412: Startled

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Title text: ...

[edit] Explanation

Black Hat, the cool-headed troll, has the tables turned on him. Almost always seen antagonizing other characters, this comic shows him in a rare moment of losing face. Megan notices Black Hat facing away from Cueball and her, and decides to play a simple, childish prank on him: sneaking up from behind and shouting "Boo!".

She succeeds in startling Black Hat. Most likely out of humiliation, he hides himself completely in his hat. For a moment, it looks like Black Hat has disappeared altogether. But then his hat inches away, showing that he's still underneath. It is possible that he was set on edge by Danish, as the period from journals 3-5 was clearly an emotional time for him.

Both gags in this comic work by playing on our expectations. The first is an unexpected moment of realism: we are so used to seeing Black Hat cool and untroubled that we are surprised at the reminder that everyone's appearance is, to some extent, a facade. Black Hat is still human. The second gag, on the other hand, is the opposite: we are so used to understanding the stick figures as representing humans that we're caught by surprise to see a literal interpretation of a stick figure, with minimal volume, folding up into a hat.

The title text is only "...", like in 82: Frame or 455: Hats. It's a somewhat surreal comic, and any further commentary might have detrimentally brought it down to Earth.

[edit] Transcript

[Cueball and Megan standing to one side, looking and pointing at Black Hat who is facing away.]
[Megan sneaks up on Black Hat.]
[Close-up of Megan with hands raised.]
Megan: BOO!
[Black Hat looks shocked, and his hat jumps.]
[The hat falls down over his head.]
[The hat keeps falling, with only his legs still visible.]
[The hat hits the ground.]
[Cueball and Megan look at the hat.]
[The hat scurries away.]

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What is there to explain here? Alpha (talk) 04:02, 23 February 2013 (UTC)

Looks like an analogy to some animal. --Kronf (talk) 14:55, 2 August 2013 (UTC)

It is a little wierd that it comes in between the third and fourth in the Journal series where he is shown to be pretty badass. However, he loses the hat in 377: Journal 2 and then regains it in 405: Journal 3 because - as he says: I LIKE my hat and then we see in his next apperance here how he can use the hat in an emergency... In the next Black hat comic 432: Journal 4 after this one he is depressed and has to seek out the woman of his life already in the next published commic: 433: Journal 5. It thus seems weird with this one to interupt the journal flow? Unless it was to show he has a human side... Kynde (talk) 19:08, 1 June 2014 (UTC)

Sorry, I did remove your edit. Please focus on explanations and not references to other comics here. We do have categories here to cover that. A simple close connection to an other comic can be mentioned at the trivia section. I'm sorry, but the explain section should explain the comic itself. --Dgbrt (talk) 23:28, 2 June 2014 (UTC)

Is there a list of comics with little or no alttext like this one? 16:15, 28 June 2014 (UTC)

Possible Asdfmovie reference? Was that later? I think it was. (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

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