Tuesday, September 08, 2009

For T.R. Miller Scholars only!

It is apparent from these transcripts that zine interviewer, Wim Boyler, had less than honorable intentions in the series of mail interviews he conducted with T.R. Miller, Cartoonist. Boyler, it seems, was simply having a little fun with our boy at The Cartoonist's expense. However, there are some nuggets of information contained in these interviews that gives us a glimpse into T.R.'s life, albeit a small one. Little information is given here that hasn't already been presented in previous issues of the "Luhey" zine. The "virginity" issue has not been revealed before but is certainly no surprise. It's also easy to see how snarky zines, like Wormblower turned Miller off from small press publications and zines specifically. T.R. Miller is not without blame in this, of course. Miller had his own interests in mind as he sent hundreds and hundreds of 'toons out to dozens of publications in the hopes of seeing them printed as many times as possible. The fact that they were mostly published ironically with a nod and a wink from the editors to the reader did little to deter Miller--whether he even realized this was the case is doubtful.

Similar situations like Miller's have been in seen in the music world as well, with artists like the late Wesley Willis. Willis suffered from paranoid schizophrenia, a mental illness that did not stop him from drawing and writing hundreds of songs about any subject that entered is fevered mind. Whether these songs had true artistic merit or were just fascinating and entertaining given the circumstances under which the were created, and by whom, is up for debate. There probably is no correct answer. The same situation can also be applied to TR Miller. This is not to suggest that Miller suffers from schizophrenia, but a man who was more than likely in his forties and still living at home during the height of his 'toon career and who was still a virgin, had no friends other than relatives and had up to that point never traveled further that 45 minutes from his home in going on four decades, that is not considered normal.

This concludes today's lecture. Should any of you students have further questions about T.R. Miller, Cartoonist or questions about 'toons in general, my door is always open.

Professor I. Drew Toons (Yes, that is my real name)

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sharmila said...
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