Comic conventions

Comic conventions
including cartoon memes and meta-comics; penguin cartoons mostly listed in the Penguin postings Page

see also the “Obscenicon postings” Page

Obscenicon postings

see also the “Speech balloons” Page

Speech balloons

This list is up-to-date only from mid-2014 on.


5/12/12: Gag cartoons:

Gag cartoons

cartoon memes: desert island, dog-in-a-bar, caveman

6/14/12: Death at play:

Death at play

Grim Reaper cartoon meme

5/26/14: Two more on Memorial Day:

Two more on Memorial Day?

#2 Zippy on failure of cartoon characters to age

5/29/14: Threesies:


Bob Mankoff advice: things are funnier in threes

☛ 6/7/14: Assorted cartoons:

Assorted cartoons

#3 Zippy: absurdly meta
#4 Pearls referring to Calvin and Hobbes

6/11/14: Book notice: Visual Language of Comics:

Book notice: Visual Language of Comics

Neil Cohen’s The Visual Language of Comics

7/6/14: Cartooning at the diner:

Cartooning at the diner

Zippy: Zippy and Griffy on cartoon styles

11/8/14: Saturday trio:

Saturday trio

#3: Bizarro: character makes reference to crosshatching on another character

1/30/15: Another cross-comic allusion:

Another cross-comic allusion

MGG: allusion to Pearls; links to earlier MGG strips with allusions to other comics

2/26/15: Return of the word avalanche:

Return of the word avalanche

Pearls Before Swine: meta-comic

7/26/15: Kongtoon:


Bizarro: King Kong cartoon meme

11/22/15: Self-awareness:


MGG: meta-comic; convention that characters’ physical features are just lines on paper

12/15/15: The news for cartoons:

The news for cartoons

Bob Mankoff on fact-checking cartoons; discussion of the conventions of the comic world vs. things in the real world; taboo vocabulary in cartoons
Zippy: eyes in manga/anime (with examples)
conventions on the use of background colors in the comics

12/17/15: manga/anime hair:

manga/anime hair

Zippy: hair in manga/anime

12/30/15: Five cartoons for the penultimate day:

Five cartoons for the penultimate day

Zippy: #3 on cartoon conventions

1/8/16: Two New Yorker cartoons:

Two New Yorker cartoons

#2 with conventions for identifying a caveman

1/12/16: Ahab and the whale:

Ahab and the whale

Ahab and the whale as a cartoon meme, especially in the New Yorker

1/16/16: Yaoi goes to high school:

Yaoi goes to high school

conventions of gay manga

1/20/16: Five from Barsotti:

Five from Barsotti

conventions for assigning gender to anthropomorphized inanimate objects

1/21/16: The Ascent of Bruce:

The Ascent of Bruce

the Ascent of Man cartoon meme

1/21/16: Tim Lockley and Ods Bodkins:

Tim Lockley and Ods Bodkins

the Batman cartoon meme

1/29/16: P.C. Vey:

P.C. Vey

the caveman cartoon meme; movement lines (agitrons)

3/1/16: CounterEvolution:


the Ascent of Man cartoon meme

3/12/16: Mayan comics and alliterative music:

Mayan comics and alliterative music

visual conventions in the Mayan counterpart to modern comics

5/1/16: Between the desert and the couch:

Between the desert and the couch

two cartoon memes; self-referentiality

5/6/16: Peter Kuper:

Peter Kuper

the Ahab and the whale meme

5/22/16: A slow meme:

A slow meme

the slow snail meme

5/28/16: The snail days of summer:

The snail days of summer

The slow snail meme

5/31/16: Circularity at the dawn of language:

Circularity at the dawn of language

the caveman meme

6/2/16: Cartoony days:

Cartoony days

cartoony faces; awareness of cartoon characters that they are in fact cartoon characters

6/4/16: Geek compounds:

Geek compounds

repurposed drawings

6/9/16: Tom Toro:

Tom Toro

#4 the (indistinguishable) penguin meme

6/24/16: Bob Eckstein:

Bob Eckstein

#3 the seeker and the seer meme

7/16/16: Zippy on a cross-comic run:

Zippy on a cross-comic run

Zippy with references to six other cartoon characters

8/24/16: Cartoon characters’ self-awareness:

