Compu-Toon, Math Comics are Compu-Toon, Math Comics


I grew up watching mostly cartoons, heavy on the Warner Brothers and Tex Avery catalogues, with probably too big a helping of Hanna-Barbera’s stuff from the 60s and 70s. That’s my way of saying that I’m kind of pre-adapted to laugh if a wrecking ball appears on screen, even if it isn’t doing anything wrecking just yet. I know its time is coming.

'Upgrading can sometimes be misleading', which is why a wrecking ball is following this guy.
Charles Boyce’s _Compu-Toon_ for the 17th of August, 2014.

So this is why Sunday’s Compu-Toon has me baffled, because the idea that someone puttering around his computer would get a wrecking ball for his trouble ought to be funny and then the caption goes and confuses me. I feel like I can almost work out the joke, that an upgrade always breaks stuff and sometimes it’s just worse than just leaving things like they were, I guess, but then … I don’t know. On the other hand, a guy looking warily at a wrecking ball pursuing him ought to be a pretty easy giggle.

Meantime, there’ve been a bunch of comics, mostly Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal, that talked about mathematics subjects, so I talked about them. They don’t talk about me.

Math Comics and a Non-Baffling Compu-Toon


Once again over on my mathematics blog there’ve been enough comics mentioning mathematics topics to bundle them all together. They don’t get into any too abstract territory this time around.

Murphy is attempting to discard his rabbit-ear antennae and there's recycling and there's … I don't really know.
Charles Boyce’s baffling _Compu-Toon_ for the 8th of June, 2014.

To give you folks not interested in mathematics comics something to read in the meantime, here’s a baffling Compu-Toon from two weeks ago that apparently thinks … I really don’t know what about rabbit-ear antennas. I can’t help you there. But rather than give Boyce a bad reputation let me also offer this past Sunday’s, which is a perfectly recognizable and successfully executed spot of whimsy, and the only mysterious thing about it is why the guy’s T-shirt has the International No Symbol over a hand grenade on a cartoon-bomb fuse. I mean, I understand wanting no hand-grenade bombs, but are they a big enough problem to warrant T-shirt prominence?

A water-proof feature for a phone: a cute little umbrella.
Charles Boyce’s non-baffling _Compu-Toon_ for the 22nd of June, 2014.

Comics for your Bafflement


I was a little out of sorts last week (we picked some up — with white chocolate coatings — in a candy shop outside Nevada, Ohio) so missed posting announcements that I had a bunch of mathematics comics with some explanations posted over on the mathematics blog. Two of the actual comics are included because they’re King Features strips and I’m just not positive that the links to those comics are going to be good indefinitely for people who aren’t subscribed.

And then yesterday I had another bunch of these comics, because apparently Comic Strip Master Command ordered everybody to use their mathematics jokes before summer break.

'Fred can't figure out how is online postings were able to jump back toward the board' for some reason.
Charles Boyce’s baffling Compu-Toon for the 15th of June, 2014.

Since I’m aware many people find mathematics talk confusing or intimidating, let me offer for your amusement here Charles Boyce’s Compu-Toon from this Sunday, so that you can look at it and wonder what it’s even supposed to mean.

Baffling Compu-Toon Of The Week


I’m just going to go ahead and assume that you’ve never heard of the comic strip Compu-Toon, by Charles Boyce, because it’s one of those comic strips that somehow I’ve come to read and that other people can’t believe exists. Those people are correct. It’s a panel comic strip, the sort that gives you a picture and a caption and together they yield some sufficiently joke-like construct for the newspapers to run. I don’t know if any newspapers run this. I don’t even know who’s supposed to run it. Let me show you a couple so you can see why I’m just … confused.

`You would think this Dove soap looking logo for Twitter would prevent me from getting nasty text messages like this one' for some reason.
Charles Boyce’s baffling Compu-Toon comic strip for the 3rd of June, 2014.

There’s the Compu-Toon for the third of June: “You would think this Dove soap looking logo for Twitter would prevent me from getting nasty text messages like this one.” Part of me wants to edit that caption so that it has any kind of flow. Part of me wants to say, “You would? Why?” And another part of me wonders, “The Twitter logo looks like Dove soap? Or Dove soap’s logo? Really?” The overall effect is one of confusion and vague disquiet.

`Passwords are not just waiting around for you to call them up' for some reason.
Charles Boyce’s baffling Compu-Toon for the 4th of June, 2014.

And then the next day. “Passwords are not just waiting around for you to call them up.” I can’t dispute that, since all the passwords I know are just sitting quietly in the back of the room for me to forget them, and to find the notes that I left for myself don’t mean anything (“Amex: Tweedlioop no ? $”), but that’s got nothing to do with passwords’ social life. What does a “password party in chat room 214” even mean?

Overall, I’m pretty sure the target audience for this comic is: you know that aunt you have who’s not on the Google herself but knows other people like it, and who sometimes sends e-mails consisting of 128 kilobytes of forwarding headers? Now we have something to send her back and say, “Thanks for the mail; did you see this? Hope you like it”. Which is a valuable service, certainly. And, of course, I’m hooked.

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