By | Wednesday, February 15, 2023 Leave a Comment
Yesterday's Frazz...
This isn't the first time Jef Mallett has used a pictogram to relay audible sounds -- I highlighted one such instance way back in 2011 -- but I don't know that I've seen him use one in place of a spoken word or phrase. It's not a totally new approach; it's essentially just a rebus (which I afforded some consideration as 'comics' unto themselves here). But I don't know that I've seen used within comics like this.

Sure, we have comics like Owly which routinely eschew text for iconography within speech balloons, but those are all strictly representational as far as I know. The graphics simply display the objects or actions being 'discussed.' Mallett's efforts require a substitution. Caulfield is not making a hissing noise like a lit fuse or the explosion noise a bomb would make; he's saying "gar-BOMB-zo" -- using the name of one object to approximate the phonetics of another object's name. As one does with a rebus.

I have seen rebus puzzles in comics before. The first one that springs to mind is from Detective Comics #137 in which the Joker sends rebus puzzles to Batman taunting him about his next crime. But I don't think I've ever seen them used to express dialogue like this. It's just a clever approach, and kudos to Mallett for using it!
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