Sunday, May 20, 2012

"Mating Captchas"

   As anyone who's ever tried to navigate official forms on-line, "Captchas" are those infuriating and cryptic words used to thwart the ever-increasing sophisticated attempts by spam-bots to hack the comment threads of blogs. More often than not these days I have to reload the annoying little box for new options in hopes of getting one that is legible. That said, so far I've been impressed with whatever filtering program the Blogger platform employs, as there's only been a handful of random mischief.

   This panel is similar in style to the previous cartoon in that it plays around a little bit with onomatopoeia and sound effects as expressed through cartoony lettering - best exemplified by the classic work of Don Martin (and used in some of my previous workshops). For those of our ornithological-inclined audience playing along at home, the depicted species are the Common Raven and the Black-Billed Magpie, plus a few unseen Snow Bunting calls wafting across the background (as they are wont to do). 

   The calls, specifically these particular spellings, in fact originate verbatim from Peterson's Field Guide, borrowed post-haste from the local library branch. Roger Tory Peterson came up with a unique system he termed "word syllabification" by which he phonetically translated bird calls into words where the birdwatcher could identify the respective species. This leads to all sorts of creative possibilities, some of which I am exploring in a continuing, long-term project. But as is the case with many things in life, a cartoon is a great place to test the boundary between reality and the way I think it looks.


  1. Great use of factual elements in a humorous setting. Cartoons often simply provide a clear graphic rendering of a real situation, highlighting what's weird about it.

  2. Ooo -"factual elements in a humorous setting" - I think you just gave me the subtitle to my biography.