Rick Hotton never set out to be a cartoonist; it naturally came to him. The Sarasota native’s cartoon, Holy Molé, is a reflection of Hotton’s thoughts and connection with the universe. It focuses on the individual journey and gets back to enjoying life’s simple moments.
“Sometimes when people comment about my work, I feel as if I am not even doing it, like I am just sort of surrendering the pencil to the paper,” he says. “I think that any art form, if it has a certain degree of integrity, you just sort of let that thing occur.”
Hotton has also taught karate for more than 30 years at the Dojo on Town Center Parkway and says that karate, to him, is not combative but more of a meditative journey. Although he has been practicing the sport for more than 40 years, he is just now beginning to get a handle on it. He knows that it is not about instant gratification of arrival but rather about the journey. He uses this same theme in his Holy Molé cartoons.
He picked up a pencil one day and started drawing, then he put his cartoons up on a filing cabinet at State College of Florida Manatee-Sarasota, where he teaches math. Another math teacher commented that the cartoons were the universe talking to Hotton.
The main character in Holy Molé represents the archetypal seeker of meaning and place in society. He constantly looks for purpose and relevance to his existence. His sidekick, Kool Kat, is the exact opposite. He doesn’t think about his purpose in life, and, by virtue of not worrying, lives in the moment.
“I think in everyone’s life they have those two things happening simultaneously to figure out what’s really going on, but at the same time to just enjoy what is happening,” Hotton said.
Hotton’s friend, Randy Moore, was the first to publish the Holy Molé cartoon in his then-magazine, Positive Change. Since then, Holy Molé has been published in 20 states, Australia and Europe.
“Molé is very much a believer in nature and connectedness to those sorts of things and communion with nature and respect for nature,” Hotton says.
The Holy Molé cartoon strip fits right in with the Sarasota Bay Water Festival’s theme of persevering and respecting the environment. Hotton’s cartoons will be on display and for sale in the Creative Arts Tent at the Sarasota Bay Water Festival Saturday, Nov. 17, at Ken Thompson Park.
IF YOU GO
What: Sarasota Water Bay Festival
Where: Ken Thompson Park
When: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17
More information: Sarasotabayfestival.com