Comic book sound effects are weird.
I didn’t read comics until the past few years. Oh, I read a few graphic novels—mostly critically-acclaimed stuff like Maus and Scott Pilgrim—and a couple of comic series, but nothing particularly comic-booky: no superheroes, noir mysteries, or slice-of-life romances.
Then, quite a number of months ago, a kindly relative began sending me and my younger brother books and comics. These literary care packages contained works of interest he had picked up at comics events and used bookstores. His latest gift was a little stack of free comics he had gleaned from a Halloween comics festival.
It was a fascinating collection. Among others, there was an old-timey Spiderman comic, written by Stan Lee and drawn by Jack Kirby; the first issue of a famous Batman series, which later influenced Christopher Nolan’s Batman film trilogy; a couple of contemporary Marvel superhero comics; and some licensed stuff based on television and video games. With its blend of classics, current issues, and promotional fluff, that stack of comics was like a cross section of the comic book industry.
Anyhowz, one of the things that stood out to me about those comics was the weird sound effects. I knew odd sounds were a thing in comics, but… dang. Rather—if I may spell the word like a sound effect in a comic book—DHAAANG!
Out of curiosity, I googled “weird comic book sound effects,” and yep, there sure are some weird ones. Consider “YYAABASTA,” which sounds exactly like Spanish for “That’s enough!”
The weirdest sound effects of all, however, came not from the Internet, but from one of the comics my relative sent me. It was a Donald Duck comic. The sounds were “SPUZZLE,” which is the sound of whipped cream sprayed from a can, and “SPLOMP,” which is the sound of twelve tons of chocolate cremes hitting a street from a height of roughly twenty or thirty feet.
…Yeah, don’t ask.