Monday, March 16, 2015

Faces On, or Off?

A one-panel by Randall Munroe.

I think the Argentinian cartoonist Quino might have been able to pull this off without the need for the explanatory caption. He would have done it simply through the horrified expression in the dining companion's face. Such was his genius.
Interestingly, it is Munroe's genius that enables him to convey equally pithy sentiments without the use of faces AT ALL (although not so much in this particular example). A stick figure shrugging its shoulders pathetically is truly a sight to behold.
I wrote to him (Munroe) some years ago to ask him about his preference for omitting faces. I asked him in the context of prosophagnosia (the inability to recognize or process faces and facial expressions) and how that is one of the symptoms of Asperger's.Syndrome, among other traits he manifests. He told me he didn't have Asperger's, but that his brother does. I suppose I was partly right in my guess.
A good example of Quino at work, for comparison:

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