This week's panel suggested by Travis Pelkie

Something not unlike a plot development

Surprised to find myself drawing an actual plot twist this week, one that promises an actual story to follow. Aaah, promises, promises...

As always, suggestions are listed in the order they were received. Thanks for playing and please join us again next Sunday!

Sunday 05/23/1999

Bill Schlimme

  • Barkeep: "Sorry, son, no alcohol here: this here's an OXYGEN bar!" Carl: "D'OH!"
  • Carl in a bar, which is curiously replete with men who look like the Brawny paper towel guy, 6'3" "women" with stubble, and women in tuxedos ala Marlene Dietrich. Carl, drinking a wine spritzer: "Something's not...quite...right..." (Alternate dialogue: "My Spider sense is tingling..." little spider sense lines radiate from his head...)
  • Carl in the same bar as above suggestion. Daisy, in the company of women(?), and more than a little aghast: "OMIGOD! CARL?!" (Or, alternately, it could be Mom, who would merely remind Carl that she expects him not to try to drive home, before retreating to the back room with a few of her, uh, "new friends".)
  • Caption: "Later..." Carl, obviously incredibly inebriated: "I shoulda had a V8!"
  • Carl, bellying up to a bar: "BARKEEP! Gimmee a Shirley Temple, on the rocks! And make it snappy!"

David Bedno of those times where "On the other hand, maybe not." would be a valid answer. Oh well.

  • Carl arrives in front of the bar: "I have made it to the promised land!" For best effect, Carl is standing outside the front door, arms out in triumph.
  • Carl's car has just knocked over a row of motorcycles.
  • As above, but he's saying "I better tell the nice people inside what happened."
  • Carl is in the middle of an empty field, and plagerizes... "I knew I should have taken that left turn at Albequerque." Alternately, he just says "I seem to be lost."
  • Carl, slumped over the bar. "No more for me. I've got to drive home." Carl's voice, heck Carl, should look slurred. (You're the artist - you figure out how someone looks slurred...)
  • Carl looks nervous, saying to the bartender, "Umm...of course I have ID."
  • ...Meanwhile, across town, Daisy waits...
  • We see Carl, hitchiking next to a car that's suffered some kind of mechanical failure (flat tire maybe). "Or maybe I'll hitchike, then drink."
  • Carl, in a biker bar, "I'd like a sloe gin fizz please."
  • Carl looks nervous, saying to the bartender, "I seem to be out of cash. Take a check?"

    Hrm...and if I win? How about a plug for - a comic strip that seems more about my workplace than Dilber does these days...


  • Carl walks into the bar. Everyone shouts "CARL!"

Erich Mees

  • Carl's car screeches to a halt (with the requisite Feazell "ERT!" sound effect) just a few feet from where it currently is. The car has moved forward enough so that we can now see the rest of the sign that was previously cut off by the edge of the panel: "Barber." From the car, Carl says, "But first, I need a haircut!"
  • Again, the car stops in front of the establishment, and we can now see the full sign: "Barnum." Carl says "Hey, the circus is in town!"
  • Same thing, except the sign says "Barbarella" (it's a movie theater). Carl says "Wow, I LOVE Jane Fonda!"
  • The sign says "Barracks." Carl says "That's it! I'll join the army and then I can drink as much as I want!"
  • The sign says "Barbells." Carl says "Hmm, if I lift weights and bulk up, I'll be able to put away more booze!"
  • The sign says "Bare Naked Ladies." Carl says "That's it! A rock concert!"
  • The sign says "Bare Naked Ladies." Carl says "That's it! A strip club!"

Patric Lewandowski

    It's 10:26 pm on sunday and I can't think of anything witty to say here. Maybe later....

  • Carl drives the car into the bar. "Drive through al-key-hol!"
  • At the side of the bar is a drive-through window. Carl: "Beer me!" Speaker: "Do you want frys with that?"
  • Carl pulls up to a garage. "Even better, I'll customize my car to run on beer!"

    Those drive through bar jokes are actually inspired by a liquor store near my college that has, heaven help me, a drive through sign and window.

Jimmy Traversend

    I'm tired.

  • Carl hits Daisy with the car.
  • Enter: Paper Mache Man!
  • Carl drives off a cliff.
  • Carl stops and the Bar explodes.

    Have you ever been tired all week long?

[As recently as last week. --Scott]

Greg Lam

    Let's get referential!

  • Carl enters the bar, which looks something like the bar of "Cheers". Carl: Good evening everyone! Everyone: CARL!

Mike Athey

    Carl enters the bar and sees a salty sailor regaling his barmates with tales of his journeys. " there I was, on the south seas, raftin' my way to the Torgo Key..."

