Monday, November 21, 2011

Archie's Sound Effects

Having researched Archie comics ads, I thought I'd say a few words about their sound effects. Words like "brrrrf". Having mainly read super-hero or horror/fantasy comics as a kid, I was used to seeing sound effects and random vocalizations depicted in the comics. What book wouldn't benefit from the insertion of a "thwack", "skreeee" or "ba-da-bum"? When words failed the hero, victim or outrageous creature, a simple "graaough" "hnuuuh" or the ever-popular "aieeee" sufficed (with 'aieee', the more 'eeeee's' at the end of the word, the more terrifying the situation).

Archie, however, had it's own lexicon of onomatopoeia. When someone laughed, it wasn't "ha" or "har", it was usually "hyuk" or "hyok". Actions like slobbering or smootching were clearly represented with the words "slobber" or "smootch". My personal favorite, however has to be "brrrrf", as it neither copies a sound or utterance one would make in any situation, nor is it an idetifiable verb or adjective. What was it supposed to be showing in this example? Dread? Fear? Flatulance? Grinding teeth? The sound of a chain-saw not shown in the panel? It's still a mystery to me, but the more I look at it, the more I think I'll try to work "brrrf" into my vocabulary. "The car won't start....brrrf". I just won the lottery....brrrf". "Your Uncle is coming to live with us.....brrrrrrrrrrrrf". Yep, this will work out well. Happy "brrrf" everyone.

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