Emanata: Lines and squiggles that emanate from a cartoon character or object to indicate any of a variety of states of being.
Emanata was coined by the American cartoonist Mort Walker (born 1923), creator of the long-running comic strips Beetle Bailey and Hi and Lois. In his Lexicon of Comicana, (1980), Walker introduced a number of invented words, including:
Plewds: teardrop shapes emanating from a character's head to express embarrassment or worry.
Blurgit: a combination of symbols expressing speed and action.
Neoflects: short, straight lines around an object to indicate that it's brand-new.
Jarns, quimps, nittles, and grawlixes: the squiggles, stars, and other glyphs that substitute for curse words.
Although the Lexicon of Comicana was originally written as a satire of cartoonists' stock devices, it's used today as a textbook for art students.
More on Mort Walker's comic lexicon.
Image from Lexicon of Comicana.
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