A palindromic comic – cimoc cimordnilap A

I almost can’t believe we got this far without a palindrome appearing.

I managed to cram three into the comic whilst still trying to make some sense, but I just couldn’t get saippuakalasalakauppias (Finnish for ‘soapdish bootlegger’) to work.

The great thing about palindromes being that they are half as difficult to spell as ordinary words.

And all this at the behest of fellow webcomicker Joseph Hewitt… creator of the rather splendid Ataraxia Theatre, head surgeon over at Transplant Comics, designer/coder of rogue-like video-game Gearhead, and a facilitator of young minds – and alongside that he’s a decent chap that isn’t as big-headed as he should be, considering he must have at least three brains.

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36 thoughts on “A palindromic comic – cimoc cimordnilap A

  1. saippuakalasalakauppias…. i rather like that word. saippuakalasalakauppias saippuakalasalakauppias saippuakalasalakauppias. Hmm i said it three times and nothing happened, although my tongue decided to do flips and high five my tonsils.

    You’ve spiked my interest in the word so i rummaged around and found this great factoid. Joseph Haydn’s Symphony No.47 is a musical palindrome. The third movement (minuet and trio) goes forward twice and backwards twice and arrives back at the same place. Now that is harder than saying saippuakalasalakauppias three times over, although my mouth is doing funny things again.

  2. Joe, we all know what happened to your real brain during the skirmish with the Cynorans of Alpha 4… you remember? They took it so that they could clone it to create a super army of smartass cyborgs in a neighbouring reality that will one day pour into this one, taking their place as the rightful mockers of the universe.

  3. That’s pretty interesting about the symphony. I have to admit that my knowledge lacks a bit when it comes to classical music, so I can’t remember the melody… I’ll try to find it on the internet. Thanks.

    Makes me wonder if any modern pop songs have tried to use a palindromic approach too. Probably not.

    saippuakalasalakauppias – I word I can type quicker than I can speak it… and even then when I do suceed it makes me sound a little ‘special’.

  4. I thought the term for can in England was tin? Or is that one of those things that prove Americans haven’t figured out English slang has evolved since WWII?

  5. …I’m not sure… we use both really, or more specifically we call them ‘tin cans’.

    It might be a North/South thing too, we have a slightly different slang vocabulary up here.

  6. Thank you for the kind words Adam, but I’m afraid that I really do have a bit of a big head. When I was a baby they thought I might be hydrocephalic, but no, my head is just big.

    As for palindromic music, there’s the song “I Palindrome I” by They Might Be Giants. It’s not entirely written in palindromes, but it does feature lots of palindromes and uses the concept of palindromes as a metaphor. Also, it has a section where the lyrics are in crab canon, which is similar to a palindrome.

  7. Wow, that’s fantastic… sort of puts my three to shame.

    I love the title too, a true palindrome, unlike the rather shakey excuse I used.

    Do geese see god? Good question too.

  8. um, a few months ago i found this comic (i think it was called palindramas?) made from only palindromes and it occurred to me that, as far as i can see anyway, the only way to find palindromes is to kind of look at words and discover a palindrome by accident. also, i found the other day a parody video of bob dylan’s subterranean homesick blues, where the signs only consisted of only palindromes and there are some AMAZING ones
    oozy rat in a sanitary zoo, for example
    my favourite line goes “never odd or even, if i had a hi-fi”
    sorry i cant provide you with any links!

  9. I’ve been planning to write a song fragment, then record the instrumental pieces and reverse them, then write a new song fragment to that reversed music, record the vocals for that over the reversed segment, then stick them together, creating a musical palindrome. The trick will be writing music that sounds good backwards.

  10. Ahh, so there are pop songs with palindromic leanings… TMBG, they’re a big bunch of geeks aren’t they? All the better for it too.

    *Puts on Instanbul (was Constantinople)*

  11. Anyone here ever read The Poisonwood Bible? There was a character in it that was obsessed with palindromic constructions… I believe there was one section where every sentence (in a coherent narrative mind you) was a palindrome.

  12. Palindromes and webcomics, eh? They’re far more popular than I had thought.

    I’m going to hunt out the Dylan thing, a friend of mine is a massive Bob fan, and I’m sure he’ll get a kick out of it.

    Your favourite line now happens to be mine too, that’s just genius.

  13. That’s the trickiest part, keeping coherence… Alas another book I have yet to read. A thought that once filled me with joy now makes me feel uneasy. The list grows rapidly longer.

    Also I realise I told a lie the last time I mentioned my current list – I left out ‘John Galt’s speach’… It’s a section from Atla Shrugged that virtually everyone skips because it tends to go on a bit. I’m going to skip the rest of the book and just read that bit… mostly to be contrary.

    The Poisonwood Bible… is it as grim as it sounds?

  14. It’s about a white protestant minister from the American South, going to Africa as a missionary, during the 50′s (before the Civil Rights amendment), as told from the point of view of his wife and daughters.

    Come to think of it, it might be a touch grim. It was quite good, and not all grief, though it was a defiantly tragedy.

  15. Incidentally, I just read that a fear of palindromes is called “Aibohphobia.” Hehe. But:

    Are we not drawn onward, we few, drawn onward to new era?

  16. They’ll ruin everything.

    As it happens I was thinking of changing the emoticons, drawing them a bit Flowfield… does that sound like a good idea?

  17. That is a brilliant idea! Little Flowfield faces, taking over the world!

    I usually use the mirror variety of smiley-face, because I tend to dislike the little yellow colourful ones. (-: has a much simpler, elegant look than :-)

    Google, in their in-email chat module, has it so that a smiley-face rotates to by right-side up, but doesn’t change into a yellow face. I always liked that little touch.

  18. I could do a mix of the two, draw the smiley as text the right way up… that’d sort of work if I can use transparency. I’ll look into it.

    The yellow faces aren’t that great, especially on a site that generally avoids unnecessary colour.

  19. There are only two types as it stands… Might make some extra… Anyone use a particular smiley that you’d like to see, let me know.

    :)

    :D

  20. Dang it. I’ve already done the Halloween strip for my comic “Abby and Norma,” and it has Ron (the character who only talks in palindromes) dressing up as an “evil olive.” And now when it posts on Halloween, it won’t be original. I really shouldn’t make all my strips six months in advance.

    “Lonely Tylenol” is still my favorite, though.

  21. Wow! You can now add “saippuakalasalakauppias” as one of the tounge twisters on your list! But I have read from somewhere that saippuakuppinippukauppias (soap dish wholesale vendor) is the longest palindrome – Dammit, I’m mad!

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