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Take a peek over Jim Borgman's shoulder

Jim Borgman has been the Enquirer's editorial cartoonist since 1976. Borgman has won every major award in his field, including the 1991 Pulitzer Prize, the National Cartoonists Society's Reuben Award for Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year in 1993, and most recently, the Adamson Award in 2005 as International Cartoonist of the Year. His award-winning daily comic strip Zits, co-created with Jerry Scott, chronicles the life of 15-year-old Jeremy Duncan, his family and friends through the glories and challenges of the teenage years. Since debuting in July 1997, Zits has regularly finished #1 in reader comics polls across America and is syndicated in more than 1300 newspapers around the world.

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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Cartoonists Crack 508-Year-Old Humor Puzzle

CINCINNATI, Oh. -- An international team of cartoonists led by Jim Borgman and Jerry Scott has cracked one of the world's oldest humor puzzles that researchers say is so complicated that its solution, if drawn, would require three supertankers of ink and cover a piece of paper the size of Central Park and parts of the Bronx.

The 18-member group of cartoonists worked for four years to solve a purely theoretical humor conundrum posed in the 16th century by a priest, a monk and a rabbi in a bar. Simply put, the problem involves the arcane field of marginal humor and its relationship to the unintentional pun.

"The average layman will never understand how funny this is," said Dave Coverly, a leader of the subgroup which dealt with hypothetical inconsistencies in the area of nose sizes and the creator of Speedbump. "Even many cartoonists can't understand the implications of our work."

The problem's proof, announced simultaneously in Oslo, Stockholm and at the Lakewood Community College comic symposium on Wednesday, contains 9,147 Yiddish phrases, more than four million googly eyes and a caricature of George W. Bush with ears visible from space.

Researchers project that the solution, if viewed by a population the size of the Micronesian island of Tonga, would cause seismic laughter equaling a quake on the order of magnitude 7.0 on the Andy Richter scale.


at 3/21/07, 3:04 PM Anonymous John Carey (NJ) said...

"Simply put, the problem involves the arcane field of marginal humor and its relationship to the unintentional pun."

I belive R. Kane humor was frequent in 1940's Batman comics. That strip was also the first to give comics the Finger.

at 3/21/07, 3:18 PM Blogger JohnDWoodSr said...

Congratulations.If anybody tries to knock knock your success, beat them senseless with a funny bone.

at 3/21/07, 3:29 PM Blogger richardcthompson said...

We can only hope that this great advance in humor is used for purely peaceful purposes. But I doubt it.

at 3/21/07, 4:44 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

and i was sure it was:

a mushroom walks into a bar and says "hey, i'm a fungi"

at 3/22/07, 5:55 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tonga is part of the polynesian group of islands not micronesian.

at 3/23/07, 2:22 PM Blogger who said...

Hey, maybe you could draw sections of the solution (small) and publish them. Then, readers could assemble them day by day. We could then predict when the earthquake will (would) occur and prepare for the resulting Tsunami. In Micronsia or wherever it is.


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