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February 17, 2012

Word of the Day

  • comix
  • audio pronunciation
  • \KAH-miks\
  • DEFINITION

noun

: comic books or comic strips
  • EXAMPLES

Raw, founded by Art Spiegelman and Françoise Mouly in 1980, was the leading avant-garde comix journal of its time.

"[George Kuchar] became involved in comix through his neighbor in San Francisco in the 1980s, Art Spiegelman; he went on to do many comix storyboards as well as underground comix." -- From an article by Charles Bernstein and Susan Bee in The Brooklyn Rail, December, 2011

  • DID YOU KNOW?

Comix (which are typically understood as distinct from comics in that they intend a mature audience) got their start in the 1960s. Our earliest evidence of the word "comix" used as a generic term dates to 1969, but it had begun appearing in the titles of specific works a little earlier than that: one example is the title of R. Crumb's highly influential Zap Comix, first published in 1968. The kind of alteration that changed "comics" to "comix" isn't a 20th century phenomenon: the word "pox," as in "chicken pox," began as "pocks" but has been spelled with an "x" since around 1475. A similar kind of alteration, though in this case going from a simpler spelling to a less intuitive one, is the word "phat," which is most likely a variation of "fat." "Phat" dates to 1963.

Test Your Memory: What word completes this sentence from a recent Word of the Day piece: "The company's new reimbursement policy makes a __________ distinction between acceptable and unacceptable travel expenses"? The answer is ...

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