Menu Home

Ambigram comic

From 1903 to 1905 a unique comic strip was published in the New York Herald: you would read the first half, then flip the page upside down to read the second half.

Gustave Verbeek

Gustave Verbeek [public domain] via Wikimedia Commons

Gustave Verbeek’s The Upside Downs of Little Lady Lovekins and Old Man Muffaroo was brilliantly experimental in its use of the comic form. At first glance, it looked like a standard newspaper comic strip. Look a little closer, though, and you notice that each panel has two captions: one below and one above and upside down.

After having read the first set of panels, the story continued by physically turning the page upside down and reading an all-new set of panels. The second set used the same art (often cleverly hiding a completely different scene, as with the panel above) but with new captions to narrate the action.

The comic itself featured two characters, the grizzled moustachioed Old Man Muffaroo and the rather suspiciously wild-haired Lady Lovekins. The moustache of the former turned into the hair of the latter, of course. The comic used very few speech bubbles, but when they were employed the text could be read both ways, like an ambigram. Brilliant.

Categories: Arts & recreation Literature

The Generalist

I live in Auckland, New Zealand, and am curious about most things.

2 replies

  1. This is the kind of thing where I wonder how on earth anyone can create the thing! It’s also well-suited to physical media rather than digital screens, I’d say. What an interesting phenomenon – thanks for sharing.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: