A Prescription For Humor

Untitled (Missing).


Don Wilkinson

Apprehension, malaise, unease — call it what you will, but anxiety weighs heavy on the zeitgeist and informs our collective discourse. Humor, however, can take the edge off a bit, and Bostonbased illustrator-cartoonist Pat Falco provides the prescription.

Falco, a 2010 graduate of the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, with concentrations in illustration and the history of art, has a distinctive style drawing from a wide range of influences. His work — which includes a wide range of media from acrylic painting and papier mâché to site-specific installations — perfectly marries the pictorial with the written word, those words kept to a very contemporary and appropriate length.

The people who populate his cartoons look a bit like Chester Gould’s Prune Face or Mumbles of Dick Tracy fame, yet with a clear connective thread to the cubist portraits of Picasso. His sense of humor can be as wry as an Edward Koren panel from The New Yorker, and as delightfully goofy as the pinhead non sequiturs espoused by Bill Griffith’s Zippy.

The social discomforts of modern life as noted in the works of Lynda Barry meet the surreal deadpan observations of standup comedian Stephen Wright in Falco’s clever mind and deft artist’s hand. And there is some Barbara Kruger’s edge in there, too.

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