Cartoon characters’ self-awareness

Bizarro with characters on strike

8/25/16: November 24th, 2014:

November 11th, 2014

Evolution of Life meme combined with Traffic Stop meme

10/6/16: Bozo’s ark:

Bozo’s ark

Noah’s Ark meme combined with meme of the clown and his balloon animals

10/12/16: Clown and balloon animal, take 4:

Clown and balloon animal, take 4

clown and his balloon animal

10/28/16: Halloween exposure:

Halloween exposure

background knowledge needed; torture as a cartoon theme

10/30/16: Toon animal time:

Toon animal time

#1 Bizarro on the Ascent of Man meme

11/20/16: The mazel tov cocktail:

The mazel tov cocktail

the cartoon bomb

3/16/17: Cavenips:


the caveman meme

3/30/17: Billy Zane:

Billy Zane

superhero tights, no visible pupils

3/31/17: The Ahab-Moby affair:

The Ahab-Moby affair

the Ahab and the whale cartoon meme

4/10/17: A primate with a pipe:

A primate with a pipe

the dressed-up primate meme (ape or monkey)

4/13/17: Three more Reapings:

Three more Reapings

Grim Reaper meme; Psychiatrist meme

4/15/17: A scent of man:

A scent of man

Ascent of Man meme; Caveman memes

5/1/17: Rabbit, rabbit, rabbit: three cartoons for the 1st:

Rabbit, rabbit, rabbit: three cartoons for the 1st

MGG: characters recognizing that they’re in a cartoon

5/5/17: Potato Head strip poker:

Potato Head Strip Poker

the Potato Head cartoon meme

5/11/17: Nudist penguins on parade:

Nudist penguins on parade

the Penguin cartoon meme (with tuxedos)

5/31/17: Slow turtle and even slower snail:

Slow turtle and even slower snail

the slow snail cartoon meme and slow turtle cartoon meme

6/4/17: Detached bodyparts in the comics:

Detached bodyparts in the comics

#1 Potato Head cartoon meme

6/6/17: Griffy Dimwit:

Griffy Dimwit

on the nature of comics

6/9/17: An old mammoth joke:

An old mammoth joke

the caveman cartoon meme

6/28/17: The Ballad of Clark and Bruce: SuperBat of Pink Steel Forever:

The Ballad of Clark and Bruce: SuperBat of Pink Steel Forever

superhero/explosion bubbles

7/6/17: Chast, Haefeli, Kaplan:

Chast, Haefeli, Kaplan

Kaplan: allusion to another comic; understanding comics

7/11/17: Office Goofiosity cuisine:

Office Goofiosity cuisine

cartoony / cartoonish characters

7/12/17: Toonies and their toons:

Toonies and their toons

more on cartoony / cartoonish characters

7/14/17: Vlad the Employer:

Vlad the Employer

speech bubbles; meta-comic

7/31/17: Today’s cartoon comprehension test:

Today’s comic comprehension test

desert island cartoon meme; meta-comic

8/2/17: Self-referential cartooning:

Self-referential cartooning

meta-cartoon with illeistic self-reference

8/9/17: Further adventures in cartoon understanding:

Further adventures in cartoon understanding

#1 Pirate theme, Pegleg Pirate meme

8/17/17: August 21st: two cartoons:

August 21st: two cartoons

#1 Desert Island meme, self-reference

8/23/17: -izing the dog:

-izing the dog


8/25/17: Revisiting 1: Will McPhail:

Revisiting 1: Will McPhail

#2 Ascent of Man meme

10/13/17: Ascending and parting:

Ascending and parting

#1 JAK cartoon with Ascent of Man meme

10/13/17: Clowns and their balloon animals:

Clowns and their balloon animals

cartoon meme of the clown and his balloon animals

10/23/17: The pumpkin spice cartoon meme:

The pumpkin spice cartoon meme

10/31/17: Three kinds of cartoons:

Three kinds of cartoons

#1 Mick Stevens meta-cartoon

11/9/17: Comics on comics:

Comics about comics

Zippy meta-cartoons

11/15/17: The Mankoff rat cartoon:

