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The Smashing Cartoons

Smashing Cartoons was a regular section on Smashing Magazine in which we used to publish a new cartoon every Friday illustrated by the one and only Ricardo Gimenes1.

We all have our favorite client stories, embarrassing design flaws and never-ending user requests which are all just a part of what we, as designers and developers, encounter very often in our daily work routine. In this new post series on Smashing Magazine, we’d like to put some of these situations into the spotlight and discuss them with you. The cartoons are all dedicated to Web design and also have a comic twist about everything happening around the Web and latest trends.

Further Reading on SmashingMag:

The main character of the cartoons is Fleaty, a talented, hard-working designer with big ambitions yet not that much luck when it comes to clients. Hopefully, Fleaty will put a smile on your face and maybe remind all of us of the flaws we have, and help us finally get rid of them.

All of the cartoons are dedicated to design and Web development, but also have a comic twist about everything happening around the Web as well as give you some insights behind the curtains of Smashing Magazine. We hope you enjoy them as much as we did, and still do!

Cartoon #61: Sluggish Computers

Cartoon #60: Back To Home

Cartoon #59: Last Minute Ticket

Cartoon #58: Access Restricted? VPN Is Your Friend

Unfortunately, today the Web is not as open as it used to be. Access to some websites (especially website offering video and audio content) is restricted due to licensing constraints. This is especially annoying when you are on vacation and would love to use the services that you have paid for in your country. There are workarounds to make all services work from anywhere. The solution is VPN, Virtual Private Networks.

Smashing Cartoon #58: Access Restricted? VPN Is Your Friend!

Cartoon #57: Tyranny Of The “Like” Button

This cartoon is referring to the article The Insidious Evils of ‘Like’ Culture5 in which the “Like” culture in our society is criticized. The article discusses how in our age of online view counts and retweets, conformity is unfortunately becoming the rule.

Smashing Cartoon #57: Tyrany of the Like button

Cartoon #56: “Exclusive” Social Network

Smashing Cartoon #56: Exclusive Social Network

Cartoon #55: Responsive Design By Default?

This cartoon is referring to the observation which Vitaly, the editor-in-chief of Smashing Magazine, has made on one of his trips. You can follow the discussion which inspired the cartoon below.

Smashing Cartoon #55: Responsive Design By Default?

Cartoon #54: UX Design

This cartoon is referring to the discussion in the community about the meaning of terms ‘UX’ and ‘UX Design’. Andy Budd presents an interesting perspective on this issue in his article “What’s in a name: The duality of user experience”6.

Smashing Cartoon #54: UX Design

Cartoon #53: The Interface

This cartoon is based upon Oliver Reichenstein’s article “*Why and how Google+’s interface is kicking ass7” in which he discusses the qualities of a good user interface and how they are applied in the Google+ design.

Cartoon #52: Back Button

This cartoon is based upon Jared Spool’s presentation “The Secret Lives of Links”, as summarized in Luke Wroblewski’s conference notes8.

Cartoon #51: Making The Web A Better Place

Smashing Cartoon #50: Making The Web A Better Place

Cartoon #50: Mobile First

Smashing Cartoon #51: Mobile First

Cartoon #49:They Just Don’t Care

Smashing Cartoon #48

Cartoon #48: They Just Don’t Care

Smashing Cartoon #48

Cartoon #47: Online Reading Experience

Smashing Cartoon #46

Cartoon #46: Mobile Design Strategy

Smashing Cartoon #45

Cartoon #44: Responsive Web Design

Smashing Cartoon #44

Cartoon #43: Web Design Trends

Smashing Cartoon #43

Cartoon #42: How To Start a Blog and Make Money

Smashing Cartoon #42

Cartoon #41: The Fleaty: Relations With Clients

Smashing Cartoon #41

Cartoon #40: The Fleaty: The Geek Bug

Smashing Cartoon #40

Cartoon #39: Web Battle

Smashing Cartoon #39

Cartoon #38: Designer’s Conscience

Smashing Cartoon #38

Cartoon #37: Modern Jobs

Smashing Cartoon #37

Cartoon #36: Back to work

Smashing Cartoon #36

Cartoon #35: Happy New Year

Smashing Cartoon #35

Cartoon #34: Wishes

Smashing Cartoon #34

Cartoon #33: The Beatles

Smashing Cartoon #33

Cartoon #32: iPhone 4, White

Smashing Cartoon #32

Cartoon #31: Cookies

Smashing Cartoon #31

Cartoon #30: Children

Smashing Cartoon #30

Cartoon #29: Search III

Smashing Cartoon #29

Cartoon #28: Search II

Smashing Cartoon #28

Cartoon #27: Search

Smashing Cartoon #27

Cartoon #26: New Experiences

Smashing Cartoon #26

Cartoon #25: Evolution (Some Things Never Change)

