Archive for the ‘Understanding comics’ Category

Further adventures in cartoon understanding

August 9, 2017

Today’s WaynoVision cartoon and a New Yorker cartoon by Seth Fleishman from 7/3/16 (brought to my attention by Juan Gomez):

(#1)

(#2)

Then more about Fleishman, who’s relatively new to the New Yorker.

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Cartoon comprehension on a hot August day

August 4, 2017

From Bob Eckstein:

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What do you need to know to understand this (wordless) cartoon and why people might find it funny?

Easy stuff: you need to recognize that the cartoon is set in a subway car, and (given the way the guy on the left is dressed) that it’s warm, probably summertime.

Hard thing: you need to recognize the green tree thing hanging on the middle guy’s neck.

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Today’s comic comprehension test

July 31, 2017

A recent cartoon by Wayno, passed on to me by Chris Hansen:

To understand this cartoon, you need to recognize that the setting — one or two people on a small, otherwise uninhabited, island with a lone palm tree — is a cartoon meme, and that such  a setting is referred to in English by the idiom desert island. (You also, of course, need to recognize the items on the island as desserts; and to know how to spell desert and dessert.)

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Vlad the Employer

July 14, 2017

A Jason Chatfield cartoon in the July 10&17 New Yorker:

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The cartoon is amusing as the working out of the absurd pun in Employer vs. Impaler. But it also manages to allude simultaneously to the current Presidents of both Russia and the United States.

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Fixing things

July 9, 2017

Yesterday’s Mother Goose and Grimm, featuring the computer dogs (the bull terrier Grimm at the keyboard, the Boston terrier Ralph advising him):

(#1)

To understand this strip, you need to know about keyboard shortcuts on a Mac computer, in particular the combination

Command-Z: Undo the previous command. You can then press Command-Shift-Z to Redo, reversing the undo command.

⌘-Z undoes, or reverses, keyboard actions. In the cartoon, the dimwitted Ralph suggests using this computer key combination to reverse events in general — in this case, the falling of the lamp to the floor and the breaking that resulted from the fall. ⌘-Z will fix it!

If only.

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Getting the comic

July 3, 2017

Yesterday, from Chris Hansen, this cartoon by Daniel Beyer:

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Chris’s comment:

It took me a minute to “get” it (I’ve been in England for a looooong time)

(Chris is an American long resident in England.)

Another exercise in understanding comics. In this case, requiring a crucial piece of knowledge about American popular culture.

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Sales talk

June 19, 2017

Yesterday’s Bizarro, another exercise in what you have to know to understand what’s going in a cartoon:

(#1)

(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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Making fun of Batman

June 11, 2017

Two Batman cartoons have just come to me. Passed on by Chris Hansen, this uncaptioned (and unsourced) cartoon:

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Batman at a bustop with four old women: what to make of the scene?

And in today’s comics feed, this Bizarro:

(#2)

(If you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are 13 in this strip! — see this Page.)

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1 Bizarro, 2 Bizarro

May 25, 2017

Yesterday’s and today’s Bizarro strips:

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(#2)

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

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Conferring

May 9, 2017

A Harry Bliss cartoon in the May 15th New Yorker:

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“Well, there’s your problem right there—you need to sauté the onions in white wine before adding the ginger.”

First, the usual note about what you have to know to understand this cartoon. You have to recognize that the cartoon is set in a baseball stadium during a game (this is fairly easy, though it involves very culture-specific knowledge), and that we’re looking at the catcher and the pitcher conferring on the pitcher’s mound about pitching strategy, a conference in which privacy is often assured by having the two men cover their mouths with their mitts (this is definitely inside-baseball esoterica).

But wait, there’s more.

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