This week's panel suggested by Ross Horowitz.

Other close calls include:

  • Wade Bowen
  • Michael Avolio
  • m. jeske

Happy (belated) Thanksgiving and
Happy (right-smack-in-the-middle-of)

Hang on to this week's suggestions! You'll get another chance when heading downward.

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

Sunday 12/05/1999

adam ford

    Hey, Scott, I finally posted you a copy of Duck Fat, with the interview we did in it. Hope you get it soon, I have no idea how long post between our fine countries takes.

  • The Bud can tips over and pours into the ignition key slot, and we see a whole bunch of nasty sparks (you know, the kind that might start an explosion?) zap out of the steering column.

[I did receive Duck Fat (Adam's zine has a lengthy interview with me in the latest) and enjoyed it very much.Would you like to include ordering info next week for Carl fans who'd like to order one? --Scott]


  • Speed racer's brother and pet monkey shift the car into gear while drowsy Carl sleeps

Josiah Rowe

    Giant-sized Carl! I love it! In fact...

  • Carl's car is stepped on by a giant foot belonging to... GIANT-SIZED CARL!!!
  • Mom: Well, he did keep his promise...
  • Carl dreams (in a thought balloon, or as an animated gif with wavy lines) of his mother saying, "Promise me you won't drink and drive, Carl..." [Does this break the prohibition against "Whew! It was all a dream," or not? Personally, I like the postmodern recursion...]
  • Carl wakes up. "Whew! It was all a dream." The pink elephant next to him says, "What was?"
  • Mom: "Now I can have the car for once!" Maybe she grabs the can of Bud while she's shoving Carl out of the driver's seat...
  • Carl, speaking in his sleep: "I promish..." (probably a close-up, with Carl drooling)
  • Carl, speaking in his sleep: "Helb! I've bursht into flem!"
  • Carl bursts into flem.
  • Suddenly... Silly Putty!
  • Carl wakes up in bed to find Mom, Daisy, Dad, the guy from the video store from "Carl: Original Recipie", Carl II, the blue angel, the red devil, and the hunter (in short, everyone who's ever appeared in Carl) standing around his bed. "What a dream I had! And you were there... and you, and you, and you... and some of it was wonderful, and some of it was terrible, and all through it I just kept thinking, I want to go home... and they sent me home!" (All right, it's a lousy suggestion. But I just couldn't leave that last box empty!)

    The best thing about the Giant-Sized Carl is that you can see the two animated bits next to each other. Incidentally, two panels didn't load correctly ("But I thought you were dead!" and "What's your poison?"), but I don't know if it's a problem with your computer or mine.

[Could be on your end... Browsers do just give up sometime when collecting a lot of images. Did anyone else have this problem? If so, which panels?--Scott]

Jesse Rimler

  • Drink and Drive Lady: Well, I guess I'll drive him home.

    Does that Carl-warning lady have a name? If not, I suggest Fran. Well, maybe not. It seems to be going alphabetically with Carl, Daisy, Ethel might work. Or even a B since she appears first (left to right) in the first panel. Hmm...I think I have spent far to much time on this.

[It's his Mom (though early confusion as to who she was provided some good running jokes). As for the name --

-- both Fran and Ethel sound good to me. Votes anyone? --Scott]

Lukas Chen

    Haven't been on in a while. But life goes on, and Carl dies, somehow... and seeing as how I'm losing ideas left & right...

  • Carl is on a stretcher, and the doctors are yelling about alcohol poisoning.

    Just re-read Zot Vol. 1-3. Any word about Vol. 4? Maybe since Paradox Press put out the new edition of Understanding Comics. . .

[No word yet. We're working on it. --Scott]

the Marvelous Patric Lewandowski

    comments... comments.......... hmmm..... nope...

  • Carl screams as he wakes up to a loud carhorn being pressed by.... ???? (new character?)
  • meteor falls on carl's car.
  • "oh no!!!!!! carl drank a bottle of NYQUIL!"

    man, my suggestions are getting really weak. I think I'm in a slump... suggestor's block or something

Tom Harris

    glad to see you back, Scott!

  • carl's mom: "Carl, honey, could you run down to the store to get me some....OH MY GOD!!?"
  • Carl wakes up, only to find his car flying through the air carried by the pink elephant from section 1.
  • ...Carl sleeping.. thought balloon 'She never said anything about drinking and dreaming'
  • Carl's mother thinking : "I never said anything about drinking and dreaming"
  • Carl dreams.....lots of swirly colors...

