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Kevin Tran
UWRT 1101-005
Professor Bladl
Rhetorical elements and Comics
Rhetoric is the study of effective speaking and writing. Rhetoric exist in all forms and is
commonly used among people to create a sense of persuasion. Rhetoric is expressed through
speech and writing, which includes movies, comics, and even memes. John Beardens comics
are a great source to analyze since he uses many elements to create rhetoric. John Bearden
generally posts his comics on social media platforms such as Facebook, and are also
incorporated into many other websites and forums as well. The genres of his comics vary
because he incorporates many random events within his comics, but in his comic When the Cold
Weather Strikes he uses a very controversial topic as a baseline to his humor. The analyzation of
this comic could help form an idea of what types of ideas and elements form rhetoric
The comic that is in question is a very interesting one because in this comic he pokes fun
at depression, which could be controversial to some. In the two-panel comic, there is a male
character with winter clothes on. The setting takes place in a cold, windy environment. The
characters eyes and cheeks have been colored red to indicate that it is freezing outside. In the
second panel, he says Great, now Im numb on the outside too. In the second panel, the
characters hands are also frozen solid as well, which indicates that he is physically and
emotionally frozen. The addition of the comment that the character says shows that he is
depressed on the inside since he indicates that he was originally numb on the inside before the


cold weather was introduced. This comic is a great example to analyze because the comic has a
lot of elements that contribute to the meaning of this comic. This comic contains Pathos, Ethos,
and Logos in it.
The comic contains Logos, because logically, you would feel cold on the outside if it was
freezing outside, but you would feel cold on the inside too if it were freezing. When people read
this comic, they understand it because the comic is logical. The incorporation of the setting and
images let the audience understand that the person in the comic is cold. It also contains logos
because of how the persons statement is structured. Since the character said that he was numb
on the outside too, it must mean that he was numb even before the cold weather hit, which most
likely means that he is still depressed. The imagery that is presented has both a logical and
emotional standpoint embedded within it. The author mixes these two elements to help create a
more enjoyable comic. The author uses the cold setting to symbolize what it feels like to be
depressed and uses the setting as a figurative feeling for depression.
The authors audience is anyone who uses social media, or any type of news sites that let
you interact with others. The authors purpose is to create humor on a controversial topic to try to
create a better light on the topic of depression. He wanted to make a comic that was relatable to a
group of people, but to also make them laugh so they do not always feel sad. Although this comic
may seem that it is guided towards people who are depressed, but his comic could also be for
people who dont have depression as well. It lets those people know what depression feels like,
and he tries to joke about it so the subject of depression is more light.
The ethos of this comic comes from the author because he has built a reputation for
himself. He writes comics on Facebook, but they are constantly shared throughout different
social medias. I found his post on a website named Reddit, which is a news and discussion


website. I have also found his post on Imgur, which is an online image sharing website. The
author is not the biggest comic writer, but he is still credible since he is well known around social
media websites. His comics have made it to many popular websites, and he has gained a lot of
fame and positivity when his comics are featured.
This comic contains pathos as well. The comic touches on a very controversial topic, but
also invokes humor upon it, which could cause problems. The mocking of depression plays an
important role in the development of ethos in this comic. The purpose of the comic was to create
a sense of relatability with its readers by trying to make the topic humorous. Readers who feel
depress might read this and relate to the feeling, but may also laugh because they might think it
is fun. Through this use of relatability, the author of the comic appeals to the readers emotions.
When the reader reads the comic, they feel emotion, which makes them feel relatable with the
comic. When a reader relates with a text, they tend to feel positive towards it because they can
see themselves within the text, which makes the reader enjoy the text. The author of this comic
used pathos to try to appeal to the emotions of the reader, he wants them to relate to the topic so
that he may create humor within the topic. When the reader relates with the topic, the meaning
behind the humor the author makes does not get lost when the humor is presented.
In conclusion, the comic had many aspects within it. The use of pathos, ethos, and
logos makes the comic relatable, which makes people like the comic. Either though the comic
touches on a very questionable topic, it can pull it off because the way the comic writer used the
elements made it so the reader does not see the topic in an offensive way. Another factor would
probably that a lot of people today may feel depressed, thus having a feeling of relatability when
reading the comic. Overall the main reason why this comic invokes relatability is through its use
of pathos, logos, and ethos.


Works Cited
When the cold weather strikes. Digital Image. John Bearden Imgur. N.p., 29 Oct. 2016. Web. 29
Oct. 2016.