I had an interesting realization the other day about the way people judge the quality of realistic versus cartoony drawing styles. It seems to me that the more someone tries to maintain a realistic style, the more harshly criticized they will be when they don’t “fully achieve” it. Cartoony styles get no critique like this.
As I’ve done before, perhaps Rob Liefeld will be a good example. Liefeld is often criticized for his unrealistic body proportions and suspect anatomical correctness — despite being proficient in his craft. However, I’ve never heard of Matt Groening criticized as having a poor understanding of anatomy for the Simpson’s only having four fingers, or that practically no one has chins.
It seems to me that with cartoony styles, we accept that drawings are more of a representation of a concept than a re-creation of “reality.” The more realistic the style becomes, the less accepting people are of this, yet it still remains true: The capacity to draw is for representing thoughts visually.