onsdag 23 februari 2011

Storytelling 8: Symbolism and mystification

Under deadline pressure (funny how that builds up when you're sick), so just a quickie look at a classic: the guy hanging on for dear life to branch that is the only thing keeping him from a steep fall.

Here, the father in "Zits!" is in a very precarious situation, so we have a mystification – how the heck did mild-mannered, sedate Walter wind up in that position? (We also get the added thrill of a familiar comics situation; Sarge winds up hanging from that branch at very regular intervals, so how is the "Zits!" team going to resolve it?)

Turns out he's not in that position at all, it's used to symbolize him being overwhelmed – in this case by groceries – and not getting any help from Jeremy, who's engrossed in something and wearing earphones preventing him from hearing the father's pleas for help. A nice depiction of a not-too-uncommon occurrence in many households – the parent's feelings of abandonment are nicely overdramatized for comic effect, but not to the point where it loses the recognition humor. I wouldn't be surprised if this strip went up on many fridges all over the world.

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