Q: Have you every been congratulated on a caricature of a celebrity, say Denzel Washington, Mick Jagger or Lindsay Lohan, only the actual caricature in question was someone entirely different (Larry Fishburn, Steve Tyler or Liz Taylor respectively)?
A: Yes, that’s happened a few times, mostly with regard to caricatures I have hanging up as samples on the walls of my theme park caricature booths. I recounted one particularly funny story about a mistaken caricature subject here.
The other I remember was this one:
Granted, not the best caricature of Mick Jagger ever (it’s 15 years old now), but it was constantly being referred to as “Aerosmith”. Not “Steven Tyler“, but “Aerosmith”… as in “Look! It’s Aerosmith!” That used to drive my caricature crews crazy. It was the first sample to get replaced every summer once the new artists had time to do some samples of their own. Can’t think of any specific other examples.
There seems to be a kind of mind-collective when it comes to theme park caricature samples. Similar to the “Borg”, theme park patrons seem to have similar perceptions regarding caricatures on the walls. For example, it’s a common phenomenon that if some words or labels are on a drawing, those viewing will be unable to refer to that sample in any way but to read those words. So, if you have a sample up from Star Trek IV showing Spock holding a sign that says “Save the Whales”, you will not get people shouting “Look! It’s Star Trek!”, you’ll get them shouting “Look! It’s Save the Whales!” (an old example of this, but it drove me so insane one summer it’s burned into my head). My Bill Cosby sample was constantly referred to as “Look! It’s Jello Pudding Pops!” Likewise if a caricature is going to be mistaken for the wrong subject by one person, likely it’s going to be mistaken by a majority of people… ALL. SUMMER. LONG.
Thanks to Cameron for the question. If you have a question you want answered for the mailbag about cartooning, illustration, MAD Magazine, caricature or similar, e-mail me and I’ll try and answer it here… except for today!