Archive for the ‘Comic conventions’ Category

A monumental puzzle in cartoon understanding

November 26, 2022

Today’s Wayno / Piraro Bizarro is a Psychiatrist cartoon — they’re a Bizarro specialty — that is incomprehensible if you don’t recognize the figure of the patient and know about this patient’s history with psychiatry (cardboard box??):


(#1) Incredibly, it’s also significant that this is today’s Bizarro, and that today is 11/26/22 (If you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are 6 in this strip — see this Page.)

Significant, in that your appreciation of the joke will be heightened some if you understand that today is a notable anniversary associated with the figures in the cartoon.

And your appreciation might be heightened a bit more if you recognize who the therapist in the cartoon is (based on).

All of this is so in-jokey arcane that the actual cartoon distributed by Cartoon Kingdom includes a bottom line explaining the significance of the date, which is then a key to unraveling everything else. But the patient, you have to recognize the patient.

Who is not just a character in a cartoon (in this cartoon, the way the therapist is), but a character from a specific comic strip, drawn in the style of that strip, so that the patient looks “cartoony” in a way the therapist does not.

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Editing bubbloons in Zits

November 14, 2022

Following on my 11/12 posting “Hold on to the bubble …”, about a Mother Goose and Grimm strip, on speech and thought bubbloons as physical objects, with words in them — and with a note that the MGG, Zippy, and (especially) Pearls Before Swine strips were given to this goofy physicalist conceptualization of speech / thought bubbloons: the discovery that I had squirreled away on my desktop (for eventual posting) two Zits strips in which Jeremy and his mother edit material in each other’s bubbloons. Just lovely.

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Hold on to the bubble …

November 12, 2022

… it has your words in it!

Today’s Mother Goose and Grimm strip goes all meta with speech and thought bubbles / balloons:


(#1) They’re physical objects, with words in them, and (like helium-filled balloons) they’ll rise in the air, taking their content — and, unless you fight against it, you too — with them. Aieee!

A recurrent theme on this blog, going back at least to my 10/8/13 posting “Speech balloons in Dingburg”, with a Zippy strip:

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Booth, and two great-grand-Booths

November 4, 2022


(#1) Mrs. Ritterhouse, and her cat, mourn with us

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Every meme is better with a pumpkin in it

November 1, 2022

🐇 🐇 🐇 (NOVEM! NOVEM! N-O-V spells VON! Von who? No, No, that’s Doctor Von Who! Doctor Von Who’s on first? Doctor Von Who’s on first of November, oh god this is where we came in)

Bob Eckstein’s charming cartoon-trope cartoon (a new cartoon for Halloween this year @AltaJournal, also posted yesterday on Facebook along with a trick-or-treating story; and note that National Pumpkin Day went by on 10/26):


(#1) Three cartoon memes (I will no longer attempt to distinguish memes from tropes, given the extraordinary variation in the usage of the two terms): Sisyphus, Desert Island, Seeker and Seer

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Doctor F notes Baron F’s slip

October 27, 2022

Today’s Wayno / Piraro Bizarro strip, yet another in their long line of Psychiatrist cartoons (today with Dr. Sigmund Freud as the therapist and Baron Victor Frankenstein as the patient) — a conventional form that, in the hands of an ingenious cartoonist, can be used as the vehicle for almost any joke:


(#1) The Baron makes a Freudian slip; Wayno’s title: “Unexpected Insight” (if you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are 6 in this strip — see this Page.)

Doctor Doctor, this is no whim
I got a bad case of having created him
No pill’s gonna cure my ill
I got a bad case of having created him

Freudian slip, Frankensteinian slip: master, monster.

Yes, yes, a pile of bits and pieces jumbled together here (and full appreciation of the cartoon calls for lots of further background knowledge), so there’s plenty to talk about — and was, even before I introduced Robert Palmer into the mix. So grab your torches and pitchforks and let’s advance on this assemblage of oddly fitting parts.

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Apple men

October 13, 2022

The Wayno / Piraro Bizarro cartoon for 10/11 — Wayno’s title: “Surrealism Syndrome” — brings together the green apple of Magritte’s Son of Man with the apple William Tell legendarily shot off the head of his son Walter:


(#1) Yet another Bizarro Psychiatrist cartoon; the therapist is Wayno’s caricature of the surrealist artist René Magritte (If you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are 6 in this strip — see this Page.)

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Watching this space from a couch

October 9, 2022

I’m still away meeting a writing deadline, with increasing desperation — almost all of yesterday was lost to an exhausting breathing disorder — so this posting is yet another Mary, Queen of Scots notice that I am Not Dead Yet. It’s the 10/7 Wayno / Piraro Bizarro, with yet another Psychiatrist-meme Bizarro:


(#1) An ordinary dinner knife as therapist, a (Victorinox) Swiss Army knife as patient (If you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are 5 in this strip — see this Page.)

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The refuse joke

September 25, 2022

Passed on, back on 7/21, by a friend on Facebook, a dumpster texty (of murky origin) with a (N vs. V) pun that works in spelling (REFUSE) but not in pronunciation —

N /ˈrefˌjus/   vs.  V /rəˈfjuz/

— plus, as commentary, Dylan Thomas expanding on the improbable (not to mention grotesque) V reading of the text (as opposed to the obviously intended N one). Which will then take us to Harry Diboula’s “Je refuse”, a French zouk song of lost love, which ended up in romantic Paris from the Kingdom of Kongo by way of the French Caribbean.


(#1) Like all right-minded people, I reject the idea that I — or, more precisely, my bodily remains — should be stored in black plastic sacks and placed in dumpsters. Ick. Je refuse!

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The Monster and the Minotaureador

September 21, 2022

Today’s Wayno/Piraro Bizarro, with an instance of one of the house specialties — the Psychiatrist cartoon meme — rich in mythic resonances, and incorporating a bovine Nietzschean pun:


Not just any old ruminant on the couch, but the chimeric monster the Minotaur, reflecting guiltily on, oh, the young people sacrificed to him in the Labyrinth, and now confronted with a Theseus figure, in the form of his therapist (If you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are 6 in this strip — see this Page.)

Wayno’s title, another pun, but a perfect one this time: “Bull Session”.

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