Bob Eckstein

On the occasion of my posting a Bob Eckstein (“bob”) cartoon (#1 in 6/22/16, “Two tests in cartoon understanding”), the cartoonist has friended me on Facebook (earlier Eckstein from 5/30/15, “Earworms, snowmen, and parodies”). So now a few more of his cartoons, of several different types.

First: bob is fond of POPs (phrasal overlap portmanteaus). One that tickles me:


To understand this, you need to know the component expressions — free-range beef and Beefeater — and their referents, and so to recognize that the cartoon shows Beefeaters foraging freely on a farm, a wonderfully absurd idea.

Two, a wordless cartoon that requires you to recognize two things: the Rubik’s Cube (and how you deal with it) and the cartoon meme of the seeker after the knowledge of a seer — scaling a mountainside to seek englightenment (and perfection) from the master:


The seeker is a Rubik’s Cube in its jumbled state, as you would get it in a store. But the master (sitting in the lotus position) is a perfect, solved cube.

Third and last, another cartoon that requires two recognitions: that the characters in it are space aliens, as conventionally represented:


and that they are engaged in that odd American custom, the spelling bee (a contest whose existence depends on the many eccentricities of English spelling):


2 Responses to “Bob Eckstein”

  1. arnold zwicky Says:

    John Lawler on Facebook, on #3:

    Those are binary numbers, too. Nice touch.

  2. arnold zwicky Says:

    From Mike Pope on Facebook:

    There’s a genre of joke (which I bet you’ve written about) that goes by a generic description of “Add a word, ruin a xxxx,” where xxxx can be a book, movie, or song title. Like this:‬
    ‪[1] Taxi Drunk Driver‬
    [2] ‪Charlotte’s Web Cam‬
    ‪[3] Silver Taco Bell‬
    ‪Seems like a version, albeit imperfect, of POPs–?‬

    Don’t know the genre, but these are all phrasal portmanteaus.

    [2] is a straightforward POP: Charlotte’s Web + web cam = Charlotte’s web cam.

    X Y + Y Z = X Y Z

    The others are phrasal portmanteaus, but with shared material on the right, rather than in the middle: Taxi Driver + drunk driver = Taxi Drunk Driver. That is,

    X Y + Z Y = X Z Y

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