This week's panel suggested by Alycia "CyberCat" Shedd

And they're off!

Alycia's low key story-splitter was the perfect kick-off to two of our longest threads, narrowly beating out the crossed fingers and "Carl drinks and drives."

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

Sunday 04/11/1999

Darrin Wood

  • Ah, but she didn't say anything about drinking and grass skiing
  • Ah yes but she didn't tell me not to join the circus!

Erich Mees

  • An intoxicated Carl is in a bar, talking on the phone. He says: "Hello, Acme Taxi Company? I need a lift...I gotta promishe ta keep."
  • A sober Carl is in a bar with an intoxicated Daisy. He takes her keys and says "Come on, you've had enough. Let me drive you."
  • An intoxicated Carl teeing off at a golf course.
  • Carl on the green of the golf course, beer in one hand and putter in the other. "She didn't say anything about drinking and PUTTING!"

Jeff Clear

    The start of a new thread- cool.

  • Carl walking with a six pack- "I better walk then."
  • Carl- "I can't drink until after work anyway" as he puts his hand on the door of the...
    • ...zoo
    • station
    • ...offices of Microsoft
    • ...library
    • ...circus
    • ...McDonald's
    • ...sewage treatment plant
    • ...comic book store (Capital City Comics in Madison, WI)
    • ...Joe Louis Arena (I think Carl is a big hockey fan!)

    Okay, so I want to find out more about Carl the person. After all, we keep killing him but he's a person darn it. Let's at least make people think about him when they finally pull the plug on him. Let's find out where the poor guy works! Go Red Wings!!

Elan "icon boy" Trinidad

    Why are people so obsessed with the color their name is in?

  • ZOOM OUT: Panel #1 is actually a painting in a museum. Carl and someone (maybe Daisy) look at it. SOMEONE: "I hate it!" (dialogue is optional)
  • ZOOM OUT: Panel #1 is actually a TV image and Carl is watching it. He looks kind of lonely. CAPTION: "Although he was a successful actor, Carl wasn't happy." (dialogue is optional)
  • ZOOM OUT: Carl, an incomplete android, is just a bust on a pedistal or table, hooked up with wires, machinery and other stuff. Carl: "NOW will you fix me?"
  • ZOOM OUT: Carl and the Lady are actually puppets on a stage (like Punch and Judy). Carl (looking at the audience): "Because drinking is bad."
  • Carl puts on a wannabe Mickey Mouse suit (wouldn't want you to get sued). Carl: "Off to work I go."
  • ZOOM OUT: Instead of legs, Carl and the Lady have tentacles (like those cyclops Simpson's aliens). It would be kind of cool if you mixed this suggestion with someone else's.
  • Leave that "NEXT" dot there. Non-sequiter comics! Let's experiment!
  • Exaclty the same as panel #1 except Carl, with a red pen, crosses out the word "WON'T" and adds "'LL" to "YOU" in the Lady's word bubble.
  • ZOOM OUT: Carl is on the toilet. He's angry at the Lady. Carl: "Now could you give me some PRIVACY?!"
  • ZOOM OUT: Carl is in quick sand (a little wooden sign will be needed). Carl's scared. Carl: "Now will you PULL ME OUT?"

Ethan Heitner

    Here we go again....

  • Carl drinking and driving. Someone says (possibly Carl, possibly Mom, possibly a caption) "Gee, that didn't last long."
  • Carl is engaged in a deep struggle with his own id..." drink...and drive!"
  • Mom says to Carl: "Promise me you won't drink and drive, Carl." Carl: I thought we were done with stupid repitition gags already! AAAAARRRGH!
  • Carl: "Why don't YOU promise ME you won't drink and drive?"
  • Carl: "Well, she didn't say anything about drinking and DIVING...."
  • Carl climbs into a bumper car, at a carnival or fair, with a beer. "Nuts to that!"

Greg Lam

    This time I'm going to win goldarnit! My one, and only, suggestion:

  • The next panel should be the last panel. The gravestone (perhaps without "The End" but with "RIP Carl").

