Archive for the ‘Linguistics in the comics’ Category

It all depends on how you look at it

March 5, 2021

Yesterday’s Wayno/Piraro Bizarro (Wayno’s title: “Arm of the Beholder”):


(#1) (If you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are 6 in this strip — see this Page.)

Then, to appreciate what Wow Man says (and also to find one of the Bizarro symbols), consider this inverted version of his image:


(#2) Wow Man, upside down; now, you see what he sees

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An inscrutable comic strip

March 4, 2021

From Dana Kuhar on Twitter, yesterday’s Baldo en Español by Hector D. Cantú and Carlos Castellanos:

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Not just not funny; it’s inscrutable, entirely baffling.

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Improving your story

March 3, 2021

From Tom Gauld’s 2013 book of cartoons You’re All Just Jealous of my Jetpack:

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This is couched as advice about improving a story you’re writing — by introducing preposterous or merely very unlikely characters. However, it bears a family resemblance to another Jetpack cartoon, in a Gauld series (see my 2/27/21 posting “Gauld on adaptations for the screen”):

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Beheaded spots

March 3, 2021

In yesterday’s posting “The lost years for LGBT seniors”, about a Talk of the Town piece from the New Yorker, my attention was drawn to spot illustrations as a form of the cartoonist’s art and also to the term the magazine used to refer to a spot illustration: spot, an abbreviated version of the N + N compound, specifically a beheading of the two-word expression, in which the head element illustration is suppressed. (This sense of spot seems not to have found its way into standard dictionaries, but the magazine uses it consistently, in every issue.)

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The lost years for LGBT seniors

March 2, 2021

In the New Yorker‘s 3/8/21 issue, “Tallying the lost years for L.G.B.T. seniors: An art exhibition at a Brooklyn retirement home features twelve of the country’s three million L.G.B.T. elders, many of whom fear having to go back into the closet when they enter senior housing” by Michael Schulman on 3/1/21, which begins under this spot illustration (aka spot) by illustrator John Hersey:

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To see Pearl [who’s T] in all her glory, you have to make an appointment at the Watermark, a new “luxury senior community” in Brooklyn Heights. You enter a lobby with a grand piano, get a thermal scan, then emerge onto a mezzanine. You scan a QR code on the wall and download an augmented-reality app. Pearl’s photo hangs to the right: drawn-on eyebrows, hand over mouth, delighted eyes. If you hold up your phone, the portrait comes to life on the app, and you can watch Pearl tell the story of how she became herself. If this level of technology eludes you — maybe, like Pearl, you’re seventy — you can use a pair of headphones connected to an iPad.

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Gauld on adaptations for the screen

February 27, 2021

A vein of cartoonist Tom Gauld’s work that I’d been unaware of, but then #3 below turned up on Facebook today: cartoons on adaptations of books for the screen (movies or tv). In chronological order below.

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Climo’s crying Bear

February 27, 2021

Thanks to Evan Randall Smith, another of Liz Climo’s charming Bear and Rabbit / Bunny cartoons, in which Bear, who’s inclined to be weepy, cries in happiness when the pizza arrives:

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Smell the roses in a field

February 26, 2021

Two cartoons in my comics feed on 2/25 (otherwise known as Yay! Pfizer1 Day! at my house) on language play: a Wayno/Piraro Bizarro playing on formulaic language (the metaphorical idiom / cliché stop and smell the roses), and a Piccolo/Price Rhymes With Orange with a play on the ambiguity of field.

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The gigantic toad

February 22, 2021

The Zippy for today (2/22), in which Mr. Toad, reflecting on the Gigantic Toad of Yasothon, Thailand, observes that “not all amphibians are good amphibians” — which will take us to Rhinella marina, the giant cane toad:

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Seeing the Invisible Man

February 21, 2021

Popped up on Pinterest, this Bizarro from 12/13/04:

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A pun that takes advantage of an ambiguity in see: ‘perceive with the eyes’ (something one does not do with the Invisible Man) vs.sense 4c from the  NOAD see entry:

verb see: … 4 [a] meet (someone one knows) socially or by chance: I saw Colin last night. … [c] meet regularly as a boyfriend or girlfriend: some guy she was seeing was messing her around.

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