@hausofdecline recently took to Twitter to give a tour of nihilistic James Thurber cartoons that feel very Gen Z — despite the fact that they’re nearly 100 years old.
Thurber was a famously eccentric cartoonist and humorist whose work brilliantly alternates between humor and hardship. His cartoons were published in The New Yorker between 1930 and the 1950s but not without heavy critique. Haters thought they looked like they were drawn by a child and unworthy of publication, but their genius humor is in the simplicity and self-awareness of his work, which often features “roughly” drawn animals.
Since my sense of humour is basically from the 30s, I've been chuckling at these James Thurber cartoons. pic.twitter.com/rjcyTGXaC5— Haus of Decline (@hausofdecline) April 5, 2023
Thurber died in 1961, but his cartoons and writing continue to inspire others today, including Wes Anderson, who credits Thurber in The French Dispatch and makes us feel less insane for having the desire to lay down in the middle of dinner, to bring home a penguin or befriend a rabbit.
A few of the most angsty Gen Z Thurber panels are below. When you’re done making your way through them, learn more about Thurber here, and scroll for yourself through his work published in The New Yorker here and all his cartoons here.