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Posted at 6:00 AM ET, 09/18/2008

The Morning Line: Decode Your Own Cartoon Name.

By Michael Cavna

We noted recently that you can't swing a Sudoku puzzle over your head without hitting a woman named "Carmen" on the comics pages. Something about that name bewitched the cartoonists behind "Pooch Cafe," "Baldo" and "Prickly City."

But what's in a name when you're trying to create a character that resonates with readers? When cartoonists dream up these appellations, is there a secret formula behind their success?

Well, beyond citing occasional alliteration and funny vowel sounds, many creators will tell you "No, not really -- notsomuch." But one inspired writer-friend said: You should check out their anagrams.



Is Paul Gilligan just a fan of Bizet's opera?... (UFS) Enlarge Comic



... Or perhaps Scott Stantis is a greater fan of the wise gypsy? (UFS) Enlarge Comic

Suddenly, we felt as though we'd just been tasked to do the New York Times crossword puzzle in 12 minutes. But then we Googled for automatic anagram sites and the two of us traded our favorites.

If you've no remote interest in scrambled-word foolishness, you can stop now. We won't waste your time. But if you're a real word person, we give you our Top Five List of Cartoon Character Anagrams:

5. General Halftrack = A Flagrant Heckler.
4. Darryl MacPherson = Archly, a Nerd Romps.
3. Miss Buxley = Buy Sex, Slim.
2. Lucy Van Pelt = Yap! Cull! Vent!
1. Zippy the Pinhead = Hazed Inept Hippy!

You have more entertaining ones? ("Funky Winkerbean" or "Elly Patterson," anyone?) Then by all means, bring 'em on.

And may we recommend: www.wordsmith.org/anagram/ if you prefer not to brainstorm over pad and No. 2 pencil.

By Michael Cavna  | September 18, 2008; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  The Morning Line  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: The Rant: Stop "Frank & Ernest" Before They Pun Again...
Next: The E-Mailbag: Is Opus the Penguin Playing His Swan Song?

Comments

Congratulation, you've got a party game. Now how about doing the column?

Posted by: Daniell J. Drazen | September 18, 2008 7:25 AM | Report abuse

It's a blog - not a column. Big difference.

Posted by: Arlington, VA | September 18, 2008 9:22 AM | Report abuse

Frank & Earnest = Stank Ran Free

I win.

Posted by: M Street | September 18, 2008 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Nuts, there's no A in Ernest. I lose.

Posted by: M Street | September 18, 2008 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Brenda Starr - > Bras Rant Red

Posted by: kbockl | September 18, 2008 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Please don't turn this blog into an also-ran to the Style Invitational.

Posted by: MSchafer | September 18, 2008 3:22 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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