Tentacle Tuesday: Won’t Someone Think of the Children!?

« Make it a rule never to give a child a book you would not read yourself. » ― George Bernard Shaw

Indoctrinating children has to start early – if you want to make sure the aforementioned little ones will share your obsessions and spend their lives in a futile quest for the same peccadilloes you wasted your youth on, it’s best if you start proselytizing even before they can read. To that effect, quite a few authors of children’s comic books made sure to focus on cephalopods. I am happy to provide you with this abridged list of where to start when you need to convince some tot in your care that 1. octopuses are cool and 2. that they are entirely too intelligent and fascinating to ever be eaten.

Pages from Tomi Ungerer‘s Emile: The Helpful Octopus (first published in 1960):



Pages from Octopus Escapes! (2018), written by Nathaniel Lachemeyer and illustrated by Frank W. Dormer:



A page from Also an Octopus (2016), written by Maggie Tokuda-Hall and illustrated by Benji Davies:


Page from Touchy the Octopus Touches Everything (2019), written by Amy Dyckman and illustrated by Alex Griffiths:

Touchy the Octopus Touches Everything

Before someone complains that this post doesn’t include any “real” comics (what kind of pedant are you, bubba?):

Dexter’s Laboratory no. 16 (December 2000), pencilled by Genndy Tartakovsky and inked by Bill Wray.
Splash page from Dee-Dee’s Pony Tale, scripted by John Rozum, pencilled by John Delaney and inked by Jeff Albrecht. Did children really need to see a unicorn pony transformed into a three-headed Slavic dragon with tentacles? Well, yeah.
Cartoon Cartoons no. 23 (December 2003), cover by Bill Wray.
Page from Sunken Leisure, scripted by Robbie Busch, pencilled by Stephen DeStefano and inked by Bill Wray.

Finally, as a treat for the adults in the audience, I’ll end on an uplifting note (quite necessary after all that carnage by Dexter et al.): a cartoon by Jüsp (who ist tot, which is to say is dead – he died in 2002), published in Die Woche, an German illustrated weekly newspaper published from 1898 to 1944.


~ ds

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