Reading the Comics, December 15, 2018: Early Holiday Edition


So then this happened: Comic Strip Master Command didn’t have much they wanted me to write about this week. I made out three strips as being relevant enough to discuss at all. And even they don’t have topics that I felt I could really dig into. Coincidence, surely, although I like to think they were … Continue reading “Reading the Comics, December 15, 2018: Early Holiday Edition”

Reading the Comics, December 8, 2018: Sam and Son Edition


That there were twelve comic strips making my cut as mention-worthy this week should have let me do three essays of four comics each. But the desire to include all the comics from the same day in one essay leaves me one short here. So be it. Three of the four cartoonists featured here have … Continue reading “Reading the Comics, December 8, 2018: Sam and Son Edition”

Reading the Comics, December 5, 2018: December 5, 2018 Edition


And then I noticed there were a bunch of comic strips with some kind of mathematical theme on the same day. Always fun when that happens. Bill Holbrook’s On The Fastrack uses one of Holbrook’s common motifs. That’s the depicting as literal some common metaphor. in this case it’s “massaging the numbers”, which might seem … Continue reading “Reading the Comics, December 5, 2018: December 5, 2018 Edition”

Reading the Comics, December 4, 2018: Christmas Specials Edition


This installment took longer to write than you’d figure, because it’s the time of year we’re watching a lot of mostly Rankin/Bass Christmas specials around here. So I have to squeeze words out in-between baffling moments of animation and, like, arguing whether there’s any possibility that Jack Frost was not meant to be a Groundhog … Continue reading “Reading the Comics, December 4, 2018: Christmas Specials Edition”

Reading the Comics, November 29, 2018: Closing Out November Edition


Today, I get to wrap up November’s suggested discussion topics as prepared by Comic Strip Master Command. Zach Weinersmith’s Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal for the 27th mentions along its way the Liar Paradox and Zeno’s Paradoxes. Both are ancient problems. The paradoxes arise from thinking with care and rigor about things we seem to understand … Continue reading “Reading the Comics, November 29, 2018: Closing Out November Edition”

Reading the Comics, November 27, 2018: Multiplication Edition


Last week Comic Strip Master Command sent out just enough on-theme comics for two essays, the way I do them these days. The first half has some multiplication in two of the strips. So that’s enough to count as a theme for me. Aaron Neathery’s Endtown for the 26th depicts a dreary, boring school day … Continue reading “Reading the Comics, November 27, 2018: Multiplication Edition”

Reading the Comics, November 24, 2018: Origins Edition


I’m not sure there is a theme to the back half of last week’s mathematically-based comic strips. If there is, it’s about showing some origins of things. I’ll go with that title, then. Bill Holbrook’s On The Fastrack for the 21st is another in the curious thread of strips about Fi talking about mathematics. She’s … Continue reading “Reading the Comics, November 24, 2018: Origins Edition”

Reading the Comics, November 20, 2018: What Mathematics Is For Edition


The first half of last week’s comics offered another bunch of chances to think about what mathematics is for. Before I do get into all that, though, may I mention the most recent update of Gregory Taylor’s serial: Whether you're an American celebrating Thanksgiving, or simply enjoying the end of a week… there's still a … Continue reading “Reading the Comics, November 20, 2018: What Mathematics Is For Edition”

Reading the Comics, November 16, 2018: The Rest Of The Week Edition


After that busy start last Sunday, Comic Strip Master Command left only a few things for the rest of the week. Here’s everything that seemed worthy of some comment to me: Alex Hallatt’s Arctic Circle for the 12th is an arithmetic cameo. It’s used as the sort of thing that can be tested, with the … Continue reading “Reading the Comics, November 16, 2018: The Rest Of The Week Edition”

Reading the Comics, November 11, 2018: November 11, 2018 Edition


There were just enough mathematically-themed comic strips last week to make two editions for this coming week. All going well I’ll run the other half on either Wednesday or Thursday. There is a point that isn’t quite well, which is that one of the comics is in dubious taste. I’ll put that at the end, … Continue reading “Reading the Comics, November 11, 2018: November 11, 2018 Edition”

