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Attention: The World Mayan Today

December 21, 2012

Mayan. Might end. How often do you get to do an apocalyptic pun?

Supposedly, the Mayan Long Count Calendar predicts the world will end today, December 21, 2012. Experts have debunked the idea, and even present-day Mayans don’t believe it, but the media loves the hype, and so do cartoonists.

I had a vision of a “Mayan pencil” and a regular pencil playing tic-tac-toe. Here’s the final. Oops– I hope no one was planning to attend a New Year’s Eve party…

cartoon satirizing the mayan calendar which supposedly predicts that the world will end on December 21, 2012 mayan pencil and regular pencil playing tic-tac-toe game using mayan faces with tongues stuck out and the phrase Happy New Year Mayans win game implying there will not be a new year, no 2013

If you google “Mayan calendar,” you’ll find images like the ones below. Left: the Aztec Calendar Stone, also known as the Aztec Sun Stone.Β The Aztecs came after the Mayans and adopted their calendar. Right: folk art based on the Aztec Calendar Stone.

Aztec calendar stone also known as aztec calendar and sometimes portrayed as mayan calendar with sun god in middle with tongue sticking out, and same image in color as folk art using mayan and aztec glyphs

I based my own little Mayan characters on the above folk art. Here’s a detail image.detail image of cartoon satirizing the mayan calendar which supposedly predicts that the world will end on December 21, 2012 mayan pencil and regular pencil playing tic-tac-toe game using mayan faces with tongues stuck out and the phrase Happy New Year Mayans win game implying there will not be a new year, no 2013

If it looks a bit ragged, it’s because it’s just a souped-up rough sketch. I’m working on a New Year’s card for a client, and the gag line will be, “The Mayans were wrong– Happy New Year!” This was one of my ideas. I just cleaned it up a little and added some color. Here’s the original sketch.rough sketch for cartoon satirizing the mayan calendar which supposedly predicts that the world will end on December 21, 2012 mayan pencil and regular pencil playing tic-tac-toe game using mayan faces with tongues stuck out and the phrase Happy New Year Mayans win game implying there will not be a new year, no 2013

It seems doubtful the world will end today, which may be a letdown for some people. But look on the bright side: the dire predictions inspired a lot of humor. I’ll leave you with a couple of very funny gags by cartoonist Dan Piraro.Two cartoons by Dan Piraro creator of Bizarro comic strip on the Mayan calendar controversy and predictions that the world will end on December 21, 2012

What do you think? Have you been putting off your Christmas shopping– you know, just in case? I’d never heard of the Mayan Calendar until recently– had you? Ever played tic-tac-toe for really high stakes?? Hope you’ll leave a comment.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

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Other Posts You Might Enjoy:

Is It Too Late To Wish Everyone A Happy New Year??

Mark Armstrong Interview in The Daily Post at

Gypsy In The Morning: Django Reinhardt Alarm Clock

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  1. Lily in the Nova permalink
    December 21, 2012 3:17 PM

    Haha this was amusing! I also like how you incorporated the folk art into your illustration. I always love the little things like that. πŸ™‚

    When I first heard of the Mayan Calendar, I didn’t really know what it was. I found a YouTube video explaining that just because the Mayan calendar ends today, it doesn’t mean the world will end. It simply means a new calendar will begin, just like our own annual calendars – makes sense really πŸ˜›


    • December 24, 2012 2:33 PM

      Thanks, Lily– I appreciate someone who appreciates the details! : )

      Yes, I’m afraid the poor Mayans got blamed for something cooked up by 21st-century loonies and hucksters. Oh, well. It was fun while it lasted– some of it, anyway…

      Thanks for your cheery support! : )


  2. December 21, 2012 6:11 PM

    Love your illustrations, Mark. “The World Mayan Today” – is a great pun.
    Many knew the Mayan prediction of the world’s end – again – couldn’t be true because Marty McFly of “Back to the Future” traveled to 2015.

    Sad to say, some did take these predictions seriously.


    • December 24, 2012 2:26 PM

      When it comes to puns, I’m in there pitchin’ with The Best– you, Judy! Marty McFly– of course!! And his amazing, plutonium-powered Pinto– I remember it well… : P

      Thanks as ever for all your cheery support! : )


  3. December 21, 2012 9:25 PM

    I cannot stop laughing! Great idea! Love Dan Piraro’s work as well especially the second one…! πŸ˜€

    Very nice idea, Mark! Neither do I have ever heard of Mayan Calender until recently. Perhaps when there was a movie made about the Mayan Calender this year or last year? Not so sure. πŸ˜€


    • December 24, 2012 2:36 PM

      Thanks, Inge! I love to hear you laugh. Amazing how it travels all the way across the Atlantic Ocean… : P

      I think I did read somewhere that there’d been a movie about the Mayan Calendar. If so, I’m glad I missed it!

      Thanks so much for your jolly support! : )


  4. December 22, 2012 1:40 AM

    I always love the minute details in your illustrations. The details in the Mayan Pencil is amazing !

    Here in India it is 22nd already ! I guess we made it through an unusually uneventful doomsday πŸ™‚


    • January 7, 2013 2:23 PM

      Thanks, Vandy! I wish I had some of those Mayan pencils myself. My “plain old yellows” are pretty boring… : (

      Glad you and India survived Doomsday. I consider you the heart and soul of the country. I could see the Taj Mahal collapsing at the crack of doom, but I have to believe that you would remain standing tall! You might be short, but you still stand tall, if you know what I mean… : )

      Thanks for all your support, wishing you a very Happy New Year!! : )


  5. December 22, 2012 1:22 PM

    You should have had your Mayan pencils made so folks could purchase. So cute and colorful! Just what the end of the world needs:-) One of my friends said their office had a Doomsday party. So glad everyone got into the spirit of it, especially you Mark!


    • December 24, 2012 9:48 PM

      Yes! The advertising slogan practically writes itself: “End Of The World Pencils– You’ll Never Need To Sharpen Them!” Arrgghh!– I coulda made a fortune… : P

      A Doomsday office party… talk about partying like there’s no tomorrow–! : P

      No worries for us, though– we’re survivors! Cheers, Tracey!


  6. December 22, 2012 7:32 PM

    Hi Mark,
    This is a brilliant cartoon series. I loved it and I tweeted it. The Mayan’s did not claim the world would end they claimed only it was the end of an epoch. it’s the Jehovah’s Witnesses who have produced the all time record for predicting the end of the word as we know it.

    I am limping along on a dying computer and the techy will not be able to transfer the data on it to my new computer until the 28th or even later than that. 😦


    • December 24, 2012 9:59 PM

      Many thanks, TT, glad you enjoyed it. Yes, I’m afraid the Mayans fell victim to the sensationalism that passes for reporting and social media these days. Just goes to show, you’re never too ancient to be exploited for fun and profit… : (

      So it wasn’t the end of the world, but it was the end of your computer– hmm! Ironic! Hang ye in there!! : )


  7. December 22, 2012 10:41 PM

    I love, love this πŸ™‚ It’s 23rd of December now, so the world keeps evolving still… Yiheyyyyy!!!
    Merry Christmas Mark my dear friend and a happy happy New Year! xoxo


    • December 24, 2012 10:02 PM

      I never doubted the world would survive. That’s because Toothsome is indestructible, and the world revolves around her… : )

      Merry Christmas, dear Dolly! I hope Santa brings you lots of donuts and a new toilet brush!! : )


  8. December 23, 2012 5:22 AM

    The 21st was my folks’ anniversary.

    Today is my father’s birthday.

    I am ready for Christmas in two days.

    Life goes on.


    • December 24, 2012 10:05 PM

      It does indeed. Life goes on, and let’s face it, you and I are two of the true essentials in the grand scheme of things… : P

      Merry Christmas, Jak! : )


  9. jasonhamzy permalink
    December 23, 2012 8:54 AM

    Thanks for sharing Piraro’s comix. The Mayan calendar/apocolypse is pretty funny. I am an amateur artist who is toying around with blogging. I love what you are doing, and find it inspiring. Finding other artists doing what they love is what helps keep me from going crazy, so keep up the good work! I am at . Have a peaceful and very merry Christmas (or whichever winter holiday you like to celebrate =)


    • January 7, 2013 1:51 PM

      Thanks, Jason, I really appreciate your stopping by, and I’m sorry to be late responding to your very kind comment.

      It’s always nice to meet a fellow artist. I would encourage you to start a blog. It’s a great way to get your work seen, meet other artists, make friends, and get feedback. Thanks for your kind wishes, a belated Merry Christmas to you, and all the best in the coming year!! : )


  10. December 23, 2012 12:47 PM

    Haha! Nothing puts a spring in your step like knowing the world isn’t going to end! HA! I love that the little pencil didn’t know what the outcome of the game was until after all was said and done!! Well that’s kind of the way life is. You don’t really know what’s going on until after it’s all over! πŸ˜€ The cartoons are also hilarious. But if you would have drawn the guy at the bar, I bet he would have had his tongue sticking out — which would have made it just that much better! :D> ((That’s suppose to be a Mayan with tongue sticking out) What a great post!! πŸ˜€


    • January 7, 2013 1:23 PM

      Ha! Yes, that poor widdle pencil had to step back and see the big picture– and it weren’t pretty, nosuh!! It is like life, innit?? I’ve had the same distressing step-back experience many times… : (

      Thanks for the wonderful comment, Linda. Your humor is more than a match for any Mayan calendar– ZAP! And your new Mayan-with-tongue-sticking-out emoticon is going to be huge– it perfectly sums up so much of what one sees on the internet!!

      Sorry it took me so long to respond to this comment. I gotta make like a pencil and get the lead out!! : P


  11. December 25, 2012 2:29 PM

    A year ago I was listening in on a conversation of what the fashion trends would be for this AW12, when ‘Mayan” came up I hooted with laughter. The funniest thing to base a trend around


    • December 31, 2012 12:29 PM

      Yes, and since the world didn’t come to an end on December 21st, all those Mayan-inspired fashions are currently on sale!! I’m going to confidently predict that you’ll be picking up a number of those outfits, and that you’ll be doing an exciting post about same in your blog– and I know you’ll look stunning!!

      Wishing you a very Happy and Fashionable New Year!! : )


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