The Fractal Nature of Cartooning

mandelbrot mice gray small

I got the idea for this cartoon by stealing it. I try not to steal, at least this blatantly, but I was reading — not stealing — Paul Witcover’s post on the Inferior 4+1 blog — and I’ll confess that I was ready to be inspired, but no more than usual, just the default setting of any artist — when out of the blue, like a trap set for starving cartoonists who are always hungry for puns and punchlines — Paul Witcover described old papers as being damaged by Mandelbrot Mice.

He didn’t describe a situation that made me think of fanciful mice eating paper in an ever-reducing pattern. He did all the work of a cartoonist, short of drawing it. And I did all the work of a thief, short of selling it.*

Artists steal all the time. Not with the intent of plagiarism, but with the intent of connecting.

Punchlines lead to punchlines. Again and again, top to bottom to top.

*It ran at American Scientist Online, but gratis. If you’re reading this, Paul, you’re 30% is in the mail.

My Futility Closet

Futility Closet is a brainy, eclectic blog, which should probably be re-titled Mark’s Futility Closet.  It has nothing to do with cartoons, but it might. You never know. Sooner or later all topics — odd patents, bizarre crime, improbable history — are bound to cross it’s threshold.

Greg Ross, who stocks the closet, and is likely a closet member of Mensa, loves puzzles of logic and riddles of math. Four subjects in which I’m extremely good at being extremely bad.

Sometimes, however, he offers a post that even I can appreciate, front to back.

Reverse Psychology | Futility Closet.