The Mankoff rat cartoon

the Pavlov meme

11/17/17: Singing in parts:

Singing in parts

the Galley Slave meme

11/30/17: Two memic moments:

Two memic moments

penguin cartoons; Maze-Rat meme

12/2/17: Two and a cover:

Two and a cover

Desert Island, Grim Reaper

12/7/17: The saguaro in bloom:

The saguaro in bloom

saguaro as cartoon symbol of the desert

12/7/17: Monkey see, monkey fear:

Monkey see, monkey fear

Bizarro with cross-comic reference, to the Curious George books

12/17/17: Moby Chick, Moby Duck, Moby Dip:

Moby Chick, Moby Duck, Moby Dip

the Ahab and the whale meme

12/22/17: Memory and the power of diner food:

Memory and the power of diner food

the Proust and the madeleines meme

12/29/17: George Booth at 90: elephants and holidays:

George Booth at 90: elephants and holidays

#1, #8-10: the elephant in the room meme; #8 the psychoanalyst meme; #9 the witness stand meme

1/18/18: Out of the Inkwell:

Out of the Inkwell

animated Koko the clown comics as meta-comics

1/19/18: More George Booth:

More George Booth

#1 Dog In Bar meme

2/17/18: Tell them you haven’t seen him:

Tell them you haven’t seen him

#1 Toper in Hiding trope; Waldo figure

2/23/18: Death’s end:

Death’s end

Grim Reaper meme

3/3/18: Familiar cartoon themes: Waldo and sugar bombs:

Familiar cartoon themes: Waldo and sugar bombs

#1 Waldo figure, Psychiatrist meme

3/4/18: Two memic cartoons:

Two memic cartoons

Walk Into Bar, Psychiatrist, Batman, Multiple Personality

3/9/18: The scythe in the casket:

The scythe in the casket

Grim Reaper meme

3/14/18: The Waldo watch:

The Waldo watch

Waldo figure

3/16/18: The cartoon doctor:

The cartoon doctor

doctor symbols; the trope turn your head and cough

3/31/18: Little Orphan Anime:

Little Orphan Anime

conventions of anime

4/1/18: Two Easter cartoons:

Two Easter cartoons

Psychiatrist meme

4/8/18: Three weekend cartoons: POP goes the caveman couple, recursively:
Caveman meme; stricture-disregarding man, stricture-enforcing woman

4/14/18: New frontiers in POPs:

New frontiers in POPs

Psychiatrist meme

4/15/18: Cave painting:

Cave painting

Caveman meme

4/17/18: Lars Kinseth:

Lars Kenseth

#2 meta-cartoon (self-referential), Psychiatrist meme, Clown meme

4/27/18: Another q uick cartoon comprehension quiz:

Another quick cartoon comprehension quiz

Doomsday meme, Godzilla meme

4/28/18: Drove my Chevrolet:

Drove my Chevrolet

meta-comic: Rat rebukes the cartoonist Stephan Pastis

5/3/18: Waldo Chast:

Waldo Chast

Waldo meme

5/4/18: Them, if ever, come lusty days:

Then, if ever, come lusty days

Caveman meme

5/5/18: Mayotoon:


Banana Peel trope

5/14/18: Air spelling:

Air spelling

meta: characters’ awareness of the text in speech balloons

5/22/18: (I just) can’t stop (it):

(I just) can’t stop (it)

Godzilla meme

6/1/18: Narrative theory at the therapist’s:

Narrative theory at the therapist’s

Psychiatrist meme

6/3/18: The canine therapist:

The canine therapist

Psychiatrist meme

6/4/18: Again with the nose job:

Again with the nose job

cartoony / cartoonish characters

6/11/18: In case of cartoons, see therapist:

In case of cartoons, see therapist

Psychiatrist meme (3 strips), Desert Island meme

6/23/18: Return to the Amherst Diner in Winchester VA:

Return to the Amherst Diner in Winchester VA

Walk Into Bar joke format

6/25/18: Midsummer cartoons:

Midsummer cartoons

#1 Psychiatrist meme

8/4/18: Cultural knowledge:

Cultural knowledge

translations of one world into another in 3 cartoons

8/8/18: The elephant in therapy:

