This week's panel suggested by James "DexX" Dominguez (with slight dialogue tweaking by Yours Truly so it would fit!)

...And I'm Off!

I'm going to be travelling in the next few weeks (see main page) so you can all relax and take your time choosing from the maddeningly limited list of possible last panels for this, the penultimate chapter of the Choose Your Own Carl saga!

Reinventing Comics will be in comic stores by the time Carl returns, so we may have some new voices on the board...if, uh, any of them can figure out what the hell is going on...

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

Sunday, JUNE 18!

Sunday 05/28/2000

Morgan Doninger

  • Bert looks at Ethel demonicly. BERT: I knew you would vome for the boy! Prepare to die!

Mark Rosenfelder

  • Carl: Thanks, Mom! Mom: Vampire-spawn!
  • Carl: Thanks, Mom! But Mom notices that Carl now has fangs.
  • Carl and Mom hug each other in relief, abandoning their responsibility to set up the death scene in the next panel.
  • The thought bubble from the gravestone panel above extend down to this panel too. Mom: We're safe! Carl: Are we?
  • Carl (looking at the jagged bottle in Mom's hand): Oh MAN, what a waste of good brew!

    Does Carl appear in Reinventing Comics?

[Just a cameo, I'm afraid. --Scott]

Josiah Rowe

    Oops! I got out of my weekly Carl habit when you took time off to finish Reinventing Comics, and only just got back! It seems I've missed some fun weeks, no?

  • Carl looks at his mother in awe: "Wow, Mom-- YOU THE MAN!"
  • Carl's mother stands poised over Bert's prone body with the broken bottle raised, and says, "And now for the killing blow!" or, "And now to finish him off!" Carl, horrified, cries out "No!" or "Wait!" and tries to block the blow...
  • While Carl looks on in amazement, his mother admits, "Yes, Carl -- I'm not just your mother. I am -- Ethel the Vampire Slayer!" (Or did we decide on Fran?)

    More later, maybe -- my keyboard is acting up.

Pete White

  • Mom removes mask- "No, I'm Brian Boitano!"

Travis Pelkie

    Scott, I'd like to claim to be the inventor of the 24 hour term paper, okay?

  • Carl's dad's blood hits him. "It burns!" Man, I'm too tired right now.

    Finished Greyshirt paper. Lots of stuff in brain. Hurts! Plus, travis mad they cancel Pretender for the rasslin' football league. Travis go bye bye now

Dave Forsythe

  • Bert looks up at them with a sinister look on his face, wiping the blood off his forehead and tasting it, saying "are you trying to make me angry?"

Koby Chodosh

    What happened to the click-to-read-suggestions thingy? BTW, your original "visually structured" website idea seems to be falling apart -- your links section isn't visual at all. There isn't even a "zoom out" option!

  • A grim-faced army official flips the cover off of "the button."
  • Sattelite's-eye-view of missles launching from the Former Soviet Union or someplace.
  • The sun comes up, and has the expected effect on Dad. In retrospect, I can't believe this never occurred to anyone before.
  • This is the best one, I think: A thought bubble, saying "I think it's time to start a new CYOC map."
  • Enter: Thor.

    Ignore what I said above. I was cranky. Your site's beautiful. The online comics are great. It's time for a new CYOC map. This one is getting way too silly. I can't wait for REINVENTING.

[ I worried a lot about the links problem, actually. I agree that it doesn't quite match up. I even thought about having a "Now Re-entering Hyperspace" splash screen for it, but decided against it since I had just gotten rid of the sites splash that carried that reference. As soon as I get some time, (ha!) I should really go in for a major redesign. BTW, I think we can all agree that the CYOC Map is beyond silly! --Scott]

David Bedno

  • Mom looks threateningly at Carl, holding the broken bottle menacingly, and says "Now, what did I say about drinking, young man?"

Brendan Milburn

    : Woo hoo!

  • Carl and his mom embrace to celebrate the victory over evil vampire dad, but unfortunately mom's embrace is a bit too enthusiastic and she unwittingly stabs her son in the back with the broken bottle.

    A la Chris Ware's recurring theme of family members ripping into each other with broken bottles...gruesome, I know, but darkly humorous, in context. I think. Maybe. Actually, it's really depressing and gross.

Tod Caviness

  • CARL, enraged, screams "My BEER!!"
  • CARL falls onto BERT's prone body, screaming, "No! You'll have to kill me first! ..."
  • ETHEL: "Hurry, Carl! Let's ride!" She hops into the car as they speed away with Dad's vampire horde in hot pursuit. (Okay, I'm REALLY running out of steam here ...)
  • ETHEL: "You're next, you ungrateful little ..." as she advances menacingly on CARL ...

    Y'know, Carl's family being the way it is ... you really can't blame him for the drinking.

