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Getting to the point with cartoons

28 August, 2007 Posted by Joanna As Snippets

As someone considered ‘hopeless at art’ (by herself and others) I’m always amazed by the talent of people who can illustrate their writing, or combine the power of pictures and words to create a cartoon (And that’s not just any old words – effective cartoon captions are always concise and to the point…)

One of the outstanding new bloggers I came across yesterday is Lis, who writes About Every Little Thing.

She illustrates her writing with stick men cartoons, like this one – part of a day in the life series, highlighting how exciting her life is.

“Now it’s 1p.m. and it’s way too exciting to leave my desk (300 emails down, 701 more to go) so I’m eating my exciting McDonalds lunch here.”

Thanks Lis for making me smile - and reminding me of some of the worst office excesses that I have now thankfully escaped from.

I discovered recently that one of our regular readers here, Brad Shorr, is a dab hand at writing cartoons (now that’s word power for you).

Here’s one that he’s created with illustrator Mark Hill (click to see it at full size).

Another great resource for cartoons is We Blog Cartoons.  Here’s their Facebook cartoon – you might have seen it before but it’s a classic (and reflects some of my current frustrations as I try to fathom my way into the world of social networks…)
cartoon from

Some of you might be wondering how this can be considered getting to the point - if it isn’t a distraction from my stated blogging
… well I guess it is, but I wanted to highlight some of this great material…

Maybe it’s also a way of reminding myself of the discipline that will be needed to get to and stay on the point!

Facebook cartoon by Dave Walker. Find more cartoons you can freely re-use on your blog at We Blog Cartoons.

Transparency cartoon from Word Sell Inc

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Categories : Snippets

BeachBum August 28, 2007

Adding cartoons looks neat, but I think more then one every so many posts could get in the way. Same goes for photos, there is no need to overload on photos either.


Brad ShorrNo Gravatar August 28, 2007

That facebook cartoon is hilarious! Doesn’t that sum it up? Never heard “a dab hand” before-but it sounds wonderful, so thank you!. Is that a Scottish expression?

Joanna YoungNo Gravatar August 28, 2007

Hi BeachBum, I agree with you about not overdoing the pictures and cartoons.

I don’t normally - just wanted to highlight some great resources out there and find a way of bundling them together. Sometimes I can take this desire to bundle too far!

Thanks for the reminder and the feedback


Joanna YoungNo Gravatar August 28, 2007

Hi Brad - and you call yourself a word nerd! Funny,

I didn’t realise dab hand was a UK or slang expression (I don’t think it’s Scottish) - it is a compliment though, meaning skilled or expert at something, which you clearly are :-)

Brad ShorrNo Gravatar August 28, 2007

Don’t tell anybody about my poor word nerd showing. The only times I ever heard “dab” were
1. The tagline for Brylcreem (an old time men’s hair gel). “A little dab’ll do ya!”

2. Fred Flinstone, “Yabba dabba do!”

Joanna YoungNo Gravatar August 28, 2007

Well Brad, that’ll teach me to be more careful with the wording of my link text!


PS Which usage did you think I meant?!

Lis August 31, 2007

I wasn’t even thinking about whether cartoons was an effective way to communicate (coupled with writing) when I did the post. I just enjoyed drawing the occasional stick man. But I suppose it’s true that cartoons can be effective in getting the point across. After all, isn’t that the reason why some of us read comics? Life’s lessons put across succinctly in 4 panels.

Glad to have discovered this blog. Another one for the reader. :)

Joanna YoungNo Gravatar September 1, 2007

Hi Lis, I’m glad you found me from the link :-)
I’m sure it’s about expression and fun for you rather than communication as such - but as the art seems so impossible to me I do admire as well as enjoy them, and find myself wondering what lessons I can learn from the way the artist approaches the work…


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