March 28, 2005

the cartoon raspberry museum

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary offers the following as its 2nd defintion for the word RASPBERRY:

Pronunciation: 'raz-"ber-E, -b(&-)rE
2 : [short for raspberry tart, rhyming slang for fart] : a sound of contempt made by protruding the tongue between the lips and expelling air forcibly to produce a vibration; broadly : an expression of disapproval or contempt .

The raspberry, or razzberry, or Bronx Cheer is one of the all-time great sounds. But even though a baby can do it, no one can actually spell it.

Cartoonist have struggled with this since the dawn of time. I'm sure there's a cave painting somewhere of a cro-magnon guy sticking his tongue out, with some mangled word scrawled above it in a futile attempt to capture the moment.

The following is a collection of valiant and horrendous raspberry spellings in print...


CALVIN & HOBBES is a copyright of Universal Press Syndicate.

by: Bill Watterson

Very impressive attempts at tackling the spelling can be found in the forever brilliant Calvin & Hobbes. Mr. Watterson strives to capture the complexity and nuance of a properly executed raspberry.


One of my favorite cartooning displays of the raspberry sound is featured on the classic "Whoopee Cushion" art. The artist has completely given up on trying to spell it - opting instead for the borderline-insane "Poo."

All I know is, there's nothing better than that dog being blown out of frame.

by: Charles Schulz

In this early Peanuts drawing,
Charles Schulz didn't even give words a go.


PEANUTS is a copyright of United Feature Syndicate, Inc.

by: Charles Schulz

Years later Mr. Schulz appears to have avoided tangling with the dreaded raspberry, by going with "Blah!"

My wife says this isn't even an attempt at a raspberry, and shouldn't be included here. (No sex for her tonight!)


by: Charles Schulz

Then I found this one that splits the difference. He's saying "Bleah!" but that tongue is definitely waggling more than a "bleah" calls for. Official ruling: partial raspberry. (Partial sex tonight!)

CALVIN & HOBBES is a copyright of Universal Press Syndicate.

by: Bill Watterson

Raspberry worlds collide in Calvin & Hobbes, where we find Calvin's uncle sitting ON a whoopee cushion.

Just as I suspected, it doesn't say "poo" at all. So while this panel may have the superior raspberry spelling, it does NOT have that funny-ass dog. Christ, I love that little guy.

© 2005 Berkeley Breathed

by: Berkely Breathed

A double-shot of Bill the Cat from Bloom County.

Sent in by Ben


Here is Kat's handsome boyfriend in his Whoopie Cushion costume. (Curiously not taken on Halloween, but last Sunday on their way to church.)


From the European comic "The Adventures of Asterix."
by: Rene Goscinny, Albert Uderzo

Sent in by Aditi.

by: Walter Moers

Here is the cover of a "Kleines Arschloch" book by Walter Moers. Kleines Arschloch is a household name in Germany and other German speaking countries in Europe. "Kleines Arschloch" means "little asshole" in German.

This is also the first use of "Zs" in the Raspberry Museum.

From Florian

©2005 Lynn Johnston Productions, Inc

by: Lynn Johnston

From the strip "For Better or Worse."
Possibly more insane than "Poo."

Sent in by Sara.

CALLING ALL RASPBERRIES: If you guys come across any tries at spelling raspberries in existing cartoons, PLEASE EMAIL ME. Anyone submitting one that ends up in the museum will be rewarded with valuable goodies to be determined! (And thanks to good ol' John at Robot Johnny and Drawn! for helping me get the ball rolling!)

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