Bizarro’s 30th

The Comics Kingdom site tells me that the 21st was the 30th anniversary of Bizarro comics by Don Piraro, the first having been published on 1/21/85. Here are two Bizarros with linguistic content that haven’t been blogged on here: one from 12/18/13, one from much earlier, possibly from 3/29/89 (I have trouble reading the data):



#1 alludes to a kind of chiasmus, or inversion: the old jokes that begin with a man complaining that there’s a fly in his soup are converted into an image in which a fly complains that there’s a man in his soup.

#2 exploits an ambiguity common to many N + N compounds:

lobster + N refers to a N connected in some way or another with lobsters. Compare fish sauce, which is made from fish, with duck sauce and lobster sauce, which are sauces for duck and lobster (or shrimp), respectively. (link)

And in #2, a lobster bib is ordinarily a bib that people wear when eating lobster, but in the cartoon, it’s the lobsters that are eating, and they don’t understand why they should need bibs. (Yes, I know, lobsters can’t read, but this is from ComicWorld, not the real world.)

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