Most people have struggled at some point in their lives with being the loser rather than the winner, and that is what guarantees that the collection will resonate with many readers, no matter who they are or where they come from. It is a helpful deconstruction of the idea of a meritocracy because, after all, luck and financial circumstances have a lot to do with who is considered to be successful and who is seen as the loser at the game of life. The cartoons and ideas Dr. Hartz presents are funny, insightful, and deeply (and often painfully) relatable. It considers all the ways in which we perceive ourselves to be winners or losers and how others affect our feelings. This is about stepping beyond the triumph and loss model that we have internalized.
Dr. Hartz is known as the author of The Slings and Arrows of Mundante Fortune (2019) and has published several collections of cartoons, praised for their art, sense of humor, and accurate commentary.
Dr. Hartz begins his cartoons by observing the people around them and the ways in which they behave, often pointing out what is funny, counterproductive, weird, and unconventional. Then, he transforms them into cartoon ideas, after which the cartoon is drawn, if deemed worthy, and then goes into the drawer for a while. The end result is that there are cartoons that are truly worthy of being published and that reflect a long creative process that goes through iterations and revisions until it becomes a book.
Dr. Hartz had a long career as a medical researcher and, after retirement, began working with cartoonists to produce The Slings and Arrows of Mundane Fortune, with all the books involved that have focused on different topics. In addition to Winners and Losers, Heretical Cartoons About the American Religion of Winning, Dr. Hartz has created The Autumn Years, Cartoons from the Front Lines of the Battle Against Aging, 3. Love and Marriage, Cartoons About Imperfect People Managing Their Most Important Relationship, and Friendship, How Hard Can That Be. Each book groups cartoons related to the theme and features artwork from Aleksandar Jovic, Mike Wolfe, and Heroud Ramos, from Serbia, Salt Lake City, US, and Peru, respectively. Dr. Hartz himself hails from Baltimore and has worked and lived all over the United States, settling in St. Louis.
“Winning is not the most important thing, it’s the only thing.” If we have a national creed, that’s it. We care only about the winners: the most successful, brilliant, beautiful, talented, or charming among us. They matter, their faults are tolerated, their kindness exaggerated, and their companionship sought. Losers live in a different world.
This book of cartoons and aphorisms is a tale of the two worlds – how people are selected for each world and how they live once they’re there. If you’re a winner, read this book, and thank God you got what you deserve because you’re an American. If you’re a loser, read this book and become an American heretic. Or if you’re not ready to give up the American religion, you will be able to find comfort in company and learn the tried and true methods of coping.
Arthur Hartz is a professional medical researcher and hobby anthropologist who observes quaint customs in primitive cultures, such as the one you live in. His series of cartoon books for adults, The Slings and Arrows of Mundane Fortune, uses cartoons and aphorisms to show our constant struggles to find and maintain self-esteem and meaningful relationships. In the present book, this theme is continued in his heretical observations about the American religion of winning.
Collaborating with Hartz are talented artists from Serbia, Salt Lake City, and Peru; Hartz describes what he wants, the artists draw what they like, and then they work it out — amicably.
Hartz was born in Baltimore; was raised in Farmington, New Mexico; and worked in medical schools in Milwaukee, Iowa City, and Salt Lake City. Currently, he and his wife, Ellen, live in St. Louis near their grandchildren. He enjoys talking with people, especially Latin Americans who can tolerate his Spanish.
His other cartoon books include
- Our Autumn Years, Not Golden But Interesting,
- Friendship: How Hard Could That Be
- Love and Marriage: Cartoons About Imperfect People Managing their Most Important relationships