They run the gamut. Some are illuminating, funny and really helpful while others are just weird, wildly inaccurate and are terribly dated. So, my list of the top seven public domain science comics worth reading are…
Archive for the 'Cartoon' Category
For anyone unfamiliar, Apple hired Groening to produce illustrations for a brochure about Macs that was aimed at college students. At the time, Groening was best known as the artist of the comic Life in Hell, as The Simpsons has not yet premiered. The brochure was titled, ‘Who Needs a Computer Anyway’ and interspersed Groening’s Life in Hell style illustrations with standard information on Apple’s Mac computers.
My contribution in the session was apparently good enough to repeat, so of course I’m going to link to it. It’s actually a different take on the jargon discussion — cartoons have a limited word count and restricted ability to convey information, so sometimes you have to limit the audience to whom you are trying to appeal by requiring that they will be familiar with the unexplained context of the cartoon. Exactly the scenario of a cartoon which is based on the physicists’ spherical cow joke — if you aren’t already familiar with the joke, you won’t understand the cartoon. So there’s a delicate balancing between the scientific literacy (or scientific cultural literacy) of the audience and the humor you’re trying to convey.
Art is not born in a vacuum, but it’s not born inside a tornado full of shrieking trolls, either.
I draw the occasional cartoon (though not as often these days), and there are sections of this that are exactly how I have felt about the “creative process”. (especially how I’d react to having to produce according to some schedule, the “pool of ideas will dry up” thought, and, to a large extent, the response to suggestions.)
Wednesday’s xkcd was “Click and Drag“, involving a very large depiction of the world Randall had created, viewable only one small screen at a time. That’s a lot of clicking and dragging. Good news, though: there is a full-screen version of xkcd’s map, which allows you to zoom out and see what you missed. (I knew there would be flying/falling stuff up in the air. Now I can see it!)
OK, it’s really Mathematicians vs Physicists.
Bonus: it fights the stereotypes that women can’t do math, and that mathematicians and scientists want to rule the world (when we just want to torture each other)
Cartoon lacks attribution, which is unfortunate. I’d prefer to link to the original source.