A Mark Anderson Andertoon (brought to my attention by several Facebook posters) with an excellent portmanteau: Narcisyphus = Narcissus + Sisyphus:

(#1) Anderson’s selfie cartoon #7599 (he has a whole series of them); there’s a Page on Andertoons on this blog

Narcissus. Narcissism — usually through reflections, in water or in a mirror, but here through taking a picture of yourself. Sisyphus — a whole cartoon meme here. Not the first time Narcissus and Sisyphus have been joined in a cartoon, but not so elegantly, in a single panel.

Background. From NOAD:

proper noun Narcissus: Greek Mythology a beautiful youth who rejected the nymph Echo and fell in love with his own reflection in a pool. He pined away and was changed into the flower that bears his name.

noun narcissist: a person who has an excessive interest in or admiration of themselves: narcissists who think the world revolves around them | narcissists preening themselves in front of the mirror.

noun narcissism: [a] excessive interest in or admiration of oneself and one’s physical appearance. [b] Psychology selfishness, involving a sense of entitlement, a lack of empathy, and a need for admiration, as characterizing a personality type. [c] Psychoanalysis self-centeredness arising from failure to distinguish the self from external objects, either in very young babies or as a feature of mental disorder.

proper noun Sisyphus: Greek Mythology the son of Aeolus, punished in Hades for his misdeeds in life by being condemned to the eternal task of rolling a large stone to the top of a hill, from which it always rolled down again.

noun selfie: informal a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and shared via social media: occasional selfies are acceptable, but posting a new picture of yourself everyday isn’t necessary.

noun selfie stick: a device in the form of a rod on which a camera or smartphone may be mounted, enabling the person holding it to take a photograph of themselves from a greater distance than if holding the camera or smartphone in their hand: some concert venues have banned selfie sticks over fears they block the view of the stage.

The narcissism of the selfie. What enables Anderson to get a one-panel gag cartoon out of the portmanteau is the selfie (achieved here by using a selfie stick with the left hand while pushing the boulder up the slope with the right). The question is whether taking pictures of yourself is narcissistic, and I think that’s debatable. Though I would venture to say that taking a picture of yourself pushing a boulder up a hill does smack some of self-regard.

A different union of Narcissus and Sisyphus. From my 5/27/15 posting “Narcissyphus” —

the title of an Art Spiegelman cartoon in the [6/1/15] New Yorker: a portmanteau title (Narcissus + Sisyphus) with a visual realization:


The woozy protagonist climbs out of his hole, admires himself in a mirror, falls back into the hole, and the cycle begins again.

Genital narcissism. An occasional topic in my postings on the sexual content of premium men’s underwear ads, notably in a series of postings on underwear models contemplating their genital packages — including a model for Helsinki Athletica clothing I called Helgi (full name Helgi Narcissus). From my 11/3/21 posting “An address to his penis”:

A Daily Jocks ad for its new Signature line of underwear captures a handsome young man in his white high-rise Signature briefs focused intently on the solidly packed pouch of those briefs


The Sisyphus cartoon meme. On this blog, beyond the two cartoons above:

— from 5/10/14 in “Party of five” –  a Rhymes With Orange Sissypuss cartoon

from 4/6/19 in “The trail mixer” – Seth Fleishman

from 3/14/20 in “Higashi Day cartoon 4: tending the stone” – 3 cartoons by JAK (Jason Adam Katzenstein)

from 3/16/20 in “Corónsyphùs: Strength Through Biochemistry” – Vadim Temkin

from 4/13/20 in “The labors of Corónsyphùs” – Bob Eckstein, Isabella Bannerman, Vadim Temkin

from 11/1/22 in “Every meme is better with a pumpkin in it” – Bob Eckstein

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