This week's panel suggested (mostly) by Ted and (sort of) by Barney

Happy Mother's Day!

Well, was secretly hoping for a Mom-related panel, but this one just seemed to fit Carl's current dim-bulb streak.

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

Sunday 05/09/1999

Brendan Wright

  • Carl: My only option is to go on a ridiculous quest to FIND THE KEYS.
  • Carl: (Getting into the car) Oh well, who needs 'em?
  • Carl: I guess that means that all I can do is some more drinkin'.
  • Oh My God! I've dropped my beer!

Douglass Barre (Age 28. Still.)

    Ah, the real prize is up this week... an edge panel! I'll really have to waste a lot of time on this.

  • CARL holds up his keys in a dramatic heroic stance. Cool backlighting effects surround him. CARL: "I shall find my keys or die trying!"
  • CARL glares at the beer in his hand. CARL: "This is all your fault! I'll never drink again!"
  • Extreme close-up on the keys. KEYS (thought balloon): "Heh, heh... and this is only the beginning of our plan!"
  • GOD is sitting in CARL's La-Z-Boy. He looks cheesed off. GOD: "For My sake, Carl, they're in your hand!"
  • CAPTION: "Meanwhile..." The panel shows a bus station locker with the key removed. SFX (from inside the locker): "Tik-tik-tik-tik-tik..."
  • CARL stands there, clapping.
    (Okay, my wife got one of those sound-sensitive keychains because she's always losing her keys, and she's always walking around the house clapping. It's really funny if you're there.)
  • CAPTION: "The next day..." The panel shows a long line of people in front of a record store. Standing in the foreground is CARL'S BOSS. CARL'S BOSS: "He's late opening the store for the last time! Carl is FIRED!"
  • CARL looks around, confused. CARL: "In fact... where am I, anyway?"
  • CARL, still drunk, is standing in front of the counter at a key duplication place. He is holding his keys out to the LOCKSMITH. CARL: "I lost my keys, so I need a new set made..."
  • CARL is at a car dealership, talking to a salesman. The two are standing next to a new Ferrari. SALESMAN: "Here you go, Carl... keys to your brand new Ferrari!"

    Out of curiosity, will you be putting up any segments of REINVENTING on the web page for people to give feedback on?

[Haven't decided yet but I'll at least offer a preview as work progresses. --Scott]

Patric Lewandowski

    Sluggy forbidden??????? Deutsche!

  • Panel of carl walking into the sunset... "And from that day forth, Carl went on to help others deal with the loss of their keys."
  • Panel of an old carl in a rocking chair. "60 years later, Carl checked his pockets again. The keys had been there all along."
  • Mushroom cloud. "Then, the world ended."
  • Panel with a female carl. "A few weeks later, Carl sobered up and found he had a sex change."
  • Panel of a hippie carl sitting around. "Keyless, Carl went on to become a hippie. No one knows why."


  • Carl, keys still in hand, shocks himself trying to hot-wire his own car.
  • Carl dives under the couch. "Maybe they're in here."
  • Carl on the phone. "Daisy, have you *hic* seen my keys?"
  • Carl on the phone. "Hello? Psychic Friends Network, have you seen my keys?"


  • Carl should call for the police to help him. The policeman should look quite amused as Carl's antics.

Kevin Pease

  • Carl, in a drunken panic, asks his mother, "Mom! Have you seen my keys?" (Keys are still visibly in hand, of course)
  • Carl absently throws his keys over his shoulder as he staggers forward, exclaiming, "I've got to FIND them!"
  • Mom has been watching all this from the next room. She thinks, "My boy Carl is not the sharpest pencil in the box."

frank episale

  • carl, keys in hand: "Mom! can i borrow your keys...?"
  • carl, keys in hand: "Mom! can i have a ride?"
  • carl, keys in hand, tearing apart room. "they must be around here somewhere!"