Bill Schlimme

  • Mom: "I get to dispose of Carl myself!"
  • Mom: "You told me you were working late tonight!"
  • Mom, obviously confused: "Where?"
  • Dad, rising up to his full height of 5', 6" before the terrified mother and son: "It's been a long time, Ethel...Have you forgotten that mere glass cannot harm...THE UNDEAD?"

    Best I can do this late at night.


  • Bert's head breaks on... BUT HE LIVES!!!!!
  • Mom shows Carl the broken beer bottle... MOM: "Told you drinking could be dangerous!"
  • Mom turns round to Carl, fangs bared... Uh oh!
  • Carl starts laughing hysterically for no reason.
  • A cop walks in... "Hey! What dy'a think you're doing, ma'am!"

Nat Gertler

    Grrrr. Mine was among the suggestions dumped... again!

  • "How dare you attack my flesh and blood..." Mom's fangs are bared. "ESPECIALLY blood!"

    I took a look at the big picture recently. Some of the paths just don't make sense! Yipes!

Andrew Solovay

    Oh, man. I made some good suggestions, but they're gone, they're gone... Let's see if I can dredge them out of my memory. (BTW: When we post suggestions on this form, could you maybe send a copy of the email back to us, for our records?) Carl's in his grave in two panels, so let's not get too happy here.

  • Carl and his mom hug in relief... but behind them, Carl's dad gets back up, and he's pissed. (He's a vampire-- broken bottles don't slow him down.)
  • Carl's dad writhes on the floor, burning and steaming. Carl: "What was in that bottle, anyway?" (Answer, as we may find out next week: Holy water. Some bottles *do* slow vampires down.) (Um... is it okay for Carl's dad to be burning? If not, change that to "melting".)
  • Carl's mom looks at Carl warily, holding broken bottle in front of her as a weapon, saying, "Just how long were you alone with him?" (Maybe Carl's a vampire now, too!)
  • An obvious one, but someone's got to suggest it... Carl's mom has her arm over Carl's shoulder, leads him into the house, says, "You'll feel better after a nice nap." Carl doesn't see (but we do!) that his mom now has pointy teeth...
  • Carl's dad is down. But standing behind him, dressed in the best kinky black-leather vampire-queen-avec-dominatrix outfit, is... Daisy! "You won't find me so easy to stop."

    If I remember any of the others, I'll send'em along.

[The email suggestion is a good one, Andrew. Unfortunately I'm about to take off for two weeks and by the time I come back, I don't know if I'll have time to go Perl diving again and fix the language. Alternately, if anyone is worried about losing their suggestions again (a hopefully remote possibility at this point) may I suggest saving a text file of the "Thank You" page that appears after you hit the submit button? --Scott]

bryan young

  • Mom! That was a priceless Ming Vase!

Craig J. Clark

    Okay, let's try this again...

  • DAD is knocked out; MOM is holding broken end of bottle; CARL is aghast. CARL: My beer! My precious beer!
  • DAD is knocked out; MOM is brandishing broken bottle at CARL; CARL is scared. MOM: This is what you get for drinking, Carl!
  • DAD is not knocked out, but rather has angrily tossed MOM aside with his super vampire strength; MOM is flying through the air, off in the distance; CARL is petrified. DAD: Okay, now I'm REALLY angry!
  • DAD is a pile of ashes on the ground with a stake through it; MOM and CARL stand over it; BRIAN BOITANO is looking over their shoulders. BRIAN: Well, to be perfectly honest, I wouldn't have done _that_.

    I hope you got these this time.

David Hayward

    Sorry, a bit sick...

  • Carl curls up into a ball, moaning in a low voice: "Oh no, not again, not again, not again..."

    ...but it kind of fits with the theme of endless repitition - in CYOC and "real life". Maybe a sanitized version would be more appropriate.

Markus Gerwinski

  • The obvious one first: Raising the broken bottle, Mom turns towards Carl: "And now for you...!"
  • Dad, as an undead not really impressed by being hit with a bottle, attacks Mom.
  • Carl goes between his parents: "Please stop fighting."
  • Close-up of Dad, screaming out loud in rage.

Henry Reid

    I hope Lucas doesn't sue me for this.

  • Bert:...Carl....I am your father..... can't be!

Jeroen Dommisse

  • Carl says to his mom "Dammit mom - that was my last beer!" Carl's dad's still in the left bottom corner of the picture, all groggy by the smack on the head. Mom says "sorry".

    (Next episode: Carl says 'what the hell', snatches dad's wallet and says 'I'll go and buy some more, OK?'

Doug Waldron

  • Dad: "Well now that hurt."
  • Mom smashes a bottle over Carl's head: "That should teach the both of you."
  • Dad: "What the--?!? I was just giving my boy a hug." Mom hits him again: "Tell it to St. Peter, Bert."
  • Mom: "That's not your father, Carl! It's the walking undead!" Carl: "No duh, Mom." Mom: "Don't talk back."
  • Dad: "Aw, Ethel, you always were a feisty one." Mom: "For the last time; my name's not Ethel!"
  • Mom: "Finally! Now I'm the head vampire!"
  • A safe falls on them.

