November 11th, 2014

… was a banner day for cartoons in the New Yorker. Waiting a few minutes to get called in for routine blood tests at the Palo Alo Medical Foundation this morning, I chanced upon this particular issue of the magazine and found five cartoons of interest for this blog (plus some others I enjoyed but had no special interest here); all five were from artists already familiar on this blog.

First I noticed a Bob Eckstein cartoon parodying Hopper’s Nighthawks — which, it turns out, I posted on this blog on 5/30/15. Later, when I checked out the issue on-line, I found the other four. In no particular order:

Zach Kanin on cross-dialect intelligibility.


Especially relevant to me since I’ve been watching a lot of British detective tv shows, many with characters speaking distinctly regional (and working-class) varieties of English. (More on this to come.)

Haefeli on same-sex couples.


William Haefeli has been posting wryly funny cartoons about gay men for years. Here we see two guys and their daughter, the guys all smiles, either awkwardly at The Question or (I’d prefer to think) delightedly at the kid’s happy request for a retelling of the story as a bedtime ritual.

Kanin’s anachronistic quotative. Yes, another Kanin, this time with the builders of Stonehenge (or something similar) reflecting on the reception of their creation:


These prehistoric men are not only speaking modern English — this is set in Cartoonland, after all — but a distinctively recent variety, with quotative (be) like, now the vernacular quotative of choice (compact discussion in a 6/16/13 posting).

Mick Stevens on the pace of evolution. Evolution is a common cartoon topic, usually in some version of the Ascent of Man meme, but sometimes more generally, in an Evolution of Life theme (the Ascent from the Primordial Slime), as here:


Here the Evolution of Life meme has been combined with the Traffic Stop meme.

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