Der moralische Stinkefinger

Web Comic


Name: Der moralische Stinkefinger
Format: Web comic
Time of creation: Winter 2021/22
Project type: Bachelor’s project


Web comic about moralism in sustainability communication

„Der moralische Stinkefinger“ was the accompanying design project to my bachelor’s thesis about moralism in sustainability communication. It’s a web comic whose main characters are the five fingers of a hand. One of them – the forefinger – is terribly moralistic. This annoys the others, so they try to find convincing arguments against his moralism. The ensuing dispute explains what moralism is, why it should be avoided when communicating about sustainability, what alternatives exist and why it might not always be as bad as everyone thinks.

Understanding the Title

This project relies heavily on German idioms and wordplay. Take a look at these translations to better understand it:

  • „Den moralischen Zeigefinger heben“ (lifting the moral forefinger) is an idiom used to accuse someone of being overly moralistic and judgmental of another’s actions. The forefinger is therefore an embodiment of moralism.
  • „Stinkefinger“ (smelly finger) is what German speakers call the middle finger when you flip someone the bird. In the comic, the other fingers nickname the forefinger „Stinkefinger“ to indicate how offensive they find his constant moralism.
Comic scene of the five fingers of a hand. Because of the forefinger's moralizing, they express their desire to be anywhere but where they are.
Comic scene showing the interior of a car in which five fingers sit like humans. One of them mentions that they don't want to moralize, but is interrupted by the rest, who chorus: But couldn't we have gone by bike?
Comic scene in which two fingers argue about whether someone has the right to meddle in other people's affairs if it's for the good of the environment.
Comic scene of a thumb trapped in a thumb screw, complaining about the crushing weight of the moral expectations laid upon them.

Read the Comic (in German)