Serious versus Solemn

Cartoon-our work is far too serious to be put into a format that anyone could understand.

If the things we want to share with the world are really as important as we think they are, then we should be pulling out all the stops to get them into the hands (and minds) of our intended audience.  And yes, sometimes this means adding entertainment value.

I’m talking evaluation, research, evidence, causes, problems, ideas and just about any other important thing that motivates you to share your work.

Think your topic is too serious for cartoon treatment?  Here is what John Cleese would say (from his awesome Speech on Creativity).

How many times have important discussions been held, where really original and creative ideas were desperately needed to solve important problems but where humor was taboo because the subject being discussed was “so serious?”

This attitude seems to me to stem from a very basic misunderstanding of the difference between serious and solemn.

Now I suggest to you that a group of us could be sitting around after dinner, discussing matters that were extremely serious like the education of our children, or our marriages, or the meaning of life (and I’m not talking about the film), and we could be laughing, and that would not make what we were discussing one bit less serious.

Solemnity, on the other hand, I don’t know what it’s for. I mean, what is the point of it? The two most beautiful memorial services that I’ve ever attended both had a lot of humor and it somehow freed us all and it made the services inspiring and cathartic. But solemnity, it serves pomposity and the self-important always know, at some level of their consciousness, that their egotism is going to be punctured by humor. That’s why they see it as a threat.