My name's Dave. I'm working on it.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

In Which I Embrace My Inner Cuteness

If you've ever heard me grumble about my art in the years past, you know that my constant gripe was never that it wasn't good enough technically, nor that it didn't convey exactly what I meant it to.
My complaint was always that it was cute.
As long as I can recall, this has been a dirty word to my ears, worse than derivative, worse than saccharine. Cute. The real 4-letter word.
Maybe it was just a matter of time until the Hordes of the Cute Army wore down my defenses and I could resist no more. Maybe it was seeing the work of artists I respect and admire and realizing that beyond the quality of their linework and brushstrokes, beyond the great pacing and storytelling, hidden underneath it all like a sugar coating on a bitter pill, was Cuteness.
And I liked it.
I've consciously avoided cuteness in my own work for a long time, to no avail. No more shall I resist. If cuteness is inherent, let it be embraced! Let it be one more tool in the cartoonists' arsenal. Let it be a weapon, not a hindrance.

To quote (heavily) from James Kochalka:

For these reasons we choose cute. We deny the ugliness of the world around us and stand in opposition to it. When we draw, our line will be as supple as the precious spring twig and as resilient as the fat cheeks of an infant. Our art shall remain as pure and innocent as the sleeping babe and it shall shine with the inquisitive twinkle of his wide, waking eyes. We shall not use cuteness to champion commercial ventures, for that use merely serves to corrupt and defile, twisting cuteness from beauty into ugliness. Nor do we live in a fantasy world where we pretend that suffering does not occur. Rather, we fight for beauty and purity and we fight to make the world a more joyful place.
~from The Cute Manifesto

To this I say Amen! Let the Cuteness shine forth!

In relation to this, and thanks to Lindsey's new favorite holiday, I've set out to revive my old webcomic. For those of you who had it bookmarked before, the address has changed slightly. I'm aiming to update it twice a week for the time being, on Tuesdays and Fridays. So without further ado, I give you:

The Mighty Bu


  1. Cute is TOTALLY a four-letter word. I loathe being seen as cute.

    But when you got to how YOU don't want to be seen as cute, I was all sad. Because cute is one of your essential charms. (Or leastways, to infrequent observers like myself.)

    So I'm silly-pleased that you're embracing your inner cute. (And glad that you're doing a webcomic!)

    And I'm totally avoiding the question as to whether embracing my own inner cuteness would be good for be.