The Aesthetics of Hate

If it is ugly it is dangerous. This seems to be the credo of the early human tribes.

If it is beautiful it is trustworthy. This is the other side of the assumption.

One of the handsomest men in Hollywood in the 50’s was an informer for MccArthy. Some of the truly out of this word ugly bugs that can only be seen under a microscope are so important to us we would be very ill if they did not live on our bodies. Some even help us heal faster by living in our cuts.

To understand hate you have to understand the cartoons used to describe the hated. they are always of ugly people. Always. And you have to hear the jokes the haters tell – they are always vile misreadings of characteristics that some of the haters share but are blind to.

We see neo-Nazis all over the world marching to keep out those they hate. And it is important to keep ISIS out of Europe and any who wish us wrong. But a child wishes nothing more than to be a child and most are refugees looking for peace. But peace is far too beautiful a concept for people who hate.

Cartoon Magic

I have always enjoyed cartoons from the inception of drawing little figures on book pages and flipping them quickly, to the great works of art like Pinocchio from Disney and The Triplets of Belleville which hearkens right back to Fleischer, Popeye and Betty Boop.

Part of the attraction is the zany world in which anything can happen and no one gets hurt – a little like the Keystone Kops,  and part is the wish fulfillment that some of the world should actually work this way. Partly it was a way and still is of saying things that in other ways would not appear funny, or even are difficult to say in public, taking as their starting point the great cartoonists who worked for newspapers and made social comment with a smile. Of course as we have seen in recent years that can be dangerous when people are not brought up with sense of humour.

In many ways the cartoons without any humour go against the expectations of the viewers and are a little hit and miss because even if humour doesn’t work for adults it generally works for children. The great cartoon films are as attractive to adults as to children.

In other ways there are some stories that are best told as cartoons because their effects – like the religious myths- can never be matched in real life films. But then in all likelihood religions are just intellectual cartoons colouring in with imagination the world as we would like to see it and not as it is.


At last the cartoons are being drawn for A Brief History Of Lies. Calvin Innes whom I met at linked-in is reading the manuscript as I write and the cartoons will be with me before the end of January.
This leaves me the task to typesetting around them, and seeking a new proof which usually takes two weeks. Once that proof is agreed the book will be published and marketed so we are looking at a launch date in the third week in February.
I have held off specially to get the cartoons as I think they are the final touch. One of my readers told me the book was a ‘bit dark’ when I talked about how we lie to ourselves and I was of the opinion that a few cartoons in the text would bring out the humour far more and lighten those deeper, thoughtful moments. I had wanted cartoons from the beginning anyway.
Go to to see the standard of Calvin’s work – I am very fortunate to have someone this good, and of course when the book comes out I will publish one of the cartoons on my web page as part of the announcement.


I decided a while back that the perfect way to complete A Brief History Of Lies would be to add some cartoons to the book. Nothing complicated simple black and white drawings – but humorous. Since one of my friends told me the book was ‘ a bit dark’ when talking about how we lie to ourselves I realized the quotes by the famous were not a light enough touch.

Not being able to draw I found it difficult to find anyone who could and wanted to, much less to do six or seven drawings for no up-front payment.  Just a share of the book sales. I wonder if that is because they have no faith in me at all to sell any just sitting here at my computer.

Anyway this week I hope finally to see some work, with this month as the month I wish to publish in and a ten day delivery time for any proofs I am hoping they are good. If they are not I have to start again because it is of no value to me or readers to publish something I am unhappy with to the smallest degree.

This is why if you self-publish you should have multiple skills. I am glad to be able to comprehend web page creation and typography but I wish I could draw…finding first rate artists to work on my children’s books is not going to be easy.  I have found a few excellent people on linked-in but they are all professionals and work for a good children’s fantasy could take as long as a year.

So a lot rides on A Brief Of Lies – and my acumen at marketing myself.

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