  • Carl regards the sailor and says "Hey! Its Ol' Man Salty"

    This can lead to a little adventure for our boy Carl...

dan wheeler

  • carl walks into the bar. everyone in the bar yells CARL!
  • carl standing in barber shop. carl: oh no! this is a barber shop!
  • carl drives up to drive in window of a liquor store.
  • a squirrel scurries out in front of carl's car. carl swerves. SCREEEECH!


  • Carl should run into a drunk driver @ "next"

Doug Waldron

    Matt Normand needs to get out more.

  • Carl sitting at the bar: "One down, one to go."
  • Carl walks into the bar and says, "A termite walks into a bar and says, 'Is the bar tender here?'" Carl starts laughing uncontrollably and is set upon by the other patrons.
  • Carl is getting out of his car in the parking lot when he sees a young lady getting mugged. Carl: "What the--?"
  • Carl crashes into bar. Optional word balloon: "Dang."

    If only there were a panel between the "bar" and "liquor store" panels. If only...

[We all need to get out more. Especially me. --Scott]

Doug Sheppard - not just a comic strip, it's also a long domain name.

  • Carl drunk out of his skull, surrounded by empty beer steins: "Or was it drink, then drive? I forget..."
  • Carl gets out of the car, which is half on the sidewalk and has knocked over a trash can. Thought balloon: "Gotta remember where I parked."
  • At the door to the bar, Carl thinks to himself: "Enter, pour."
  • Carl chugs down the beer in the bar's parking lot: "Good thing I brought my beer with me!"

jeff johns

  • Outside shot of the car. A street sign points in the direction Carl is driving. It reads "Hell." Caption: "Good Intentions..."
  • Carl driving Car, chugging a can. "Oh well, Carpe Diem"
  • Carl's Guardian angel, "This kid's driving me to drink"
  • Neil Gaiman straight on Public Service announcement (maybe on a tv) "Hi Kids, this is Neil Gaiman, saying, don't be a lush."
  • Carls car crashes into Frankenstein.
  • Carl sitting in the bar, singing "Love on the Rocks"
  • A ninja lands on the roof of the car. Carl: "Spidey-sense tingling."
  • "And now a word from our sponser" Scene of two lizards holding cans of beer. Maybe a chihuahua holding a taco, too.
  • Lights and sirens from behind, as a cop tries to pull him over.
  • Enter: Anubis.

Pepper Jones

  • "But what to drink?" Carl faces a bewildering selection of beverages.
  • Carl stumbles out of the bar, drunk bubbles bursting around his head, "...Bartender cut me off... But- still thirsty..."
  • "Say, quarter shots of 'Mystery Brew'!" A large barrel behind the bar with a question mark on it. Or maybe just a bucket.

Ethan Heitner

    Darn those dratted kids! Foiled my plots again! Well, this week I'll get 'em....

  • Smashy smashy! Car runs into bar.
  • Carl strides into the bar, which is filled with lowlifes, scum, and assorted lugs, and is poorly lit, dirty, the quintessential bar in the bad part of town... Carl: This looks like a great place to spend some time!
  • Cartoony effect as car comes to screeching halt in front of bar. Cue SFX: ERRRT! (Or whatever the appropriate one is...)
  • Carl: Eh, this bar doesn't look that hot. I'll go down to the bar... IN THE FIFTH DIMENSION!
  • Carl enters the bar like the outlaw entering in any one of dozens of spaghetti westerns... Carl (suddenly in need of a shave): Any of you varmints wanna fight?

    Annnnd that's all for now.

Jesse Rimler

    I'm not a big Starwars fan but this is hard to resist, considering the film will have premiered nationwide when this panel would be seen:

  • Carl is now in the bar, but this tavern is not your normal establishment, it's the Mos Eisley Cantina from Starwars! Take this visually where you want, maybe have Greedo in the backround or Obi-Wan and the like. Carl:(optional)What a hive of scum and villainy!


Michael Patrick

  • Carl hunched over bar with a drink in each hand and little drunken bubbles floating around his head. Thinking to himself- "Now, how am I supposed to get home?"
  • Carl in bar surrounded by women- Daisy appears in sillohuette. Carl- "Daisy!"
  • Carl drives right past the bar- "Oh my god! I've lost my bar!"

Joshua Dallman

    Carl: The unofficial sposkesman for AA (or was that AAA?)

