15 Comments

  1. @ Lola – To be precise, a bunch of foul-mouthed animals. Although the vast majority of “Nick & Zuzu” panels can stand independently, and are usually worth a chuckle or at least a smile, every once in a while it’s just a pedestrian illustration of a topic from the associated article. Nothing to see (or laugh at) here, folks, please move on…

  2. Despite it being an accompaniment to the article, I thought it was kind of funny. Scenes like this are usually found in children’s lit, and the fact that we can see that all the little critters’ thoughts are nothing but obscenities raised a smile…for me at least. And thanks to Powers, I’ll be looking at Richard Scarry’s work in a new and improved light from now on.

  3. Yeah, it does seem in many cases you can look at the grawlix and see in the general shape of the symbols what the letters of the vulgarity would have been, when it stands in for a specific one.

  4. Using pen and ink is much more flexible, but even typed characters can approximate a large percentage of the alphabet: “@8cd3‡9#!jk7mn0p9r5†u^w+y2”

  5. Strangely Carolyn Hax’s column in our regional newspaper (“Newsday”) does not have any comics – ever.

  6. I note that all the impolite words are in thought bubbles. Good for all of them not to cut loose. (I wish I could somehow garner praise for keeping as much as I do in thought bubbles.) Word of caution: you can’t let this stuff get to the point where there is an embarrassing explosion of obscenities. A half hour of watching Fox News – ALONE -helps me to vent safely, though it does upset my dog.

  7. @ Treesong – Sorry, I made an error, the “S” should be “$”, instead of “5”. In general, punctuation marks seem to carry more weight than digits when used in a “grawlix”. Another option would be “&” for “G”, instead of “9” (for “g”).

  8. The plural is grawlixes. 🙂

    And, yes, I was also reminded of Richard Scarry. I still have my childhood copy of Cars And Trucks And Things That Go.

    It seems also that shows like Robot Chicken might take sweet children’s-book characters and turn them into potty mouths.

    A funny thing about cursing: I appreciate it when there’s craft behind it, like old George Carlin routines. Modern-day standup often just appears crass to me. Random blogs and YT videos I come across that employ cursing throughout just come across as angry.

  9. About cursing: Paula Poundstone never “works blue.” She would never tell a joke like The Aristocrats for instance. But she uses the F word any time she feels like it, and if she has something funny to say about body parts she calls them by whatever names work best.

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