This week's panel suggested by

  • Mark Rosenfelder

With the dialogue "Gah!" suggested by:

  • Doug Waldron

Also suggesting the flee-in-terror motif:

  • James "DexX" Dominguez
  • John Krueger


This will be our last Choose Your Own Carl for 1999. Thank you for joining us every week to put our hapless hero through his paces. Please visit again on January 9th, 2000!!

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

Sunday 12/19/1999

Nat Gertler

  • (Grabbing her wrist) "Wait! You're not my mother! You're her twin sister FRAN!"

    Okay, this suggestion is in reaction to my having supposedly voted for Ethel, which I do not recall having done. I don't recall there being a vote. Is it possible that Ethel was the default on the form, and those of us who failed to notice that vote got counted as voting for Ethel? If so, this would appear to be a rather sad example of participatory democracy, and I demand the U.N. oversees a revote! Or maybe I just voted and forgot about it.

[Actually, though votes were listed in the order they were received, the corrolation between suggestions and votes was only a rough one. The default setting was "Vote Here" BTW so Ethel won fair and square. I liked Fran too, but the alphabetical argument was just too irresistible. Carl, Daisy, Ethel...who's next? See below! --Scott]


    i wanted it to be a giant foot, but that's been done.

  • the knife turns out to be one of those neat theatrical knives that look real but actually retract into the handle. but carl gets squished by a giant squid falling from the sky as he demonstrates his relief by sitting down for no apparent reason

    on the other hand, it could have been a my little pony.

James "DexX" Dominguez

    I am going to repeat a few from last week that I think are still applicable. I hope that is allowed...

  • Carl, heavily bandaged, in the back of an ambulance. He holds an open can of beer, and is saying, "*hic!* Now I can drink and drive!"
  • Carl, again heavily bandaged, holding a pill bottle, says, "I wonder if I can take painkillers and drive?"
  • Carl is running like hell, with his knife-wielding mother in pursuit, and he stumbles across his REAL mother, bound and gagged in the bushes. "Mom!?"
  • Following the theme of the prvious suggestion, his mother pulls off her rubber mask, revealing the face of... Hmmm... who could it be? How about just a generic three-eyed and many-fanged alien?
  • Carl, hands on hips, says derisively, "That's a bread knife. What you need is a butcher-knife." His mother looks confused...
  • Carl pours the contents of a bottle of Prozac down his mother's throat.
  • Carl, with a big smile, says "Hey, chill out, have a beer!" He hands a can of beer to his enraged mother.

    OK, twenty-four hour SF movie marathon this weekend just gone, so I suppose the twenty-four hour comic will be next weekend. Midday-to-midday will probably work best for me. Oh, what are the rules regarding ducking out to the shops for caffeine and munchies?

[Duck away, DexX, but remember that the clock keeps ticking! --Scott]

Jesse Rimler

    Down 20 bucks from last week's Fran/Ethel bet, but still kicking. The thought of less than two weeks until Man on the Moon keeps me in high spirits.

  • Carl's Dad also threatens Carl, attacking him from the right side of the panel. Carl's Dad: Failure! He should be holding a knife or something deadly-like. Gun, wooden steak etc. Carl will be in the middle of these two, visibly shaken and frightened.

    Uh oh...I just had another thought... Hate to sound like a broken record, but what is Carl's Dad's name? Does he have one? If he doesn't, here are my suggestions: Since we now have Carl-C Daisy-D Ethel-E the next logical choice should be a B or an F. I am fond of the name Benjamin but that sounds a bit light for a vampire. I think Franz might do, a bit of a nod to a man who is my never-ending inspiration; Franz Kafka. And if there is to be another vote, lets have some nominations this time.

[Nominations, anyone? --Scott]


  • Carl says, "Dammit Mom, why are you stabbing me with a rubber knife?!" Mom just shrugs her shoulders
  • Carl uses his many years of Kung-Fu training to disarm his mother
  • Carl is stabbed but still alive(obviously) and runs for the car to make an escape.
  • Carl is hurt and Mom is revealed to be an alien (dramatic music) Carl gasps
  • Carl bends the cold stainless steel blade with the power of his mind!!! HA HA he laughs and points at his evil mother.

Rob Tomshany

  • Carl grabs the knife from Mom's hand, revealing car keys dangling from the blunt end (which we can't see in the previous panel). He then exclaims in relief, "Oh, THERE are my keys! Thanks for finding them!"

