From the Simon Drew pun files

Having mentioned Simon Drew‘s pun art twice recently (here and here), I thought to scare up some examples I could put on-line, and found a trove of them on the site of Drew’s American distributor (his U.K. site is here). The following examples will give you a sense of his artistic style, and also his sense of humor.

In general, Drew’s word play evokes the sound but not the sense of the expression (a fixed or formulaic expression of one sort or another) that serves as the basis for the pun, so that the images are usually ridiculous — nonsensical — on their own. Here’s an especially simple example, involving a phonologically perfect pun (on hair and hare, but not evoking receding hair):

But most of the examples have phonologically imperfect puns: eagle and beagle in this one:

and mouth and mouse in this one:

The puns can get pretty distant, as in to kill a and tequila:

and Pontius and ponchos (plus the orthographic Pilate and pilot) in this one:

(This one has one of Drew’s totem creatures, the duck, in it.)

Drew’s wordplay takes in puns in the extended sense, as in this transposition — Spooneristic — example (based on Puff the Magic Dragon):

and portmanteaus, like Freudian slip + slipper, here:

These drawings are then nonsensical, but scarcely childish (either in their artistic style or in their allusions). But then some cartoons for children — the American tv classics Rocky and Bullwinkle and Underdog come to mind — are packed with cultural references (the villain Boris Badinoff in Rocky, for example) that no ordinary child could be expected to fathom, but there’s still plenty in them to entertain children, so that kids can disregard these allusions, while grown-ups delight in them.

I’m not sure what kids make of Drew’s drawings, but I’ll try some out on a six-year-old subject of my acquaintance.

2 Responses to “From the Simon Drew pun files”

  1. Bizarro puns « Arnold Zwicky's Blog Says:

    […] Arnold Zwicky's Blog A blog mostly about language « From the Simon Drew pun files […]

  2. Conceptual art « Arnold Zwicky's Blog Says:

    […] From the Simon Drew pun files (link): Drew’s pun […]

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