Tod Caviness

    Darn good to be back - I figured it was fate. My mother visited this last week and at one point just before I left to head out with some friends she warned me 'not to drink and drive'. It's all your fault that I got stopped by a cop on the way home, as I was on the lookout for pink elephants and vampires instead ...

  • CARL, still asleep, dreams a thought bubble: "Mmm ... beer ..." In the background, a Budweiser truck bears down on his parked car ...
  • Carl's Mom goes back into the house, retrieving a shotgun. MOM: "That's the last straw!"
  • Carl slips into dreamland (Which one? Gaiman's? Aborigine dreamtime? Lewis Carroll's? Probably not important ...). He finds his keys under a huge magic mushroom. CARL: "Hey, here they are (hic)!"
  • Carl begins to dream. A dream Mom in a thought bubble over his head urges him to "promise me you'll drink as much as possible on the way home, Carl!"

    O.K., guess it's time to use up my plug, now that this thing is finally up ... go see the brand new newsletter for the (fictional) Vagabond County Mental Asylum at . Absolutely nothing to do with comics, but I'd welcome anyone willing to do a visual interp of my "Captain Poetry" adventures in the graffiti section. If nothing else, please tell me whatcha think. I'm still new to the medium.

Mr. ?

  • Carl wakes up in his bed, hands and feet tied. Carl: "Wha?" Carl's mother standing in the open doorframe: "You broke your promice. Naughty, naughty!" She can also be seen holding a long kitchen knife.
  • Carl's mother is driving her unconcious son saying: "I know one way to make my son give up drinking forever!"
  • Same as above, but then she adds, "Get him hooked on drugs!" And she's driving towards a dealer.
  • Carl's mother dragging away a sleeping drunk Carl saying, "The reverse psychology worked! Phase one of my plan is a success. Now onto Phase two!" There might be a spooky castle ala Dr. Frankenstien's seen distantly in the window.
  • Reveal that Carl's mom is a vampire! She's leaning over sleeping Carl's neck.
  • Reveal that Carl's mom is a werewolf! It's a full moon and she changes. "Awooooo" (And with his dad a vampire, that should make Carl really messed up.)
  • Enter sassy aliens. (just kidding)


  • The car, with a passed out Carl inside, starts to roll down the large hill on which carl's family's house lies.

Peter S.

  • Carl's Mom is visibly angered. She says "I'll teach him a lesson but good!" (leading to next panel where she says "There's no reason why I can't drink and drive!")

Catt Jan Roxxanne

  • "HEY! You think this is a cheap hotel or somethin'!! Get Moving!"
  • Carl's head is laying on the steering wheel, making his car give a loud "beeeeeeeeeeep!" But not loud enough to wake him up.
  • Carl's having a nightmere where his Mom is telling him "I thought I told you not to drink and drive!!!"
  • Mom thinks "This'll teach him!" As she answers into the phone "Hello? Police dept.?"

    I'm at school right now. I normally do this when I fake illness and stay home. It feels kinda weird doing it over here though... I wonder why?

Christopher Woerner

  • Mom pounds on the car window. Carl wakes up saying "Whew, it was all a dream!"
  • The car starts moving. Mom's standing in front, screaming "Carl, you released the brake!"
  • Close-up on Mom at the door. Standing behind her are Daisy, Dad, a pink elephant, the bug-eyed monster and Satan.
  • A newscaster. "We interrupt this comic to bring you a special news bulletin."
  • Carl's pet dog Skipper starts howling along with the horn.
  • Mom's on the phone. "Hello, Daisy? Carl won't be coming over. I'm going to kill him." On the other end, Daisy says "Okay."
  • A "Sin City"esque dramatic shot of Mom walking towards the car. The camera is up in the rafters of the garage. Sure the on-screen reproduction would be lousy, but isn't incomprehensibility its own reward?
  • A Jack Kirby-esque shot of Mom ripping off the car door, with lotsa speed lines and stuff.
  • Mom sighs. "Just like his father."
  • Mom climbs in the passenger seat and opens a can of beer. "Oh what the hell."

    Please don't let Carl die. He's my most favorite character in the whole universe. I'd hate so much to see him go. I know you wouldn't really kill off such an undeserving person as Carl. That's the kind of thing only a mean nasty person would do.

Michael Patrick

    Well, we're not allowed to have Carl wake up and say "Whew! It was all a dream", but what if he enters into a dream. That's fair game, right?

