Punctuation support group

Support”, by Tom Humberstone:

Tom Humberstone - New Statesman cartoon = Punctuation support group

[click to enlarge]

I love Exclamation Mark’s happy bafflement, and the last two frames tie the strip together very nicely (though for comic timing and pathos I’d have put the ellipsis between them rather than before them).

I don’t think I have anything to say about the Jay Z hyphen non-story – but if you do, I’m all ears.

You can see more of the artist’s work at the New Statesman and on Humberstone’s own website.

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7 Responses to Punctuation support group

  1. alexmccrae1546 says:

    I guess I’m no “grammatical hipster” (cartoonist Humberstone’s term)…Hmm… perhaps more of a ‘hipster doofus’, suffering from a superfluity of ‘dooflab’ * above the hips… since that curious “interrobang” symbol is a totally new one on me. (I don’t get out-and-about much.)

    I gather its utility is in punctuating a given query by imparting a certain urgency, gusto, or emphasis to the posed question at hand; where a mere pedestrian question mark just would not suffice… hence the question mark/ exclamation mark symbolic combo.

    I like cartoonist Humberstone’s clever use of the “…” symbol (sans speech bubble); I trust used here to merely move his quirky little pictorial narrative along, or maybe allowing for a short, momentary pregnant pause for the reader.

    The “@” and “#” signs are, indeed, very “popular” these days, largely thanks to the ubiquity of all manner of social networking on myriad digitally operated devices, be they mobile, or otherwise.

    Clearly in Humberstone’s view, these two aforementioned symbols can stand proudly on their own, having no confidence issues, or need for group (support) therapy. They have risen above grammatical marginalization, unlike some other ‘marks’ that have fallen out of favor, (or were never that useful to begin with), and could likely use some supportive therapy.

    *The “dooflab'” bit was for blogger buddy Picky.

    P.S.: —-In my viewing of Tom Humberstone’s New Statesmen,”In the Frame” cartoon strip panel ‘commentaries’ for the first time, I’m struck by their uncanny stylistic (visual) similarity to the work of popular Canadian cartoonist/ graphic novelist, Seth, whose earliest works of simple thick-to-thin brushwork and masterful use of grey-to-black, or ofttimes sepia tone ink (or watercolor) washes featured in the Montreal-based cartoon review, “Drawn & Quarterly”, brought the reader into his skewed cartoony world ‘inhabited’ by a hint of melancholy and ennui; imparting in this reader, at any rate, a longing for simpler, less harried by-gone times.

    In drawing the similarity here, I’m trying to give Humberstone a compliment, not a criticism.

  2. I’m left feeling bad for full stop, he’s/she’s just trying to help, but is left with such an emotional mess to clean up: tragic.

  3. Picky says:

    Alex: lots about interrobangs and other such dooflabs at this lovely site:

    http://www.shadycharacters.co.uk/contents/

  4. Stan says:

    Alex: Wikipedia has good basic information on the interrobang.

    projectechoshadow: Full Stop does inspire sympathy. They can’t be an easy group to work with.

    Picky: A very fine site, and with a book on the way.

  5. How does one incorrectly use air quotes?

    I’ve heard that there are places in the world (and for all I know Ireland might be one of them) where standard air quote technique is to draw downward both the pointer and middle fingers on each hand, as opposed to the more familiar technique of drawing downward only the pointer fingers, but doing so twice in quick succession. But I don’t think that’s what they’re getting at…

  6. Stan says:

    Adrian: I wasn’t sure about that, unless the use of air quotes itself was incorrect, as opposed to the manner of doing so. Two fingers on each hand is the form I’m more used to seeing.

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