Out of McCloud's entire chapter on the Vocabulary of Comics, this is one of the main lines that stuck out to me. This idea, that maybe if the speaker/character is less detailed (and therefore has a more amplified meaning), the voice or the idea which it symbolizes will have more of an impact on the reader. This concept is eerily similar to Barthes (who I am clearly obsessed with - I keep mentioning him in my posts!), who stressed the death of the author, or more simply put, a kind of simplicity and anonymity that is characteristic not only of writers, but also of cartoons. We often interpret cartoons or other icons in terms of what they represent rather than what they actually are. Take, for example, Waldo (as in "Where's Waldo?"). Waldo has a very simplistic look. He wears a striped shirt and hat, glasses, and blue pants. However, he represents a very specific purpose. His clothes are noticeable enough so that when you are scouring a page in a book trying to find him within a crowd of nameless characters, he will stick out just enough so as not to leave you defeated. Waldo's appearance may be simple, but his meaning is certainly amplified. If Waldo's features were more detailed and unique instead of so uniform, he may not be as popular as he is today.
The interesting part is that, as humans, I wonder if it is possible for us to keep someone like Waldo simple. With Halloween right around the corner, I think this is an appropriate example of how Waldo is beginning to lose his anonymity:
I think the main takeaway from this idea is that we, as humans, are constantly trying to put a piece of ourselves into everything else. We are selfish in this way, as McCloud says, and because of this, I think it is difficult for something as simple as a cartoon to ever really be as simple as it claims.