  • Carl is sitting on a toad stool smoking a hookah. Daisy is there dressed up like Alice in Wonderland. This shoucl bea full color panel (Carl dreams in color) I can't think of any dialogue to go with this one.
  • Carl is on stage at an enormous stadium. He is surrounded by other Carls in an all-Carl band. They could be singing "Helter Skelter" or some other song about repetition.
  • Carl is dreaming he meets his idol: Carl: Brian Boitano!
  • Carl is dreaming he meets his idol: Carl: Knute Rockne!
  • Carl is dreaming he meets his idol: Carl: Dad!?
  • " " "" "" "" Carl: Barney Rubble!!

Wade Bowen

    I have nothing clever to say...Yay for Scott McCloud.

  • Whoever that woman is is angry with carl for drinking in the car and is slapping the hell out of him. "What do you think you're doing?!!"
  • Carl is having a nice dream where he's floating upwards sitting on a shiny bubble and watching some cute my little pony with wings fly around. Or some other weird dream Carl could be having. It IS just a suggestion.

dan wheeler

  • carl's mom reaches through the window of the car & snags carl's beer. she begins to drink it greedily.
  • carl's mom: "it looks like carl needs a little lesson in responsibility." she releases the emergency brake, puts the car into neutral & starts it rolling down the hill.
  • in carl's dreamland he's driving his car through a magical land made entirely of car keys. carl: "it's ironic but they were in my hand the whole time." (or if you want to be really surreal "it's ironic but they were on my forehead the entire time.")

Nat Gertler

    Lo, There Shall Be A Carl

  • Carl is dreaming of his mother who is saying "Promise me you won't Think and Thrive!"
  • Enter Sandman
  • Mom in the doorway, talking to scientist. "Now he's out! Go get the cloning tools!"
  • Skip Ahead Three Spaces
  • Two hooligans. "Our local sports franchise has achieved an immense victory tonight!" "We must riot and overturn automobiles!"
  • Carl is awakened by an ice-cream-style truck driving by: "Alcohol! Beat the heat with yummy-nummy alcohol!"
  • Woman coming up to car. "And there Carl slept, enchanted, only to be released by the kiss of a princess."
  • Mister U.S. happens in. "Excuse me! Just here for my crossover cameo!" (Mr. U.S. TM Gertler & Lewis)

    Reinventing THOR -- now there's a book I'd read!

R. Noyes

  • Carl's mom, seizing the opportunity, places Carl's hand in a glass of warm water for cheap laughs.
  • What's this?! The parking brake is loose! Carl's car careens out-of-control!
  • Mom, bagpipes at the ready, prepares to turn the bullhorn on.
  • Carl dreams he's a ninja!
  • Carl dreams he's a racecar driver!
  • Mom, hands on hips, grumbles "Oh, I just knew it!"
  • Carl flops his head to the side. All his "z"s become "n"s.

Matthew Johnson

  • Carl still in the car, asleep, now with a long, long beard. Caption: 100 years later...
  • Carl's mother is shaking Carl awake. Mom: Carl! Wake up! You have to save the world!
  • Carl was already driving before he fell asleep! Now he's hurtling over a cliff in his car...
  • Carl astrally projects out of his sleeping body. Carl (thought): What - what's going on?

Dark Artist

  • "Promise me you won't drink and drive, Carl." "I promise."

R David Francis

  • Mom reaches into the car, saying, "Carl! I guess I'd better take these keys."

Terry Enright

  • Carl's mother has him arrested by the cops. In prison, Carl has time to contemplate the servile relatioship between cartoon characters and their creators. Once released, Carl begins prostelyzing to other personality-challenged cartoon characters. When he hears of Scott McCloud's recent attack at the hands of Cynicalman, he remarks to a newspaper: "The stickfigures have come home to roost." An important and militant figure in the cartoon community, Carl is tragically killed in a car accident when he obscures his vision through the windshield by spraying it (the windshield, that is) with the contents of a nonalcoholic beer.
  • Carl's mother forces him into a rehab program whose slogan is "Hugs, Not Drugs". Carl takes this literally, and begins hugging everyone in sight. He makes the mistake trying to hug pop diva Madonna, whose bodygaurds quickly pummel him to a pulp.
  • Carl's mother tries to wake him up. After a few hours with no sucess, she retires to bed. When she is still unable to awaken him, Carl's mother calls an ambulance. A doctor declares that he has alcohol-poisioning had made him comatose. 40 years pass. Carl awakes to a sterile, futuristic hospital room. Carl: "Oh, I'm awkake. But who cares?" Carl returns to his coma, where he spends the next few years until his death.
  • Carl opens his eyes. Carl: "Gotcha! I wouldn't drink or drive." Later, Carl thinks: "Showed her. Now it's off to the video store." Drinking bud on the way, he of course dies before he can reach his destination.