    We would now be ready for Zombie Carl, Ghost Carl, and Dr. Richard Seed clone Carl. The possibilities are endless! (Question: "Do you get many 'Enter Thor' suggestions?")

[Naah...not really --Scott]


  • carl decides not to drive an goes for a walk.

MIchael Patrick

    What is this "Enter Thor" thing under the Forbiden entries?

  • Carl is about to go bike riding. He has a thought balloon containing the image of a beer can floating above him"


  • "She never said anything about drinking and flying" says carl while flying a plane.
  • "To hell with her!" Says Carl in the car with a beer.
  • "I'll just have a lite beer, that doesn't count." Says Carl in the car.
  • "What can you do in this town sober?" Wonders Carl while driving the car.
  • "Oh well I needed the exercise." Says carl while staggering around the street drunk.
  • "Why does she always say that to me?" Wonders Carl as he drives the car.
  • "Sucker!" Cackels carl as he downs a frosty one at high speed.

Alycia "CyberCat" Shedd

  • Carl holding a beer in one hand, the car keys in the other, looking thoughtful. Thought balloon: "So what'll it be--drinking or driving?"

    So I suppose since I was one of several dozen people whose suggestion won, I can't plug my own amateur comic strip site? Dangit...;)

[Sure you could have, Alycia... And after THIS week, there should be no doubt at all! --Scott]

Morgan Doninger

    Two weeks is a long time.

  • Carl is sitting on the edge of a boat in full scuba gear. He also wears one of those hats with the two beers on the sides. The straw is going into his breathing tube. Carl's thought balloon: "She didn't say anything about drinking and diving!"

    Puns. You gotta love 'em.

David Bedno

    Hrm...starting is difficult...

  • A closeup of Carl with his fingers crossed.
  • Carl says "Looks like another night of drinking and walking, then."

James Riley

  • Carl saying, "Wow! No deaths in this section! Good news at last!"
  • Carl pulls a gun, saying, "Time to die, Momma Bear!"
  • Mom punches Carl in the gut, saying, "Don't lie to me!"
  • A UFO appears over Carl's head! Carl, wise to the world, says "Uh-oh..."

Rowan Lipkovits

    And now for something completely different.

  • The ubiquitous gravestone panel.

    This opens up subsequent panels to all sorts of surreal afterlife experiences and saves us the trouble of having to _avoid_ killing Carl (until certain points...) and with plot / path forking and twisting, a metaphysical journey could well justifiably portray two Carls meeting each other. I pray this would be abrupt enough to shake loose any remaining groundhog-ism familiarity of echoes.

Lee K. Seitz

    "Enter: Thor"???

  • Carl, as he's drinking & driving: "Wait, did she say 'drive'? I thought she said 'dive.'"
  • "Good thing I had my fingers crossed."
  • "I wonder what Daisy's doing tonight."
  • Panel of car with something too small to make out in the sky: "Hey, is that a UFO?"

colin roald

    I got curious and looked back through all the old panels. I think the most words Scott has ever put into a panel is 11, to wit: "I can't cope with the guilt! I'm going to kill myself!." Runners up, with 10 words each, are "Promise me..," and "Daisy, you're my reason to live!. Will you marry me?" Novice comics writers like me should note that in all of these, the words fill close to half the panel.

    I'm a gonna do a Best-of-Promise-Me, re-suggesting my favourite losers past.

  • Mark Rosenfelder: The Insincere Promise Fairy appears! (Section 1, Panel 1)
  • Douglass Barre: Silent panel, Carl's hand behind his back, fingers crossed. In his back pocket, a ticket for an amusement park. (Section 1, Panel 1)
  • Morgan Doninger: A close up of Carl's face with a maniacal look. Thought balloon: "Foolish woman! My plans are far more insidious!" (Section 1, Panel 4)
  • Tricia Valdez (edited): Carl is waiting at the bar in a cafe. A gorgeous woman (not Daisy) asks, "May I buy you a drink?" (Section 2, Panel 3)
  • Elan Trinidad: Zoom out: The PREVIOUS PANEL is actually a POP ART PAINTING in a gallery. Carl (looking more artsy than his usual style) and a potential buyer stand looking at it. In the background there are a couple of other paintings. CARL: This is my best work so far. (Section 2, Panel 7)
  • And a new one... Carl is tooling along the highway, looking bored. The sign overhead reads GRACELAND 3 mi. (Why? I dunno. Seems like there's lots of stuff that could be done with Carl-meets-the- ghost-of-the-King.)

