%#@* that cartoon cursing!
What does one call the use of random non-alphabet characters to indicate cursing? It's a universally understood device, and is applied in both graphic and textual settings. It is such a commonly accepted staple that I assumed it must already be defined and described - but apparently it's not.
I began by checking with the the San Francisco Cartoon Art Museum, and was told by the collections manager that "I asked some of our resident experts and no one seemed to know if there was as single term to describe %*&#."
I later asked Dan Piraro, the brilliant talent behind the nationally syndicated cartoon panel Bizarro. He said: "I have no idea what it is called, either. We use it, but we don't really talk about it. "Cartoon cursing" perhaps?"
"Cartoon cursing" is good enough for me. I really wonder about this trope. Below are some clever self-conscious examples of this device.