Monday, April 12, 2010

Sneak Peek of the Week

Here's a little snippet from this week's Q Syndicate cartoon. Expect a few more stereotypes this week; "Maww" and "Paww" should clue you in.

Certain conventions in English spelling present a challenge to cartoonists (or any other writer, I suppose) who want to depict a youngster calling out to a parent and drawing out the word in that singsong way children have. Aside from the word "aardvark," double-a's are extremely rare, so a reader will probably recognize "Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad!" But double-o's are quite common, so the reader's first inclination upon encountering "Moooooooooooooooooooom!" would be that it must rhyme with "room." It looks like something a cow would say.

"Maw!" and "Paw!" definitely read to me as quick, short exclamations; "Ma" and "Pa" even moreso. I wanted to convey that drawn-out shriek of offspring for her parents. Still, for some reason, "Maww!!!" doesn't look quite right to me -- although "Paww!!!" seems okay. "Maaw!!!" might have been an improvement, I suppose. Or I could have tried a Charlie Brownish "Maaaauuuggghhh!!!" -- except that I didn't leave myself enough space.

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