A bit of Climo and a peek at Farazmand

🐇🐇🐇 Cartoonists Liz Climo (who specializes in animal characters) and Reza Farazmand (who has several animal characters), very briefly, in books recently arrived at my house. Climo already has a Page on this blog; she views her animal characters with affection; friendship and the actual physical characteristics of her animals are major themes in her work. Farazmand is new to this blog; his animal characters are essentially people in animal guise; his work is wry, tending toward the dystopian.

Climo. From 2019, the little essence-of-Climo book, Please Don’t Eat Me, in which a rabbit and a bear negotiate a friendship in which they have to work against their animal natures: the bear’s nature is to eat rabbits, and the rabbit’s nature is to dig burrows, including in the bear’s beautiful lawn, which enrages him.

Then from 2014, the collection the little world of liz climo, which includes this penguin and seal cartoon, with a cute variant of an old joke — one version of many: A: Make me a sandwich, please. B (waving magic wand): Poof, you’re a sandwich! (there’s also an old gay variant; #2).

(#1) The Climo version, with decidedly non-plussed seal

(#2) Postcard for sale on the wedeqtory site, in the Funny Cards: Homosexual category; the version of the joke I first encountered  (there are many slight variants of B’s response): A: My mother made me a homosexual. B: Oh good; if I gave her the wool, would she make me one too?

(The gay version starts with Oh dear.)

I’ll use the gay version for analysis. The joke turns on the ambiguity of My mother made me a homosexual.

reading 1: causative-inchoative make (in make Oa Ob) ’cause Oa to become Ob, make Oa into Ob’ (my mother made me a homosexual ‘my mother caused me to become a homosexual, made me into a homosexual’) — with an allusion to, oh dear, the “smothering mother” theory about the origin of male homosexuality

reading 2: benefactive make in (in make Oa Ob) ‘create / make Ob for Oa’ (my mother made me a homosexual ‘my mother created / made a homosexual for me’ (in this case, out of wool, by knitting)

(There’s a considerable literature on the benefactive alternation (make Oa Ob ~ make Ob for Oa) and its relationship to the dative alternation (give Oa Ob ~ give Ob to Oa).)

Farazmand. Three books on my bookshelf: Poorly Drawn Lines: Good Ideas and Amazing Stories (2015), Comics for a Strange World: A Book of Poorly Drawn Lines (2017), Poorlier Drawn Lines (2019). From Wikipedia on his strip:

Poorly Drawn Lines (PDL) is a webcomic created by cartoonist Reza Farazmand. It features mostly standalone comic strips that range from just one frame to many, most of which are satirical or absurdist in tone. The topic of each strip varies, with recurring themes including space travel, supernatural occurrences, science fiction, friendship, and existentialism. Most strips are conclusive and able to be read without any previous knowledge of storyline; however, the comic also contains some ongoing story arcs, along with recurring characters such as Ernesto, a green bear who lives in outer space.

… Farazmand began making comic strips in high school, and created Poorly Drawn Lines while he was a freshman at University of California, San Diego.

Just one strip, with Ernesto:


3 Responses to “A bit of Climo and a peek at Farazmand”

  1. Mitch4 Says:

    Have you written about “Make me one with everything” at a deli / hot dog stand?

  2. Sim Aberson Says:

    In my world, Climo is shorthand for climatology. So, I thought this was a post at least partially about the weather you’ve been experiencing.

    This was far more interesting.

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