I’ve had about enough of “Molton”

OK, I have a tendency to rant when I write letters to the Xpress, so I’m going to try to keep this one as succinct as possible. I have already written to the Xpress in the past about Molton’s juvenile artistry and banal attempts at pertinent “local” social commentary. I’m sure you’ll receive furious letters about his most recent scribbling from the squeamish and overprotective masses because he put kids and sex in the same joke [August 11, Xpress]. This is not one of those.

No, I am furious because I like to read the Xpress and am sickened by your continued use of this guy’s work. Is he sleeping with the owner? Is he the owner? Does he pay you? Is he blackmailing you? Does he have one of your children in a closet with a flame-thrower pointed at them?

Nepotism, favoritism or terrorism are the only explanations I can conceive for constantly running such ridiculously hackneyed drivel.

I have a very open-minded sense of humor, and absolutely love “dark” and “blue” jokes. Want to make fun of homeless gay illiterate Guatemalan toddlers with birth defects and a penchant for necrophilic bestiality? Fine, do it. Want to make fun of me? Go for it. Just draw it well and take a little time with the friggin’ punchline. Merely Watching WLOS at six and slapping down a 30-second sketch with a barely related and often nonsensical pairing of speech bubbles is not art, folks. It’s best used for lining cages or pasting to chicken wire effigies.

Why you throw this third-rate trash in the front of the magazine every week but cancel relevant, well crafted and (in my opinion, of course) hilarious funnies like “Tooth & Jaw” I’ll never understand. I guess I don’t have to because I don’t run a paper. I just read them.

— Jake Gardener
Asheville

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24 thoughts on “I’ve had about enough of “Molton”

  1. Dionysis

    Well, it would seem you have two options here: one is to simply skip his cartoon, the other is to try and get him fired since you dislike him so much. Of course, others may not share your disdain for his brand of humor, and may not wish to have others dictate who and what they can and should read.

  2. JWTJr

    If the cartoons were funny or satirical or witty, Molton would have something. Most of the cartoons, however, are just juvenile insults to the natives. How hard is that?

    If MX wants to keep him, that is their right.

  3. Dionysis

    “If the cartoons were funny or satirical or witty, Molton would have something.”

    Whether a person finds his cartoons satirical and/or witty is a completely subjective assessment. Just like art or any number of other things in life. The interpretation and like or dislike of it is entirely specific to the reader. It is invalid to make a declarative statement that something is or is not witty, funny or whatever. Many seem to find his work, as you put it, “juvenile insults” but others find it incisive and funny. One size does not fit all.

  4. Ken Hanke

    One size does not fit all

    As evidenced by the writer liking “Tooth and Jaw.”

  5. JWTJr

    If you find juvenile insults witty and funny, then I guess you are right. Using more brain cells to come up with something that’s not from high school study hall is the hard part. Molton is stuck in high school.

  6. dhalgren

    Dr. Laura may be right about one thing when she said: she feels her freedom of speech rights “have been usurped by angry, hateful groups who don’t want to debate — they want to eliminate.”

  7. Dionysis

    “If you find juvenile insults witty and funny, then I guess you are right.”

    Repeating your view, as if it was an objective fact, does not make it so. It remains your opinion. I didn’t indicate whether I personally found them witty and funny or not (although I tend to find some of them mildly humorous). I only noted reality, which is wit and humor are largely subjective. Regardless of what I or anyone else thinks of them, that some people don’t like his cartoons is no reason to drop them. It’s only a reason for those people to ignore them.

  8. mclovin

    When I’ve read some of the negative comments on Molton’s cartoons in the recent past, I’ve thought they completely missed the point of the cartoon – at least the point I got. So I guess there is a lot of room for subjective interpretation. I don’t usually find the cartoons “juvenile” and the drawings are, after all, cartoons. In fact, at times they have even make me “think” about local matters I might otherwise overlook.

  9. GoodGrief

    Excellent point by Dhalgren. Even though Dr. Laura seems like an angry, hateful person in the 1st place but whatever. We are blessed with rights and freedoms as Americans but once someone is even slightly offended, throw it all out the window. Doesn’t seem fair. If you don’t like a cartoon, don’t read it. I loathe the comic strip “Cathy” but somehow can’t seem to resist reading it, it’s like a train wreck that I KNOW will piss me off and make me angry but I look at it anyway. Then complain. Such a strange, pathetic behavior, I know! It’s just a cartoon!! Geeez.

  10. TokyoTaos

    Humor IS subjective – but are there really that many people who enjoy or appreciate Molton? I for one never have and would love to see the end of his tired old stereotypes. I vote for seeing someone who can produce smarter and funnier cartoons in the letter section each week.

