Like a lot of art professionals, I regularly follow John K's blog for info on cartooning principles, drawing lessons and hilarious rants about the state of modern art and culture. One of the things he consistently rails against is the proliferation of "'tude" in modern cartoon marketing. You definitely know it: it's that smarmy, smug facial expression that denotes no kind of emotion but turns up everywhere:
I think it's supposed to show that the character is one step ahead of the game, hip, and with it, man. They have "attitude", as it were. Marketers get the same effect by slapping sunglasses on their characters.
Bugs Bunny is always saddled with this identity now, even though in the original cartoons he was much more wily and likable. This expression just makes him look like an obnoxious, arrogant jerk. There's nothing at all appealing about this.
Now to the point of this post. I thought to myself, do you ever really see this expression on real people, or was it just invented out of thin air for cartoon characters? Of course, it does occur in real life, and I suddenly remembered the best recent example I saw on TV:
John K's rants can be found here: