Archive for the ‘Linguistics in the comics’ Category

The teddy bears’ drink

July 10, 2020

The coincidental juxtaposition of two things: yesterday’s Zippy strip about the drink Yoo-hoo; and the annual occasion, today, of Teddy Bear’s Picnic Day. Yes, one thing leads to the other, and the crucial link is the American baseball player Yogi Berra.


(#1) Zippy goes to his Kelvinator, and it calls “Yoo-hoo” to him

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Navy flamingos and roseate spoonbills

July 7, 2020

An excellent line of dactylic tetrameter — Navy flamingos and roseate spoonbills — featuring two strikingly pink birds, and these birds on fancifully patterned men’s swimwear and shorts. Then a bonus item that’s not suitable for kids or the sexually modest.

We begin with yesterday’s Daily Jocks ad, for the Elia beachwear company:


(#1) A not entirely human apparition on the beach, a superreal PlasticMan hunk, staring down fixedly at his big (artificially enhanced) package and at the wonderfully playful pink flamingos on his navy-blue swim briefs (note the typo flip fops, which I’ll get to in the bonus section)

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Suicidal cats

July 6, 2020

A brief cartoon cat note — I have been pressed with other things, and am just barely hanging on — starting from a FB re-posting of an old  (9/15/12) Bizarro, in French:


(#1) Do not derange yourself; the original English version is soon to come

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Budgies on the roadside

July 5, 2020

Two cartoons from March — I keep telling you I’m not on top of anything in my life — a One Big Happy from 3/3, about Ruthie and the name budgie; and a Zippy from 3/25, with “On the Roadside”, a burlesque of Jack Kerouac’s On the Road.

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Nighthawks in a time of coronavirus

July 3, 2020

Edward Hopper’s famous painting Nighthawks, like so much of his work, depicts poignant social disconnection; it also offers a cast of four characters in its bleak setting, which makes it an easy target for parody (by varying the nature of the characters). Meanwhile, the basic theme makes it easily available for symbolizing the way we live during the coronavirus.

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Learn to Drawl

July 2, 2020

The Wayno/Piraro Bizarro from 6/20:


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

The two big things in #1: the stereotype of Southern charm (associated here with the 2pl pronoun y’all and the “drawl” of Southern speech, plus a characteristic Southern drink, sweet tea); and the Learn to Draw family of advertisements (which evoke social worlds in which most people smoked cigarettes and in which earnest young people sought to advance themselves by taking risks to learn a new skill).

These are lost worlds: very few people smoke, and then only in highly constrained circumstances; and the US now appears to be close to be bottom of the developed economies for advancement in social class (of the sort that moved my family from the farm and factory floor to a distinguished university professorship in two generations).

Plus, a personal Wayno bonus in #1, an homage to Sam Elliott in The Big Lebowski.

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Annals of ambiguity: I feel like making it rough for Schrödinger

June 24, 2020

Playing with ambiguity:

— a One Big Happy cartoon with: I feel like a tuna fish sandwich

— a domestic exchange about: I will make a dessert of my youth

— a Pearls Before Swine cartoon with: Tell me roughly

— a photograph, labeled Schrödinger’s Dumpster, of a dumpster with the signage: EMPTY WHEN FULL

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Pavlov’s novelist

June 16, 2020

Today’s Wayno/Piraro Bizarro collabo, with a groaner pun on the name F. Scott Fitzgerald (the American writer) plus an instance of the Pavlov cartoon meme:


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

The pun is straightforward (it does depend on your recognizing Spot as a conventional name for dogs in English); but though Pavlov isn’t mentioned in the cartoon, it’s all about classical, or Pavlovian, conditioning, and the cartoon makes no sense unless you recognize the allusion to Pavlov, and also recall that Pavlov conditioned his dogs to salivate (and expect food) on hearing a bell ringing (here, the carriage return bell on a typewriter, which younger readers will be unfamiliar with, typewriters being an obsolete technology — but the cartoon helpfully fills in this bit of typewriter arcana).

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Ruthie tips cows

June 15, 2020

In today’s comics feed, this 5/24 One Big Happy strip:

(#1)

It’s especially charming that Ruthie first thinks of tipping the cow in dollars, then adjusts her scheme to something a cow might actually appreciate (there is such a thing as cattle kibble, by the way).

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Milk Duds with duck sauce chez Zippy

June 14, 2020

Today’s Zippy, set in Zippy’s fantasy-fulfillment dream diner, Zippy Food, which serves all his favorite foods, in combinations that especially appeal to him:

(#1)

Two things: the food combos; food establishments called Zippy or Zippy’s. We will end up in Honolulu.

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