  11. Ken Hanke

    I vote for seeing someone who can produce smarter and funnier cartoons in the letter section each week.

    First of all, I don’t think it’s open for a vote, but there are two points that I really don’t think people consider when they make this kind of pronouncement. One: until you’ve actually done it, you can’t appreciate what it’s like to have to come up with something every week. Two: stop and realize that you’re actually asking for someone to be fired.

  12. TokyoTaos

    Ken – it would be nice to express my wish to see someone who can come up with cleverer and less bigoted cartoons than Molton without being made to feel like I am now responsible for his employment status. Maybe I should not have an opinion on any piece of artistic work? In that case maybe you should not have an opinion on any movie in case it helps to lead to the future unemployment of a particular director/producer/actor?

  13. mclovin

    Why are you so sure they are bigoted? That is a heavy, judgmental term that should not be thrown around lightly. They are satirical cartoons and by their nature exaggerated portrayals of their subjects. You might not think they are funny but that doesn’t mean they are bigoted.

  14. Vinnie Lasanga

    People around here should be happy that an ex-NYCer is gracing their magazine with political cartoons. And maybe it takes an outsider to tell yous how silly yous look sometimes like when Molton did the redneck/pig sex cartoon. Yous can always read the C-T instead, with the funniest thing being half the writers thinking they actually know how to write an interesting story. Molton stays!

  15. Ken Hanke

    Ken – it would be nice to express my wish to see someone who can come up with cleverer and less bigoted cartoons than Molton without being made to feel like I am now responsible for his employment status. Maybe I should not have an opinion on any piece of artistic work?

    I didn’t suggest you not have an opinion or express it. But when you complain about something like this to the point of saying you’d like to see the person doing it replaced, you are indeed suggesting that the person be fired. You’ve a perfect right to do so — assuming the annoyance level of the material is that high. (I personally don’t find the cartoons bigoted, though I sometimes find them incomprehensible.)

    In that case maybe you should not have an opinion on any movie in case it helps to lead to the future unemployment of a particular director/producer/actor?

    In the first place, you wildly overrate my impact — the impact of any critic, come to that. But more to the point, I’m criticizing something that the viewer is expected to invest in — both time and money. I’m not criticizing something that’s free to the viewer or reader.

  16. TokyoTaos

    mclovin – you are right. Bigot is not a word that should be thrown around lightly. I got caught up in the heat of the moment and I apologize to Molton for using a stronger word than I really meant. However, I often do find that his cartoons portray a certain segment of our local population in a very stereotyped and demeaning way. Maybe they are funny too some people but I just find them sad.

    Vinnie – I’m an ‘outsider’ myself (in fact Molton has probably lived here longer than I have) and I still frequently find his cartoons offensive.

  17. TokyoTaos

    Ah Ken …

    Well of course if I’ve spent years not enjoying somebody’s work in the paper that I pick up each week and express that sentiment it sort of goes without saying that I want them replaced. Would you expect me to say, “I really don’t like Molton’s work but please don’t fire him.’?

    And I think you are as equally guilty of wildly overrating my impact – do you really think Mountain Xpress is going to replace Molton solely because of my opinion?.

    Finally – let me get this straight – you’re allowed to criticize films because the intended viewers have to pay to see them —but I on the other hand shouldn’t criticize anything in Mountain Xpress because the paper is free to me. Is that correct?

  18. tooth & jaw

    alright molton. don’t let ’em get ya down. i personally think you deserve a medal for dealing with the mountain x as long as you have. thanks for doing what you do, it makes me wanna do what i do. art ain’t safe,

    jonny

  19. Ken Hanke

    And I think you are as equally guilty of wildly overrating my impact – do you really think Mountain Xpress is going to replace Molton solely because of my opinion?.

    Probably not, but there’s a greater chance of impacting someone on this level that there is on the level of movie studio and critic.

    Finally – let me get this straight – you’re allowed to criticize films because the intended viewers have to pay to see them —but I on the other hand shouldn’t criticize anything in Mountain Xpress because the paper is free to me. Is that correct?

    No. I merely point out that there’s a difference. I also didn’t tell you not to criticize — nowhere near that. In fact, I didn’t tell you not to do anything.

  20. cwaster

    ““If you find juvenile insults witty and funny, then I guess you are right.”

    I do. :) They remind us not to take ourselves too seriously. I think his work is amusing.

  21. The Central Scrutinizer

    Yea, Molton really sucks–completely juvenile assessments and without the cleverness to fill us with a sense of wonder.

  22. Barry Summers

    No, I am The Central Scrutinizer.
    Witness the large eyeball>>>>

    BTW, stick closer to church-oriented social activities. I’m just sayin’…

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