The best definition of “poetry” I’ve ever encountered is, “Poetry is life condensed”. In a similar way, cartoons condense a slice of life into just a few panels. All of these cartoons are about navigating our way through the day.
I meant to do another episode much sooner (back in June) but then Stuff Happened. The summer was full of tutoring chemistry, and microbiology. We squeezed in some vacation, and then just hours after our return, wham! school started up again. Here are four fun cartoons:
Peanuts is by the late Charles Schultz
(Description: In the first panel, Charlie Brown is seated on a cushion in front of the television. His sister Sally is standing next to him, arms spread wide as she says, “You shouldn’t be watching TV! You should be reading ‘Gulliver’s Travels’. In the second panel, Charlie Brown is sprawled on the cushion, head in hands and he replies glumly, “Even my little sister bugs me”. In the third panel, he’s walking away from he and explains, “School-time doesn’t ‘roll around’…” In the last panel we see him standing alone as he adds, “It leaps right out at you!”)
XKCD is the wicked-good “webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math and language” by Randall Munroe
(Description: In the first panel, two androgynous stick-figures are walking down a hallway evenly patterned in light and dark floor tiles. The first figure asks the second, “Why are you walking funny?” The second figure has a giant thought bubble that is the second panel, where [he] imagines standing with a pointer aimed on a large chart with a checkered graphic labelled, “floor”, and tells the first figure, “Well, my instinct is to step only on black tiles, but they’re too far apart. So I’m letting myself walk on the tiles directly in line with the black ones, but that means that when we walk diagonally, I have to step in a pattern where …” But in the last panel, the second figure simply answers the first, “I’m not walking funny.”)
This one made me think of Bev over at Asperger Square 8, and her fascination for floor tiles. Not that I don’t do these mental games with floor tiles as well … I think this one is actually a v.5.0 of the children’s game, “The Floor Is Lava” (which amazingly, nearly every child re-invents). Light and dark checky floor tiles give me the impulse to walk in Knight-move steps down the hall. Method to the madness, as ever.
Red & Rover is by Brian Basset
(Description: A boy is on a swing, nearly upside-down, and he says to his dog, “When the world seems all topsy-turvy …” Second panel the boy is seating still on the swing, adding, “… I come to the playground.” In the third panel, the boy is straddling the swing seat on his stomach and twisting up the chains, explaining, “The playground is my special place.” In the last panel, the boy has let go of the ground, and is spinning on the swing as the chains untwist, saying, “It’s where I go to unwind.”)
The swings on the playground got me through my first five years of school. Not only was the repetitive motion soothing, but also it was perfectly acceptable to not be playing with anyone else. It’s a real shame they don’t have swings in secondary school! As an adult, it’s very difficult to find swings that will accommodate longer legs. We did find one swingset in a Boulder, Colorado city park that had a very high crossbar and higher-hung seats. Utter joy!
And of course, one of my all-time favourite comic strips,
Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson
(Description: A grubby little boy, Calvin, is standing in front of a full bubble bath, stripped down to his briefs. He’s pointing out his feet to his tiger, Hobbes, saying, “Wow, look at the grass stains on my skin.” In the second panel, Calvin stands there with his arms confidently crossed, and asserts to Hobbes, “I say, if your knees aren’t green by the end of the day, you ought to seriously re-examine your life.”
That may be one of the reasons why I like to garden and to nature photography. You can’t help but end up with green knees by the end of the day, and that’s a very good thing!
Stay tuned for our next episode of, “Slices”!