1614: Kites

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[Dog returns with the end of a string in its mouth] [Voice drifts down from the sky] Kites are fun!
Title text: [Dog returns with the end of a string in its mouth] [Voice drifts down from the sky] Kites are fun!


In this comic, we see Megan and Beret Guy both holding on to skyward lines. Megan's line is clearly connected to a kite, and she (like the reader) initially assumes that Beret Guy's line is as well -- only for it to be revealed that he is not holding a line for a kite, but instead the line goes up to a small dog. This move on Randall's part is known as a Bait and Switch, a technique that relies on human intuition and pattern seeking in order to play a trick on the viewer. The 'switch' portion of the bait and switch comes with the added humor of an unconventional dog that flies/floats instead of walking on the ground, so the joke comes by surprise and with little warning to the reader.

Beret Guy is fond of unconventional approaches to standard conventional issues. Amongst others he is know to posses several strange powers, and making a dog fly, and then later flying on (or as?) a kite (in the title text) just adds one more to this already long list.

The title text plays a subversion once more on the unsuspecting reader, with the kite being flown as expected -- albeit with an added payload of one beret-wearing human and flown by a small dog. The dog obviously no longer flies, since it can return to Megan with the line in its mouth. Of course it is not even sure that there is a kite, it could be that Beret Guy is the kite!

The comics title is the plural form for kite, although it turns out that there is only one kite in the comic. That is until the dog comes back with Beret Guy as a kite... Previously another comic has already used the singular kite as it's title: 235: Kite.

Megan is also seen with a kite (and a coin) to the left in the game comic 1608: Hoverboard from two weeks ago. Probably not a coincidence. In the same comic Beret Guy is flying down from the sky on a torpedo. Maybe he can just jump off in time and float back up, like his dog and when he is on a kite.

This comic could be a reference to the "Yo Mama" panel in 1037: Umwelt, where dogs can float and thus need a ballast to be on the ground.


[Zoom out of Megan holding on to a long line going up to a kite high op in he air. Beret Guy comes walking in from the right. He is also holding on to a line that goes up in the air with the same slope. But the top of it disappears outside the frame to the right.]
[Zoom in on Megan standing with a roll with the rest of the line, and the line for her kite goes up in the air between her and Beret Guy who has now almost reached her. He is just holding on to the end of the line, with only a small part of the line hanging down below his hands.]
Megan: I love kites.
Beret Guy: Hey, Me too!
[Beret Guy is looking up along his line and takes a better hold on the line.]
Beret Guy: I'll go get mine, once I finish walking my dog!
[Beret Guy begins pulling the line down, rolling it up in one hand, while pulling at it with the other. The line vibrates under this extra tension, shown with lines above and below the line.]
Beret Guy: C'mon boy!
[In a drawing without a frame around it, Beret Guy has pulled in his flying dog (a small white dog with black ears). It still hangs just above head height, wagging its tail happily. The line has now been rolled up and hangs from one of Beret Guys hands, while the other still pulls at the part of the line that is going towards the dog in the sky.]
Dog: Arf arf arf
[Beret Guys takes the dog under his arm, while holding the line in the other hand, and then he walks past Megan who turns to look after him while still holding on to her roll and line to her kite.]

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"If you didn't get it right away, and had to read this explanation, I would recommend finding a small dog and trying to fly it like a kite." This explanation made me laugh, kudos to whoever wrote it. NotLock (talk) 06:42, 9 December 2015 (UTC)

(When editing the main article, guys, remember not to overwrite tags. When Transcript text was put in someone squashed both the Incomplete tag and the one for this Discussion... anyway...) Note that it appears the dog isn't 'floating', as described in at least one place, but flying by flapping his (not particularly large) ears. If it were a wagging tail, I wouldn't be so sure (remember the robot dog from Battle Of The Planets?), but ears don't tend to noticably flap like that (when the rest of the body isn't in motion/sitting in a car, poking its head out the window). Of course full Dumbo Ears are far more overscale than these, so maybe the dog has some floating skills, the ears are merely attitude controls. - (And I can't believe I'm now discussing the precise nature of the airworthiness of a dog. Thank you Randall!) 09:52, 9 December 2015 (UTC)

That's definitely a wagging tail. Note that in the fourth panel the dog is facing downwards, and in the last panel it is facing to the left. 16:47, 9 December 2015 (UTC)
My mistake. At first glance (and, to be honest, second, third and fourth glances, at least) the 'crossed' rear legs looked like a cartoony dog-face, the tail 'flapping ears', the string was tied around the dog's 'waist' and I didn't really look much further (or realise that the dog's head in the next frame was different and more 'realistic', and looked surprisingly like the first dog's (apparent) rear end...) Not helped by there being two 'Arf's at the top-left, making that look like the noisy end of the dog. NVM... 23:12, 10 December 2015 (UTC)

there is "it's" abuse here. para 3: "it's mouth." and para 4: "it's title." -- 12:56, 9 December 2015 (UTC)

At first I read "kitties" instead of "kites", maybe because I'm not a native speaker and the first word is more familiar to me. So... I was not really surprised to see a dog, here. Seipas (talk) 13:42, 9 December 2015 (UTC)

My original interpretation of the title text was that the "string" in the dog's mouth was the line connecting the dialog to the characters, e.g. the two lines connecting Megan and Beret Guy's dialog to their characters in the second panel. So the voice drifting down from the sky was literally the words "Kites are fun!" being pulled (perhaps uttered?) by the dog. 14:37, 9 December 2015 (UTC)Pat

Is there any direct implication that these objects ("kite" and the dog) are really in the sky? Maybe it was draw like this to trick the readers but instead it is a forced 2D perspective and the dog is just fighting with the Beret Guy? I guess we can also assume that while Beret Guy says "I'll go get mine, once I finish walking my dog!" he actually means it (walking - not flying/floating). 01:15, 10 December 2015 (UTC)Tom3k007

The first panel. You can see the land part differ from the sky part.Bentinata (talk) 11:06, 10 December 2015 (UTC)

"That is until the dog comes back with Beret Guy as a kite..." But it's not clear that the dog did come back with Beret Guy. The dog might have been chasing him. The title text does not say the dog has the bottom end of a string (ie, the kite string) in its mouth. Anyway, I don't understand the comic. I don't know what the dog is doing. 06:24, 10 December 2015 (UTC)

The title text can implies that the dog come back on the floor with the lowest bit of the string in the mouth and Beret Guy is floating in the air as a Kite (or hooking on the kite) with the other end of the string (reverse position). -- 09:15, 10 December 2015 (UTC)Rayen

The title text appears to contain a somewhat cryptic reference to a very odd song from 1967, Kites Are Fun, by the one-hit-wonder group Free Design. Acelightning (talk) 09:47, 10 December 2015 (UTC)

I was surprised to see Randall's idea actually used in the Peanuts comic of June 6, 1965. The little dog resembles Snoopy, also. (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)