  • same as this weeks panel only with carl looking in the other direction. carl: Oh my god, I'VE LOST MY BEER!!
  • Carl is sprawled on floor, out cold, still clutching the keys with Mom standing over him. Mom: At least he didn't drive.
  • Carl in car driving along very fast and looking very drunk and disorientated. Carl: Maybe I left them at Daisy's house.
  • Carl walking down the street very drunk and still holding the keys. carl: maybe I left them at Daisy's house.
  • Same panel as this week but with carl looking at the keys. carl: Maybe another beer would help me find them.

Matt Ryan

    Yea, Carl is silly again. Note: thread is about to merge with another "Promise me..."

  • Carl looks in horror at his hands. "Oh my god, I've grown a fourth finger!"
  • Close-up of keys on a shelf in the fridge, Carl's hand is closing the door. From off- panel: "What'll I do now?"
  • Carl is behind the wheel. "Maybe I can jimmy the lock with these metal things."
  • Mom is washing dishes, looks over her shoulder at Carl, who is holding his hands out in a wobbly shrug, keys visible. "Hey Mom, have you seen my keys?"
  • Carl is outside with his back to us, looking at his house. "Waitasec, this isn't my HOUSE!" (The mailbox reads "Carl".)
  • Carl's head is floating in space. "Oh my god, I've lost my body!"

    Hey Scott -- how do you decide where to put the next "You are here" spot?

[Tis an art steeped in mystery, even to me. --Scott]

Josiah Rowe

    Well, the panel after this one has to work as a post-promise panel, too, so:

  • Carl (worried): "What am I gonna do? I'd better call Daisy!" (Perhaps he reaches for the phone with the hand in which he's still holding the keys?)
  • Carl (humbled): "I guess Mom was *right*!"
  • Variation on the previous one: Carl (still drunk): "I shoulda lishenned to my mom!"

    That's all I got time for today. Hi to Ivy, Sky, and Winter!


    to continue on the "not so bright" kick

  • carl says "well I better drive go and find them." and drives away

dan wheeler

  • carl: and they've been replaced by these strange, flat, metal thingies!
  • carl: and after what i said to mom right after i promised not to drink and drive.
  • carl: mom's gonna KILL me!

Erich Mees

    Nice little ambiguity in the art--leaving it open to interpretation whether that hand is Carl's or not. So, keeping that in mind...

  • Pull back to show Carl in pretty much the same position. The hand with the keys is also exactly where it was in the last panel--but now we can see that it's Carl's mom's hand! She's giving him a "tsk tsk" look of disappointment, and saying "Is THIS how you keep your promises?"

Dave Howe

  • Now I've lost my car! Where am I?
  • Oh, there they are!
  • Daisy shows up and says "Oh, Drinking without me are you?", (Idea shamelessly stolen from Bedno: consider it a vote, I guess)
  • Now I'll never get home.
  • I'll never drink again.
  • Guess I'll have to walk.
  • Daisy snatches the keys from his hand and says, "Then I guess I'll have to drive".
  • And I've spilled my beer!

Drew Hart-Shea

  • Caption: "Later..." Carl stands at the front door, still clearly drunk. an irritated cop stands outside saying: " keys are in your HAND!!! whilst his cop-partner whispers to him: "Let's take this joker in sarge..."
  • Carl in the garden with a metal detector, scanning the lawn with it. Carl: "Where are they? ...*hic*...slippery little fellers..." his keys still dangle from his other hand...
  • Carl, on the floor in the foreground, looking for his keys, muttering "where are they..?" A human-sized beer-fueled hallucinatory anthropomorphic KEY! stands behind him, hand on hips in a confrontational stance, and bellows: "...right HERE!!!"
  • Carl: "oh my god, now I've lost my BEER! This is terrible!"
  • Panel shows: Carl's Mom in the next room resignedly picking up the phone. She holds a card reading "Re-hab clinic...dial 1-800-NO BOOZE" or some such... Carl's voice shrieks from beyond the door: "My KEYS! MY KEEEEYS!"

