Stick Figure Iconography: Othello

Today we take a look at the iconography of Othello, which, frankly, is kind of easy because, let's face it, he is one of only two Shakespearean characters who are explicitly not white. 

I think we can all agree that the time of Othellos depicted by white men in blackface has well and truly past.

What we can't agree on, though, is the color of the handkerchief. It's traditionally depicted as white (with all the symbolism that entails) but a relatively recent article argues that it should be black (with all the symbolism that entails), as it is mentioned in the text as being "dyed with mummy".

Desdemona Ditties

It's "Stay Sane September"! That means I'll be sharing some of my "greatest hits" from social media and Patreon to keep you entertained while I take the month off in order to avoid burnout, take some theatre trips, and get caught up on various tasks and projects that I have been neglecting. 

Today's comic comes from Patreon, and features pretty much exactly what happened when some friends and I took a day trip to the Stratford Festival and were driving home at 2am, trying to stay awake by brainstorming Shakespeare musical parodies.


2am on the 401 is apparently the best time and place to write musical parodies.

Thanks to my supporters on Patreon (from whence I re-appropriated this comic) for helping me continue to develop Good Tickle Brain! For $5 a month, you'll get bonus comics like these every week!

Upcoming Appearances

September 28: Cincinnati Museum Insights Lecture

WHO: Me! Again!
WHAT: Talk followed by Q&A on the development of Good Tickle Brain and approaches to making Shakespeare accessible to new audiences. 
WHEN: Thursday, September 28, 7:30pm
WHERE: The University of Cincinnati College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning
WHY: Because they have a cool Shakespeare exhibit going on right now! 
HOW: Reserve a FREE ticket at the Cincy Museum website!

What Tweets That Trump? part 1

Seeing as tomorrow is (alas) Inauguration Day, I thought I would take some of our incoming president's more recent tweets and match them up with Shakespearean characters... with some strategic alterations where necessary.

The first draft of this comic was, like, all history plays. His tweets match up very well with history plays, alarmingly....

Campaign Quotes, part 1

As you just might have heard, the U.S. presidential campaign is well underway now. I thought it might be useful to start collecting some of the most appropriate Shakespearean quotes related to politics.

I love the phrase "scurvy politician".

Disillusioned with the current crop of candidates? Support the Players' Party and pick up some Shakespeare/Burbage gear at the Good Tickle Shoppe! </end shameless plug>

Happy Singles Appreciation Day!

It's Valentine's Day today, and everyone seems to be sharing all sorts of wonderfully soppy and romantic quotes from Shakespeare. But for those of us who remain single on Valentine's Day, there's one very important thing to keep in mind...


..being in a romantic relationship, especially in Shakespeare, isn't always all it's cracked up to be. 

The Othello Death Clock

We're nearing the end of our Shakespearean Death Clock series... at least as far as the tragedies are concerned. Just a couple more to go...

As with Romeo and Juliet, not nearly as many people die in Othello as it feels like.  I'm starting to think that 5 to 6 deaths is the sweet spot for tragedy. Any less and it's not really that bad. Any more and it starts getting unintentionally amusing. 

Shakespearean Halloween Party

It's Halloween! Let's celebrate the Shakespeare way!

In other news, I now have an Instagram account. Am I missing any major social networks now? I just can't keep up....

If you'd like to keep up with my social media activity without the hassle of joining all these various social networks, sign up for The Weekly Tickle Brain e-mail newsletter! In addition to a digest of Good Tickle Brain blog, the newsletter will contain highlights from my social media activity and exclusive Shakespearean book and film recommendations, plus occasional peeks behind the scenes at what it takes to be a Shakespearean webcomic artist. (Spoiler: it takes an abiding love of Shakespeare and surprisingly little artistic talent.)

The first issue will go out this coming Monday. Don't miss it!

Shakespearean Character Spotlight: Desdemona

The random number generator has hit upon another major character for this week's Shakespearean Character Spotlight! Today we take a look at Desdemona.

The vast majority of Shakespeare's female characters are strong and powerful, which is why I give the more insipid women like Hero such a hard time. I was quite prepared to run roughshod over Desdemona for meekly putting up with an obviously irrational husband who emotionally and physically abuses her. However, the more I thought about it the more I realized Desdemona is actually quite spunky. She (understandably) loses it a bit in the last act, but up until then she is admirably froward. 

Of course, my favorite character in Othello is Emilia, but more on her later...