Nine-panel comic. Panel 1: A person with a long, black rectangular head sits at a bar with a glass of wine. Panel 2: out of frame, a voice says, "Excuse me…." Panel 3: The source of the voice, bespectacled editor, appears. She says, "Are you En Dash?" The person at the bar replies, "No, I’m afraid not. I'm Figure Dash." Panel 4: Bespectacled editor says, "Oh! I’m so sorry. You just look so much like—" Figure dash replies "Yeah, I get that a lot!" Panel 5: Bespectacled editor says, "I’ll bet. I’m sorry to have bothered you." Figure Dash replies, "No worries! Comes with the territory of resembling a minor celebrity in the editing world." Panel 6: Bespectacled editor says, "Haha. Thanks for being so gracious about it. So you work with numbers?" Figure Dash says, "Yep. I specialize in making strings of numerals easier to read." Panel 7: Bespectacled editor says, "Ah, cool. Say, would it be OK if I took a selfie with you?" Figure Dash says, "Heh. Sure, why not?" Panel 8: Bespectacled editor holds out her phone. Panel 9: We see the social media post from Bespectacled Editor showing the selfie, with caption "bespectaclededitor I met @en_dash’s doppelgänger, Figure Dash! Super-chill dude!"

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Dedicated to Grace Yaginuma. See also James Harbeck’s article on dashes and hyphens.


Absurd thoughts I had while drawing this cartoon:

  • Does punctuation have a third dimension?
  • What would a dash look like in three dimensions? A cylinder? A rectangular prism?
  • What would any glyph look like in three dimensions? A simple extrusion of the silhouette? Or something with more contours?
  • How do I depict foreshortening when Figure Dash turns their head?
  • What would it be like to live in a world where glyphs walked among us? What kinds of personalities would they have?

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