It’s good to see this imaginatively-presented look at the art of cartooning back in print.
Presented almost entirely as a series of cartoons, there’s something endearing and at the same time both obvious and not-obvious about this way of doing things. The essence of a good cartoon is to sum up an idea in a single drawing and present it in a way that the viewer “gets” immediately. Often, this is something that would require several paragraphs or even pages to put in print, so what better way to describe the art of cartooning that by drawing itself?
That, of course, is the hard part, because the task Robin immediately sets himself is to reduce everything he does to its basics and there are, inevitably, times when you’re going to want to shout, “Oh, for goodness sake man, just write it down”, but they’re relatively few and far between and Robin’s approach is far more honest than mannered, so I don’t think you’re going to end up hating him.
Is cartooning instinctive or can it be taught? Answers in one frame only, please.
First published 1995, reprinted 2006 (second edition date not given)