How to Evaluate Another Person's Artistic Expression

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Reader Comments (31)

Tenacious D would disagree with the scat thing, beyond that though I notice your characters have turned the tables on you lately Scott, do you feel that you've lost the upper-hand in the wit department somehow?

August 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDemian

Excellent self-reference in 3. I actually laughed out loud. Twice. I'm still chuckling. Very nicely played! :)

August 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterChum

Sorry, but if you see Cab Calloway do Minnie the Moocher you know that scat is an art form when a master does it.

August 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBruce

Agreed on panel 3 -- and Scott's face in that panel is priceless (even if traced).

August 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterChip Camden

Eh, at this point, I would just be happy that at least it wasn't made by a computer.

August 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDescriptor

Panel 3 Ric FTW!

August 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBI Fan

I'd like to offer a counter argument:

Youtube: Guy Sings Like a Guitar

August 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMatthew

Reusing the same ten "comic" illustrations over and over again is *too* art!

August 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMatt

Clearly Scott still hasn't come to grips with being just a TRACER.
<hat tip to K.S.>

August 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMikey

As doomed to failure as nearly* every other "that's not art" declaration seems to be.

*obligatory "except mine, of course," of course.

August 19, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterkhereva

This one deserves applause for two solid reasons. First is frame 3; anyone that can zing themselves so brutally deserves another measure of respect. That last frame gets me, though. As much as I agree with Scott on the vocal 'guitar' solo, comparing it to scat is a bit harsh. Then again, maybe it's perfectly appropriate, since they are both a form of vocal doodling; replace the pen and paper with vocal cords and air, and you get scat. It's a shame vocal air guitar isn't named as appropriately as scat, from which we get the word scatalogical.

August 19, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermcinsand

But... scat...

August 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterThe Chosen One

The fine folks of Van Canto also disagree. They sing their guitar solos. Their only real instrument is the drums.

Van Canto - Speed of Light.

August 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterChip Uni

While I'm at it:

(feel free to combine these into 1 super scat post!)

August 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterThe Chosen One

Just had to toss my personal two-cents into the (clearly very biased) comment ring to let you know that I happen to completely agree with your opinion on scat "music". (I have similar feelings toward free-style jazz, dub-step, & finger nails on a chalkboard however, so my musical ear is clearly not as refined as all the scat lovers who have already posted.)

Anyway, awesome comic & don't let the "pro-scat" crowd get you down! We non-scat folks have to stick together!

August 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterZirconia Wolf

You missed an argument - maybe because it's a bit brutal;
"I'm not saying vocal guitar imitations *can't* be an art form, just that the way you do them is not an art form - unless it's an art form to get total stangers to call you an ambulance based on the sounds you're making."

August 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDee

Obviously Dee has pounded the nail exactly where it belongs. I totally concur.

August 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMr. Obvious

How about when Michael Winslow does it?
Also wondering, do you get the people you draw to dress in the superhero outfits or do you add that to the pictures yourself?

August 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHari

First time I've felt pity for Ric, instead of the usual contempt. Hard to divine authorial intent, but well done, I think.

August 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRy Jones

Panel 2: I love how it's "artist" instead of just artist. A perfect example of punctuation providing the fundamental glue for the whole comic.

I adore Rick almost as much as I adore punctuation.

August 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDreamLibrarian

Making noises with your mouth and calling it a "guitar solo" doesn't just constitute claiming to do something without demonstrating the necessary skills to do it. It also devalues those skills, and the efforts of those who devote their professional lives to honing those skills, just as tracing over photographs and calling it "cartooning" devalues the skills of actual artists.

August 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGregory Bogosian

Scott, when you refer to "artistic expression" maybe use art of some kind, and not music. That is a totally hijacked expression. Let real artists have the one thing they get to own while alive, a moniker. You dont buy guitars at art supply stores, nor do you go to art school to learn how to play one. Musicians are musicians, singers are singers, entertainers entertain, they are not artists.

August 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJmarcus

Is 'scat' not another word for shit?

August 20, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterrenniks

But cracking us up on a regular basis with "tracing" is a great art.

August 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLolita

"Human riff box" is my new favorite insult.

August 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAudax


School of Fine Arts, School of Performing Arts.
Both guitarists and painters are artists.
Exception: Performance Art, which is neither performance nor art.

August 21, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterkhereva

We might have a new adversary for Rocket Hat; Scatman. The way masses run in fear would have the Moon Men crazy with jealousy, and he would also be intrinsically tougher for Rocket Hat to beat. The undoing of all villians is a combination of how the heroes escape right after the villian explains the upcoming diabolical plan. However, when there's no way for the hero to understand the plan, and when he will surely be traumatized by the way it's explained, what can he do? Will he even have the mental capacity left for escape? It's just to horrible to comprehend. Forget I said anything.

August 23, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermcinsand

Gregory Bogosian, after reading your comment, I did think of one way to take the demeaning to a lower level. What could water down musical and vocal skills more than a vocal guitar solo? Do it with autotune!

August 23, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermcinsand

@mcinsand A vocal guitar solo done with auto-tune already exists. It is in the song "Some Nights" by the band known as fun.

August 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGregory Bogosian

Panel 3 is awesome! Is Rick zinging you, or are you zinging yourself?

By the way, I often 'sing' along with guitar solos when I listen to music, because I can't actually sing; my 'guitars' sound far better than my lyrical vocals. Maybe I have a potential career as a human riff box! Thanks for inspiring me to... to... try to be like Rick...

Um, I'm going to think this over before I make any rash decisions...

August 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCR

I knew there was a song with some scat in it that I liked. It has taken all this time to remember which one.

August 28, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSondra
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