    Does anyone else keep clicking on the word "stake" in the bottom left panel? It looks like it should link somewhere.


  • Panel shows man rubbing his head saying "...ow." Carls mom standing with broken bottle in hand. Carl shouting "FINISH HIM!!!" with evil expression on face.

    ...I'm thinking something 'a la' Mortal Kombat.



    ..maybe it should be some sort of special genie, like an evil clown genie, or an evil Abercrombie genie, or a beani genie. Or an evil girl name Genie. the possibilities are limitless.

adam ford

    welcome back, scottarino. looking forward to RC oh yeah so much so much

  • Carl stands by as ethel and bert begin to argue. Ethel: NOW I remember why I divorced you! Bert: NOW I remember why I married you! Carl: (thinks) NOW I remember why I left home...

Pete S.

  • Bert unhurt, with evil grin: "Manners."

James "DexX" Dominguez

    Is there a mailing list for site updates yet? I just happened to remember that CYOC was coming back online around this time. Had I been slower in remembering, a tragedy may have occurred! OK, maybe me missing a couple of weeks of CYOC wouldn't be a tragedy, as such, but, urrr... Hmm, suggestions?

  • Carl and his mother stand there looking down at the still form of Carl's father. Carl has a surprised expression on his face, and is saying: "Saved by a bottle of beer. There's irony for you."
  • Carl stares in horror at the smashed bottle in his mother's hand, and screams: "What are you doing?!? That was my last beer!"
  • Carl's Dad (Bert, wasn't it?) grabs Ethel (?) and, nose to nose, snarls vampirically at her, saying: "That hurt!" or maybe just "Ow." ...he also has a big lump growing on his head.
  • Ethel strikes a match and sets Bert's body alight. Hey, maybe it was a bottle of overproof rum or something...

    Four will do for now. I am out of practice...

[No mailing list yet, though any significant updates to the site will be posted on the main page. --Scott]


    In your "suggestions so far" everyone seems to have ignored the fact that mom was buried in panel 3. Going with that:

  • Mom turns on Carl, showing fangs. "Your blood is mine."
  • Mom: "Nothing can stop me from saving my boy" (This of course primes us for the next deadly panel)
  • Carl: "Mom are you okay?"
  • The pink elephant returns and crushes mom. Just because I like elephants.

Travis Pelkie

    okay, I guess it works now.

  • I forgot most of my good suggestions. Perhaps carl-mom "accidentally" hits Carl with the bottle.
  • a big explosion
  • Carl gets a paper cut from the bottle label and dies. The baby.
  • Mom sez, "now I can kill you myself!"
  • mom's a super secret spy, but carl dies some other way.
  • To make a brief 2-panel suggestion, perhaps in panel 1 (this week's), mom sez, "now I have something important to tell you" panel 2: "You are really--" then it's cut off. It can't end like that, man. It's like a certain show that had an exciting cliffhanger, but is now cancelled, so we'll never know what happened. Don't Pretend you don't know what I'm talking about.
  • For some reason, the panel is a 4 story building. You can almost sorta see Carl.

    On that amazing segue... Last time about Greyshirt, I promise. I talked about the story as a symptom of nostalgia, pointing out that Greyshirt is Spirit-like, the 50's lettering was EC-like, etc. It also involved the book's audience, and so on. A few things I didn't include were the idea of the "stories" of a building, and also a weird theory I had about the mobster guy sort of looking like Jack Kirby, and therefore page 7 being some weird metaphor for the comics industry at different times, with today's comics throwing out what Kirby did in the sort of Oedipal thing you talked about in Comic Book Rebels in regards to Destroy! Or maybe not, it was just a theory. No more Greyshirt talk.

Wade Bowen

  • Glass shards fly into carls eye: Ouch Mom!
  • Bert: ouch Carl: Why'd you do that mom!
  • Bert is unconcious on the floor. Carl: Um...hi? Ethel: [broken bottle in hand]What did I tell you about drinking with your father?
  • Bert's unconcious Carl: Jeez mom, why'd you do that?!
  • Bert's unconcious Ethel: I do it because I love him Carl.
  • Bert's unconcious Carl: Mom... why did you just kill dad?

Jason Arnett

    Hmmm... Months since I've had a suggestion....

  • Carl, in horror, looks at his mom: "Th-- That wasn't a BEER bottle, was it, Mom?"
  • Dad glops some blood from the back of his neck onto his finger, looking hungrily at it. He says: "Beer and Blood. Less filling AND tastes great!"

    Thanks for the opportunity to make a silly suggestion. Can't wait for the book.

david seaward

    expect fanboy drivel soon, in the meanwhile...

  • Dad is lying on the floor, he mumbles "If you strike me down, you will only make me..."

zoom out