Author Topic: Animals in Strips.  (Read 7018 times)

Offline Roger Kettle

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Animals in Strips.
« on: April 25, 2007, 10:03:12 PM »
I'm about to give away a trade secret. (This is akin to a magician explaining how a trick is done).
Writing about animals in a comic strip is much easier than writing about humans. You get away with murder. Let me explain...
Fred Basset (the cartoon strip dog) is watching his master play chess with the local vicar. In the final frame, he thinks " He should have moved Bishop to King four". A dog thinking this is (mildly) funny. A human thinking this is..well..not funny at all. In short, this is a cheap and easy way to get a laugh. The fact that, in Beau Peep, I feature a camel and two vultures and, in Horace, I feature a snake and a bear, is purely coincidental.

Offline Malc

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Re: Animals in Strips.
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2007, 12:32:52 AM »
This is all true, only Fred Basset has been abusing the privilege for thirty years.

I picked up a few FB books at a garage sale some years back and found that he frequently recycled a gag (in slightly different situations) about eight times.

The guy who did Fred Basset died a while back, I'm sure, and I think he lived in Dorset, not too far from where I lived.
If I'd known this earlier, I would have taken the time to pop by and throw a brick through his window.

Offline Colin

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Re: Animals in Strips.
« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2007, 01:20:57 AM »
Tham the Thnake rockth  ;D

Offline The Peepmaster

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Re: Animals in Strips.
« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2007, 06:49:51 AM »
Re animals in Horace. Is the frog not technically an animal then? Also, what about the horsie?
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Offline Roger Kettle

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Re: Animals in Strips.
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2007, 09:07:40 AM »
I know. I'm shameless.

Offline Mince

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Re: Animals in Strips.
« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2007, 10:37:41 AM »
I disagree about recycling a gag, especially if it's done well. "Only Fools and Horses" recycled the "Dave" joke endlessly. One of the later ones where everyone is congratulating Rodney, shouting "Rodney! Rodney! Rodney!" followed by a lone "Dave!", had me in stitches.

Offline Tarquin Thunderthighs lll

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Re: Animals in Strips.
« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2007, 10:45:44 AM »
I agree that was always a great laugh, Mincey, but it was the difference between a recycled gag and a running gag. The Dave line wouldn't actually have been particularly funny if not for the repetition. It relied on it as a running gag. Wholly different from rehashing old stand-alone jokes.
I apologise, in advance.

Offline Mince

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Re: Animals in Strips.
« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2007, 10:50:36 AM »
Is the animal "technique" a recycled gag?

Offline Tarquin Thunderthighs lll

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Re: Animals in Strips.
« Reply #8 on: April 26, 2007, 11:00:49 AM »
I thought you were alluding to Malc's Fred Basset post. I think I'd describe the animal 'technique' as a device rather than a gag as such, in that it can be applied in many different ways and situations, and isn't reliant on one specific thing (other than the creature verbalising).

Does it sound like I know what I'm talking about? Or would it just be funnier coming from a gerbil?
I apologise, in advance.

Offline Mince

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Re: Animals in Strips.
« Reply #9 on: April 26, 2007, 11:06:06 AM »
Let me get this right. Are you saying you're not a gerbil?

Offline Tarquin Thunderthighs lll

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Re: Animals in Strips.
« Reply #10 on: April 26, 2007, 11:28:41 AM »
Certainly not. If you want me to be a gerbil, then I'm a gerbil.

Does that make me funnier?
I apologise, in advance.

Offline Malc

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Re: Animals in Strips.
« Reply #11 on: April 26, 2007, 12:10:37 PM »
Works for me. I pissed myself.

Quote
it was the difference between a recycled gag and a running gag. The Dave line wouldn't actually have been particularly funny if not for the repetition. It relied on it as a running gag. Wholly different from rehashing old stand-alone jokes.

Wiser words was never spoke.

Offline Roger Kettle

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Re: Animals in Strips.
« Reply #12 on: April 26, 2007, 09:52:13 PM »
Yep---perfectly and succinctly described, Tarks.
I used to do a little test when I wrote scripts featuring animals. Would this be funny if a human was saying this line? This is why the snake has virtually disappeared from Horace. In my opinion, it had ceased to work. I've explained before about the original concept of introducing the snake. It was, simply, a way of adding visual variety and, in a Western strip, what better creature than a rattlesnake? I then realised that every cartoon snake I'd ever seen ssssspoke like thisssss so I thought it might be amusing to have a snake who couldn't pronounce the letter "s". While I think it initially worked, it was becoming increasingly contrived.
Of the animals that I write about, I think the vultures in Beau Peep work best. This is a basic father/son thing where, I hope, the dialogue stands up on its own. Well, that's the aim,anyway.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2007, 10:38:33 PM by Roger Kettle »

Offline Malc

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Re: Animals in Strips.
« Reply #13 on: April 27, 2007, 07:49:11 AM »
Basically, A Man Called Horse is a natural successor to the ancient Egyption hieroglyph where it was customary to show the Pharaoh as a god in human form.
A literal translation of the Akhenaten temple scroll is "A Man Called Horus".



Offline Roger Kettle

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Re: Animals in Strips.
« Reply #14 on: April 27, 2007, 09:27:40 AM »
I know for a fact they jazzed this up a bit from he original "A Man Called Bob".