Many of you already know how Peri and I like the Turkish cartoon-humor of ‘Maganda’ (The Lout), the cartoon-strip that we first found in Gözcü Gazetesi (The Watchman Newspaper) 6 or 7 years ago. We’ve appreciated the cartoon-series on multiple levels…because of its value in helping us explain the meaning of Turkish idioms and cultural ‘idiosyncrasies’ — and because of its pure cartoonist humor, usually somewhat politically-incorrect, that makes us laugh.
In the typical cartoon example seen here, when The Lout is caught in flagrante dilecto by his wife in their marital bed with a pretty young stranger, the wife shouts, “Whaaat?! You’re in my bed…with another woman, huh?” The Lout, in his usual dim-witted and weaselly way, tries to excuse his behaviour saying, “Don’t be angry, my dear wife…I can explain. You see, while you were away, this young lady dropped by to collect donations for charity. After I gave her some of your old dresses and shoes, she asked, ‘Is there anything else that your wife doesn’t use?’ — So that’s how we landed in bed.”
For most of the years after we discovered the cartoon series, the cartoonist was Volkan Atalay — up through the end of 2005, in fact. But in 2006, the cartoon-strip got a name change and a new cartooning artist. It’s still as appealing as ever, but it’s now called ‘Kaygisiz’ — which literally means ‘carefree, untroubled’. Figuratively speaking, ‘Kaygisiz’ also carries a sort of a MAD Magazine, Alfred E. Newman, ‘What Me Worry’ connotation. And though the cartooning is now done by Ergin Asyali, the main loutish character is unmistakably the same that Volkan Bey first introduced.
Now, the question is… what happened to Volkan Bey? We’ve wanted to contact him to thank him for the many years he entertained us — and helped us explain Turkish language points on our website. But we haven’t had any luck. If one of our readers knows how we might reach him, please drop us a line… Else, point him to this article so that he may know of our appreciative admiration for his superlative cartooning artistry.