This Week’s Cartoon: “Winter Hat Semiotics”

Been a while since I rapped at ya, I know. I’ve been busy vacationing at the Slowpoke Underground Bunker and Research Lab in an undisclosed location in the Rockies, and also working on a cool freelance project I hope to share with you in a few weeks.

I’ve been fascinated by the rise of the ironic trapper hat, as shown in the first panel. A couple months ago, I tried on a big one at REI. Then, the other night, I watched a hip young woman dancing in a bar while wearing one of these grandfatherly noggin-warmers. The left girl in the first panel is basically her. I also saw a mohawk-hat kid the other day. For more silly hats and amusing ski vacation anecdotes, I suggest you check out my friend Lloyd Dangle’s recent blogging and sketching from the Sierras.

I saw a bunch of animal-ear hats when I was at the San Diego Comicon, and also one at that same bar the other night. Please, people! Friends don’t let their adult friends walk around wearing little knit cat ears! Unless they are filming porn, that is.


  • Glenn Fleishman

    I had this great Russian fur hat I bought in Maine in the early 1990s that I wore for years. On a cold day in Seattle, I walk into my office (in 1995 or so), and two of the women I work with start to castigate me for wearing fur.

    I said, “Hey, it was made in China. You might have more sympathy for the prisoners that made it.”

    A few years later, it started shedding. The hair just went “poof” off the hat. My wife bought me a trapper-style hat (and one for my younger son) years ago, before it got trendy. I’m entirely non-hip, so I wear it because it keeps my ears warm.

  • Jen Sorensen

    @Glenn: I don’t really mind the trapper hats. They are at least functional. As long as you don’t start sporting bunny ears, you’re OK in my book.

  • idiosynchronic

    What’s the age limit? Because my 6 year-old daughter is *adorable* in animal ear hats.

  • Jen Sorensen

    Animal ears on kids are perfectly fine.

    Confession: in extreme cold, I put a sweater on my dog. It is also adorable.

  • Julie

    Dear Jen,
    This is the funniest comic I’ve seen in a long time. Especially as an avid knitter who can’t stop making hats for myself and everyone around me, including a red one with devil horns for my daughter. The best part, however, is that I’m from Utah and I actually saw a kid at my daughter’s Catholic school wearing a mohawk ski cap with his uniform the day after this comic came out. Loved it. Thanks for the laugh.

  • Jen Sorensen

    Thanks, Julie! Glad you appreciated it. I think some readers thought I was insulting their hats more than I meant to, so it’s good to see some people approached the comic with a sense of humor.

  • Robert Walton

    Fighting stupidity with humor…. thanks for the memorieeees!

Jen Sorensen is a nationally-published political cartoonist. She is a 2017 Pulitzer Finalist and recipient of the 2014 Herblock Prize and a 2013 Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award.