How It Works; A Further Look Into Derf’s Comic

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How it works; A further look into Derf’s Comic The city, a comic strip started in 1990 by a cartoonist named John Backderf, became an influential mode of criticism, leading into the early 2000’s. Specifically, in 1995, Backderf (pseudonym Derf) drew up an addition to the series that depicted his theory and view on how things got to be “cool”. Derf goes through his representation, step by step, showing the evolution of a fad. His view on the process of fads is quite accurate, as a recent trend, TOMS, has almost followed this diagram exactly. Despite the demonstrative approach, Derf also had a deeper, almost informative, meaning to his comic, poking fun at the actual reasons why society adopts a trend. In the comic, the reader is taken through the life of a fad, from birth to death, and everything in between. The four box comic starts off by showing where the fad is born, in this case with art students at a local coffee shop; the fad itself is a hardened booger hanging from the nose. This trend is picked up by hipsters and unpopular music groups in the next box. The trend travels city wide through this channel and then even nationwide through MTV and finally high school students. The 3rd box then switches tone by showing the slow desecration of the fad, first by showing the fad being used by “pathetic has-beens”, basically stars who used to be popular, to re-spark their relevancy with the younger audience. Lastly, in the 4th box, Derf shows a corporate company, Calvin Klein, putting a spin on the booger fad by making a faux clip on to advertise their new line of product, reaching a large consumer audience. When breaking down the strip, I started to realize that there was quite a bit of validity to his interpretation of the creation of trends. In fact, I have even seen this process in action with a fad, TOMS, a brand of shoe that was considered “in” in recent

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