Comics Inspired by Waiting For Godot, Featuring Tintin, Roz Chast, and Beavis & Butthead

Godot Comics

Is Samuel Beck­et­t’s Wait­ing for Godot fun­ny?

Yes. It’s a com­e­dy about life’s tragedies, great and small.

Are car­toons inspired by Wait­ing for Godot fun­ny?

…most­ly not. Espe­cial­ly when they’re set in wait­ing rooms (or air­port arrivals areas).

Godot’s a hard trope for a car­toon­ist on the prowl for some­thing fresh. Dogs, psy­chi­a­trists, cast­aways on desert islands are more elas­tic sub­jects, uni­ver­sal, but capa­ble of being spun any num­ber of ways.

To wring a com­ic wor­thy of The New York­er out of Godot, you prob­a­bly have to be an actu­al New York­er car­toon­ist, like Roz Chast, whose instant­ly rec­og­niz­able work can be seen above.

Oth­er New York­er car­toon­ists who’ve tak­en a crack include Dan­ny Shana­hanJack Ziegler and Ben­jamin Schwartz.

Not to imply that New York­er car­toon­ists are the only source for inspired Godot-inspired comics– the late, great Hergé, cre­ator of Tintin made one.

Godot Comics 5

(Oh wait, that’s not Hergé, it’s Tom Gauld who illus­trates the Guardian’s Sat­ur­day Review let­ters page, scor­ing major points by relo­cat­ing the ter­mi­nal­ly upbeat boy detec­tive so out­side his com­fort zone that even Snowy is a neg­a­tive image.)

godot 7

Car­toon­ist Richard Thomp­son sum­moned Godot for a strip with­in a strip install­ment of his pop­u­lar syn­di­cat­ed Cul de Sac. (Click the image above to view it in a larg­er for­mat.) Will read­ers get the ref­er­ence? Alice, his preschool-aged hero­ine, seems to, astute­ly echo­ing crit­ic Vivian Mercier’s assess­ment of Godot as a play where “noth­ing happens…twice”.

beavis beckett

I reserve my high­est praise for the inspired cast­ing of Beav­is and Butthead in R. Siko­ryak’s “Wait­ing to Go.”  (.) Here we find a Vladimir and Estragon who tru­ly embody the final lines of Nor­man Mail­er’s noto­ri­ous “A Pub­lic Notice on Wait­ing for Godot”:

Man’s nature, man’s dig­ni­ty, is that he acts, lives, loves, and final­ly destroys him­self seek­ing to pen­e­trate the mys­tery of exis­tence, and unless we par­take in some way, as some part of this human explo­ration… then we are no more than the pimps of soci­ety and the betray­ers of our Self.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Samuel Beck­ett Directs His Absur­dist Play Wait­ing for Godot (1985)

Samuel Beck­ett Draws Doo­dles of Char­lie Chap­lin, James Joyce & Hats

Watch the Open­ing Cred­its of an Imag­i­nary 70s Cop Show Star­ring Samuel Beck­ett

- Ayun Hal­l­i­day is an author, illus­tra­tor, and Chief Pri­ma­tol­o­gist of the East Vil­lage Inky zine. Fol­low her @AyunHalliday

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