Ask A Cartoonist: Silent Comic, Holey Comic?

By Tea Fougner

Ahh, comics: our favorite combination of words and pictures! (Or mine, at least!)  

Some of the funniest and most meaningful cartoons, though, are ones that tell a story with no dialogue at all– whether they contain no words, or only a caption or words used a a visual gag, “silent” comics can be some of the most interesting ones.  This week, our cartoonists shared some of their favorites.

One of the few completely wordless cartoons I can every remember drawing was this obituary cartoon I did last year for Nelson Mandela. Just by coincidence it is close to a year to the day since he passed away ( the cartoon is dated 12/8/13 and ran probably a day or two after he died)

–Jimmy Margulies, Editorial Cartoonist

Zippy & Griffy go to the movies, but Zippy is more entertained by the hand dryer in the Men’s room than the film on the screen.
I only wish I had the guts to do this the last time I suffered through a “Night at the Museum” sequel.

–Bill Griffith, Zippy the Pinhead

–Alex Hallatt, Arctic Circle

This silent saga was entitled ‘B’ Prepared.

–Ron Ferdinand, Dennis the Menace


–Benita Epstein, Six Chix

For those who are still raking leaves…as we are in Georgia. 🙂

–Bill Holbrook, On the Fastrack and Safe Havens

Here’s a favorite silent Barney Google and Snuffy Smith cartoon of mine from years past. Even though it is “silent,” it’s about making a lot of noise!

–John Rose, Barney Google and Snuffy Smith

–Mort Walker, Beetle Bailey

I do a ton of these. Often, the “speaking” is strictly narrative. Sometimes I do labeling. Very occasionally, it’s just a visual gag. This Sunday strip is my take on the classic children’s book, “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.” The text is kept to the narrative boxes. Except for one “gasp.”

–Terri Libenson, The Pajama Diaries

 The ones with no words are the hardest to write.


 –Rina Piccolo, Tina’s Groove.