The elephant in therapy

memes: Psychiatrist, Elephant in the Room, Elephant Memory

8/15/18: At the eggcorn’s edge:

At the eggcorn’s edge

characters speaking in spellings

9/22/18: therapist dog, dog therapist:

therapist dog, dog therapist

Psychiatrist meme

9/25/18: The dog therapist is IN:

The dog therapist is IN

Psychiatrist meme

9/27/18: Mike Lynch:

Mike Lynch

Supplicant with Sign meme

10/15/18: Piñata under the gun:

Piñata under the gun

metaphorical cartoons

10/21/18: Dark magic:

Dark magic

Zippy: convention that cartoon characters don’t age

10/21/18: The Tritoons gather by the river:

The Tritoons gather by the river

cartoon memes / tropes

12/20/18: Ask not for whom the Reaper scythes:

Ask not for whom the reaper scythes

2 Grim Reaper cartoons

2/5/19: Aquatic carpentry:

Aquatic carpentry

Bizarro with translation between worlds

2/11/19: Age cannot wther them:

Age cannot wither them

cartoon characters not aging

2/18/19: Three exercises in cartoon understanding:

Three exercises in cartoon understanding

meta-cartoon by Kenseth, several Desert Island cartoons

3/3/19: The MetaCat:

The MetaCat

meta-cartoon (frame-breaking) by Pasval Jousselin

3/30/19: How to use your balloons:

How to use your balloons

speech/word balloons, meta cartoons, self-reference

4/13/19: Meaty mammoths, cat vs. dog:

Meaty mammoths, cat vs. dog

cat vs. dog meme, caveman meme

5/16/19: Is Timmy in trouble?:

Is Timmy in trouble?

Timmy-Lassie meme (8 cartoons)

5/30/19: Wisely seasoned:

Wisely seasoned

Godzilla meme, Wise Man meme (5 cartoons)

6/10/19: The Mememobile:

The Mememobile

Mister Laffee truck, offering cartoon memes

6/13/19: A superheroic identity crisis:

A superheroic identity crisis

Superman meme, Psychiatrist meme

7/5/19: Death, first as tragedy, then as farce:

Death, first as tragedy, then as farce

Grim Reaper meme

7/12/19: The clown barber of Custard Street:

The clown barber of Custard Street

Clown meme

7/17/19: Avocado Chronicles: 6 on the beach:

Avocado Chronicles: 6 on the beach

Grim Reaper meme

9/3/19: Cavemen of high education:

Cavemen of higher education

Caveman meme, in two cartoons and an ad series

9/10/19: Him wear saurian monitor:

Him wear saurian monitor

Caveman meme in a Hilburn cartoon; parallel worlds in a cartoon

9/15/19: Segregation in the soapy comics:

Segregation in the soapy comics

meta cartoon, with self-reference; cartooniness

9/17/19: The amazing talking pirate:

The amazing talking pirate

PirateTalk and ParrotTalk; role reversals in the comics

9/18/19: The hurtful dog:

The hurtful dog

Explosm Hurtful Dog meme template

9/25/19: Present at the creation: the weaponization of sarcasm:

Present at the creation: the weaponization of sarcasm

Caveman meme in a Mick Stevens cartoon

10/11/19: The existential question:

The existential question

meta cartoons, with self-aware characters

10/27/19: The Potato Fried:

The Potato Fried

Potato Head meme in Wayno cartoon; juxtapositions of parallel worlds

10/31/19: Reaper days:

Reaper days

Grim Reaper meme in Will McPhail two cartoons

12/1/19: Three comic rabbits for December:

Three comic rabbits for December

Potato Head meme in Bizarro cartoon

12/26/19: The first two days of Christmas:

The first two days of Christmas

Psychiatrist meme in Bizarro cartoon

1/3/20: Back to the swamp:

Back to the swamp

Ascent of Man meme in Liana Finck cartoon (as descent)

1/3/20: The penguinocalypse:

The penguinocalypse

cartoon memes and viral cartoons; fearsomely toothed penguin meme, fire-breathing penguin meme

1/14/20: Revisiting 41: Mr. Peanut seeks professional help:
Psychiatrist meme in Bizarro cartoon

