Politically Correct Jokes Vs Honey Badger, I Mean Comics

Being politically correct is not always one’s prerogative and sometimes that leads to some very risky actions, in most cases jokes. This is not a new form of humor but one that I believe is being more and more exploited. I think the perfect catalyst for politically incorrect jokes is comics. Vocalized jokes of this nature are usually met with laughs, silence or the ever prevalent gasp. This occurs with live action use of these jokes. However somehow, maybe due to the disconnect with reality, animated skits and comics seem to avoid the some of the gasps for laughs. It appears to be the perfect medium as any situation can be created without the need for specific people or objects. Something as simple as having the setting in a airplane isn’t so simple when real people are involved. Drawing a plan as a background has no hassle this way, the artist just needs to draw it. There’s no scheduling a plane or insuring the plane that is scheduled fits in with what the artist wants. Another scenario that proves that comics have an edge is the use of dead people and things of fantasy. When was the last time you saw a giant in a live comedy skit? More specifically that didn’t look fake? In a comic the media is all the same there is no evident change between characters, one part doesn’t look computer generated next to something real. A number of comic series have taken up political incorrectness as their staple material.

One of the more recognizable of these is Cyanide and Happiness. This web comic has taken political correctness and in almost every case, thrown it out of the window faster than a box full of grenades without their pins. They tackle religion, death and any subject they can think of. The art is not super extravagant, or even close with all the characters being semi-stick figures. It shows that subject matter plays a huge role. Now one of the easiest ways to say comic format works better for their jokes is this, imagine any of their strips being done in live action, and even better picture it at a play. Not as funny are they? Here are a couple examples.

Easter JokeVasectomy

There are scenarios where, with enough money and the proper audience these could be done. But is all that worth it when a daily web comic is just pumping them out?

Sometimes political incorrectness comes in the form of fan art, such as memes. Memes have taken over in a lot of ways, from popularizing catchphrases to expressions. And with those the possibilities for intentional misuse are astounding. Even some of these expressions themselves make a harmless comic or picture incorrect. One of these is the Mr. Bean face.

The Bean

As for fan art some of the subjects used directly come from comic book stories and fit together to make a devilish joke. I personally find these to be some of the best examples of how this proves how expansive this medium is for taking on political correctness.

Prank call

In the beginning I mentioned how this is not a new thing. But sometimes it takes a retrospective look at comics that at the time were not incorrect have since become to see this. A link below has a list of 20 such panels.

http://slinkingtowardretirement.com/?p=33433

In conclusion I believe with this and other evidence comics have become the perfect way to express politically incorrect ideas. Sometimes it takes a joke or two for a subject to become noticed, or before people start to care. A few people realizing that the joke really isn’t funny but the joke format keeps it memorable are a positive effect these comics have. At the same time just because a few people gasp or think its awful doesn’t mean everyone of the internet agrees with them, the internet lets only successful things flourish, or at least flourish for a long time. The disconnect with reality is the comics’ trump card; it allows us to only see these ridiculous jokes as fiction. The over the top antics don’t hit as close to home, and aren’t seen as realistic. I’m not promoting in any way that these actions are done in reality, but as drawn jokes all the power to the creators for making us chuckle.

Some honorable mentions to this trend, comic or close to are; Family Guy, South Park, Archer, Frisky Dingo, Garfield Minus Garfield, a number of Deadpool comics, Happy Tree Friends and in some ways the alternate comic genre.

 

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3 Responses to Politically Correct Jokes Vs Honey Badger, I Mean Comics

  1. murtaza says:

    I absolutely agree with your points, not only because it has to do with Cyanide and Happiness, but because I feel like this is the reason things like rage comics have become huge: comic strips are short and concise ways to present a whole scenario quickly. With that and a general trent toward a cheap laugh (or cute kittens, but that’s besides the point), the dirty jokes are what we look for. Being in a Shakespeare class this semester showed me how downright dirty some parts of his plays are, but it’s not nearly as fun if you need to decode it before understanding it. The fragmented, easy, cheap (arguably postmodern) laugh comes across much more easily in a few frames. In a lot of ways, it reflects stand-up comedy namely comedians like Louis ck, but it picks up where he leaves off; like you said, actually showing something is difficult by any other means.

  2. daniellelake says:

    I absolutely agree with your points, and I think that comics are a way for individuals to get their points across without the fear of whether or not their subject matter was “politically correct” or not. We live in a society where sharing your opinion is extremely easy to do. Social media makes it a cinch to post your thoughts out there for everyone to see. But that’s just it- it’s so easy to write something. It’s so easy to tweet “Obama is a douche bag” (or whatever) that these comments become less and less meaningful. To take the time to complete a comic strip (or book) is something different. There’s the time and effort put into the creation of a comic that really speaks volumes.

  3. benwong2369 says:

    Great Post Ty!
    I also agree with your points.
    Cyanide and Happiness has always been able to get away with some of the most touchy subject matter. Yet because they’re written and drawn in a ridiculous and comic form the general public usually just scoffs and dismisses some of the messages portrayed through these comics.
    Memes also show another way of getting touchy subject matter across to the public, with social media like Facebook and twitter or Tumblr spreading media and words are so easy to come by that a large number of people can recognize a particular meme and already begin to understand what is going to happen or what the meme is going to talk about even before reading the captions that go with the meme. Along with knowing that memes are usually pretty touchy the general public can just quickly read them laugh at the politically incorrectness and just move on, short and sweet
    thanks for the post

    Ben

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