The CPO training continues, and Kurt is trying to explain the reason for Thomas having car sickness. Thomas, however, is clueless. This is the obvious reason why Kurt is sitting on the other side of the bus.
This particular strip has quotes from two books that captured my interest during my high school years, and in many ways, compelled me to write humor based on philosophy. The first quote comes from the “Inferno” in Dante Alighieri’s The Divine Comedy, which Thomas has been reading since the beginning of this story. The second quote comes from Blaise Pascal’s “Pensees,”which translates in English as “Thoughts.” One might say the takeaway from this is how we acquire so many truths from experience, and yet we don’t seem to change. Dante writes about how the wise view the loss of time in the 14th Century and Blaise Pascal in the 17th century writes about the vanity of youth. And here I am writing words through Kurt’s thought balloon that jokingly jab, but also tie the two together. This comic proves two points about Kurt’s youthful existence: He is “very vain himself,” and also wise, in that he is annoyed about the loss of time. It also shows that even though he may be conflicted, he has some understanding of God. Interestingly enough, after writing this cartoon, I realized the quote from Pascal is from the section called, “The Misery of Man Without God.” How’s that for a philosopher comic?
Here is a sneak peek of a cartoon I am currently working on; it will become part of a series that consists of about 20 separate strips to create one storyline. In this particular comic strip, Thomas and Jonathan are waiting for transportation to arrive for their in-service training and Thomas is deep in thought. While Thomas could probably refute any philosophical argument, I don’t think he’s quite grasped the art of imagination.
For me, the books that really made an impression on me in high school were Pascal’s “Pensees”, (Pensees means thoughts in French) C.S. Lewis’ “The Screwtape Letters” and of course, Dante’s “Inferno.” As you can see, all share a fundamental source in philosophy while the author employs a good bit of imagination. While writing light-hearted comics is something that I prefer, presenting the aspect of critical thinking is important to me also.
One of the goals I’ve set for “Suits and Guarders” is to infuse literature into the comic strip in order to spark an interest. Thomas, being the brainy one, is usually the person I plant the seeds with along with Arnold, Jonathan or Bernard. There are many ways to influence learning, so why not through comics? As long as I give authors their credit, then I shouldn’t have to wonder in what level this cartoonist will dwell or how bad he will have it!
Ian Johnson was born with a crazy cartoon character perspective on the real world. “Suits and Guarders” is loosely based on his life as a lifeguard and swim instructor at a local pool. Any resemblance of characters in this work to persons, drawn or imagined, is purely coincidental.