Research Task: The ‘gag’ Cartoon

For this research task, I was asked to look through a small list of ‘gag’ cartoonists and choose the ones that I found interesting. I decided on my chosen ones by looking through around 10 of their gag cartoons and seeing if they made me laugh (or even smile! – I know I’m very picky with my humor!) I chose the following cartoonists: (below is a summary of why I chose them):

B Kliban:

Roz Chast:

Summary of why I chose both B Kilban and Roz Chast:

I chose both B Kilban and Roz Chast as I really enjoyed their dark humour. I suppose it’s a personal choice which of the list of cartoonists I liked, personally I found the top three a bit dull as the comedy was more simple than B Kilban and Roz Chast’s cartoons. Both artists’ styles are quite similar in the way they both use speech balloons, are in black and white, use shading, and have been created (from what I can tell) using black ink and a fountain pen (or equivalent).

Next, I was asked to choose one specific cartoon that I find funny or like the style of and discuss what I enjoy about it and why it is successful.

Below are the questions I will answer:

What is it about their style you like?

It’s neat and simplistic in design without colour. The characters have good depth in design, you can tell what each character is e.g. you can tell the person standing up is a waiter at a fancy restaurant just by the way his eyes are closed and his clothing. I can just imagine him having a posh English voice.

Is the cartoon silent or does it include words?

There are words, the customer sitting down is reading out his order to the waiter.

What is the subject?

A man and his man-size fly companion sit at a table in a fancy restaurant. The waiter takes the man’s very well-chosen order of a variety of fancy food and expensive wine, he then goes on to order for his fly companion, the fly wants some shit.

What is it that makes the joke funny?

The reason this image is funny is that it’s slightly rude, but also what compliments the rudeness is that everyone in the image is treating it as if the customer asking for ‘some shit for my fly” is okay or normal. No one is pulling a funny face, it’s like if it was an animation, the waiter would say “right away sir” and then take away the menu and walk off normally even though he’s about to bring some shit to the table of their fine dining establishment! I also like the fact that the fly is the same size as the people and that he’s sitting at the table with his little legs underneath.

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