Friday, April 22, 2011


portly men with perms are always the villain
Ahh, Dr. Samuel Johnson. I guess you can only go so far with an etymology webcomic before you have to introduce that dude. It's true--check out all the great etymology comics and you'll see. As far as I can tell he was a cheeky bastard, but a damned smart one. John Walker was probably not a stick in the mud; he compiled one of the most used English rhyming dictionaries ever, and he started out as an actor, and taught elocution after that before getting into the word biz. I guess I'm saying Geoffrey Rush will portray him for the Oscar.

It could even be argued that I've switched the character of the two men--Johnson was forever in debt and a depressed, out-of-sorts fellow, this, combined with his undiagnosed tourettes, probably would make him more like my portrayal of Walker. In other words, this Johnson owes more to J. Wellington Wimpy, the great comics creation of E.C. Segar in his Popeye strip. Walker, too, has his antecedents, most typified by Squidward Tentacles, of Spongebob Squarepants.

And, having begun with one of the greatest literary minds of the 18th century, and ended with Spongebob, I can safely say my work here is done.

Don't forget, I'll be in Athens, GA for FLUKE this weekend. Stop by--I'll have a (cheap!) print edition of babble comics, and my daughter will have a book of her own to sell.

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