Archive for the ‘Understanding comics’ Category

Chez Le Fourmilier II

March 27, 2020

The Wayno/Piraro Bizarro of 3/25 returns us to Restaurant Row in Anteaterville:


(#1) The chef of Chez Le Fourmilier brings an ant farm to the table for the delectation of an enthusiastic diner wearing an ant bib (If you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are 3 in this strip — see this Page.)

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Higashi Day cartoon 6: Pi Day cartoon understanding

March 16, 2020

Two cartoons in my 3/14 (Pi Day) feed — a Bizarro and a Rhymes With Orange — that present challenges to understanding; if you don’t get certain cultural references, you don’t get the cartoons at all.


(#1) A Wayno/Piraro collabo; Wayno’s title for it is “Sectarian differences” (if you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are 2 in this strip — see this Page). So, a snake and a frog, adversaries in real life; but then…


(#2) At the top level, a variation on woman’s complaints that they are given housewares as gifts on romantic occasions (suspend your gender assumptions); but then…

Then it’s no accident that #1 was published in the middle of March, three days before St. Patrick’s Day, which comes at the end of the mid-March run of special days and events (P2P: From Pi To Paddy):

— 3/14 Pi Day
— 3/15 Higashi Day on Ramona St. (see my 3/12/20 posting “Higashi Day cartoon 1: grim Bliss surprise”), but the Ides of March in the larger world
— 3/16 National Panda Day (see the Page on this blog on panda postings) — TODAY! (Take a panda to munch)
— 3/17 St. Patrick’s Day

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Ho, ho, the three of clubs

February 24, 2020

It’s all ultimately about comedy duos. Two cartoons from today’s feed: a Zippy — Ho Hos in the forest primeval — that’s a reprise (with fresh variations) of an old strip; and a Wayno/Piraro Bizarro — show me the card, teller — that’s incomprehensible unless you have a piece of popular-culture knowledge:

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The missing

February 3, 2020

The Rhymes With Orange on the 1st takes us into two worlds, the somewhat fantastical Laundry World and, in the parallel everyday world, with the missing persons bureau in a city police department:

(#1)

You need to recogize the interior of a modern clothes dryer, containing three socks — socks that are also three people, two cops and someone searching for a person who has disappeared. And then to fully appreciate the cartoon, you need recognize the legendary figure of the Lost Sock, which links the two worlds.

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Revisiting 42: stalked by a giant anthropomorphic squirrel

February 1, 2020

When we last saw Mr. Peanut (in my 1/13/20 posting “Just one peanut”), he was tortured by nightmares of being buried alive by an anthropomorphic squirrel:

(#1)

That squirrel has now come alive in a giant toothy form and is stalking the Mr. Peanut of the Apocalypse on the city streets, in this David Sipress cartoon (from the February 3rd New Yorker):

(#2)

Entertaining. But much funnier when you know that the cartoon is exquisitely topical: Mr. Peanut has in fact just met his death (though not as the prey of a giant squirrel), and will be mourned at the Super Bowl tomorrow.

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Identify that potato

January 31, 2020

Today’s Wayno/Piraro Bizarro collabo, posing a puzzle in cartoon understanding:


(#1) (If you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are 8 in this strip — see this Page.)

Ok, you need to recognize the Potato Heads; the cartoon takes place in a world of Potato Heads, with their removable and interchangeable features. But it takes place simultaneously in the everyday world, or at least this world as represented in American popular culture — so we’re expected to recognize this as a police station, with a Wanted poster on the wall and a uniformed (male) cop at a desk, holding the detached head of a PH (Potato Head). He’s engaged with a (female) citizen, who looks at the head and, mustache in her hand, says “That’s close, but can we try it again with the mustache?”

Ok, so she wants to see the PH head with the mustache added to it. Why? And why would that be funny?

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Three little digits

January 22, 2020

Today’s Wayno/Piraro collabo, another little exercise in cartoon understanding:


(#1) (If you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are 2 in this strip — see this Page.) Wayno’s title: “Number, Please”

No doubt you recognize the speaker as Satan / the Devil / Beelzebub, but the cartoon will still be incomprehensible unless you know that there’s a particular three-digit number that’s sometimes said to belong to Satan.

Pursuing this topic on my man Jacques’s birthday, today, will lead us, through a favorite verse of his, on a circuitous route passing through a mysterious British village, Chicago, and Santa Monica, on its way to the Big Gay Village, where men hug, spoon, and screw. (There will eventually be a content warning. I’ll warn you when the screwing is imminent.)

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Just one peanut

January 13, 2020

(Lots of off-color jokes, some of them gay-inflected, along with a number of peanut cartoons. So: crude, and perhaps not to everyone’s taste.)

Today’s Rhymes With Orange — entertaining if you get the crucial pop culture allusion, incomprehensible if you don’t:


(#1) An elephant at the doctor’s office, with an x-ray showing the contents of his stomach to be a top hat, a monocle, and a cane; in the face of this evidence, the doctor asks the patient if he’s sure that all he ate was one peanut (presupposing that the patient has claimed just that)

How does this even make sense, much less be funny? Even granting the poploric association between elephants and peanuts — which is actually pretty baffling (see below) — why do peanuts come up in #1 at all? We have a trio of men’s accessories and no visible peanuts.

There’s a hint in the bonus commentary on the left: elephant to elephant, “It’s a medical Mister-y”, where the clue is Mister. But the clue is useless if you don’t know your way around the symbolic figures of American commerce.

You have to be a friend of Mister Peanut.

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There was a singer had a dog

January 8, 2020

The Epiphany Rhymes With Orange is an exercise in cartoon understanding:

(#1)

Without the title and the comment balloon (on the left), the cartoon is still compensible, and funny — this material adds some extra humorous depth — but none of it works at all unless you know the song.

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Two actor POP days

December 13, 2019

It’s Eva Marie Saint Lucy’s Day and, in today’s Wayno/Piraro Bizarro combo, a Kurt Russell terrier bounds in:


(#1) (If you’re puzzled by the odd symbol in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there’s just one in this strip — see this Page.)

First, Kurt Russell and the Russell terrier. Then Eva Marie Saint and St. Lucy’s Day. In both cases, a member of what I’ve called the Acting Corps (see the Page on this blog), with a name in a POP (a phrasal overlap portmanteau; see the Page on this blog).

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