Friday Archive Dive: Stop giving them the finger!
I’ve got a comics pet peeve that’s been driving me crazy lately, and this seems like a good place to vent my spleen.
We keep giving our readers the finger.
It’s especially rampant in humor strips. We get to the last panel, the punchline is delivered, and I look under the word balloon, and there’s the speaker, pointing his index finger in the air.
Gesture is a powerful tool that we cartoonists use to flavor our work. It helps to convey personality, nuance, interpersonal relationships, mood, and so much more. And we can do better than the Final-Panel Finger.
In Webcomics Weekly I once pointed out that “chomping at the bit” was an incorrect form of the proper “champing at the bit.” And I received a deluge of e-mail from angry listeners. They weren’t angry at the information — rather now they couldn’t not notice it! And now my pet peeve was caught in their heads… causing them to grind their teeth every time someone started chomping.
Maybe this will be like that for you. Maybe you won’t be able to un-see the Finger. It’s gonna drive you nuts looking at other comics, but, hopefully, when you see it in the opening stages of your own work, you’ll be able to brainstorm a better gesture.