A beautifully told story with colorful characters out of epic tradition, a tight and complex plot, and solid pacing. -- Booklist, starred review of On the Razor's Edge

Great writing, vivid scenarios, and thoughtful commentary ... the stories will linger after the last page is turned. -- Publisher's Weekly, on Captive Dreams

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Evolution of Comic Species

Something about Classic ID and Classic Dilbert, should you find them on the Web. The drawing are sketchier, but the humor is edgier.

Compare the king in an old strip:
to the king in the new:
He's gotten fatter, his nose is bigger, his crown is smaller.

Something similar happened to Dilbert. Originally, he (and the pointy-haired boss) looked like
That is, he had a longer head, an iconic curled tie, and when standing was tall with long legs. PHB was short out of proportion, not much skull. In the earliest strips, he was even sketchier. Now they look like this:
Now they are the same height, Dilbert's head has become shorter, the boss' head has become normally proportioned, the pointy hair is more stylized. And no one wears ties anymore. The strip had been trending toward cartoons over caricatures. We seldom see anymore Bob the Dinosaur that lives in his basement or even the genius garbage collector and the other outre characters that once inhabited the strip. 

There is only one thing that can account for these differences: the Theory of Comic Change.


  1. Garfield went through three major periods of evolution. Early Garfield was a big fat lump, 80's Garfield remained fat and catlike but wasn't as lumpy, and modern Garfield barely looks fat except for a roundish belly.

    Of course, Davis doesn't write or draw the strip anymore; he has mooks who do that bourgeoise stuff for him, which is why modern Garfield is basically terrible, especially when compared to it's actually very funny heyday in the 80's.

    Early Dilbert comics were surreal, man.

    1. Scott Adams also has mooks.

      And early Garfield was also the most catlike, and probably the funniest.

  2. I don't know where this leaves Homer Simpson, who appears to have appeared in Iceland in the 1950s:


Whoa, What's This?

adam amateur theology anthropology aphorisms Aquinas argument from motion Aristotelianism art atheism autumn of the modern ages books brains breaking news captive dreams cartoon charts chieftain clannafhloinn comix commentary counterattack crusades culcha dogheads easton stuff economics eifelheim evolution factoids on parade fake news fallen angels Feeders fir trees in lungs firestar flicks floods flynncestry flynnstuff forecasts forest of time fun facts gandersauce gimlet eye global warming glvwg headlines henchmen high frontier history home front how to lie with statistics humor Hunters Moon hush-hush hypatia in the house of submission irish Iron Shirts irrationalism january dancer jihad journeyman kabuki kool letter lion's mouth lunacon maps mayerling medieval metrology miscellany modern mythology moose zombies music new years nexus odds odds and ends paleofuture passing of the modern age philosophy philosophy math poetry politics potpourri psyched out! public service quality quiet sun quote of the day razor's edge redefinition of marriage religio reviews river of stars scandal science science marches on scientism scrivening shipwrecks of time shroud skiffy skiffy in the news skools slipping masks some people will believe anything stats stories stranger things the auld curmudgeon the madness continues the new fascism the russians are coming the spiral arm the writing life thomism thought for the day thread o' years tofspot topology untergang des abendlandes untergang des morgenlandes up jim river video clips vignettes war on science we get letters we're all gonna die whimsy words at play wuv xmas you can't make this stuff up