Archive for the ‘Understanding comics’ Category

Two Easter cartoons

April 1, 2018

One bit of language play (requiring some food knowledge) and one cartoon photograph (rather than drawing) on the Therapist cartoon meme, with the Easter Bunny folded in:

(#1) Poppin’ Fresh the Pillsbury Doughboy meets the Matzo Man

(#2) “I don’t know where the eggs come from, and I have no idea why I feel compelled to hide them.”


The meaning of “is”

March 22, 2018

… and betting on baldness.

Through the Australasian Association of Philosophy’s Facebook page, this To φ Or Not To φ (Daily Nous Philosophy Comic) by Tanya Kostochka:

(#1) And that’s just the beginning: cf. I’m Louise with I’m your daughter


The subway cartoon

March 21, 2018

The cartoon caption contest drawing in the most recent New Yorker:

(#1) Drawing by Michael Maslin, Contest #609, March 26, 2018

What elements do you need to recognize to compose a caption?


Mistakes in avian medicine

March 13, 2018

Brought to my attention on Facebook by Chris Hansen, this grotesque Bizarro from 2013:


A real test in cartoon understanding, this one. Some readers on Facebook never got it, many (including me) took a few moments to figure it out.


Aria 51

March 7, 2018

Yesterday’s Rhymes With Orange, with a challenge to cartoon understanding:


For basic appreciation of the cartoon, you need to recognize that the event in it is a stage performance by a singer with accompanying trio; to recognize that all the figures in the cartoon are conventional space aliens from popular culture; to know that an aria is a song in an opera; and to know that Area 51 is a highly classified area in Nevada associated in popular culture with the investigation of extraterrestrials.

Then you can groan at the aria vs. area pun.

Your appreciation might then be heightened by knowing about the scifi movie The Fifth Element and the alien opera singer Diva Plavalaguna in it.


There otter be a law

February 22, 2018

From several sources on the net (with no credit to a creator), this outrageous pun in a texty creation:


You need to recognize otters (that’s easy) and know that pinochle /pínʌkǝl/ is a card game (slightly more challenging) and (most crucially) recognize the pop culture allusion, to the lyrics of “Escape (The Piña Colada Song)”.


An Oscars-night groaner

February 21, 2018

… in yesterday’s Mother Goose and Grimm:


The reference to the Oscars (the Academy Awards, to be given out on March 4th) plus the name Gadot might have been enough, but just in case Mike Peters has also provided a reference to Wonder Woman — pointing us to the 2017 movie Wonder Woman, with Gal Gadot in the title role (though the movie got no Academy Award nominations at all), and providing an allusion to the Samuel Beckett play Waiting for Godot.


Tell them you haven’t seen him

February 17, 2018

Today’s Bizarro (another Piraro/Wayno collaboration):


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

To understand the strip, you need to recognize the customer at the bar and know that finding him is a difficult enterprise; and to fully enjoy the strip, you should probably also recognize the cultural trope of the drinker at a bar who has the bartender tell people looking for him — most characteristically, his wife — that he’s not there and they haven’t seen him. (Call it the Toper in Hiding trope. The toper in hiding is a stock figure in jokes, situation comedies, and cartoons.)


Four exercises in cartoon understanding

January 27, 2018

Two from the January 29th New Yorker, a recent Bizarro, and yesterday’s Rhymes With Orange, all requiring considerable background knowledge to understand:


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: