Going from Bad to Worse … and Back

Andertoons cartoon: finances going from bad to worse

I think when most people look at cartoonists, the thing they see most is the artist: someone who’s adept with pen and ink. But we’re also keen observers of language.

One of my biggest influences is George Carlin. No one could tear apart a common phrase and show you the inherent silliness like he could.

I’d run across “from bad to worse” and played with reversing it to “from worse to bad” which has got be better, right? I mean you’re going the other direction after all.

So it’s that odd pairing of “badly” and sales rising that inspired this cartoon; and Carlin inviting me to look closer at language we often take for granted.

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Mark Anderson, professional cartoonist

About the Author: Mark Anderson’s cartoons appear in publications including The Wall Street Journal and Harvard Business Review. Anderson is the creator of the popular cartoon website, Andertoons.com, where he licenses his cartoons for presentations, newsletters and other projects. He blogs at Andertoons cartoon blog.


Mark Anderson Mark Anderson's cartoons appear in publications including Forbes, The Wall Street Journal and Harvard Business Review. His business cartoons are available for licensing at his website, Andertoons.com.

8 Reactions
  1. Good one 🙂 When it’s been “worse” like it is now, I can’t wait to get back to “bad”. At least “bad” is a step up from “worse”. Business owners always make a positive out of something negative or else we would simply give up.

  2. Haha, goes to show you it’s all relative. Growth is growth, no matter where it’s coming from or going to.

  3. Oh, for a Dow that would hit 10,000 again!

    And a few weeks ago, I thought the Dow Jones Industrial Average at 10,000 would be a disaster.

    Funny how 2 weeks changes things. Can’t we just get back to “bad” again?

  4. It will get worse until it could go better… It is boom and bust, plus the slow reaction capacity by certain leaders.

  5. This is one of few posts that really made my day. I really admire people who can draw and be able to play with words. They are the “real artists” to me.

    Anyway, I think the dialogue shown in the cartoon shows two moods. One is insulting the members indirectly, and the other one is to put humor when problems are piling up.

    Thanks for making me smile.

  6. For a while I taught you were the cartoonist! lol…how true, this is the same as the cliche’, “when it rains, it pours.” Just when you think you’re at your worst, something comes along, interesting article!

  7. Excellent, Mark! How we wish we could reverse it. How we wish we could get back to ‘bad’ than worse. But it would be a lot better if it isn’t from both choices. Maybe – Good to Better, Better to Good.

  8. I agree Arthur it will be a lot better if we only have two choices: Good or Better. But just call it a spice in life. Solutions could not have existed if there were no problems to solve to. 🙂