July 28th, 2011, 9:19 pm

Culinary Context: Math and Alice

As you may have noticed, there is a math joke in this comic. I will draw and email a free commission to the first person to solve it correctly AND show their work.

Math has never been my best subject, but it's an area of knowledge where I continually improve. One day in my second Calculus class (I took advanced Calculus in high school, but had to take it again in college), I came up with a math problem similar to the one Schulz is working on. After class I showed it to my teacher, and she agreed that one could solve it easily. I vowed to make it into a comic strip explaining how to do related rates. Dr. Beverly, if you are reading this, I hope you enjoy the comic itself even if it doesn't explain how to solve the problem.

Why did I write about the Chesire Cat? To put it simply, I never figured out why Disney made him maniacal and a sadistic kitty. He is just as mysterious in the original story; he keeps appearing and disappearing, confusing several people that try to behead him, and convinces Alice that she might be a little crazy if she's in Wonderland. That, and we mainly see his head disappear, leaving behind a "grin without a cat".

Tim Burton took a more definite take on the Chesire cat. He is clearly Alice's ally in the movie against the Red Queen, even he plays a small part as her counsel. While I preferred this interpretation to the harmful mischief in the cartoon, the Cat has only changed in the face of a greater evil. One does not know if he will revert to his loopy self after the White Queen restores Wonderland to normal insanity.

This is for my math teachers, Dr. Beverly and Ms. Duty, and for fellow webcomic artists who have cats. Have fun solving the equation!

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