Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Pooh Talk

(For a big, whopping view of this cartoon, click on Pooh's honey pot.)

Bizarro is brought to you today by the Human Heart.

I don't normally post my Sunday cartoons until later in the week, but this one was so popular that I decided to chuck it up on the Interwebs a bit sooner. This was a collaborative effort between my buddy, Cliff, and I . He suggested the pun, "Edgar Allan Pooh," and I came up with a way to portray it.

My chosen vehicle, of course, is from Edgar Allan Poe's story, The Tell-Tale Heart, in which the narrator kills his roommate because his gooey eye creeps him out and buries him beneath the floorboards of his house. When the cops come over to chat with him about the disappearance of his roomie, he arrogantly invites them in to sit down just above the hidden body, believing he is so clever he can never be caught. He clearly had not seen a single episode of CSI, where they can catch you because you left behind a mite from your eyelash. (Sidenote: If his roommate had been CSI's David Caruso, I could totally understand his behavior. That guy creeps me out more than a hairy, talking mole.)

SPOILER: Anyway, he starts to go nuts (like he wasn't already) and thinks he hears the corpse's heart beating beneath the floor. He thinks the cops can hear it, too, and confesses. I've often wondered how he could think he was so clever in hiding his crime when the thing would begin to stink to high heaven in a day or so but whatever.

The truth is that something very similar to this cartoon actually happened in A. A. Milne's original manuscript for The House at Pooh Corner in 1928. Pooh was quite naturally creeped out by Eeyore's nailed-on tail and becomes obsessed with it. In a fit of hyperactivity brought on by a weekend honey binge, Pooh caves in Eeyore's head with the honey jar and buries him beneath the floorboards.

Believing this would damage the book's "cute quotient," editors removed this episode from the final book.


Laloofah said...

Is it a coincidence that you posted "Edgar Allen Pooh" on A.A. Milne's birthday, or did you plan it that way? :-)

Anonymous said...

Lime. He used Lime. Which is what I remember from watching The Thin Man. Then I was watching the DVD of one of the Thin Man sequels and, after the main feature, checked out the version of the Tell-Tale Heart filmed at about the same time and featuring two of the actors from the feature that was included as a special feature.

Okay, not exactly an eerie coincidence, but I like to report these things when they happen.

Unknown said...

Hi, I'm the creator of Poestories.com a popular educational site about Edgar Allan Poe. I think this may be one of the best cartoons EVER! What a great homage to Poe, especially since January 19th is his birthday. I will be linking to your post momentarily. Poe's original story can be found here.

Aardwolf said...

ha ha great comic! interesting that this story is resurfacing... i watched the movie "tell tale" loosely based on this premise recently

Elliott said...

Oh, thank you. This is my favorite pun, by far. Doesn't hurt that it's an excellent story.

'Cute quotient'. Thanks.

Cliff said...

This is too perfect. Poe and Milne have birthdays one day apart! It was meant to be.

Unknown said...

This reminds me of the XKCD comic where daft punk are murdered and hidden beneath the floorboards and he is driven insane by "unn-tss un-tss un-tss"

Anonymous said...

How apro Poe. see this link:


Salon Fan said...

I love your cartoons. Thanks so much!

Glitzy Gals Club

The Snake's Mommy said...

One of your best, Dan. Stuck on my blog with a link to you, suggesting that people buy the print already.

The Tell Tale Tail indeed.

Well done!

Lego Obsessionist said...

Yes, Lego heart!

Piraro said...

@Jeremy...again, I won't publish your comment because I don't want to drag my colleagues into this.

Larson, MacNelly and Waterson all won the Reuben twice, then they changed the rules so that you can only win it once. (Which I think is a mistake, but I wasn't on the board at the time.) The stated purpose of the award is "cartoonist of the year" but if often is given as an accumulative achievement kind of thing. Trudeau was nominated 13 times before he won. Not because the 13th year was his best, but because enough people eventually decided that year that he'd earned it throughout his career.(And he did it without Derek's help!)

Al Jaffee won two years before I did. Definitely a lifetime achievement award. Al has done great work since the late 60's, was 2007 his best year? Of course not, but someone realized that he'd never gotten the Reuben, so they sent a lot of emails and convinced members to nominate him. Once on the ballot, how do you NOT vote for a legend like Al Jaffee?

So, you see, this whole thing is far more complex than some schoolyard hopscotch game. Derek was one of a couple of dozen people who regularly submitted gags to me during that year. Some credited, some not, some got used even more than Derek. Yes, I can honestly say that Derek had nothing to do with my award. He has some nice ideas from time to time but none of it is groundbreaking and 95% of what he writes is unpublishable because it is so deranged.

The other cartoonist you mentioned was NOT going to use Derek's work until I suggested he get paid, as Derek claims. That other cartoonist, let's call him X, always pays for gags, it is his standard. If he had wanted to use Derek's gags, he would have done so and he would have insisted on paying for them, that's just the way X is. Super nice guy, plenty of money. For whatever reason, he decided he did not want to use Derek's gags and Derek decided it was my fault. Again, this isn't a schoolyard. I don't care who Derek sells to. Why would I? I didn't even discuss him with X until Derek sent threatening emails to him because X turned him down. Derek needs to grow up and stop acting like a spoiled rich kid. He also needs therapy badly.

I think this will be the last of my comments on this.

Unknown said...

Ok, it's quite clever and I love it, but...

What is the significance of:

- the firecracker/stick of dynamite
- the all-seeing eye
- the slice of blueberry pie
- the nattily dressed raven
- the nattily dressed ghost raven?

Inquiring minds want to know.

Isa said...

Hahaha! I can't believe that this is on the website!
Around October, my Honors English class read "A Tell Tale Heart". Being a big Edgar Allen Poe fan, I was so excited! Since we're an honers class, we did a heck of a lot of work on it until we knew it by heart. (I got 100% on the giant test!)
And then, last week when I saw this in the paper, I laughed my butt off. Seriously, I loved it. I always love your comics, but this was a special sweet treat. I couldn't wait to show my English teacher!
So, today I gave her your comic and she was so delighted! She laughed and said she would put it up on the board and show it to everyone. I still have the original in my notebook and I'm looking at it right now.

Anyway, yeah. Your comic brought a lot of smiles to a bunch of 8th graders.
And the fact tht that happened in Winnie the Pooh is so cool! It makes it even funnier!
Thanks, Dan Piraro!