Smashing Cartoon #25

Cartoon #24: Food Delivery

Smashing Cartoon #24

Cartoon #23: Ping Without Pong

Smashing Cartoon #23

Cartoon #22: Open Standard Live Streaming

Smashing Cartoon #22

Cartoon #21: Face and Places

Smashing Cartoon #21

Cartoon #20: The Smashing Cartoons

Smashing Cartoon #20

Cartoon #19: Forbidden Apps

Smashing Cartoon #19

Cartoon #18: Twitter Birds II

Smashing Cartoon #18

Cartoon #17: Twitter Birds

Smashing Cartoon #17

Cartoon #16: Crime Scene

Smashing Cartoon #16

Cartoon #15: Hell’s Meeting

Smashing Cartoon #15

Cartoon #14b: Summer Holiday

Smashing Cartoon #14

Cartoon #14: Summer Holiday

Smashing Cartoon #13

Cartoon #13: How To Choose a Smartphone

Smashing Cartoon #12

Cartoon #12: Comments

Smashing Cartoon #12

Cartoon #11: The Flash Guy

Smashing Cartoon #11

Cartoon #10: Adobe vs. Apple

Smashing Cartoon #10

Cartoon #9: Jessica Talk Show (Cont.)

Smashing Cartoon #9

Cartoon #8: Jessica Talk Show

Smashing Cartoon #8

Cartoon #7: Smashing Team and Ricardo Gimenes

Smashing Cartoon #7

Cartoon #6: The Intern

Smashing Cartoon #6

Cartoon #5: The Intern

Smashing Cartoon #5

Cartoon #4: How to make money from iPad

Smashing Cartoon #4

Cartoon #3: iPhone OS 4

Smashing Cartoon #3

Cartoon #2: iPad

Smashing Cartoon #2

Cartoon #1

Smashing Cartoon #1


Smashing Pilot


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The Smashing team loves high-quality content and cares about the little details. Through our online articles, Smashing Books, eBooks as well as Smashing Conferences, we are committed to stimulating creativity and strengthening the web design community’s creative forces.

  1. 1

    Hillary Hopper

    April 8, 2011 9:47 am

    This is pretty cute and very funny. I enjoyed this a lot.
    There should also be a girl geek bug too. ;)

  2. 2

    I love the CLIENT DON’T CARE part

  3. 3

    IE9 may not like a geek bug but I bet it’s riddled with other bugs…

  4. 5

    Ingvi Jónasson

    April 8, 2011 12:18 pm

    Funny stuff, specially “Relations with Clients”.

  5. 6

    Thomas McGee

    April 9, 2011 9:41 am

    Nicely done comic series and well drawn. One thing that would be nice is to see each comic in its own post, rather than consecutively on one page, though the new archive helps. It would make it a bit easier to share one specific comic as well. Just a thought at this point, but again, nice work!

  6. 7

    Love the cartoon. Especially First one :)

  7. 8

    Love the fonts used! Anybody know what is the font used in the captions? Love the cartoons too, by the way.

  8. 10

    The Clients Don’t Care was quite realistic :)
    Love the series and looking forward to upcoming ones.

  9. 11

    The blog comic is very true :-)

  10. 12

    Very Creative!!
    I like it..
    Keep it up…Waiting for Surprising Cartoon!!

  11. 13

    Great Job.

  12. 14

    I really like the “lady bug” in the “Best design innovation award”. If design ideas could really get girls to run around web designers… :-D

  13. 15

    Chanaka S Irugalbandara

    April 18, 2011 3:02 am

    Love the cartoons. specially First one :) awesome

  14. 16

    ha ha..really them all..but my fav “Cartoon #42: How To Start a Blog and Make Money”

  15. 17

    so cute loved them keeps me happy whilst up designing, designing…

  16. 18

    Very cute…LOL.

  17. 19

    Really! these are all what happening in designers or developers life, who love to use new technologies. Because the client and testing department are still using lower version of IE. Finally removing all new technologies are removed to ensure its working perfect in IE 6 or 7…..So sad :( .

  18. 20

    I like this one How To Start a Blog and Make Money. nut all are amazing

  19. 21

    Very funny stuff. Keep em comin!

  20. 22

    Why do you delete all the negative comments people leave here?

    • 23

      Smashing Media Customer Support

      April 27, 2011 2:58 pm

      Dear Jeph,

      We never delete negative comments. We just sort out comments with keywords or domains as names, spam and advertising.

      Best regards,


      • 24

        I don’t think so…

        Last time I looked at this page there was some objective critcs from some people. They had nothing to do with spam and are all gone now…

  21. 25

    Haha very cool!