Patric Lewandowski

    Well, i'm a dumbass. First time I looked, i didn't notice the keys. Anyway, here are new, more observed suggestions..

  • carl looks at keys in hand "I wonder if my house keys will work?"
  • Carl looks at keys "Damn these useless hunks of metal! Damn them all!"
  • Mushroom cloud. "Then the world ended."
  • Carl looks at keys. "Wha're yoouuu lookin' at?"
  • Keys speak to carl: "Hey dumbass, look at your left hand!"
  • Carl flying through the air. "Luckily, I have superpowers. I'll just fly home nicely toasted."
  • Carl looks at left hand, "Oh my god! I found my wrist-watch!"
  • with his head hung low, carl says, "looks like it's suicide again for me."
  • carl says cheerfully with a big smile "looks like it's suicide again for me."
  • enter: bob eubanks.

    bob eubanks????????????? what the heck was I thinking???????

Jeff McRorie

  • Time to go somewhere we haven't been yet! Carl, still looking distraught, has wandered into the desert. (Note: Deserts are easy to draw! Full moon and a cactus and you're there, man!) Carl: "My keys... my keeeeeys..."
  • Really, the same suggestion, but slightly different execution: As above, but Carl is walking past a sign the reads, "Welcome to DEATH VALLEY".

Thom Marrion

    If you wish to skip over my suggestions, press one now.

  • A panal of Carl looking at his keys as he stands in front of his car saying," Whew, there they are.. wait a minute.. OH MY GOD I'VE LOST MY CAR!'
  • Carl wonders ,"Where are those darn keys?" as Daisy takes them away from him.
  • The keys start to grow to grow to enormous size, Carl watches this in disbelief and says to himself, "Well, I've found my keys, but they're never going to fit in the ignition now."
  • "Oh here they are!" Carl says, as he trys to open his car door with a can of beer.
  • Daisy comes up to Carl and plants a big wet smootch on him. "I've got a "keys" for you right here!"

    O.K., that was sappy. I'd better stop right now.

Michael Patrick

  • Carl- I know- I'll call Daisy and ask if I can drive her car!
  • Enter- Tulip-Daisy's evil twin sister.(I suppose there should be a nar. box identifying her, otherwise everyone would think she was just Daisy) Tulip: I can help you, Carl (with an evil sneer).

Doug Waldron

    Hey, my first child was born, AND I won the CYOC contest - what a week! :)

  • View from the bottom of a rickety wooden staircase, Carl's silhouette seen in the doorway at the top. Carl: "Maybe they're in -- the basement!"
  • Enter: Alex.

[Congratulations, Doug! And a happy Mother's Day to the new Mom! --Scott]

Stewart Smith

    It's late, but here I go again:

  • Looks back at the keys in his hand "These aren't my keys!"
  • "Mom, where are my keys?!"
  • "Wait! I don't need my keys. I can hotwire the car."
  • Enter Daisy: Daisy "If you're the Keymaster, I'm the Gate Keeper."

    Sorry if the last suggestion is just too much. Just a flashback to 'Ghostbusters'.

Tricia Cashton

  • Carl frantically looking for his keys in the backseat or trunk amoung pizza boxes, Nudie Mags, and a winning lottery ticket...
  • Decides to clear his head before looking for the keys And takes a walk.
  • Tries to Hotwire his own car.
  • Calls Triple A on his cell phone to get him out of his locked car.
  • Gets out of the car and pushes it to a bar.
  • Panel lights up on the car's dashboard that says "They're in your hand, dummy!"
  • Since he's not going anywhere, and there's no one around, he starts to.....ahem, *fantasize.*
  • Shot in the back of the head from the back seat by John Wilkes Booth.
  • Realizs that he tried starting the car with his toothbrush
  • Collapses against the steering wheel sobbing, " Is this what my life's become? I screw everything up!"

