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Ah! They DO have a name!
July 16, 2013 7:46 AM   Subscribe

Quimps, Plewds, And Grawlixes: The Secret Language Of Comic Strips

Fast Company takes a look at The Lexicon of Comicana.
posted by Tevin (10 comments total) 22 users marked this as a favorite

 
Related Bloom County strip
posted by Going To Maine at 7:54 AM on July 16, 2013 [4 favorites]


So, Mort Walker made up names for them all in between golf games in 1980?
posted by Curious Artificer at 8:02 AM on July 16, 2013


That's weird. my coat of arms features a crottle eyed thrush on a field of nittles. Although my line was established by a sentient Dagwood sandwich.
posted by Uppity Pigeon #2 at 8:12 AM on July 16, 2013


This is obviously the most amazing thing I've read all day.

/buys book
posted by lydhre at 8:21 AM on July 16, 2013


So did Doonesbury start the "Doonesbury Style" of not using dialog balloons?
posted by octothorpe at 8:29 AM on July 16, 2013


Uppity Pigeon #2: "That's weird. my coat of arms features a crottle eyed thrush on a field of nittles. Although my line was established by a sentient Dagwood sandwich."

Don't miss the noble Arms of Vavassor. House motto: "Mine is the grief!"
posted by jquinby at 8:34 AM on July 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


So, Mort Walker made up names for them all in between golf games in 1980?

Mort was a fantastic golf partner. It's nice to see him get some props.
posted by Thorzdad at 8:55 AM on July 16, 2013


Paging Don Martin.
posted by usonian at 8:56 AM on July 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


I need to show this book to my daughter. She seems to instinctively understand how to do some of these. She drew a "brave toaster" the other day (yes, a reference) and then said "wait. I need to draw little dirt marks to make it more brave" and she put little hash marks all over it. It DID look more brave!
posted by DU at 10:04 AM on July 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


octothorpe

I can't comment on the origins of the so-called "Doonesbury style", but since about the 90's, as his backgrounds and angles became more varied and elaborate, Trudeau began to use the traditional text bubbles more and more often. I can't pinpoint any more exact dates, however, since my reading of the strip is only comprehensive through ~1986.

Absent the enclosing bubble, however, Doonesbury's textual presentation aligns pretty closely with that of other strips: a straight line (replacing the bubble's "point") indicates spoken text, "thought bubbles" indicate thoughts, a zig-zag line indicates spoken text or noise emanating from a remote source (through a radio or television). Noises, whether standalone or interrupting spoken text, are often surrounded by breath marks, as defined here.

Iconography replacing assumed profanity is notably absent from Doonesbury, probably because its focus on literate rather than physical humor provides fewer opportunities for its use. The only obvious exception that comes to mind is the nonsense sinography in this strip.
posted by The Confessor at 11:01 AM on July 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


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