    I missed Carl last week.

Daniel M. Laenker

  • Scott in car, drinking, thinking: "But then, there *is* no such thing as truth, so what the hell."

Mark Rosenfelder

  • The Insincere Promise Fairy appears!
  • Daisy to Carl: Promise me you won't miss Ala-Teen this week! Carl: I promise.
  • Carl with beer in car: Ain't I a stinker?
  • Aliens observing the preceding panel on a monitor: He's lying! Just the subject we need!

Adam Gensler

    The "Groundhog Day" reference was lame. Don't do anything like that again.

  • While at the local pier,after drinking a beer of course, Carl asks an old seadog "How much for a boat?"

Cat Jan Roxxanne

  • "Hey! Where'd my car go!"
  • "Promise me you'll take care of Carl, Carl's uncle Karl." "Ok."
  • "You know what, just to be safe, I'll drive you" "Aw MOOOOOM!"
  • Carl picks up a hich hiker who's an under cover cop.
  • "Oh, and try not to die today..." "Huh?"
  • "Well, she didn't say anything about driving and (yawn) I'm gettin'... kinda... tired...

Stéphane Lussier

    I've already suggested something similar. (I thought it was good, but then I have this tendency to kinda live in my own world) -- anyway :

  • Mom knocks on a closet door and calls: "It's okay! He's gone now! You can come out!"
  • Mom watches Carl going away from the window and mumbles to herself: "Why should I believe him?"
  • Mom (giving money to Carl): "And while you're at it, why don't you buy me some booze?"

Joseph Prisco

  • Carl: She didn't say anything about driving and shooting people!
  • Woman: And no drugs or drawing, either! Carl: Aw, gee....
  • Carl [Getting into space ship]: Good thing I'm not driving!
  • Carl: I think I'll stay home and watch some TV first.
  • Carl [Driving]: Think I'll catch a flic at the drive-in.
  • Carl [driving]: Hey, who's that following me?
  • Carl [Walking outside]: Now, where did I park the car?
  • Carl [outside]: Ohmigod! The car's gone!
  • Carl [Driving]: Say, where am I going, anyway?
  • Carl [Driving]: Might as well put on the radio.

Piers Beckley

  • Carl's Mom is in the car, chugging away at a beer as she drives.

Travis Pelkie

    OOOh, new cyoc. Since I was one of a million winners last time, here's my website plugola. Great little radio show here at Suny Binghamton that has a cool looking website.

  • Ok, since anything can happen, howzabout a giant easter bunny comes along?
  • No? Ok, how 'bout Carl sez "she didn't say don't think and drive" hahahaha!
  • Not that, either? How about THOR comes-- no, just kidding, but I think I have that comic. How 'bout Carl finds a mysterious walking stick, though?
  • Umm, not that, either, huh? Ok, one word-- monkeys.

    Well, those are just some silly, silly suggestions. Use any or all of them. By the way, I caught Groundhog Day on TV the other night. Pretty good movie. I also liked the "what would happen if everbody plugged a website" thing on the last suggestions list. Hey, Scott, how's the new book coming? Hope everyone is doing well!

[The new book (Reinventing Comics - due in early '00) is coming along fine, thanks! --Scott]


    This has been a lot of fun to watch grow!

  • The Panel 2: "Well its getting late" from "Carl in 52"
  • Carl is on a golf course, having just driven a golf ball. He thinks "I don't think this is what she meant."
  • Close-up on Carl's fingers crossed, behind him.

Matt Ryan

    Here's my personal list of "best suggestions" sent in by other people for the other three "fresh start" panels we've had (ie that don't join another thread-in- progress). If you use one of them, please credit the originator! Of course, they can re-submit too, but who knows if they will? In chronological order...

