part of a watches charm, impracticality. Speaking of which, avoid ‘wacky’ adornments like non-functioning whistles or green lantern rings. Everyone already knows you are kooky-goofy-zany because you draw cartoons. No need to over-do it. Oh, and you aren’t fooling anyone, baldy. No hats indoors.
If all else fails, and you are still confused, just ask yourself, “would uncle Walt approve?” and you’ll always be golden-age and mint like a comic from Steve Geppi’s collection of Donald Duck.
One last quick note, hey, I know everyone dresses like shit now ah’ days, there is no longer a dress code and social standard. I blame the hippies. But remember, we are better than everyone else, we are cartoonist!
Join me next blog post and I will be dispensing hair and make-up tips. Lord knows you ladies need ‘em.
For further reading: the-manly-men-of-disney