Travis Pelkie

    no comment.

  • How about, Carl gets run over by a truck?
  • Nah, didn't think so. Actually, how about he tries to start his car with the beer can?
  • Probably not that one either. OK, what if Baldur and Heimdall walk into Loki's bar...
  • Egad no! What if Carl tries to drink his keys?
  • Well, why not? Man, you just shoot down all my suggestions, huh? What if Carl's mom drives him to rehab?
  • Umm, you're making this hard. How about he then has a vision of himself as a mere online comics character, and goes loopy?

    Well, maybe one of those suggestions are good enough to get me the prize. I'd just like to thank Scott for Understanding Comics. It has served me well in interpreting some traditionally "non-comics" things (like Christian wall cycles, or continuous narrative panels) as comics. You've helped me to do some interesting papers here in college. I guess now I should actually buy the book instead of just getting out of the library. (which puts it in the young adult section, btw!) Is the Paradox Press version out yet?

[Thanks for the kind words, Travis. The Paradox Press version of UC should be out pretty soon, if not already. --Scott]


  • Panicking and in a drunken frenzy, carl chokes on his own vomit.

gabe roth

  • shot of the front seat of the car, with carl's skeleton holding the keys as though he's been there forever.

Ethan Heitner

    Well, I guess after that whole ASCII cow debacle I'll just give normal suggestions this time....

  • Carl looking down at the panel: Oh my god, I've lost my legs!
  • Carl gets tangled up in his shirt looking for his keys: Oh my god, I've gone blind!
  • Carl trips over himself attempting to pick up the beer can, shouting: Nooo! Must....get....beeer!

Carl Scott

    the smartest, sensual, sexiest, nubian brother this side of the universe!!! The Karis Jone's of the world can't get someone this FINE if she was the last breed of woman on the face of the earth, she can only get someone whose forhead is as big as Jamilia

  • Stop using my name in reference to alcohol it hits home to well!!!!


  • Carl: (Still looking around) Oh No, I've lost my hand!
  • Carl: Oh, well, I guess I'd better go back inside.
  • Carl: Oh, well, I guess I'd better go back inside and get more beer.
  • Non Sequitar: Big cheesepuff cheesepuff: I eat Carl good, yes?
  • Carl: (Looking down) oh no I've lost my feet!
  • Carl: Who cares? I've got beer!

Greg Stephens

  • Noticing the keys in his hand, Carl screws up his eyes and attempts his current best to focus on them, thinking, "Wait, these aren't my car keys..?" It's even possible at this point that the keys glow with a promise of something either very wonderful or very terrible...
  • Or (more specifically) he could be thinking, "these aren't my CAR keys."
  • Or even "these aren't MY car keys."
  • From a low angle we see the keys slip from Carl's grasp and he says, "Oh, there they are!"
  • From a low angle we see the keys slip from Carl's grasp and the keys think, "Free at last!"

Theresa Secor

    Hi, Scott. Read mine for a change.

  • Carl uses keys to open another beer.
  • Carl discovers that the keys are for an airplane. I don't know if an airplane uses keys or not, but this is fantasy!

    I know you won't read or use or even look at or (am i using enough guilt yet?) see or consider or ( I learned it from your wife!) think about or ponder or even view. You'll just see my name and skip over everything I wrote because it is just me.

[Theresa, a friend of the family, will be embarking on a guilt scholarship this fall at UCLA. Ivy is a great teacher. --Scott]

Ray Jookie

  • The Beer can is Baby Jesus and he gives him the keys in which he thought he had lost.
  • He says to himself...Boy am a locked I must have drank to many keys. I shouldn't beer.
  • Yet agian baby jesus explodes from his chest with a beer and keys in hand.
  • Carl bursts from baby jesus's chest and takes his beer and keys

Lukas Chen

    BTW, has anybody else out there seen the old TV show "The Prisoner"?

