Five cartoons for the penultimate day

Cartoons have been coming my way in an avalanche recently. Here are five for New Year’s Eve Eve, from four different sources (there are two Zippys) and on four different themes (there are two featuring the Grim Reaper).

First, a wry Cyanide and Happiness cartoon passed on to me by Heidi Harley:


Nice figure for conveying a contempt for only caring about the easily visible and attractive bits

The rest came on my King Features feed.

A Zippy (with Little Zippy and Little Libby) on breaking into the art world, complete with some rhetoric about the interpretation of his art:


A Zippy, with Zippy in an exchange with Griffy on conventions of cartooning (with some mock academic art  talk):


Sequential graphistication is a nice coinage. As for the kelp, well, the strip is famously surrealistic.

A Bizarro with the Grim Reaper:


(If you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are 4 in this strip — see this Page.)

There is certainly an ambiguity in death (the common noun, referring to an event, as in a near-death experience) vs. Death (a proper noun, referring to the personification of death, in the figure of the Grim Reaper). And you could argue that there’s also an accompanying ambiguity in the preposition near, referring to physical closeness (sitting near / close to Death on the bus) OR to figurative closeness (coming near / close to the state of death) (NOAD2 treats these as distinct senses).

In any case, the Grim Reaper is a staple figure of gag cartoons, and has appeared in a number of postings on this blog, including in a 6/14/12 Bizarro, with a reassuring Grim Reaper (“Relax. I’m only here for your hair”).

And a Mother Goose and Grimm with a reassuring Grim Reaper:


Another “I’ve come for your fleas” cartoon (from a different artist) was posted here on 6/16/12 as #1. I noted in that posting:

It turns out that “I’ve (only) come for your X” (often preceded by a reassuring “Relax” or “Don’t be alarmed”) is something of a cartoon formula.

#2-4 there have more examples of a reassuring Grim Repear.


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