Barks y el gato Félix

13 08 2009

Felix, a happy-go-lucky trickster. Is he presidential material?

El crítico y editor canadiense Jeet Heer ofrece hoy un par de entradas interesantes. La primera de ellas en Comic Comics aborda el carácter hobessiano de Carl Barks, creador del universo de los patos de Disney:

Barks’ world is an affectionless one. It’s hard to recall a moment where one character feels any genuine friendship or fellowship for another. Huey, Dewey and Louie, it could be argued, work as a team but they are not really separate personalities: They seem like clones. It’s a Darwinian universe where everyone is looking out for number 1 (and Scrooge for his number one dime).

Por otra parte, en Sanseverything, reflexiona sobre los funny animals como estereotipos raciale, reproduciendo una extensa cita del escritor John Updike:

Like America, Mickey has a lot of black blood. This fact was revealed to me in conversation with Saul Steinberg, who, in attempting to depict the racially mixed reality of New York streets for the super-sensitive and race-blind New Yorker of the 1960s and ‘70s, hit upon scribbling numerous Mickeys as a way of representing what was jauntily and scruffily and unignorably there. From just the way Mickey swings along in his classic, trademark pose, one three-fingered gloved hand held on high, he is jiving. Along with round black ears and yellow shoes, Mickey has soul. Looking back to such early animations as the Looney Toons’ Bosko and Honey series (1930-36) and the Arab figures in Disney’s own Mickey in Arabia in 1932, we see that blacks were drawn much like cartoon animals, with round button noses and great white eyes creating the double arch of the curious widow’s-peaked brows. Cartoon characters’ rubberiness, their jazziness, their cheerful buoyance and idleness all chimed with popular images of African Americans, already embodied in minstrel shows and in Joel Chandler Harris’s tales of Uncle Remus, which Disney was to make into an animated feature, Song of the South, in 1946. Up to 1950, animated cartoons, like films in general, contained caricatures of blacks that would be unacceptable now. … But there is a sense in which all animated cartoon characters are more or less black. Steven Spielberg’s hectic tribute to animation, Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, has them all, from the singing trees of Silly Symphonies to Daffy Duck and Wood Woodpecker, living in a Los Angeles ghetto, Toonville.