Markus Gerwinski

  • Carl (raising the forefinger): "That's not funny, Mom!"
  • Carl jumps onto a horse in order to escape.
  • The knife breaks when hitting the "C" icon on Carl's T-shirt.

    As for Dylan Graham's observation about newspaper strips: Seems *very* interesting! Dylan, could you give some "real-life" examples? E.g. the strip(s) that inspired your thesis?

Craig J. Clark

    It's a silly idea, I know, but here goes:

  • [Carl holds up a lyre.] CARL: No, Mom. _This_ is a lyre.

    Puns. Think about them, won't you?

Wade Bowen

  • Ethel no longer has the knife in hand:Sorry, I got a little carried away didn't I? Carl has the knife protruding from his arm: Ouch! that REALLY hurts!

Mike Sugarbaker

    When in doubt, go for simplicity:

  • Carl trips Ethel, who plunges off panel to the right. Optional: Carl whistles innocently, hands behind his back.

Gregg Lamse

  • Carl stuffs his dead mother into the trunk of the car. He's a little messed up, but she has the knife sticking out of her chest. Carl: "Ethel never could fight"

Noah Chenhalls

    I'll post a copy of that Fillmore one of these days...

  • He should yell "Hitchcock!!!" or something similar.
  • He should say, "But wasn't dinking; I was doing drugs and fooling around with my girlfriend."
  • Carl should yell "POLICE! POLICE!" Then a stereotypical Irish policeman should intervene.
  • Carl should say "Don't use that, use a SPORK! It's a spoon. It's a fork. IT'S A SPORK! Brought to you by Scottco."
  • He should say "Mom! look behind you!" and get in his and drive away.
  • He should click his heals and say "There's no place like home!..."

Doug Waldron

    Travis W. Howard mentioned that Carl's alcoholic car was named C.A.R.L. I'm guessing this stands for Covert Automotive Robot (with Lasers), an upgrade from the previous model, C.A.R., which didn't have lasers.

  • Ethel hands Carl the knife: "Now get inside and carve the turkey for supper!" Carl: "Okay, just quit shouting."
  • Carl: "Gah!"
  • Carl pushes a button on Ethel's neck and turns her off. "Must be a bug in the M.U.M. (Motorized Universal Matriarch)."
  • Carl: "In two weeks, you're gonna wish you were nicer to me."
  • It turns out Carl was looking at Ethel in a mirror; she was simply advising him to travel by train.

Lee K. Seitz (Age 28)

    If we've entered our e-mail address one week, do we need to bother doing it again?

  • Carl (running from Mom): Is this what happened to Dad?
  • Carl (running from Ethel): Really, I swear I didn't drive 'cause I fell asleep! Ethel (still shrieking): But you were going to, weren't you? Carl (meekly): Um, yeah.
  • Carl runs towards a busy street.
  • Mom chasing Carl (& still brandishing a knife): Wait, Carl, I just want to talk!
  • Carl tries to run but trips on a beer can.

[Naah. It's optional, anyway. I might put together an email list at some point (for my use *only*!) but you can vote anonymously if you like. --Scott]

John Krueger

  • Carl flees in terror (obvious, but viable).
  • Carl grabs another knife and fights back!
  • Carl sidesteps, and Ethel falls down an open manhole.
  • Carl convinces Ethel that she doesn't exist (hard to draw) and she disappears in a puff of smoke.
  • Carl and Ethel take time out to vote in the republican primaries.
  • Carl breaks off the bottom of a beer bottle and fights back!
  • Carl says "Don't make me angry, you wouldn't like me when I'm angry".

Charles Sumner

  • Carl bends back and flips his mom into the next panel (using an animated GIF of course)

Mark Rosenfelder

  • Carl turns to see his mom knifing his dad. Carl: DAAAD!!
  • Carl's mom grasps her chest. "Ooh, my heart!"
  • Carl running, pursued by his mom. Carl: Now I *really* need a drink.
  • Carl watching a dust cloud off to the right: "Man, she needs new glasses!"
  • Carl to mom: "You promised me no more PCP!" Mom looks nonplussed.

Tod Caviness

    And here I was thinking of "Ethel" as the one and only friendly, concerned person that Carl knows. So much for a ray of light in the otherwise bleak universe of our hero. Sigh. Anyway, on with the killing ...