Markus Gerwinski

  • Mom hits a blown-up paper bag besides Carl's ear, frightening him to wake up.
  • Dream balloon above Carl's sleeping face: Carl sitting in a racing car/bomber plane/x-wing fighter, waiting for the last few seconds of the countdown to pass.
  • When Carl wakes up, it's become dark, and his Mom is sitting on the rear seat, wearing pearls and a fur coat: "To the opera, Carl."

Michael Avolio

    Happy Thanksgiving everybody.

  • Mom's really angry.

    Sorry. Sometimes ya got it, sometimes ya don't. How's REINVENTING COMICS coming along?

[About 4 months to go before completion. Shipping Summer/Fall '00. --Scott]

Jimmy Fusil

    AARGH! I missed the opening of section 5! Great panel by the way.

  • Same as previous, but with Carl's head farther down on the steering wheel and w/ horn sound.
  • "Promise me" panel in wavy dream lines.
  • Carl dreaming that he is driving.
  • Carl dreaming: Daisy, will you marry me? Daisy: oh, yes carl!
  • Mom coming closer to car with chainsaw/large knife/garrot wire/axe: You will never disobey me again Carl! or For this transgression, you must die!
  • Mom: My son...a drunk, just like his father...(sniff)
  • Carl dreaming of beer paradise (use your imagination).

    Happy Thanksgiving! (Unless you're a turkey, in which case: I'm sorry)

m. jeske

  • mushroom cloud forms from exploded atomic bomb.
  • Mother rushes out to attack Carl.
  • The car starts moving with Carl still asleep.
  • Earthquake rumble is heard.

Jason Arnett

    Well, I've tried before and think I didn't understand really what you were looking for. I still may not, but these are the best I can come up with right now.

  • Mom is still in the doorway, but calling his name as Carl wakes with a start, spilling his beer from the dash, but spotting the keys in the ignition. (Jeez, that's a lot of information for one panel. Sorry.)
  • Mom reaches in past a groggy Carl and pulls the car keys from the ignition: "ALWAYS the last place you look!"
  • Carl dreams of his girlfriend handing him a beer. He says to her: "Don't cry for me, I'm already dead..."

    I'm going to try a 24 hour comic on Saturday, hoping it'll come out. Will send a copy of my attempt as per THE DARE. Thanks, hope you had a good Thanksgiving.

Thom Marrion

  • Morpheus, from the Sandman comics, appears to Carl in a dream saying,"You are gonna be in SO much trouble when you wake up!"

Morgan Doninger

    I don't know why I can only do one suggestion lalely, perhaps I am deluding myself into thinking they're good ones.

  • MOM is over a half asleep CARL. He is in that gray zone of post drunk yet pre-hung over and his faculties are not all there (translation: CARL as a funny distressed look on his face). MOM (screaming): You promised me!!! You promised!!! CARL (moaning): Whaaa???

    Three A's in Whaaa make it funny. I don't know why, but it does.

["Gaaah!" on the other hand, is funny with one "A" or three, but never two. --Scott]

Ross Horowitz

  • Mom kicking Carl's butt.
  • Mom kicking Carl's butt, and Carl saying, "I didn't drive, hic!"

joe thornton

  • Carl's mother says"Oh no,he's dead! Nothing less than a Viking funeral for him!

Mia D.

    Haven't been here for awhile. Just been censored by my Journalism teacher! Now I TRULY feel like a writer! Comic world, here I COME!

  • Carl, out of pure druken insanity, turns on Dr. Laura
  • Carl: Wait, I'm not supposed to drink and drive!
  • Carl turns on the radio, only to hear his mother complaining about Carl's drunken driving on the Dr. Laura show
  • Carl accidently runs over the ghost of Stanly Kubrick, who is crossing the street to buy doughnuts
  • Carl drives into a large millenium celebration
  • Carl's car won't start because of the Y2K bug (had to sneak that in there)

    The reason for the Dr. Laura obbsession is that I have caused controversy at my school because of an editorial I wrote about her (I work on the school newspaper). One teacher, after reading this editorial, came up to me and told me I had no respect for authority... Oh well! I always have Carl! But Anyways, sorry about the whole incorperation of Dr. Laura. Next week I'll probably submit ideas involving preferencial treatment of the Football team...

[Give 'em Hell, Mia! --Scott]

Jesse Rimler

    I know I already this entered this fortnight...but I just realized that had I won! (I'm a slow one.) Cool! Sorry to waste space!