  22. 26

    Also the third one.. how to start a blog!!

  23. 27

    Haha… the second one was pretty funny!! :D

  24. 28

    Hahaha. Very good

  25. 29

    Arash Miani

    May 1, 2011 1:29 am

    lol :D very nice work… keep it up SM

  26. 30

    Cool….. thanks so much!

  27. 31

    Nice one, how we can all relate so well.
    big up yourself Richardo and them skinny-leg styles.

  28. 32

    Hey guys,

    just a heads up: you’ve use #43 twice.

  29. 33

    These strips are great fun to read!

    Cheered me up, the art work Is fantastic.

  30. 34


    May 6, 2011 9:41 am

    Smashing Cartoons amazed me so much. I love the colors used and the Illustration. Great job!

  31. 35

    Funny. Something that I guess most of us can identify with. The #42 actually is depressing me a little – all that effort just for nothing ;(

  32. 36

    Really funny stuff!

  33. 37

    Adam Kayce

    May 9, 2011 6:58 am

    #44 is killing me, because that just happened to me a couple weeks ago. Helvetica, though, not Tahoma, was the fallback. Ugh.

  34. 38

    Love the new comics :)

  35. 39

    The funniest! Thanks!

  36. 40

    just loved it ….. amazing work guys …. keep going ….

  37. 41

    great, but how to see the previous edition ?

  38. 42

    really like this! good stuff

  39. 43

    Love where you guys are going with these! Keep it up! Thinkin’ maybe a site solely devoted to these might be proper (do it like The Oatmeal site and everything will be right in the world)

  40. 44

    The talented bug seems so miserable…But I like it;life is life:)

  41. 45

    No matter what you are using, wordpress or Drupal, Linux or Mac, the client just want their website to be online, beautiful and working. Nothing else matters to them

  42. 46


    Pretty cool ones, can i uses these cartoons on my website?

    • 47

      Smashing Media Customer Support

      May 30, 2011 6:07 am

      Of course you can post content fom our website when you make sure that everybody is informed where the original content comes from. Please set a link to and the specific cartoon.

  43. 48

    Sreenath H B

    May 31, 2011 12:45 am

    Loved the sweating cool working guy cartoon in all of them with that “oooo” expression on the face. Wish you had a Facebook Like or Share button on individual cartoons. :)

  44. 49

    These are just stunning!!! Well done

  45. 50

    Ching Ching Yao

    June 2, 2011 9:28 am

    Cool !! Funny, nice and working. i like it. May i uses these post on my web? ^^

    Thank forward ^^”

    Ching Ching Yao Fm Thailand

  46. 51

    An RSS feed of the cartoons would be cool, so I know when to stop back!

  47. 52

    I like the cartoons very much. But sometimes they take a little bit time for me to understand. Is it just me for being a non native English speaker or anybody else also think so? Sometime I think a little bit intro on what the cartoon about might help. Just sharing my thought….

  48. 53

    Sebastiaan Stok

    June 10, 2011 6:18 am

    “I don’t care for the design. Just give me a big shiny button to click on”.
    Ya, I know that one :)

    The the new toons are really great and funny.
    Who thought a bug could be that great.

  49. 54

    I love it! Thank you for presenting this information in such an interesting way!

  50. 55

    These cartoon illustrations are really awesome…

  51. 56

    Wow, this is awesome!
    hw did you make it? Phtoshop/ Corel?

  52. 58

    i <3 that its so so relevant..

  53. 59

    WOW really admire the series & the presentation…

  54. 60

    Amazing… liked overall. collective info….

  55. 61

    nice! good job~~~

  56. 62

    #52 cartoon really is funny, sarcastically though.. with no offence to the marketing managers out there such suggestions and unbelievable tips are much frequent on the discussion board for any marketing strategy or project and sometimes just seems uneasy to be dealt with.

  57. 63

    Pedro Picado

    July 12, 2011 1:42 am

    Great fun and humour, also quite informative for some neub webdesigners like me!

  58. 64

    This is brilliant! =D

  59. 65

    Hemang shah

    July 17, 2011 8:28 am

    Good work Awesome!

  60. 66

    Please let us know what typeface you’re using for your speech bubbles…it is gorgeous

  61. 67

    Why isn’t there a single character that is a woman?

  62. 68

    These seem to be getting worse and worse.

    Not only are a lot of them confusing to read, but the latest one on Social Media “Exclusivity” just makes no sense, I don’t get the point you guys are trying to make here.

    I would prefer if you guys just focus on quality content.

    (also where has all the constructive criticism posts gone?)

    • 69

      While I can follow the comics, the writing does need some work, I agree. Everyone started somewhere, though, and this comic -has- improved over time.

