If you’re a fan of (or when you were a kid you were a fan of) superhero comic books, you’re familiar with the ubiquitous dialogue bubble. And it’s also known as a speech bubble, speech balloon, dialogue balloon, and even a conversation cloud. And maybe you’re already saying, “Seriously, Tony? You’re gonna babble on about a bubble?”
Well, I don’t think I would’ve put it that way (although technically I did, because it was me who wrote that), but yes. I’m gonna give you another one of those closer looks into the inner workings of my contemplating mind.
There’s more than one kind of dialogue bubble by the way.
In those comic books you could see one kind of bubble for a character you see. And you could see another kind of bubble for a character who’s speaking but not visible in that frame (aka panel). Then, there are the thought bubbles with little circles leading up to the larger circle. And bubbles with a jagged outline usually represent screaming.
Some comic strips and comic books use whisper bubbles. And they draw those with a dotted outline instead of solid. Apparently that conveys the softer sound of a whisper.
And you might find colored bubbles, slimy looking monster bubbles, and even icicle bubbles.
Wow, this list is bubbling over.
But it all makes sense when you pause and think about it. After all, language is complicated. And it’s full of expression, emotion, and nuance. So, it’s only natural comic book and comic strip artists and writers would want to get as much of that across as possible. Right?
But before I go any further on this subject, I’ll tell you right now. None of that is the reason I thought of writing all this down. Nope. My reason is actually more comedically sinister.
Because, as I’ve been watching snippets of debates, online, I started thinking about what it would look like if the debaters and moderators had dialogue bubbles over their heads. And I could imagine how it would all start out clearly enough. You know, just like in a comic strip frame. Just one or two bubbles.
But then, the egos and political agendas would rear their ugly heads. And suddenly the screen would be literally filled with bubbles of just about every style and name. Especially the jagged ones. And the red, angry ones. And the intermittent icicle bubbles when someone’s blood runs cold.
It would make the old Batman TV show fight scene bubbles (Pow! Zap! Boff! Splatt!) look like a Rocky Mountain sky. (In case you don’t know, a Rocky Mountain sky is often cloudless…or almost cloudless)
I know it’s never gonna be done.
Because, for some of those debates and so-called “discussions” there just wouldn’t be enough screen room…or time. But it would be fun to watch if a crack team of animators (hello Pixar) put something like together. Now, that would be must-see TV.
Let me share a little message in a conversation cloud.
And it won’t have to be jagged ’cause I won’t be talking loud.
I just wanna tell you thank you for the times you’re tuning in
To my Tony flights of fancy when I take thoughts for a spin.
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