Elan' Trinidad

  • The lady knocks on the driver's side window, waking up Carl. She's holding a gun (or bomb, sword, knife, whatever)

Mike Sugarbaker

  • Mom, as in the ubiquitous starting panel, only looking a bit more annoyed: "*sigh* Promise me you won't drink and key anyone's car, Carl." Carl, as in the starting panel, only with 'boozles' surrounding his head: "I (hic) promise."

    See the work of Berke Breathed for more info on 'boozles' and other important coinages, sadly neglected in Understanding Comics. (That was a joke, and the fact that it is not funny does not change that.)

[ Mort Walker calls 'em "squeens" in his Lexicon of Comicana but I do like "boozles." --Scott]

James Dominguez

    Lucky for me this has been delayed - I forgot to make suggestions last week.

  • Carl rolls slightly in his sleep and rests his head against the car horn. HOOOOONK!
  • Carl moves in his sleep and accidentally bumps the handbrake off. K-CHUNK!
  • A police car slowly pulls up behind Carl's car, blue and red lights flashing. (Animation!!!)
  • While he sleeps, Carl's car is stripped down to an automotive skeleton by thieves.
  • Skip the handbrake suggestion above, and just show the car rolling backwards down a hill.
  • Carl jumps awake, saying, "Phew! It was only a... oh wait, it WAS real!"
  • Carls' car gets towed, with him still inside.

    ...yeah, I am hoping Carl's car will get crushed into a cube, with him still inside. I'll try...

joseph chiang

  • carl's mom notices the aircon in the car is on. she shouted at carl,"you are going to die from breathing carbon monoxide, carl!"

R. Jak

    Okay, you got Carl drunk, and his mom there. Oh the possibilities there.

  • The mom takes out a gun and thinks "My life is a failure. I'm gonna end it all!"
  • Carl starts this strange dream about a pickle speaking in fluent Italian. (then again, maybe not.)
  • Carl is awakened by a gunshot.
  • Carl gets abducted by aliens.

Lee K. Seitz (Age 28)

  • Carl's mom throws an empty or half-full or unopened beer can at him to wake him up.

    Three, *three*, THREE suggestions in one!

Travis Pelkie

  • All I can think of is that Carl's wet himself.
  • Okay, maybe something else. His mommy comes to help him out of the car and he vomits on her. Of course, don't show the vomit, just the Splorge sound effect.
  • Someone driving drunk crashes into Carl's parked car. Next panel will be Carl saying "hey, I didn't not drink and drive so you could and then kill me!" or something.

    An extra week, and still no good ideas. Of course, I was up late writing a paper that argued that Ghiberti's bronze doors that were earlier with a simpler design are easier to read than the complex later doors. BTW, I was reading UC's intro, and was wondering where spiegelman's "Cracking Jokes" first appeared.

[In Arcade Magazine, I think; later in his own anthology "Breakdowns." I think someone may be reprinting that stuff soon. --Scott]

Craig J. Clark

    I've always believed in the power of simplicity...

  • Mother at car window, gun in hand: "What did I say about drinking and driving, young man?" Carl, meanwhile, is petrified.


    Carl is a guy who either dies a lot, drinks a lot, or avoids both once in a while.

  • Automatic pilot is activated by his snoring and carl drives off
  • Mom gets in and drives
  • Sleep driving wooooooo
  • Driving elves. like shoemaker elves except they drive
  • HE WAKES UP and decides to go back to sleep except only after removing the parking brake
  • Carl's mom hits carl with firehose.... high speed and pressure shifts car into gear Babies fly through the air and land gently into a cloud of ... Carl panics
  • Dude sleeps till he is incredibly old and the cars battery dies
  • The battery's name is carl and it dies huh? huh? no? DANG!
  • Carl dreams of Genie... or his head is buried in steering wheel
  • Wakes up and decides to clone himself and change his name to Ben Reily

    Good gravy!

Austin Swinburn

  • The lady in glasses gives Carl a huge jug of whiskey, says "That will show him!"


  • Carl's Mom should get very angry and say somethig like "Disobey ME will you!" and push Carl and his car out into traffic.


[...meaning Carl's Mom is Evil or she is Mom of Evil Carl? Aah, the possibilities! --Scott]

Bill Schlimme

  • Mom: "Carl, I'm very disappointed in you...Are you even listening to me?" Carl: "ZZZZZZZ..."
  • Mom leaves Carl in car, not taking into account that he left the engine running, and the garage door is closed. She has other things to worry about.
  • Mom: "Well, at least he kept his promise, and didn't actually drive anywhere!" Takes the keys away from him.

Kean Soo

  • Mom, furious, walks from the house to Carl's car... Mom: "...grumblegrubmle... had it with that kid..."
  • Carl drifts into a dream... mist swirls around him.

zoom out