28 Comments

  1. Knight has come to rescue the damsel in distress by slaying the dragon. She resents and rejects his patriarchal and speciesist assumptions that:
    1. She is not in control of her situation and needs rescuing
    2. Even if she did need assistance, would the military-industrial complex, of which the knight is an agent, have the moral authority to act on her unilaterally
    3. That the dragon has committed a crime
    4. That the way of dealing with that crime, if indeed a crime has been committed, is to slay the dragon
    5. That the knight has the right to take the life of the dragon, or, indeed, any creature
    6. That a human female and a dragon could not possibly be together because they love each other

    So she throws a bucket of oil on him to make him more flammable (or inflammable) and he’s all like “F&^% this noise!” and he’s outtathere.

  2. That’s an excellent bit of analysis. I wish Deering had spent more time drawing this panel than Singapore Bill spent writing about it. The inkwork on the knight is extremely crude.

  3. Yes… and the inkwork behind the knight is confusing too. Looks like the dragon is emerging from a cave on the right, but the large area of black to the left looks more like a wall that the knight – from the knees up – is painted onto (and indeed, if it wasn’t for the speech bubble, that damsel is washing him off).

    I guess it could be fire-intensifying oil that the pro-Dragon activist has poured on the knight, but that would be pretty murderous. I assumed it was water and she had kindly extinguished the flames, thereby teaching him a lesson and some humility. Is the cloud emitting from the dragon’s nose area pre-flameup priming or evidence of a post-combustion smoke?

    On a different track, but probably overthinking it, I wonder if the cartoonist is trying to suggest that dragon-hugging social justice warrior types are deluded, attacking Knights (representing Law and Authority) when the real danger is actually behind them (a great hulking mass of whatever is the current, in this case, bête vert: anarchists, communists, immigrants, Roman Catholics, the British). She chases away her true saviour thinking she is doing the right thing and then the dragon kills her.

  4. That is one poorly-drawn panel. I interpreted it differently from narmitaj–I was trying to figure out why the knight was buried to the knees. I interpreted the t-shirt wearer as throwing paint on him, like PETA activists with fur-wearers. Also the weird perspective makes the knight look smaller than the woman, not farther back. Not a success.

  5. I have to echo everyone else here–this artwork is terrible. Ideally, a cartoon should be easily graspable so that the reader can see it, get it instantly and enjoy it. Clear artwork goes a long way toward this goal.

  6. I agree about it being confusingly-drawn – I think the dark areas are supposed to represent mountains in the background, the lady and the dragon are on the top of a hill and the knight is trying to get to the top to slay the dragon and is being repelled by the woman tossing her pail of (something) at him. That’s why we only see him from the waist up (perhaps his name is Guido, and he used to be a swamp guide?).

  7. Funny that everyone assumes it’s a lady – I thought it was a dude with a mullet.

    (I know that “Damsel in Distress” is the trope but the damsel isn’t usually in a T-shirt and shorts.)

  8. Maybe she’s throwing fake dragon blood on the knight, a la PETA throwing red paint on furs?

  9. My first interpretation was that he came to slay the dragon, she was obviously going to try to stop him, so he decided to say, “Screw it. You want to get eaten by the dragon, you can get eaten by the dragon.” In other words, what narmitaj said.

    My other thought is that the brave knight, ready for battle against a fire breathing dragon of significantly larger size, gives up after having a bit of something thrown on him. Seems like a valiant warrior such as a knight, one willing to fight a dragon, should not be swayed from battle so easily.

  10. I agree with narmitaj and Bill Clay overall. “Save the Dragons” would make more sense as a slogan if the dragon looked at all worried about the knight, but in fact the knight looks charred and quite willing to give up, and the dragon looks totally in control but bored with the whole situation. If “save the dragons” is the joke and the knight and dragon are the premise they should have looked more evenly matched. Currently both human characters seem misguided about what they stand to achieve.

    Unless the joke is that the bucket woman is naïve and in immediate danger, but the bucket routine and the her wearing slippers makes it seem like she has been doing this for a while and we don’t see her face to know what her attitude about it is. So the extent of the joke for me is “these crazy ‘save the X’ people, what silly cause will they take up next?”

  11. I figured it had *something* to do the those irritating “Save the disgusting dangerous things” types. But I couldn’t figure out why she would be throwing water on him to put out the fire burning him if she were on the dragons side nor could I see we he was telling her to stop.

    So then I figured she was throwing paint on him like a PETA protestor. The only sense of his saying “Never mind” was something like he was giving up on killing the dragon.

    It *NEVER* occurred to me that the protestor was the damsel in distress. Which makes the comic clear.

  12. The joke is the juxtaposition of a modern militant protester paired against a classic medieval cliche. Rooting for the Dragon seems to be a modern thing as accepted lore from the past is questioned more and more.

  13. Surely someone is going to nitpick that, because it is not in cursive, “never mind’ is not written as one word, but rather is printed as one word? I mean, it’s Friday afternoon, so it should be prime nitpick time. (or is that ‘nit pick’?)

  14. Rooting for the Dragon goes back at least to “The Reluctant Dragon” by Kenneth Grahame (1898).

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