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Oct 08 2011

They’re always the bad guy

This collection of cephalopod-themed political cartoons reveals a tragic bigotry: anything with lots of tentacles always gets characterized as the villain.

Can’t they see? More arms just means a greater ability to give hugs!

(Also on Sb)

40 comments

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  1. 1
    ChasCPeterson

    The linked gallery was drawn* from this much larger stash:
    http://vulgararmy.com/

    *swidt?

  2. 2
    BreadGod

    I’d make a joke about hentai, but that’s probably been done to death.

  3. 3
    ManOutOfTime

    The tiny top hat is especially menacing. Thankfully, no monocle!

  4. 4
    Zeno

    And one must not forget The Octopus by Frank Norris.

  5. 5
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    More arms just means a greater ability to give hugs!

    Yeah, but they’ve got suckers.

    Suckers! Gah! *shudder*

  6. 6
    tushcloots

    Hugs? It’s their kisses I’m worried about!

  7. 7
    Riptide

    “…more arms just means a greater ability to give face hugs!”

    Fixed.

  8. 8
    René

    Does anyone notice today’s date?

  9. 9
    myeck waters

    More arms just means a greater ability to give hugs!

    When the Beatles found out that calling their second movie “Help” had potential copyright problems, several alternative titles were suggested, including “Eight Arms to Hold You”.

  10. 10
    Rey Fox

    Does anyone notice today’s date?

    10-8-11? 8-10-11? Yom Kippur? What about it?

  11. 11
    Jolly

    Did you see the CSI episode, ’73 seconds’? Sex with octopus. I hope the octopus got a good lawyer after being forced to have sex in public with that beautiful woman.

  12. 12
    Gregory Greenwood

    his collection of cephalopod-themed political cartoons reveals a tragic bigotry: anything with lots of tentacles always gets characterized as the villain.

    How dare they!

    Fight the power, my cephalopod comrades!

    *Clenched tentacle salute*

  13. 13
    René

    Ray, @decimal: think octopussimal.

  14. 14
    shadowwalkyr

    That’s not a squid; that’s a septapus.

  15. 15
    Glen Davidson

    More arms just means a greater ability to give hugs.

    And the beak is just for biting chunks off from you.

    Problem with that?

    Glen Davidson

  16. 16
    Chris Clarke

    Octopi Wall Street!

  17. 17
    shoeguy

    One word. Cuttlefish.
    Just sounds so cute.

  18. 18
    Inane Janine, OM, Conflater Of Arguments

    Even in song, they tend to be the bad guys.

    Kid’s Pirate Ship-SF Seals

    For some reason, this song by the same band appeals to me.

    Janine’s Dream

  19. 19
    Greta Christina

    It’s so CUTE! It wants to be friends!

    I’m actually more baffled, not by the “cephalopod = villain” trope, but by the “top hat = greedy corporate oligarch” trope. I half expected it to have spats, a cravat, and a monocle. Come on, people. This is the 21st century.

    (Although that does raise an interesting question: What, in the 21st century, could political cartoonists use as a sartorial symbol of “greedy corporate oligarch”?)

    The art really is kind of awesome, though, if rather too cute to be menacing. I want it on a t-shirt. And I love how tiny the top hat is. It looks like one of those mini top hats with veils that Goth girls wear to Dickens Fair.

  20. 20
    Aquaria

    What, in the 21st century, could political cartoonists use as a sartorial symbol of “greedy corporate oligarch”

    Chanel. It’s become the very pinnacle of ridiculously overpriced garbage.

  21. 21
    Nentuaby

    Greta Christina:

    Dollar-sign lapel pin next to the obligatory non-traitorous Flag Lapel Pin?

  22. 22
    Nentuaby

    FYI, by the way, the Editorial Octopus is a problematic symbol. They’ve always been the symbol of “overarching global threat.” It’s usually anti-corporatist.

    However, for much of the 20th century the “overarching global threat” most attacked in the newspapers was “Der Juden,” specifically of course the “Jewish Banking Cartels.” Hence there’s a case for considering it a racist symbol. Yes, it had a meaning long before it was first put to its anti-semitic use; then again, so did the swastika (good luck and / or power through knowledge).

