1. It’s summer, so it’s a fun time to break out the things for summertime activities, like tennis rackets. Unfortunately for the prisoner, he/she doesn’t get to enjoy them, or even touch the tennis racket, but at least they put it outside his/her door.

  2. Winter Wallaby already has it, so I’m just going to talk about the cartoon’s style. Before I saw it, I had what I assume is an average to slightly better than average knowledge of Devil’s Island: It’s (1) a tropical island (2) that served as a horrific penal colony (3) for the French, and (4) Captain Dreyfus was imprisoned there. For this cartoon, (4) is irrelevant, (3) is optional (and, in practice, ignored), and (1) and (2) can be conveyed by the name and the drawing.

    However, the drawing instead is of a medieval dungeon – nothing suggestive of a place named Devil’s Island. Apparently the cartoonist’s imagination failed him when he tried to draw a scene on a horrific penal colony.

    As an aside: Had it existed, a dungeon would probably have been the most comfortable place on Devil’s Island.

  3. I think “Alcatraz” might have been more recognizable as the name of a famous prison, and it was even more recently in service than Devil’s Island (by six years).

  4. Almost. His website says that his work for the New Yorker started in 1974 (eleven years after Alcatraz closed), and lasted until his death in 2017. This one was published on 24-Aug-2009.
    P.S. Gary Larson would be well advised to view Ziegler’s website as an example of how a cartoon archive could (and should) be organized.

  5. I didn’t make the connection with ‘l’île du diable’ until I read Usual John’s comment.

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