Tom the Dancing Bug: The Outer Reaches of Plot Twists

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    1. Yeah, too bad he’s now hilarious. Or perhaps you need to look up the definition of irony to fully get this strip?

  1. ah such irony of the iron of waffle irons (wants ferrous wheels)

    Zim: Hey, these waffles aren’t bad, what’s in em?
    Gir: There’s waffle in em!
    Zim: YOU LIE!

      1. Thanks for posting the link, I’d always wondered how they made that lettering.
        I reckon this comic may have gone over some people’s heads…TTDB doesn’t need punchlines to be funny!

  2. I say that it’s pretty funny. It’s classic TtDB, there just isn’t a punch line so it’s soft at the end.

    But it has dudes with waffle iron heads talking about irony. That’s funny to me. They sorta look like Mayor McCheese.

  3. I’m a little out of touch — Do kids still use “he used to be funny” to say “I don’t get it”?

  4. This is Russell’s paradox.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russell's_paradox

    In this case, if the machine failed, then the situation would be ironic. But if the situation is ironic, then the machine worked. But if the machine worked, then the situation would not be ironic. So then it must have failed. But if it failed, then that’s ironic, which would mean that the machine worked….

    It’s an infinite loop. The situation alternates (or waffles) between being ironic and not ironic. Unless there’s a Wittgenstein waffle-head nearby, poor Donald P. Hotchkiss is in some serious trouble.

    This seems to happen frequently in Tom the Dancing Bug. The comic takes a philosophical idea and makes it look totally absurd. And I never know, is the author making fun of the idea, or is he just making fun in general? Or is he making fun of his audience? Or is he making fun of the pinheads who waste their time thinking about these kinds of things? I get the sense that he’s doing all of these things at once.

    For example, after 60% of all Maltby strips, I have to sit there quietly (shivering) and ask myself, “Is this author making fun of me? How did he know that I do these things?” And that of course is a classic Maltby moment. As soon as you think, “Is this whole thing about me” then you are a fool just like Maltby. But if you’re a fool like Maltby, then the comic is about you, and you’re not a fool. It’s the same paradox.

    Welcome to the “bitterest of ironic situations”. (And sorry for killing the joke.)

  5. Waffling irony! HA! You know, RB could make the punch lines a little more obvious, but would you still respect him in the morning if he did?

  6. @17: we can in a sense resolve the paradox if we embed the ironic/not-ironic axis in a higher dimensional space, introducing the square root of non-irony and its dual as an axis orthogonal to the first. these imaginary ironic (imagirony) values are the fixpoints of situations which are only ironic in the case they are not.

  7. Literal laugh out loud here.

    But also I want to add that the WHERE’S THE IRONY IN THAT??! frame is a stand-alone instant classic.

  8. Welcome to BoingBoing Cafe’, today’s special is Waffles with a side of Cheese paired with Whine — we call it the TtDB Platter. We also have fresh-squeezed CableGate and our latest Chef’s Special, The United States Government Improperly Subpoenaing The Details of An Officer of Another Government!

    *chews gum*

    What’ll it be, hon?

  9. A paradox situation set-up does not automatically equate with Russell’s Paradox. Now, if the cartoon had anything to do with naive set theory…..

  10. Missing an indefinite article in the 11th panel?

    “Maybe it’s ironic that your machine changed the world in [a] way that’s bizarre, but not ironic.”

    I adore your comics, thanks. A D

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