Talk:The Lexicon of Comicana

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Deeper background[edit]

Mort Walker wrote[1]:

In a rather pedantic presentation I made to the members of the National Cartoonists Society called "Let's Get Down to Grawlixes," I wrote:
As the world begins to recognize that cartooning is an art form, I have become increasingly aware of the world's lack of knowledge about our profession. They are exhibiting our work now in the Louvre, the Smithsonian, and the Metropolitan, and they are discussing cartoons in broad flowing terms such as "social significance," "illuminated narrative," and "primitive commentary," but not one of them knows the difference between such basic comicana as the "waftarom" and the "indotherm."

Walker goes on to discuss various forms of iconography: first, lines that contribute to the reading of the image; next, talk balloons. Then he continues,

Charlie Rice, of This Week magazine, is one of the few serious students of comicana around. One of his first contributions was to catalog briffits. Encouraged by the enthusiastic reception, he then tackled squeans, which he categorized as "a loose-jointed asterisk." ...
He also touched on the plewd, which is among the most useful cartoon symbols. Plewds are the little drops of sweat that shoot off people to indicate exertion, embarrassment, fear, or what-have-you.
A variety of acceptable curse words are at the cartoonist's disposal. He may throw in a new one from time to time, but the real meat of the epithet must always contain plenty of jarns, quimps, nittles, and grawlixes, as shown.

The margin contains illustrations showing scribbles, spirals (round and angled), a saturn, a crescent, an asterisk, a star, and a squean, all without labels. The way I read it, Charlie Rice should be credited with briffits, squeans, and plewds, but Mort Walker is responsible for all of the other words mentioned.

Unfortunately, the book doesn't mention the date of the NCS meeting (1964 according to the "Lexicon of Comicana" article), nor of the Charlie Rice column. It seems to me that some of this information should be incorporated in the article, and some enterprising Wikipedian could do a great service by looking up the This Week column.

Gwil (talk) 03:56, 2 April 2008 (UTC)

I think that the word is waftarom, not wafteron, the final four letrters derived from "aroma."WHPratt (talk) 18:37, 5 August 2009 (UTC)

Sources[edit]

* http://www.flickr.com/photo_zoom.gne?id=44101073&size=o
* http://www.dashshaw.com/symbolia.html

Mathglot 09:07, 5 February 2007 (UTC)

  1. ^ "Backstage at the Strips", by Mort Walker. Mason/Charter, New York, 1975, pp. 26-30

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BetacommandBot (talk) 23:01, 13 February 2008 (UTC)

Other conventions[edit]

I don't know if the book mentions these, but since childhood I have always been curious about the cartoonist's use of the reflection of a paned – glass window in some curved and reflective surface. Also of course, there are the stars circling someone's head after they have been knocked down. Myles325a (talk) 10:11, 17 June 2010 (UTC)

The implication is that there's a sky-lit window somewhere in the background ... —Tamfang (talk) 20:38, 18 June 2010 (UTC)
That's called a lucaflect. Mathglot (talk) 18:12, 4 January 2012 (UTC)