  • Carl: I'll just have to drive Mom's car.
  • Carl: Guess there's no harm in drinking and walking...

    one of these days, we gotta have a "prisoner" tangent

[Our school (Syracuse) once held an all-night Prisoner festival. A friend of ours later met Patrick McGoohan and told him. Patrick's response: "You watched ALL of them?? At ONCE??? JESUS!!!" In case you're wondering, I think it's just about the best TV show ever produced.--Scott]

Elan "sexilicious" Trinidad

  • Carl at the bus stop: "I guess I'll take the bus."
  • Carl walking "I guess I'll have to walk."
  • Carl pointing a gun at a driver on the street. "I guess I'll have to jack a car."
  • Carl says, "Damn where'd I put them? Gotta think. I know what'll help me think, MORE BEER!"
  • Carl climbs into a helicopter. "Oh well, I guess I'll take the chopper"
  • Carl climbs into a giant robot "Oh well, I guess I'll take the giant transforming robot"
  • Carl tkes out his bong "Damn. Where'd I put them? Gotta think. I know what'll help me think, MARIJUANA!"

Matthew Z. Wood

  • Carl looks very suspicious. His keys are still in his hand. Caption: "What if I didn't lose them? What if... it was the ninjas again?"
  • Carl brightens up. "I know! I'll just craft a new set of keys!"
  • Carl stumbles off-panel. "I gotta go to the bathroom."

Jay Sabicer

    I figure Carl should be hallucinating by now, let's have a little fun, shall we?

  • Alvin, Simon & Theodore (the Chipmunks) stand in front of Carl's car. Carl is still searching for his keys, while his keys are in hand, dangling in front of his nose. Alvin (note: Big A on sweater): What's the matter Dave? You get faced again? Simon & Theodore looking at each other: Yeah! Faced again.

    I'm surprised no one else has picked up on the similarity of Carl's hairstylings with David Seville's and Carl's. At the very least, it should lead into a new direction.

Rowan Lipkovits

    this is a test. this is only a test. this is a test of the emergency comic broadcast station.

  • "Maybe I locked them into the car." [scene: Carl prying at the driver's side window with a coat-hanger.]
  • [Seen from over Mom's shoulder, a very drunk Carl holding keys in one hand.] "Mom, did I leave my car keys in here?"
  • [Unhappy Carl seen standing by roadside sticking his hand out with the thumb up, keys dangling, carrying a sign reading "KEYCUTTER OR BUST."]
  • [Full-body shot.] "Forget the keys! What happend to my lower torso and legs?"
  • [Tipsy-looking mother confronts Carl with spatula in hand.] "Carl! Have you seen my spatula?"
  • [Wild-eyed man in straight jacket enters from the right.] "You think you've got it bad. I've lost my MIND!"

    Just getting warmed up a bit. Not quite in prime Carl-suggesting form.

Howard Ian Schiller

    Is it me or are these more difficult than usual?...

  • Sillouette of Carl in a demolished living room (with keys in hand) screaming "WHERE ARE THEY!!!!"
  • Drunk Carl talking to mom (maybe in rocking chair in fron to tv)... "Mom, canni borrow your keyth to the car?"
  • Carl screaming in his living room... "WE'VE BEEN ROBBED!"
  • Carl under the hood of his car... "Guess i'll have to hotwire it!"
  • Carl with his thumb out... "Guess i'll bum a ride!"
  • Carl screaming in his living room (filled with Star Wars junk)... "I'M GOING TO MISS THE STAR WARS PREMIERE!"

Morgan Doninger

    Well lookie here, the next panel after our dotted one is in Section 5 under starting panel, so this links up to a begining of a story. This is a little trickier than somewhat. Oh well. let's 'ave a go at it.

