Cartoons and science


I know what you’re thinking: “This will be a short article.”

Maybe so, but I mean it. On April 27th about a dozen professional cartoonists are actually going to be part of the Navy and Marine Corps Combat and Operational Stress Control conference in San Diego.

See? Here’s the agenda.

Combat and Operational Stress is an important topic, and there are experts who have dedicated years of research trying to figure out its cause and effect on our troops. The agenda is full of doctors, psychologists and PhDs who plan to discuss treatment, mitigation, and avoidance.

The cartoonists are not in that group of experts, unless drawing goofy pictures is considered science. We have visited troops all over the world, injured and not, but that’s about as far as our expertise goes. But there we’ll be, and quite frankly, we are starting to get stressed ourselves. It is more like test anxiety, when you know you didn’t study hard enough before a big exam. And they’re going to ask us questions!

Scientific questioner: “Mr. Bacon. How do you relate the bio-morphmic defibulation of cartooning with the transgressional overlap of neuro-toxins in the brain?”

Bacon: “That’s a good question. Usually, I just draw cartoons.”

(Awkward silence)

The funny thing is, though, we have actually been told by military medical staffers that making wounded troops laugh by drawing cartoons for them actually helps them get better. Maybe it is because they realize people care about them. Maybe it is because the body takes its cue from the brain, and if the brain is happy, the body feels better too. We don’t know, but we had better figure it out quickly.

It’s almost test time.

For more about the conference in San Diego (April 26-29 at the Town & Country Resort and Convention Center, San Diego) click here.


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