  23. 23
    Ichthyic

    The tiny top hat is especially menacing. Thankfully, no monocle!

    no cigarette in long holder, either.

    obviously not a true villain.

  24. 24
    Ingdigo Jump

    (Although that does raise an interesting question: What, in the 21st century, could political cartoonists use as a sartorial symbol of “greedy corporate oligarch”?)

    A Hummer?

  25. 25
    'Tis Himself

    no cigarette in long holder, either.

    A cigar is an acceptable substitute.

  26. 26
    Alethea Kuiper-Belt

    Wait, since that picture is obviously an octopus, it must be the one doing the fighting. The vampire squid is offscreen. The octopus is on our side, people!!

  27. 27
    NuMad

    obviously not a true villain.

    Imagine how many mustaches it could twirl.

  28. 28
    Patrick

    Thanks for supporting Thunderfoot in his coming out, PZ. You are the man!

    I am consequently studying epigenetics for my undergrad thesis.

  29. 29
    Nice Ogress

    Wait! I know an octopoid good guy! Sorta..

    In Matt Howarth’s ’80′s alt-comic Savage Henry, as I recall, C’Thulhu was a main character and was one of the ‘good guys’ (if, indeed, anyone in those books qualified, being a spin off of Those Annoying Post Brothers in which damn near everyone was a psychotic supervillain). I think there might have been some ‘goodguy’ tentacle-y fellows in Keif Llama, Xeno-Tech As well, but I don’t recall any specific names.

    Much <3 for Matt Howarth. Man, now I want to dig up all my old Howarth comics… Er, not that too many of them have survived.

  30. 30
    Roger

    “Two legs bad, four legs good, more legs worse.”

  31. 31
    MikeM

    Wait… You mean that I’m the only one here who understands this reference?

    It’s about Goldman-Sachs. Get it now?

    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-great-american-bubble-machine-20100405

    I know this because of the arena funding schemes these blood-suckers keep getting involved with. YUM!, in Louisville:

    http://www.kentucky.com/2010/09/17/1438570/arena-cautionary-tale.html

    And these very same bastards are trying to do the same in my home town.

  32. 32
    MikeM

    I should always follow the links before I comment.

  33. 33
    John Morales

    Ing,

    What, in the 21st century, could political cartoonists use as a sartorial symbol of “greedy corporate oligarch”?

    A Hummer?

    Problem is, that would be NSFW.

  34. 34
    Beanoglobin

    There’s always the supremely charming and geeky Thermians of Galaxy Quest, whose one weakness is their pathological honesty. Apart from that, heroic or even reasonably friendly cephalopods are a rare breed. Apart from this one (totally SFW – it’s probably necessary to say that whenever the concepts of ‘friendly’ and ‘tentaculate’ appear in proximity):

    http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_ln84uwuP501qhaysso1_400.jpg

  35. 35
    Godless Heathen

    Hugs that STRANGLE YOU.

  36. 36
    Ichthyic

    Problem is, that would be NSFW.

    badump-bump.

  37. 37
    StevoR

    Well there is the genetically engineered (I think ’twas anyhow) suqid – or was it a cuttlefish? – in one of Stephen Baxter’s Manifold series books.Sheena I think she was called. (‘Space’ or Time if memory serves. Long time since I read ‘em now.)

    @ 18. Inane Janine, OM, Conflater Of Arguments : (8 October 2011 at 5:52 pm)

    Even in song, they tend to be the bad guys.

    Octopus’es Garden? beatles? Sound familiar?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cgPqmRNjoTE&feature=related

    (WARNING : May be excessively saccharine and overly cute.)

    Now that’s a friendly and hospitable Octopus for y’all. :-)

  38. 38
    StevoR

    Sheena’s story seems to be online here :

    http://www.vondanmcintyre.com/squids/Baxter-Sheena5.html

    Looks like excepts from the novel.

    Not sure quite how you’d characterise the squid there but not really villanous as such.

  39. 39
    StevoR

    D’oh! Excerpts not excepts. Typo.

  40. 40
    Leisha Gornick

    Excellent writter, Nice one for presenting this great material. I ran across it useful. Xox !!

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