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January 8, 2008

Strange Shoe

Filed under: Bill Bickel, CIDU, comic strips, comics, humor, John Deering, Renaissance, shoes, Strange Brew — Cidu Bill @ 12:02 am

Carl Fink: So a silhouette is walking in the background while in the foreground is a Venetian shoe from the Renaissance?

To me, it looks like a clown with big breasts. Is that something I should be talking to my shrink about? -Bill


  1. A lot of cartoon characters are shown with very big feet. This is a shoe that will fit them.

    Bill said, “To me, it looks like a clown with big breasts.” It doesn’t to me, but there’s something very strange about the face (huge eyes? weird sunglasses?).

    Comment by Arthur — January 8, 2008 @ 12:18 am

  2. Haute couture for female clowns. Yes, those are breasts. And feet.

    Comment by Keera — January 8, 2008 @ 1:23 am

  3. Oh, the strange thing about the face: Big, red nose. The only way to “get” this joke is to know all the clown clichés (and perhaps a few women-and-shoes ones, too).

    Comment by Keera — January 8, 2008 @ 1:29 am

  4. I don’t think that’s supposed to be a person at all in the background, I think it’s just supposed to be another tree. The entire joke is that the shoe is so big that it can’t fit on only one stand.

    Comment by sm — January 8, 2008 @ 2:46 am

  5. That is totally a clown in the background. The joke is that clowns always were big oversized shoes. We always assume that the feet inside the shoes are normal size, wen in fact they are a actually the size of the shoe.

    Comment by Nicole — January 8, 2008 @ 7:51 am

  6. If that’s a clown, it’s possibly the most poorly drawn cartoon ever to be published. Besides the inexplicable floatation device around the waist, where are the arms! Truthfully, it doesn’t look human, animal, vegetable OR mineral.

    Comment by Lola — January 8, 2008 @ 9:24 am

  7. Billo, don’t bother the shrink. It’s not unreasonable for a male clown to be seeing a big breasted female clown in what is essentially a Rorschach test of a drawing.

    Comment by Molly — January 8, 2008 @ 9:40 am

  8. I saw the figure in the back as a woman moving out of frame to the right. Her trailing leg looks so weird behind her b/c she’s wearing the long shoe and it’s distorting the way she walks.

    I wish I had a light pen like John Madden so I could point out what I mean.

    Still not a very funny panel.

    Comment by LD — January 8, 2008 @ 9:42 am

  9. How does she even walk with 2 legs of such different sizes? Creepy.

    Comment by dd — January 8, 2008 @ 10:18 am

  10. I agree mostly with #8. It is a woman, the big ‘sunglasses’ are actually her bangs, and the ‘flotation device’ would be her handbag. I still don’t get what is supposed to be funny about it, though.

    Comment by Julie — January 8, 2008 @ 11:19 am

  11. If that’s a woman walking to the right, isn’t her one leg (to the left as we look) bending backwards, like a horse?

    This is a terribly drawn cartoon to say the least.

    Comment by Bill — January 8, 2008 @ 12:35 pm

  12. In the shoe stores, there is a predominance of incredibly long, pointed-toe women’s shoes which are not designed for real feet at all. If you wear these, you have an extra two or three inches of pointy leather toe extending from the front of your actual foot. The cartoon shows this style taken to ridiculous extreme. However, I cannot see why a male cartoonist would want to comment on this, or would even know about it.

    Comment by sandyk — January 8, 2008 @ 1:35 pm

  13. Back in the 80’s we used to call those long toed shoes “fence climbers.” The joke was that you could take a running jump at a chainlink fence and just stick into it with your toes.

    Comment by Molly — January 8, 2008 @ 2:11 pm

  14. The clown-woman in the back seems to have a huge foot at the end of a calf (without a thigh or knee). She also seems to have spurs on, but I don’t know where she left her horse. All of that would make it pretty hard to walk, huh? She also appears to be missing her right arm, but fortunately her purse strap stays up on her shoulder anyway (mine never does even though I have both arms). I guess it’s obvious that her lack of arm forces her to carry that ball of yarn in her mouth instead of putting it in her purse.

    Despite all of the above, I’d guess that we’ve been transported to some “crazy” parallel universe where all the people are clowns and it takes 2 little pedestals to hold up one shoe. Wow, that would make one scary Twilight Zone episode, wouldn’t it? It seems a better artist could have made that clearer, but it still wouldn’t be funny.

    Comment by Bah Humbug — January 8, 2008 @ 2:34 pm

  15. Bill — the part you think is her leg bending backwards is actually her leg and her foot.

    Comment by Nicole — January 8, 2008 @ 2:38 pm

  16. I’m not going to offer up an explanation…. but this is easily the most confusing comic panel ever presented on this site. It’s like no two people can come to the same conclusion while viewing it.

    Comment by El Santo — January 8, 2008 @ 5:53 pm

  17. That’s what makes it fun, El Santo

    Comment by Cidu Bill — January 8, 2008 @ 5:57 pm

  18. I can make out the weird face something and the boobs, but the backward bending leg freaks me out (I was thinking flamingo, but horse works.) What IS that?!?

    Did you see the Seinfeld episode where Elaine doesn’t get a comic that’s printed in the New Yorker? After asking around and not getting a suitable explanation she takes it to the magazines office and asks the person (presumably) responsible for printing it what it means and he can’t explain it either. I can’t help but feel the same way on this one. Is there any possiblity the artist could/would shed some light on this. It’s the kind of thing that will keep me awake tonight wondering what in the world that is – person, tree, or what my kids call ‘scribble-scrabble’.

    Comment by BF — January 9, 2008 @ 2:56 pm

  19. BF, I lost count of how many people e-mailed me about that episode the morning after it aired.

    Comment by Cidu Bill — January 9, 2008 @ 3:14 pm

  20. I was channel surfing yesterday and came across a “Family Guy” where Peter was having a CIDU moment (also with the New Yorker) at a newsstand. The comic had a guy claiming “I’d be more apathetic if I wasn’t so lethargic” and Peter just stood there for several days trying to figure it out.

    Comment by eeyore19 — January 9, 2008 @ 7:13 pm

  21. I think #12 nailed this comic, which I only realized after reading the comment. Being male, that explanation didn’t jump out at all until I had a baseline.

    As for the thing in the background that is probably a human, I think it was Take Your Son / Daughter To Work Day.

    Comment by bAT L. — January 11, 2008 @ 2:44 am

  22. It looks like nothing to me, so I would assume it’s a modern art sculpture. They never look like anything to me, and are often found in shopping centers.

    Comment by Todd — January 11, 2008 @ 4:51 pm

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