Kudos to cartoonist Flash Rosenberg for having the huevos to illustrate cult film icon John Waters’ remarks at the New York Public Library in real time before a live audience. The first half minute of this animated Conversation Portrait had me worried on her behalf. What a relief when the the coiled lump she was swabbing with brown watercolor turned out to be a cinnamon roll, and not the substance Divine (the director’s muse) famously ate—for real—in 1972’s Pink Flamingos.
It’s a very free associative process. The topic under discussion turns out to be not baked goods, but rather role models. (Roll models, get it?)
As to who the Sire of Sleaze chooses to elevate in this capacity:
Crooner Johnny Mathis, whose heavenly pipes Waters prescribes as a potential remedy for bipartisan ugliness.
Playwright Tennessee Williams (whose work Cardinal Spellman denounced as “revolting, deplorable, morally repellent…”)
And, touchingly, his parents, whom Rosenberg draws with arms encircling their pencil-mustached tot, a sweet Three Is a Magic Number tableau. (In non-animated life, Waters is one of four children.)
The Prince of Puke modestly deflects interviewer Paul Holdengräber’s assertion that he himself is a role model, advising his fans to pick ten flawed individuals from whom they’ve learned something and “let them know how much you mean to them.” (He may have meant “let them know how much they mean to you,” but it might be a fun sort of exercise to follow his instructions as uttered.)
And if on some far off evening, you’re moved to have sex on his grave, know that this role model’s ghost will rest content.
John Waters Makes Handmade Christmas Cards, Says the “Whole Purpose of Life is Christmas”
Growing Up John Waters: The Oddball Filmmaker Catalogues His Many Formative Rebellions (1993)
An Anti, Anti-Smoking Announcement from John Waters
Ayun Halliday told you cha cha heels, black ones! Follow her @AyunHalliday
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