  • Mark Rosenfelder The Insincere Promise Fairy appears!
  • Doug Waldron "Actually, I've just joined Alcoholics Anonymous" I am hereby founding "Georgians for Carl's Well-Being" in an attempt to SAVE CARL'S LIFE (our motto).
  • Lou Graziani carl runs up to the river side, chugging a beer, wearing his bathing suit. He says "I didn't promise I wouldn't drink and DIVE"
  • Addison Godel Carl stands in front of what is recognizable as an oil rig; he is plainly wealthy (nice suit, holding cash, whatever). "She didn't say anything about drinking and -drilling-!"
  • Winter (age 3) He has a boa loa roa hoa, then he needs to get a prish of soda. Then he says "a pree a pree, a ree a ree".

Matt Ryan

    Do y'all realize that this is the LAST time we'll have a fresh start? All the other "promise me" panels lead into threads-in-progress. Almost ALL of CYOC yet to be done follows from this panel. This is a momentous juncture!

  • Carl stands outside his house, looking across the street. To the left is Al's Bar. To the right is Bob's Rent-a-Car. Carl: "Hm..."
  • View from behind Carl's "mom" as she watches through a window as Carl drives away. She emotes: "WORRY".
  • "mom": 'And stay away from that Daisy person too!' Carl looks sad.
  • Carl is driving, looking angry. "I bet they aren't this strict in BORNEO."
  • Carl: "Promise me you won't let strangers in while I'm gone, Mom." Mom: "I promise.
  • Oops! There's another fresh-start panel from section 2 that I forgot to consider for my re-submission post. Here's a couple more favorites from other people:
  • Elan Trinidad Zoom out: The PREVIOUS PANEL is actually a POP ART PAINTING in a gallery. Carl and a potential buyer stand looking at it. In the background there are a couple of other paintings. Carl: This is my best work, so far. Buyer: I'll buy it for $600. Carl: SOLD!
  • Michael Avolio Carl's mom grabs the "I promise" word balloon and looks at it -- what's this?
  • Michael Avolio Carl and his mom look at us. "Who are they?"
  • Addison Godel Carl: "OH MY GOD! I'M IN THE WRONG HOUSE!"

Doug Waldron

    Ahh, a new Carl section... But no death for several months! How will we cope?

  • Carl: "Besides, I'll need to be nice and sober when I attempt to assassinate the President!"
  • Carl is flying a blimp: "Gee, all this helium is making me dizzy..."
  • Carl gives Mom a birthday present: "Happy Birthday! Thanks for looking after me all these years!"
  • Pull back to reveal Carl is a ventriloquist on stage and Mom is a dummy. Carl proceeds to drink water while Mom sings showtunes.

Eschel Hamel

  • Show the mother drinking and driving, and perhaps have her say something like "Do as I say, not as I do!"

Marc lePine

  • Carl as he drives away: "Little did she know I had my fingers crossed..."
  • Carl as he drives away: "I wonder if it's okay to have this sports drink?"
  • Carl says to woman: "Let's just stay here and drink TOGETHER!"
  • Carl at the golf course with a putter: "This is IMPOSSIBLE!"
  • Carl says to woman: "Can I drink and DRIVE you crazy?"


  • Miriad pro-Alchohol advertising billboards 'surround' Carl as he is driving. Carl says, "Cant Handle all this PRESSURE!" or some such equally stereotypical line.
  • OR: 'Floating heads' of Family members, friends, etc circle carl's head as he drives, constantly telling him not to drink and drive. Carl says, "Cant Handle all this PRESSURE!"

dan wheeler

    yay! carl's back!

