Thursday, July 07, 2005

Excuse Me?

The comics in the D range from astute (roomies) to ad hominen (Guy and Fellow) to to artistic (Looking Up) to average (Lucky to Be Here), but the new comic Pengwinners, by Aaron Golas '07, is kind of strange. I"m not sure I get the humor, and the comic relies on ethnic stereotypes that tend to not make any sense. To wit, the character of Tobias the Jewish Penguin, who premiered this week:

Pengwinners 07/05

Pengwinners 07/07

Basically, I'm not sure I understand the reason for Tobias the Jewish Penguin, and why his Jewishness is so important and prominent in the cartoon. Would Golas have felt so comfortable referring to Tobias the Asian/Latino/Indian/Black/etc Penguin? It strikes me as odd and unnecessary. Also, the reference to Asher Lev today was probably not as funny as was intended, since the book is not a light-hearted look at Judaism but a story of the struggle between religious and secular life that many Jews, particularly Orthodox Jews, face. Additionally, defining Tobias solely by his Judaism is probably a type of categorization that many Jews at Dartmouth (myself included) feel hesitant about.

Maybe I'm reading too much into it, but it just seems a little off.


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