Reading the Comics, November 9, 2018: Standing For Things Edition


There was something in common in two of the last five comic strips worth attention from last week. That’s good enough to give the essay its name. Greg Cravens’s The Buckets for the 8th showcases Toby discovering the point of letters in algebra. It’s easy to laugh at him being ignorant. But the use of … Continue reading “Reading the Comics, November 9, 2018: Standing For Things Edition”

Reading the Comics, November 7, 2018: Shorthand and Reruns Edition


There’s two types of comics for the second of last week’s review. There’s some strips that are reruns. There’s some that just use mathematics as a shorthand for something else. There’s four strips in all. John Deering’s Strange Brew for the 6th uses mathematics as shorthand for demonstrating intelligence. There’s no making particular sense out … Continue reading “Reading the Comics, November 7, 2018: Shorthand and Reruns Edition”

Reading the Comics, November 5, 2018: November 5, 2018 Edition


This past week included one of those odd days that’s so busy I get a column’s worth of topics from a single day’s reading. And there was another strip (the Cow and Boy rerun) which I might have roped in had the rest of the week been dead. The Motley rerun might have made the … Continue reading “Reading the Comics, November 5, 2018: November 5, 2018 Edition”

Reading the Comics, November 3, 2018: Arithmetic Is Hard Edition


If there is a theme to the last comic strips from the previous week, it’s that kids find arithmetic hard. That’s a title for you. Bill Watterson’s Calvin and Hobbes for the 2nd is one of the classics, of course. Calvin’s made the mistake of supposing that mathematics is only about getting true answers. We’ll … Continue reading “Reading the Comics, November 3, 2018: Arithmetic Is Hard Edition”

Reading the Comics, October 30, 2018: I Spot An Error Edition


The edition title says it all. Comic Strip Master Command sent me enough strips the past week for two editions and I made an unhappy discovery about one of the comics in today’s. Dave Coverly’s Speed Bump for the 28th is your anthropomorphic-numerals joke for the week. We get to know the lowest common denominator … Continue reading “Reading the Comics, October 30, 2018: I Spot An Error Edition”

Reading the Comics, October 27, 2018: Surprise Rerun Edition


While putting together the last comics from a week ago I realized there was a repeat among them. And a pretty recent repeat too. I’m supposing this is a one-off, but who can be sure? We’ll get there. I figure to cover last week’s mathematically-themed comics in posts on Wednesday and Thursday, subject to circumstances. … Continue reading “Reading the Comics, October 27, 2018: Surprise Rerun Edition”

Reading the Comics, October 26, 2018: I Am Overloaded Edition


I’ve settled to a pace of about four comics each essay. It makes for several Reading the Comics posts each week. But none of them are monsters that eat up whole evenings to prepare. Except that last week there were enough comics which made my initial cut that I either have to write a huge … Continue reading “Reading the Comics, October 26, 2018: I Am Overloaded Edition”

Reading the Comics, October 25, 2018: How To Save Your Tangled Earbuds Edition


The Playful Mathematics Education Blog Carnival has moved on! My successor, edition number 122, is at ArithmophobiaNoMore.com, with another mixture of the amusing, the informative, and the educational. Do please enjoy. Now on to filling out last week’s comic strips. Brian Fies’s The Last Mechanical Monster for the 24th is a repeat. I included it … Continue reading “Reading the Comics, October 25, 2018: How To Save Your Tangled Earbuds Edition”

Reading the Comics, October 24, 2018: Frazz Really Wants To Be My Friend Edition


It’s another week with several on-topic installments of Frazz. Again, Jef Mallet, you and I live in the same metro area. Wave to me at the farmer’s market or something. I’m kind of able to talk to people in real life, if I can keep in view three different paths to escape and know two … Continue reading “Reading the Comics, October 24, 2018: Frazz Really Wants To Be My Friend Edition”

Reading the Comics, October 19, 2018: More Short Things Edition


At least, I’d thought the last half of last week’s comics were mostly things I could discuss quickly. Then Frank and Ernest went and sprawled on me. Such will happen. Before I get to that, I did want to mention that Gregory Taylor’s paneling for votes for the direction his mathematics-inspired serial takes: Want to … Continue reading “Reading the Comics, October 19, 2018: More Short Things Edition”