Archive for the ‘Comic conventions’ Category

Monkey see, monkey fear

December 7, 2017

Today’s Bizarro brings us a talking monkey facing the news:

(If you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are 3 in this strip — see this Page.)

Funny enough as it stands, but much funnier if you recognize the monkey as the character Curious George and his companion The Man With the Yellow Hat. So: a cross-comic reference, and because of that, a challenge to understanding.

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The saguaro in bloom

December 7, 2017

Here in northern California, we’ve had some early rain — not very often and not a lot, but enough to turn the golden hillsides to bright new green. And enough to convince the cacti and succulents in Stanford’s Arizona Garden that Their Time Has Come, so they’re bursting with new growth and breaking out in flowers. Notably, a big ol’ saguaro cactus has thrown out huge creamy blossoms, much like these in this photo from the net:

(#1) The state flower of AZ; NM claims the yucca

Meanwhile, the saguaro serves as an anthromorphic symbol — a man with both arms in the air — and a phallic symbol (an interpretation encouraged by the fact that the cactus is, oh dear, prickly).

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Two and a cover

December 2, 2017

From the December 4th New Yorker, two cartoons (by Jon Adams and Liana Finck) that make demands on your cultural knowledge, plus a seasonally atmospheric cover (by Kim DeMarco):

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Two memic moments

November 30, 2017

In today’s cartoon feed, a penguin Zits and a maze-rat Rhymes With Orange:

(#1) There’s cold, and then there’s penguin cold

(#2) Rats in a Japanese bento maze

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More cartoon comprehension

November 19, 2017

Today’s Mother Goose and Grimm:

(#1)

What do you need to know to appreciate this cartoon? Three stereotypes, to start with: stereotyped Pilgrims, stereotyped (American) Indian (the label comes with the stereotype), stereotyped Thanksgiving food. Then you need to recognize the roulette wheel (and put “Place your bets” — “Faites vos jeux” — in its cultural context). And then you need to connect the pieces: to do that, you have to know about Native American gaming (in street language, Indian casinos). Except for the roulette bits, all of this is exquisitely American.

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Singing in parts

November 17, 2017

Two cartoons, one (a Galley Slave cartoon by Christopher Weyant in the New Yorker of 5/14/01), explicitly about four-part harmony; and one (today’s Zippy) alluding to the Ink Spots and so to their silky four-part harmonies:

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Three kinds of cartoons

October 31, 2017

In an old New Yorker (from 7/6/15), two cartoons that especially struck me: a Mick Stevens meta-cartoon, and a Liana Finck with a playful word transposition. The second led me to a Finck from this spring that presents a real challenge in understanding.

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Clowns and their balloon animals

October 13, 2017

Yesterday’s Bizarro:

(If you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are 3 in this strip — see this Page.)

The old cartoon meme of the clown and his balloon animals, but now seen from the viewpoint of one of the animals, who experiences the clown’s manipulations of balloons as really creepy chiropractice.

Speaking, writing, bubbles

August 25, 2017

The Mother Goose and Grimm for the 23rd:

When Grimm speaks in a cartoon bubble, what he says appears in printed English — because, after all, a cartoon bubble (aka speech bubble) is piece of visual representation. Consequently, his speech is spelled, and is therefore subject to misspelling. Yes, this is all a bit dizzying.

Then there’s the bit of ironic silliness in Grimm’s misspelling misspelling.

August 21st: two cartoons

August 17, 2017

… in the New Yorker. By Tom Toro (cartoon meme and self-referential as well) and Sara Lautman (pun!):

(#1)

(#2)

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