A nice article [thanks to Ron Nigh for the pointer] by John Crowley (The Happy Place, from Boston Review) reflecting on the republication of the daily Pogo strips, 1948-1960. An essential of their charm and personal significance is their language, and Crowley has it just right:
The constancy of puns and wordplay; the subtle transmogrification of words into unrelated but significant other words that shadow them; the misheard, misremembered, and misspoken—the language not only drives the strips forward but embellishes the corners and backgrounds of panel upon panel with play that is not quite nonsense: Sent under separate cover of darkness . . . Support you in the style to which you are a customer . . . It don’t pay to Tinker for Ever with Chance . . . To corn a phrase . . . Girl of the Limberwurst . . . Never dark on the door again.
…the elaborate and continuous verbal play …was a constant feature of my own household, and seems to me clearly related not only to innate (or at least highly regarded and rewarded) verbal facility but also to a compulsion to put signifiers in doubt where the signified (sex, say, or money, or religion) is hard to approach directly.