  • carl & his mom in the car. carl is happily sipping a brew in the passenger seat. carl's mom give him a withering glare out of the corner of her eye from behind the wheel.
  • carl (dramatically, with arms akimbo): if i can't drink and drive then i'll patrol the backalleys and rooftops of this grim and gritty urban sprawl; righting wrongs, fighting crime and making it safer for decent and law-abiding americans to walk the streets with their heads held high for i am.... (pause before he reveals his super-hero identity)
  • carl's dad is sitting in his easy chair reading the paper. carl walks in. carl: hey dad can i go out and drink and drive? carl's dad: sure, son carl: thanks dad


  • Carl in his car with booze in hand " She did say don't shrink and jive, right?"
  • Carl shouts outside " TAXI" and he hails a cab
  • Same as panel one, with Carls mom saying the same thing but Carl thinks (in thought balloon) " Nag nag nag."
  • Carl says " by the way, mom..... I'm gay"

frank episale

  • carl kisses woman passionately. "thanks for caring, darling."
  • "that didn't sound very sincere to me, carl; i'm afraid i can't alow you to leave the house."
  • zoom out to soundstage. "cut! cut! no, no carl, you've got to say it like you MEAN it!"

Doug Sheppard

  • "Luckily, you don't *drive* a motorcycle... you *ride* it." (Carl - Leader of the Pack. Varoom.)
  • We see Carl's fingers crossed behind his back.
  • Carl drives past a bar.
  • Carl plays with a Tarot deck. "Drinking and *divining* is fine!"

Kevin Pease

  • Mom has left. Carl stands in the same spot, blankly looking toward us to say, "Crazy old bat. I don't even have a car."
  • Carl: "What about playing with matches?" Mom: "NO!"
  • What's wrong with Thor? The Norse god of thunder enters and whacks Carl on the head with Mjolnir.

    Hey, Scott, do your kids get upset that you don't use their suggestions? Just curious.

[Sky once sighed and told her Mom, "It's okay, I know Daddy won't use my suggestion anyway." Mommy (Ivy) replied that Daddy had come close several times and still might use one some day. Winter and Sky have both been told that they have fans which makes them very happy.--Scott]

Chantal B.T

  • Carl's mom doesn't believe his promise (I guess she's read the other sections) so she brings out a lie detector to MAKE SURE.
  • Daisy comes in and, in a Back to the Future sort of thing, notices that Carl's mom is HER aged um.. 100 years or something.. so they both scream and faint.

Mark Coale

    Just for variety, something different.

  • Instead of driving, let's see Carl walking down the street, possibly leaving the party or bar where he was. He may even have a drink in his hand. Saying something like "I'm glad I took her advise."
  • I may have did this one before, but we could have the woman drinking and driving with Carl sitting in the front seat. She could say "I never said _I_ wouldn't drink and drive."

Kean Soo

  • Carl driving in his car, looks out the window. Carl: Awwww, look at the cute puppy!
  • Carl sitting in an office foyer, holding a beer in his hand. Carl: I hate job interviews! Maybe just a little drink...
  • Carl: She never said anything about drinking and writing my finals!
  • Carl: Maybe I'll go visit Dad. (It's about time we need a new character!)
  • Carl grabs a knife... Carl: I can't take it anymore! I'm through with all your promises!!! Drinking and driving is my life!!

Bill Schlimme

  • Daisy, driving, taking a swig of moonshine from a jug. Carl: "I didn't say anything about Daisy drinking and driving!"
  • Carl at a payphone to someone (Daisy?): "Can you be my designated driver?"
  • Carl, beer in hand, trying to hitchike along the side of a busy interstate.
  • Carl, driving: "Now what was it that I promised Mom again...?"

Howard Ian Schiller

    Welcome back Scott, These "Carl" skip-weeks are always hell to bare through!

  • There's a "Meanwhile" up in the left corner. and its a panel of Daisy's father, pointing at her and saying "Promise me you won't see Carl tonight, Daisy" and she says "I promise."
  • Close up on Carls fingers crossed behind his back.
  • Here's a change... lets keep Carl at home for a while... Carl looks at mom and says "Your right mom, I'll stay home!" or "But I'm not going anywhere mom!"
  • Close up on mom holding a photo of Carl. She says "I don't want to loose you like your twin brother!"
  • Same panel but mom's saying "and promise me you won't see Daisy tonight!" and Carl remarks "But Mom..."

    Well that's it, i look forward to another 14 weeks of Carl-mania! Btw, when's your new book coming out?