  • Carl walks into the bar and says to the bartender, "got beer?" and the bartender says "got milk?"
  • Carl walks into the bar and says to the bartender, "got beer?" and the bartender says "no, but I got milk!"
  • Carl walks into the bar and says to the bartender, "got beer?" and the bartender says "got cash?"
  • Carl walks into the bar and says to the bartender, "got beer?" and the bartender says "got insurance?"
  • Carl walks into the bar and says to the bartender, "got milk?" and the bartender says "got MILK?!?"
  • Carl walks into the bar and says to the bartender, "got milk?" and the bartender says "got beer"
  • Carl walks into the bar and says to the bartender, "why the long face?" and the bartender says "got milk?"
  • A horse walks into the bar and says to the bartender, "why the long face?" and the bartender says "got milk?"
  • A cow walks into the bar and says to the bartender, "why the long face?" and the bartender says "got milk?"
  • A cow walks into the bar and says to the horse, "why the long face?" and the bartender says "got milk?" Carl looks at both of them and realizes he is thoroughly plastered.

    You should print up some Carl posters & T-Shirts!

[We're definitely considering it. --Scott]

Howard Schiller

  • Carl walks into the bar... but its the wrong bar!... picture Carl standing in the doorway with th place filled with rough biker types. All of them are angry and looking at Carl with that look in their eye. (a great way to start tying the scene into Gaiman's panel)

Travis Pelkie

  • Carl reads the Comics Journal upside down, thinking, hmm, starting to make sense.
  • Or else he finds his father in the bar, leading to a touching father's day panel.
  • Can't think of anything, unless he goes drinking with Thor like in that Hulk movie.

    Yeah, I've been reading TCJ 211. Good stuff. Maybe I'll email you my thoughts after I finish reading everything. 2 quick reasons why I think comics aren't thought of as well as film and tv. 1. the code is different, with comics code restricting content, but movie not, just suggesting age. 2. film and tv are for lazy people, the closure involved is easier than in comics. See ya next week.

Lewis Sephier

  • Carl walks into the bar and hails the bartender. Carl says "Sammy, Gimmie your worst!"

Steven Marsh

    I need little arrows. I'm not sure how the pieces are supposed to be ultimately read (or, can we go from Gaiman's guilt, hang a left, then end up at Carl promising?) Then again, I'm the person who needs to read the instructions on moist towelettes (Open. Unfold. Use.)

  • Full building comes into view. "Barbecue", it says. "All U can eat", claims the sign in the right-hand window. The tension is thick... will Carl stop? Will he keep driving?
  • A mysterious woman talking to a bartender inside the bar. Woman: "But how will we know the chosen one?"
  • Carl bending over in the car (not looking at the road). "Ooh! My favorite tape is on the floor!"
  • Carl (looking): "Who builds a bar next to a liquor store?" [get it? They're on the same street as the panel across. Tee-hee. :b ]

[ Hey, those moist towelettes can be a real challenge. As for the reading order, the basic rule of thumb is that all strings reading either down or to the right are valid and yes, you can turn corners. In other words, no hangin' a left.--Scott]

Morgan Doninger

    I have been waiting for this paenl with glee!

  • Carl walks into the crowded bar. Carl: "Evening everybody!" Bar Patrons: "Carl!" (The barteneder could look suspiciously like Ted Danson)

    glee says hi.

Andrew D. Arnold

  • [Pulls up just ahead of the bar. Sound effect: "ERT"] "Okay, that's enough driving. Now for some drinking."
  • "I'll try some bars in this part of town" [Car passes roadsign: "Entering Death Valley"]


  • Carl's car swerving as it leaves area of bar. Carl: "(hic) Mom will be proud of me. "
  • interior of bar. Carl talking to bouncer. bouncer: "NO id, you don't get it." Carl:" but I had it"

Jake Thompson

  • Carl walks into a dark, dirty biker bar saying "I'm sick of driving. Let's get busy!"
  • Carl rear-ends a BUD truck.
  • A keg crashes through Carls hood from above.
  • Carl stops in front of the bar and gets out with an awkward skip saying "Gotta pee! Gotta pee!"
  • Carl smashes through the front wall of the biker bar.
  • Carl squeels to a stop in front of a line of ducks crossing the road saying "But ho! What is this?"
  • Carl runs out of gas.
  • Carl stops in front of a child's lemonade stand saying "Hmmm. Just what I needed!"
  • Carl is driving by the Eiffel Towel saying "Starting to get a little parched."
  • Carl slams his breaks saying "NO! My life will be more than mere diving and drinking!"

Matt Holzmann

    I dug your comics manfesto. I had to read it for an English class, and I 'm glad I did. Thanks for the new perspective and respect for comics as an art form. I always had a problem with superheroes in Lite Brite tight tights. I must also admit to never throwing a comic book, however thick or engaging, into my routine of 'regular' reading. Thanks.