  • Carl, still oblivious to his keys in hand thinks: "My Mom will know what to do!"
  • Carl, still oblivious to his keys in hand is standing in front of his mother: Carl: "You shee, wha happa was..." Mom (thought balloon): "Pathetic."
  • Carl, still oblivious to his keys in hand says: "Or did mom take them!" Grrrr.
  • Carl, still oblivious to his keys in hand says: "Maybe they're behind this locked door, Doh!"
  • Carl, still oblivious to his keys in hand smacks his forhead with his free hand and says: "I coulda had a V-8"
  • Carl, still oblivious to his keys in hand smacks his forhead with the key holding hand and says: "I coulda had a V-8! Ow!"
  • Carl, still oblivious to his keys in hand looks in a mirror and says: "Oh! He's got them!"
  • Carl, still oblivious to his keys in hand thinks: "Well, drinking sure solved that problem."
  • Carl, still oblivious to his keys in hand thinks: "Good thing I keep an extra set in the toaster!"
  • Carl, still oblivious to his keys in hand is sitting at a computer, typing one handed and thinks: "I finally filled all the suggestion boxes - server error? NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



    Spring Jam!!!!! must run.....

  • MOM! I can't find my keys!
  • I didn't drink and drive Mom, happy Mother's day!
  • I dont need keys to drive!
  • Carl passes out from drinking too much.
  • "Oh yeah, they are in my pocket!" as Carl reaches in his pocket, keys already in hand


    Hey everybody! I was gone but now I'm back.

  • "What more can I do?! Must drink more..." Carl says as he holds up his keys (Yes, his keys) and gets ready to 'drink' them.
  • "Great, now I have to tak

    Damn, looks like I can only think of one this week. Ah well, I'm sure I'll be more into it next time.

Jeff Clear

    The hockey game's about to start, so I'll be brief.

  • Carl, slurring his speech, shouts: "Help, hasss anybothy seen mon-keys?!!"

    If you only watch one hockey game in your lifetime, make sure it is a Detroit-Colorado playoff game. Good Scoring, Great Goaltending, and two teams that don't like each other at all. Watch one this week!!! Go Wings!!!

Dan Schmidt

  • Shot of a piano with all (or just some?) of its keys missing.

Jesse Rimler

  • Carl: (speaking to the "promise me" girl, Carl is drunk and holding both his keys and beer) "Have you seen my keys?"

    Sorry I haven't submitted in a while. Didja miss me?

[Been countin' the days... --Scott]

Claudia Mastroianni

  • "Better have another beer to clear my head..."

Lee K. Seitz

    Cool! I only have to share the honor of winning with one other person this time instead of many. This time, let me plug my just revamped Atari Force Headquarters site ( Thanks!

  • Carl sees his keys. "Hey, how'd they get there?"
  • Carl's mom or Daisy comes by and says, "If you're that drunk, you better give me those," while taking the keys away from him.
  • Carl attempts to start his car anyway, without using the keys.
  • Carl tries to hitchhike to a bar, car keys still in hand.

[Lee is of course taking his winner's credit for a free plug. But remember, that's winner's only... 'cause we all know what would happen otherwise! --Scott]

Austin English

    Alright, this is my first crack at doing one of these, but I've been enjoying this site for awhile, so here goes...

  • Carl looks at his surroundings and says: "... and I seem to be stuck in some sort of box! Gahhh! I'm in a comic book!"

Thomas Hsieh

  • Carl says "Oh look, there they are.", while looking into someone else's car with the keys already inside.
  • "I guess I'll just have to use my super powers to fly to where I'm going."
  • "I must find the fiend who has stolen my keys and bring to justice."

Addison Godel

    Well, I -think- it's before midnight on the West Coast...I get confused though.

  • Some random person, apparently panicked, on the phone: "Operator, get me the police! Someone stole my car!" (or easily-condensed version of such)
  • "She didn't say anything about hitchhiking!"
  • "Thor? I really -must- be drunk..."

zoom out