Archive for the ‘Linguistics in the comics’ Category

Puns and metatheses

January 10, 2018

Two recent cartoons: a Rhymes With Orange from the 8th, with a hall / howl pun; and a One Big Happy from December 13th in which Ruthie struggles with the word permanent:

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The clowns of death and the frogs of Wellsboro

January 9, 2018

Two recent Zippy strips: the clowns of death on the 6th and the frogs of Wellsboro PA today:

(#1)

(#2)

Two strips on sad themes of abuse and loss: the clown as death’s head, the commercial folk-art figure as exploited, untended, and decaying. In both: humor as an ultimately failing warding-off of decline and death. But on the way we laugh.

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Exclamations

January 7, 2018

The One Big Happy from 12/9:

    (#1)

If she takes a (claw) hammer to your favorite toy truck, you’ll be likely to cry out. At the very least, something on the order of Oh, no! But quite possibly something stronger.

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Two puns for Thursday

January 4, 2018

A caption in yesterday’s New York Times (front page); and a Bizarro + Wayno cartoon:

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tooken by the senses taker

January 4, 2018

The 12/5/17 One Big Happy, which came by in my comics feed a few days ago:

(#1)

Three things here: Ruthie’s eggcornish reshaping of the unfamiliar word census (ending in /s/) as the familiar senses (ending in /z/); her tooken as the PSP of the verb take; and (in the last panel) her use of take ‘tolerate, stand, endure’ (here with the modal can of ability and also negation; and with the pronominal object this).

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Chandleresqueness to Mittyesqueness

January 3, 2018

Today’s Zippy, a follow-up to yesterday’s:

(#1)

Yesterday,  “Between Parody and Pastiche”, with the Zippy title “The Long Corn Rye” (The Long Goodbye). Today’s title: “Farewell, Ned Smedley” (Farewell, My Lovely). This time, I’m focused on just one thing, the clicking / ticking sound effect at the end, toketa toketa toketa, which takes me not to Chandler but to Thurber, in “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty”.

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Between Parody and Pastiche

January 2, 2018

Today’s Zippy takes us to the rolling green hills between Parody and Pastiche:

(#1)

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No vacancy

January 1, 2018

In today’s Zippy, our Pinhead seeks signs … in signs, specifically at the West Motel, on Historic Lincoln Highway, 4040 Columbia Avenue, Columbia PA:

(#1)

Lord, give me a sign! he cries. And as Zippy watches the West Motel sign, searching for something to believe in, there comes a sign: the NO of NO VACANCY blinks on; Zippy is no longer vacant.

Plays on the ambiguity of sign and on the ambiguity of vacant.

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A Zippy query

December 31, 2017

Yesterday’s Zippy has a flat 2-d version of the Pinhead on a bench in earnest conversation with a similarly flat female figure (not at all Pinhead-like):

(#1)

The question is: what is that female figure, with its diamond cut-out just below the neck?

I got no connection, and was unable to get Google Images to see the figure as anything but a tree (despite my attempts to brush out the greenery). Symbols for women’s toilets have round heads rather than trapezoidal ones, and have no cutouts. Google searches for female figures with diamond cutouts pulled up some dresses with such cutouts:


(#2) Nicholas black diamond cut out gown

and some Wonder Woman images:


(#3) Wonder Woman cartoon, with abdominal cutout

but nothing like the figure in #1.

On the chance that the figure was actually a public artwork or a type of bench or chair with the female figure on it, I tried several more searches, but was led instead to some really interesting public/street art and ultimately to the Museum Kampa in Prague in my last post, where I found some unexpected penguins (but no women with diamond-shaped cutouts).

So I throw myself on my readership of this blog (and Facebook and Google+). Anyone recognize the figure?

George Booth at 90: elephants and holidays

December 29, 2017

The 1/1/18 New Yorker cover, by George Booth:

(#1)

To come: about this cover; Booth covers for the holidays; the metaphorical idiom elephant in the room and its exploitation by artists and cartoonists.

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