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Links 1 through 10 of 185 by Chad Orzel tagged comics

The Tea Party, representing an overwhelmingly white, Christian, straight, rural base, has spun out a narrative of overt political oppression and marginalization, despite the fact that the country’s most powerful political bloc has always been white, Christian, straight, and rural. Our legistlative system significantly overrepresents their desires, by awarding equal representation in the Senate to low-population, rural states—overwhelmingly populated by people of the aforementioned demographics—as to high population states like New York and California, which have significantly higher minority populations. Comic books and sci-fi, meanwhile, are endlessly appealing to major studios because they have preexisting fanbases to spread the word and create buzz, as well as ample, lucrative merchandising opportunities. In both cases, what we have is the rage of the enfranchised: an implacable hunger for more recognition for a group that could scarcely be more recognized.

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The Oatmeal is a fantastic comic that I recommend that you make a habit of reading. However, even the greatest can go astray, and I’m pained to admit that The Oatmeal has done so regarding someone I regard very highly, and that’s Nikola Tesla. Alas, The Oatmeal has fallen prey to Tesla idolatry, confusing his genius for godhood and of course, setting up the now all-too-common ‘Edison as Tesla’s arch-villain’ narrative.

There are quite a few errors and misconceptions about both Tesla and Edison in this comic. But they’re errors that I’ve seen before and are often repeated, so it’s worth the time, I think, to address some of the big ones.

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And, once again, the internet has been explained in under 20 words.

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A cartoon from 1912 that is still true today, with only a little updating.

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I actually know Batman. His parents are dear friends of my wife’s family, and I see him at holiday dinners where my 4-year-old son believes he is the real-life Bruce Wayne. “Daddy, he’s Batman, too,” my son will whisper to me. Though Batman has long been aware that I’m a journalist, he has never suggested I write about him. He does not crave publicity. Like his comic book namesake, he doesn’t seek credit for what he does.

“I’m just doing it for the kids,” he says.

But in light of him going viral — “Gotham City is on the verge of chaos,” Anderson Cooper informed CNN viewers — I asked him whether I could unveil the man behind the mask. He acquiesced but suggested I do so by accompanying him to the cancer ward at Children’s National Medical Center in Northwest Washington for a superhero party thrown by the Hope for Henry organization.

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"Understanding doesn't matter. You've got to show confidence or no one will believe you're smarter than me."

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To paraphrase E.B. White, the perfect sentence is one from which nothing can be added or removed. Every word plays its part. In my more giddy moments I think that a simple comic strip featuring Calvin, a preternaturally bright six year-old, and Hobbes, his imaginary tiger friend, features some of the most lucid sentences committed to print. And when I sober up, I usually think exactly the same.

Bill Watterson’s Calvin and Hobbes ran between 1985 and 1995. His comic strip managed to infuse wondering (and wandering) on a cosmic scale into an ageless world of lazy Sunday afternoons, snow goons, and harassed babysitters. I’m not saying that you should take moral and philosophical guidance from the inventor of Calvinball (a game that runs on chaos theory), but you could do much worse.

So here, in no particular order, is a selection of quotes that nail everything from the meaning of life to special underwear. Enjoy.

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A couple of weeks ago my classes delved into modeling for the first time. I had students write reflections about the process (post coming soon), and one student included this with his reflection. Too awesome not to post.

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Yes, we’re in America. Yes, we have the Freedom of Speech, and it’s the single most important right we have. But it doesn’t mean that you have to be an asshole.

In America, you’ve got the freedom to believe whatever you want. There are viewpoints I consider to be stupid and hateful and that I despise with a passion and I’d like nothing better than to see them completely excised from the collective human mindset, but they exist there, and we don’t have morals and ethics and Constitutional rights for when things are easy. We have them for when things are difficult, so we all just have to grit our teeth and allow people to go on believing these stupid, hateful things and expressing them the way they see fit.

Just like I have to grit my teeth and agree that yes: It is not technically illegal for you to be openly hostile to women and to claim that in doing so, you are in fact being an asset to this community you seem so proud of.

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I think my roommate is DARK...

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