Lost & Found: If Pablo Picasso Made Cartoons
Sometimes life feels a bit repetitive. In today’s hum-drum, worker-bee world, it is all too easy to feel trapped — to feel like every step you take is an exercise in futility. And if you try to speed it up, well, more often than not, disaster is your reward. Nothing sums up the feeling of living your life on a treadmill better than this cartoon by Dan Collins.
Collins’ cartoon, ‘Waddles,’ uses a simplistic visual style to put on display the monotony that can creep into and take over our lives. Our poor subject keeps trying to truck along, but he keeps stumbling over some unseen obstacle. As is often the case in real life, Waddles is probably just tripping over his own feet. He, just like we, mistakenly feels that the key to staying upright and moving forward is to move faster and faster. We can see where this is going.
This cartoon was released by International Rocketship Limited, which released a slew of cartoons throughout the ’80s and ’90s. Many of their short cartoons appeared on Nickelodeon as a way to fill in a minute here and there between regular programming. International Rocketship Limited also produced a number of adult cartoons, including the infamous short ‘Lupo the Butcher.’
What makes this cartoon so endearing is the strange cubist style Collins drew the character in. Waddles is trapped in a square box, and this box shape dominates everything about Waddles. The only item not defined by rigid lines and sharp angles is Waddles’ pair of glasses. And they won’t stay on properly.
The video reminds us of the video for the Battles song ‘My Machine,’ which featured legendary New Wave icon Gary Numan. Watch that video below.