[See above --Scott]

Dark Artist

    Mine is a more feminist approach. Let Mom take the spotlight.

  • Carl says to Mom, "How about YOU do it this time?" and he hands her a beer bottle. Mom says "Okay," and is still smiling.

    After that the thread will continue with Mom drinking and driving instead of Carl this time. But Carl could reappear at any time. NO HOLDS BARRED

Brian Ruzicka

  • "Just like I promised never to run around with scissors in my hand."


  • Carl on a bus with a bottle in his hand. He looks drunk. He says,"I'm a passenger."
  • Carl says,"But I'm dehydrated! I need beer!" Mom says,"Okay."
  • Carl is in his car looking nervous. He says,"Oh no! I'm the only sober person on the road."

Alex Schubert

    Eating one curious Mentos candy directly before doing something and standing still while showing the candies gives some people the ability to do things they couldn't without enjoying a mentos candy.

  • Show Carl hold up a package of Mentos.

    The next few panels could detail Carl's breif criminal career and his magical Mentos escapes. Down the line he realizes that what he was doing was wrong and that he shouldn't have fooled the police by using 'The Fresh Maker.'

Sean C. Duncan

  • Carl stumbles towards his car, saying "No need to drink, I'm already TANKED!"
  • Carl walks by a tattoo parlor. "Hey, that looks like fun!"
  • Carl sits on a park bench and stares blankly at pigeons. For a very, very long time.
  • Carl, driving in his Trabant, runs into an Obnoxico truck carrying toxic sludge. [Apologies to M. Feazell].
  • Carl, not drinking and driving, walks by a showing of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. "Hey, that looks like fun!"
  • Carl hails a taxi driven by a seriously frightened young man.
  • Carl, walking down the street, notices a sign that says: PHARMACEUTICAL TEST SUBJECTS NEEDED, WE PAY BIG $$$. "Hey, that looks like fun!"
  • Carl suddenly bursts into tears for no apparent reason.
  • Carl walks by a firing range. "Hey, that looks like fun!"
  • Carl enlists in the Army. "I'm off to Kosovo, ma!"

    I'd like to apologize for anything I have said, am saying now, or will say in the future that might potentially offend anyone, including myself.

Pete White

  • Carl: " uphold the Constitution..."

Tom Dougherty III

    Glad to see you back Scott.

  • Same panel as before only Carl's eyes have gone into that "crazy twirl" (I think it would look better if only one was twirling) a pair of red horns have also begun to grow (hard to see, only dots at this point). Mom: "Carl, you don't look well." Carl: "I'm not Carl. I'm Lucifer!"
  • Mother kisses son. Carl: "mmmph!" Mom: "mmmm...!"

    I heard Kitchen Sink Press went out of business. Are you seeking out any other publishers for Understanding, and if so have you been successful in your attempt to do so?

[Understanding Comics and it's sequel are both at DC Comics and HarperCollins. (I really have to start that FAQ list!) --Scott]

James Moar

  • Carl, in car saying (directly to reader) "What, you were expecting me to disobey her?"

Ty Bannerman

  • panel: Carl walking while guzzling beer Thinks "Maybe I'll just walk there."

Sky (age 6!(as of the 12th))

  • Carl goes to his car and starts drinking.
  • Carl decides to stand on top of the car, while he's climbing up he jumps down and starts drinking.
  • Carl tries to jump over the car, while he's jumping he sees a new world and he frowns.

Winter (age 3)

  • Same panel but mom says "promise me you will drink and drive. Your broom looks pretty but let's take your mother's."
  • Sky's preaka iontry. And then a little bit and then Spinlo's curtain.
  • yrtu24i \pwinterwintersky78uujlijuujl;uhjfylgeweiirdfykujteru87877652454yjiujilokl9i75

    (Needless to say Winter typed the third sugsestion herself.)

Ivy (age 38)

    You didn't use it the first time i tried, so I thought I'd try again...

  • Carl walks by a mirror and the reflection is that of a Carl devil. (Horns, etc...)

    Well it's off to bake cookies for Sky's class for tomorrow. Boy, how domestic of me!

zoom out