Welcome to Symbolism Saturday! For anyone new to Symbolism Saturday, this is a bi-monthly Saturday special that I originally started sharing on Instagram and Twitter. In these posts, I highlight an example of symbolism in pop culture in a bite-sized exploration. Today, we’re taking a look at a symbol from Charles Soule and Ryan Browne’s comic Curse Words.
What is Symbolism, You Ask?
In a nutshell, symbolism is a literary device where the author of a creative work (like books, video games, and cartoons) uses an object (like a bird, necklace, color, or, occasionally, person) to represent a complex or abstract feeling or idea (like peace, loneliness, death, or, occasionally, a person). If you want to know more, I have a post taking an in-depth look at symbolism and Over the Garden Wall.
Today’s symbol is a little more surface-level! In Curse Words, Wizord’s beard, once thought to be merely a cool stylistic flourish, represents his powers. Without his glorious facial hair, Wizord loses his magic. This symbol is so deeply ingrained in Wizord that at one point, he even puts on a fake beard in order to try and revitalize his powers.
Taking a deeper dive into this symbol, we can also determine that this beard represents the individual specialness of human experience as well. Over the course of this comic, Wizord learns that he can draw magic from places where humans congregate and form positive memories together. He can visit a baseball stadium or magic show and walk away with some intense magic reserves that replenish his beard.
On the cover of issue 4, we see Ruby Stitch casually dangling it from her finger. I can only imagine what that means for our hipster wizard!
Of course, you can also delve into the beard as a symbol of manliness and all of the implications that that has for Curse Words as well, especially when it comes to Ruby Stitch’s physical manifestation of magic.
If you enjoyed this Symbolism Saturday post, be sure to stop by for a new one every other Saturday. Do you have a favorite example of symbolism in pop culture? Be sure to share it in the comments! You can also connect on Twitter at @Popliterary, or send a message on the “contact me” page.
And as always, if you have a literary device you want to know more about, or a game, comic, show, or movie that you want to see make an appearance on the blog, leave a shout-out in the comments!