Q: While in Syracuse, we listened to a pretty cool artist who complained of unfair standards in the publishing industry. She¬¨‚Ä† ranted about doing something for Playboy then finding out that Proctor and Gamble discovered it and banned her from their list of preferred illustrators. Do you fear backlash after doing something for Penthouse?
A: That thought did cross my mind. I do work for some kid orientated publications and having work in an “adult” magazine might be viewed by some as unacceptable to then be allowed bylines in their publications. That’s partly why I used a pseudonym on the last job I did for them.
Ultimately I decided I am my own moral police, and nobody is going to tell me what is appropriate and what is not. I would never do artwork I considered pornographic or that I would be embarrassed or ashamed of. Playboy and Penthouse are both publications that are rich in cartooning history and contain much content that is not objectionable to the mainstream. I would accept jobs from either publication as long as the content of those jobs is not something I would object to on moral or ethical grounds.
If that costs me jobs with other clients not because what I did was objectionable but simply because my name appears in Penthouse, then I guess I live with that. My concience is clear… I do not feel I have compromised any of my principals or beliefs in what is right and proper. If others feel differently I cannot control that.
Thanks to Michael Garisek 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!
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913 New profile pic courtesy of my self-caricature for the Scott Maiko penned article “Gotcha! Mug Shots of Common (but Despicable) Criminals” from MAD 550
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