office of surrealist investigations

Manipulating Chance


December 2012

Narrative Corpse six

More Bob Mankoff, word balloons and stranger things

Came across this in Bob Mankoff’s blog today.


You should check out Saul Steinberg’s cartoons, they are a nice blend of cartoon humour and art and philosophy as Bob points out and anyone with a headshot like this deserves a look.

SaulAnyway what caught my eye was the word balloon. Something that I have been messing around with lately.

balloon cover
Does that need punctuation? Who cares? Who needs punctuation when your word balloons don’t necessarily contain words

subway directions

Or at least words not necessary to read in sentences or spoken phrases. word balloonsor in the case of my personal favourite balloons, maybe it should be punctuation only

I often wonder about the hang up with words. I’ve been told many a time that it’s not just language. A while back I posted Bob’s investigation of captions vs. captionless cartoons. Personally, I enjoy the wordless joke, saying so much without the need for language, though I am fond of wordplay which I often find myself talking about while out for coffee (coffeeng?). Bit of a stretch there. I am not entirely against captions, but so often you get a bad gag or poorly written or readers can challenge it with something better, which I suppose is the nature of the New Yorker caption contest. Worst of all is the atrocity committed by Family Circus on a regular basis.

family circusWord balloon and continued speaking part in the caption. Drives me crazy when I see cartoons put together like this. If you’re going to do word balloon and caption, at least do it right.


corpse thirty-eight

corpse thirty-seven

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