I find self-criticism and irony are strong means to communicate genuinely and involve people who are not necessarily expert in a field.

As cartoons offer a quick yet poignant way to describe how academia works, I am wondering which cartoons on academia are the most popular. I am interested in particular on cartoons which may highlight the true spirit of academic life and academic hierarchy.

A simple Google search for "cartoon academia" yields 580,000 hits, with the first image posted being a New Yorker cartoon by David Sipress. Is such ranking correct?

closed as primarily opinion-based by scaaahu, Wrzlprmft, O. R. Mapper, Patrick Sanan, Buzz Jan 25 '17 at 14:05

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    I'm not a regular in Academia, so take this with a grain of salt, but this kind of question is broadly considered off-topic on SE (a list question, aka "Primarily Opinion-Based"). – Dan Bron Jan 25 '17 at 12:42
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    Yes, you need to be more specific, because taste varies. That being said, xkcd and PhDComics are good starting points. – Captain Emacs Jan 25 '17 at 12:47
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    @DanBron I see your point. However, it could be an interesting set of Q/A. Indeed, I was inspired by this CV post: stats.stackexchange.com/questions/423/… – Joe_74 Jan 25 '17 at 12:55
  • @CaptainEmacs I have somewhat expanded the post. – Joe_74 Jan 25 '17 at 12:58
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    @DanBron I think that in this case the list is so limited that it could be considered on-topic. – Massimo Ortolano Jan 25 '17 at 13:28


Not to be confused with


Both very good. This is one of my favourites from xykademiqz:

enter image description here


As a graduate student, I personally enjoy PHD Comics. They humorously (and often painfully) give a realistic picture of academic life from a grad student/postdoc's perspective.

Exhibit A:

example PHD comic
(source: phdcomics.com)

They're often used here in similar context to "obligatory xkcd" references. Relatedly, xkcd is another comic I enjoy, slightly less relevant to academia, but often containing references to academic situations.

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