1/31/20: Identify that meme

Identify that potato

Potato Head meme in Bizarro cartoon

2/1/20: Revisiting 42: stalked by a giant anthropomorphic squirrel:

Revisiting 42: stalked by a giant anthropomorphic squirrel

End is Near meme

2/3/20: The missing:

The missing

cartoon linking two worlds

2/7/20: The Dread Pirate Swisserhand:

The Dread Pirate Swisserhand

pirate theme, Pegleg Pirate meme

2/26/20: A priest, a rabbit, and a minister:

A priest, a rabbit, and a minister

texty cartoon that’s two kinds of meta

3/12/20: Higashi Day cartoon 1: grim Bliss surprise:

Higashi Day cartoon 1: grim Bliss surprise

Harry Bliss Grim Reaper cartoon

3/12/20: Higashi Day cartoon 2: the stigma of striphood:

Higashi Day cartoon 2: the stigma of striphood

seriously meta Doonesbury cartoon

3/14/20: Higashi Day cartoon 4: tending the stone:

Higashi Day cartoon 4: tending the stone

Sisyphus cartoons: 3 from JAK, links to 3 others

3/16/20: Corónsyphùs: Strength Through Biochemistry:

Corónsyphùs: Strength Through Biochemistry

Vadim Temkin Sisyphus composition

3/27/20: Chez Le Formulier II:

Chez Le Fourmilier II

translation between worlds

4/5/20: The Desert Island Psychiatrist:

The Desert Island Psychiatrist

Desert Island; Psychiatrist; Desert Crawl; self-reference

4/16/20: The Grim Mouser:

The Grim Mouser

Grim Reaper

4/18/20: Quick shot: no creme for Godzilla:

Quick shot: no creme for Godzilla


4/20/20: The therapist is in French:

The therapist is in French


5/30/20: Force Cor:

Force Cor

a Pearls Before Swine with meta-reference

6/5/20: Death trap:

Death trap

Grim Reaper

6/7/20: tribute time:

tribute time

meta-reference: the Doonesbury character Zipper Harris recognizes that he is in fact a character in a comic strip and comments on that

6/16/20: Pavlov’s novelist:

Pavlov’s novelist

the Pavlov cartoon meme, with a full list of examples on AZBlog

6/24/20: Annals of ambiguity: I feel like making it rough for Schrödinger:

Annals of ambiguity: I feel like making it rough for Schrödinger

possible Schrödinger cartoon meme

7/15/20: At the Paleo Cafe:

At the Paleo Cafe

Caveman; a Bizarro-specific Remarkable Restaurant meme; translations from one world into another

7/21/20: But is it art? two cartoon takes:

But is it art? Two cartoon takes

#1 Caveman

7/23.20: Fear of furniture:

Fear of furniture


8/9/20: Flies met cute:

Flies met cute

meta cartoons; translations from one world to another

9/9/20: Crossed folk stories:

Crossed folk stories

combinations of two themes; real world paired with folk-story world

9/9/20: Red Löbster Cult:

Red Löbster Cult

two worlds

9/19/20: Out of the water and back again:

Out of the water and back again

Ascent of Man meme; two worlds

10/20/20: Desert island discs:

Desert island discs

Desert Island meme

10/23/20: A New Yorker trio:

A New Yorker trio

Desert Island meme

10/30/20: Can I get you a vole or two?:

Can I get you a vole or two?

translation between worlds

12/25/20: Desert Island chat:

Desert Island chat

Desert Island meme

12/25/20: Santa Psychiatrist captions:

Santa Psychiatrist captions

Psychiatrist meme

12/31/20: Wrong turn at Catalina:

Wrong turn at Catalina

Desert Island meme

1/15/21: Flat on his back at the solstice:

Flat on his back at the solstice

Psychiatrist meme

2/1/21: Two parrots and a pear tree:

Two parrots and a pear tree

#1 pirate theme; #3 Psychiatrist meme

2/5/21: Two remarkable cartoon books:

Two remarkable cartoon books

“Meet the Author” meme; Identify This meme

2/10/21: The whale and the smartphone:

The whale and the smartphone

Ahab and the whale meme

2/19/21: Today in couples therapy:

Today in couples therapy

Ahab and the whale meme

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