No shoes, take 2

From Billy Green on Facebook on the 17th, a re-do of NO SHOES / NO SHIRT / NO SERVICE by Dan Piraro in Bizarro: a first version from the late 1980s (found in the collection Too Bizarro, published in 1988), and then the Bizarro strip from the 15th:


(#2) (If you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are 8 in this strip — see this Page.)

Both versions are a switch on NO SHOES / NO SHIRT / NO SERVICE in real-life restaurants, where it’s a warning directed at patrons: ‘if you have no shoes on or no shirt on, you will get no service here’ — a little miracle of paratactic syntax (a string of three NPs), with no explicit markers of semantic relationships (which must be inferred from the sociocultural context). In the cartoons, the formula is instead a declaration about what the restaurant’s servers offer: ‘we wear no shoes, we wear no shirts, and we provide no service’ — again, all achieved paratactically.

From Billy:

I would guess that he’s reviewing his past strips and thinking, “I could have done that better.” For example, a “No Shoes, No Shirt, No Service” sign should be at the entrance, not on the wall where patrons would not see it until they’ve already been seated.

You can also observe the evolution of Piraro’s drawing style over ca. 30 years.

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