Computer analysts do data mining to look for patterns so that they can extract information from databases.  I do data mining in the Halberstadt Scrapbooks to look for funny cartoons.  There are fewer patterns, unless you count humor-response.  As an example: Read comic.  Giggle, either silently or out loud, depending on perceptible level of funny.  Repeat.

I’ve written in the past that I have to assume that Hans must have subscribed to a lot of newspapers.  Either that or his students made certain that no cartoon with a hint of fencing reference ever escaped Hans’ notice.  He dutifully collected them in his scrapbooks.  After an interlude in the 1980s where the original books came to pieces from water damage and everything had to be re-mounted in new books, the scrapbooks eventually made their way, page by historic page, across my scanner and into my computer.  Hence, I can data-mine for cartoons!


Some of these have dates or publication information on them, many do not.  The above is from 1963, as are the next three:


I named this one “Bonk!” when I saved it.  It is, I am quite certain, an accurate depiction of what would result if my wife (who does not fence) and I were to ever to face each other in a match.  I know who I would describe as the ‘winner’ here and it would have nothing to do with what you might read in the rule book.



I love that last one above.  I sent this to my own coach when I saw it for the first time.  I didn’t mean it.  Really, I didn’t.  Just a bit of humor, coach.

1965 Grave.comic

This one is from a couple years later.  A subtle reference to death from a swordfight, but the one below is very direct:


Pretty casual for a murderess.

And finally, for those in the medical field:

1957 xray comic

I believe that is an anatomically correct depiction of the interior structure of a fencer.

And that’s why I’m not a doctor.

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