Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Meta Humor in Sherman's Lagoon, Part 2

(Read Part 1 here)

 Leading up to the sequences presented today, I thought I knew where Jim Toomey was going with this week's "Sherman's Lagoon" continuity. Sherman and Hawthorne are talking about a cartoonist on the beach, a stand-in for Toomey who draws "Norman's Reef."

But then the strip took a strange turn, and it seemed to be no longer about being a cartoonist but about other careers a lazy shark might like. And then it came back to the start. Sort of.  (click on images to enlarge)

In this sequence, Toomey breaks the fourth wall and asserts his power (by turning Sherman into a hot dog.)

Then we seem to be moving into a story arc about different types of minimal-effort jobs.

Then we come back to the comic strip theme in a truly meta fashion. Not only are the characters aware that they're in a comic strip, but they show that they're not even fully finished (when they don't have to be).

And the sequence wraps up in the direction it was going in all along. Sherman eats the cartoonist, ending "Norman's Reef." Most newspaper story arcs begin on a Monday and end the following Friday or Saturday. This one began on a Friday, and finished a week later on Saturday. The extra time allowed for a plot twist or two, and Toomey delivered without ever letting the momentum lag.

There's a lot to unpack in this sequence, and to me, that's just part of the fun of being a comics reader.

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