  • " the next (insert location here)." Light, overpass, mini-mall, Cuisinart wholesale outlet...
  • "The Pikes are having a shin-dig. I'll be able to get some there; Daisy doesn't know what she's missing."
  • Carl hears "Everybody must get stoned" from radio and says, "But in the meantime, I've got this joint."
  • The can is held up to reveal that it is merely "Bud & Sally's Root Beer." Carl decides that his mother is overprotective, because she will not let him do things while driving. He cracks the can and quenches his thirst.

frank episale

  • carl at entrance to bar is faced by a rather large, imposing gentleman whos says, "can i see some i.d.?"

Kevin Pease

  • We see a big "CLOSED" sign on the door of the bar. Carl overreacts as if his world has fallen apart. He can deliver a line like "Oh, God, No! NO!" or just emote.
  • Bartender: "We have a special today." Carl: "I'll try it!" (This could head toward an intersection with Carl's suicide attempt involving the deliberate ingestion of something highly toxic.)
  • Caption: "But Carl forgot that alcohol is a depressant..." Carl, slouched over the bar: "I'm so depressed! I want to die!"
  • Carl staggers out of the bar. "That was fun. I think I'll go buy a gun next."

Thom Marrion

    I am going to try very hard not to throw in some non sequitar that includes misfortune for my exgirlfriend.

  • Carl gets out of the car only to find that the bar has a big "Closed" sign in the window. Carl says,"Now what am I supposed to do."
  • Carl runs over my exgirlfriend. Man, that didn't take me long at all. No strong will at all.
  • Carl rearends a car and cries out, "Oh for crying out loud! I'm not drunk yet!"

Lee K. Seitz

  • Carl stumbles back out of the bar. "And now I'll *hic* drive some more."
  • "Good thing I got this fake i.d."
  • Drunk Carl in bar. "Wouldn't it be cool to have wings?"

mike sugarbaker

  • Seen from inside the darkened bar, Carl entering in a grand way (maybe pushing open some of those old double saloon doors). Carl: "Ah! My favorite watering hole!" Seated at the bar are various unsavory types, criminals, someone with an eye patch, etc.
  • As above, but seated at the bar is a guy in flames, and Thor.
  • Carl in a bar, on a barstool, surrounded by bored old guys who appear to be annoyed with him. Several empty shot glasses in front of Carl. Carl (loudly): "Nobody loves me! *sob*"
  • As above, but the blues tune or Morrissey song emanating from the jukebox is seen wafting through the air.
  • Carl, having entered the bar, is annoyed to find it full of oversized rodents, drinking and making merry and generally overrunning the place. Carl: "What is this? Groundhog Day?"


Kelvin the Lion

  • "lets, liqor, whisky, antifreeze, I think I'll have the antifreeze"

Aldo Alvarez

  • Inside the bar: Carl drinks himself into oblivion; glasses pile up in front of him. Carl wobbles incoherently on his stool, as if he's about to fall down. Carl's being watched by a bartender and a bar bouncer; they stand behind the bar and discuss what to do with this difficult customer. BOUNCER (to bartender): "86 this guy -- he's had enough." CARL (to himself) : "...Carl I jez know my priorities, right -- *HIC*"
  • Carl drives by the bar, since the bar's closed. Carl: Darn, I forgot it's Sunday afternoon!
  • Carl drives the bar, since he's noticed a new establishment has opened right beside it -- a pet shop. The pet shop has a "Grand Opening" banner on its sign. Carl: Hey, maybe I should get a dog!

Nathan Kuruna

    First of all, you should all go see Star Wars Episode I now playing at theaters everywhere! In honor of this bit of pop culture history, perhaps it would be appropriate to pay homage by re-creating a legendary scene in the first film which just so happens to take place in a bar...

  • Carl, at the bar, next to a vaguely alien looking patron (who may or may not resemble his movie counterpart as I don't know how easy that'd be to draw). The man is turned to Carl and says "We're wanted men. I have the death sentence on twelve systems!"
  • Carl, sitting in the bar, surrounded by familiar Star Wars aliens. Dialogue optional.

    Also, the movie is great. I've already seen it twice. As for the negative reviews, I'm now convinced that they must have been written by complete idiots.

Sky (age 6)

  • Carl says: where is my car.

Winter (age 3)

  • "I'm sad momma" I want Carl to say that to his mom.
  • My suggestion is: CD!
  • video stop and hggjxdvv cbvx ggdjmz, tkshvzg


  • Carl drunk outside the bar looking at the parking lot with only one car in it: Oh no I forgot where I parked the car.

Patric Lewandowski

  • Carl jumps out of car next to theater. "Oh no! I forgot all about the star wars movie!"
  • Carl enters into an old west style bar, throwing the double swinging doors open.
  • Carl finds himself suddenly in a car race.

    I liked my earlier suggestions better.

zoom out