Two Halloween exercises in comics understanding

In this morning’s comics feed, on the day before Halloween, two Halloween-related strips that are also exercises in comics understanding: there are crucial things you must recognize or know if you are to make sense of the strip at all. A Wayno / Piraro Bizarro (a confrontation at the front door that somehow turns on names and relatedness) and a Rhymes With Orange (travelers with a significant road sign). Both presented as single-panel cartoons:

No kin of mine: the Bizarro.

(#1) You need to recognize the householder as a cob of corn (this is Cartoonland; suspend your disbeliefs), no problem; but what is it that stands on the doorstep? (if you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are 2 in this strip — see this Page)

I should now tell you that November 30th is also National Candy Corn Day. From my 10/30/15 posting “National Candy Corn Day”:

That would be today, October 30, the opening act for Halloween. Celebrating a seasonal candy that some love, but many detest. One kernel:


About the confection, from Wikipedia:

Candy corn is a small, pyramid-shaped candy, typically divided into three sections of different colors, with a waxy texture and a flavor based on honey, sugar, butter, and vanilla. It is a staple candy of the fall season and Halloween in North America.

Candy corn’s traditional colors of yellow, orange, and white represent the colors of the fall harvest, or of corn on the cob, with the wide yellow end resembling a corn kernel.

Candy corn has a reputation for generating polarizing responses

If you don’t recognize the character on the doorstep in #1 as a kernel of candy corn — which shares the (metaphorical) name corn with the (literal) corn of corncob — then you are truly lost in making sense of the cartoon.

Digression. An entertaining bonus from my 2015 posting:

People have thought of all sorts of, um, creative things to do with Candy Corn. Here, for instance, is Candy Corn on the Cob — a large marshmallow with Candy Corn all around it:


Take the stake: the Rhymes.

(#4) To Transylvania: not the actual region in central Romania; not the university in central Kentucky; but the fictive eastern European land from which Dracula the vampire springs, undead; but why do the travelers take the road sign with them on their way?

From my 10/27 posting “Doctor vs. vampire”, with the relevant bit boldfaced:

Quick summary of ways to deter or repel a vampire: garlic; mirrors and sunlight; a crucifix, holy water, or other symbol of Christian belief (to vanquish and demolish a vampire, more extreme measures are required: notably, driving a stake, especially of hawthorn or ash, through the creature’s heart; or decapitating it and burning the body).

If you don’t know this piece of vampire lore, you will not understand why the travelers might want to take the pointed wooden road sign with them into Dracula’s realm. Just in case they need to do some impaling. You never know.


3 Responses to “Two Halloween exercises in comics understanding”

  1. arnold zwicky Says:

    Oh yes, why the “knock knock” in the title panel? Another bit of vampire lore, which has it that a vampire cannot enter your home unless you invite them in.

  2. Mitch4 Says:

    Today’s “Comics I don’t Understand” blog at features the same Rhymes With Orange comic; and a comment there refers to this posting here.

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