      They’ve deleted all the constructive criticism comments, though, leaving only the praise; this sort of kills any positive feelings I had for this comic. I’m very disappointed in Smashing Mag.

    • 73

      That’s for insiders. Google made their social network “exclusive by invitation”: only invited people are blessed to be the first ones who try the network out. But once they achieved this “exclusive” membership, they’ll find out, that there are millions of other “blessed people”.

      This trick actually makes a network popular in a faster way rather than it would if it was open as from the beginning. They catched it up from women who play “hard to get”…

  63. 74

    The ‘like’ culture is insane. There were some idiots who ‘like’d an obituary notice posted in my facebook wall to inform that one of my colleagues have passed away!!!!! Holy @!@#$%!

  64. 75

    Mohawk Kellye

    August 8, 2011 11:17 am

    The like thing can be stupid but at the same time I don’t think it’s completely killed people actually writing thought out responses. My friend write thought-out comments all the time. But at the same time if I “like” a photo I don’t have to say it, I can just click a button. I don’t arbitrarily “like” things, though.

  65. 76

    Great cartoons.
    Though I wish that I could comment on those separately.

  66. 77

    The art is gorgeous.

    Unfortunately, the writing definitely needs improvement. A couple of the comics just drag on with no real point or humor to them. #49 is a good example of this.

    On the other hand, #57 is written very well. I hope that this is a sign of good things to come for this part of SM. I would really like to look forward to seeing these.

  67. 78

    I actually like the “Like” culture. It thins out the nonsense in the internet, where just one person is writing nonsense and the others just agree-by-click instead of writing nonsense in response.

  68. 79

    Fleaty, sorry man, not a fan of the comic. The only thing talked about are things that are blatantly obvious and true, but not particularly interesting, insightful, or funny. It’s like a soap opera with no humor or drama. After reading 7 of these in a row, I have failed to have any type of emotional reaction, positive or negative, toward any of the characters.

    On the up side, I like the clean visual style, character design, and color choices. All flash, no feeling.

  69. 80

    its really entertaining cartoon.. :-D

  70. 81

    Very Creative!!
    amazing collection…..
    I like it..
    Thanks for share….

  71. 82

    Brian Wiltshire

    September 5, 2011 5:12 am

    Great, Thanks for keeping me busy :)

  72. 83

    ha ha ha :D i love the way they illustrate things, nice colors and story boarding, enjoyed.

  73. 84

    I love this style of cartoon. Nice work.

  74. 85

    Great series of cartoons..nice style…the geek bug reminds me of the Squander Bug from WWII

  75. 86

    Awesome creations!!!!!!!

  76. 87

    These cartoons are repulsive.

  77. 88

    Ricardo mendes? this is a Brazilian name, you came from Brazil?

  78. 89

    Ricardo Gimenes :) Not “mendes”. Yes, Is Brazilian guy

    Good Work Ricardo !!!

  79. 90

    Will you guys do a Steve Jobs tribute cartoon? Might be nice.

  80. 91


    November 1, 2011 12:44 pm

    Oh so true! Really clever.
    Love it!

  81. 92

    Awesome! No words to praise… Good job :) Fleaty rocks :)

  82. 93

    this is so badly written :( it reminds me of Kartoonist Kelly from The Onion, but this seems to be serious. I lost it at the crying Fleaty in the last panel of a particularly ham-handed strip… This would make a great parody if it were meant as such

    but the art is cool!

  83. 94

    Cool, a brazilian creating draws to a important website how SMagazine…you “Fuck Yeah” hahahaha

  84. 95

    Awesome! great work..keep it up!!

  85. 96

    Great Stuff…. loved it very much. Keep up the good work!

    Also give some proper reply to people who say that you guys have deleted negative comments! If you haven’t, you should convince them with it.

    And shouldn’t let anyone spoil your image.

  86. 97

    Great work overall! I quite like it! But cartoon 41 have a typo you typed clent instead of client, or you mean to do it

  87. 98

    I think the flea is gross. I made myself look at these just to see if they were otherwise good, but I can’t get over the flea.

  88. 99

    Verrrrry cool. It’s nice to see many of our common frustrations visualized through comics. Haters just shouldn’t post here. Bravo, Ricardo!

  89. 100

    When people draw artworks like this do they usually scan hand drawn drawings or is it straight on the computer? Thanks

  90. 101

    Why do you actually promise to publish a new cartoon each week if you can’t hold that promise?
    No one forces you to…

  91. 102

    Astro Gremlin

    May 8, 2012 11:56 am

    How to Start a Blog and Make Money # 42 is funny. And cruel.

  92. 103

    These are gems.. too funny!


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