  • In the struggle, Carl rips off "Ethel's" wig to reveal ... CARL: "Gasp! Anthony Perkins!!?"
  • CARL: "I've been waiting for this a long time, mother ..." as he whips out a fencing saber / pistol / twisty wet towel.
  • Carl leaps into the car to escape. Police follow. Ethel hangs on to the hood T.J Hooker style as we begin the car chase. (No story cannot be improved by a car chase, dontcha know.)
  • Carl backs away. ETHEL: "You've been drinking, all right! And you haven't even invited me!! You think it's easy, toiling over a hot stove day after day, cleaning the bathrooms ..." (text gets smaller, trails off)

    Go Ethel. I just got introduced to an Argentine cartoonist called Quino today. Why has no one in the States heard of this guy?? (Or maybe it's just me.) He absolutely rocks! Makes Gary Larson look tame. Recommended.


Chris Shumway

    Woo hoo! My 15 minutes of fame have commenced... [basks] Alright, then.

  • Carl impales his mom on a katana, posed a la Bruce Willis in Pulp Fiction (facing away from her, sword pointed behind him)
  • I just want to reiterate that I really like the above image.
  • Carl notices a big switch on his (robot) mom's neck set to "evil" instead of "good"
  • Carl's mom is daydreaming her murder fantasy. Maybe this could be done by showing her with her eyes closed, smiling, with a thought balloon containing the previous panel.
  • Same as above, only she is giving Carl an evil, shifty glare.
  • Carl, holding a remote control, turns robot Mom off.
  • Carl's mom stabs Carl's six-pack of beer.
  • Carl's mom stabs vampire dad.
  • Carl, holding a switchblade in one hand and beckoning her with the other, is saying, "You want a piece of me!?!? Bring it on!"
  • The two squaring off for a fight, "Promise me you won't drink and DIE, Carl!" "I promise!"

    Way too many possibilities here...

Catt JAn Roxxanne

  • A narrative panel is shown thats reads in lower case letters is added to a number of sound effects such as "GARR!" "UFF!" "AAG!" "NOOO, THE HORROR!" The text in the box reads "A short scene of pain and mutilation."
  • "Wait Mom! I love you!"
  • "I wanted a cat! But no! Your father wanted me PREGNANT!!"
  • Mom stops and says "Wait this- this is wrong..."
  • Carl pulls a gun on... Damn, I forget her name again, was fran or... the other one Ethil or whatever... ANyway carl pulls a gun on her and says "Hold it right there, 'Ma'."
  • Carl cowers in a corner and says "Don't kill me! I still owe you money!"
  • Carl is backed up to the wall speaking as calmly as he can "Wait, Mom! You told me not to drink and drive so I wouldn't kill myself, right? So now by your chosen course of action you are defeating the purpose of why told me NOT to drink and drive? So by taking this action you will eventully feel really bad about what you did, and regret it for the rest of your life... Killing me will not solve anything Mother... put the knife down... please?"
  • Better idea: Lets just kill him and sort it out later.

Greg Lam

    Wow, I finally won once in the CYOC version of a layup. No matter, I still get to plug, don't I? Here's my out of date page,

  • Carl is in his car frantically trying to escape Mom, who is in her car trying to run Carl off the road. She's still yelling "Liar!"

Mr. ?

  • We see a Psycho like shower scene
  • Also, ala Psyco, we pull back to reveal that it's just Carl pretending to be his dead mother, having a discussion with himself. Carl in mother's wig holding himself and rocking on a rocking chair: "Promise me you won't drink and drive, Carl..."
  • Car leaps into his car and drives away in terror.
  • A Special message by Carl. Carl wearing an eyepatch: "Alcoholism is a disease that affect people of all ages. This actually happened two years ago, but since then, me and my mom have been quite sober thanks to AA!"
  • Carl tosses his keys at his mother.
  • And for the silly suggestion: Enter Pikachu!

Ross Horowitz

    I would like to point out that in this sequence, Carl obviously did not drive since he is passed out in the car in front of the house, and since it was my suggested panel that made him say it, I'm particularly offended by Mom calling him a liar. Then again, Mom's probably been having a bad day and is under a lot of stress.

  • Mom guts Carl into a bloody mess.
  • Mom falls on the knife and dies.
  • Mom and Carl get into a knife fight/sword fight.
  • Dad appears. "Stop. This is all my fault."
  • Carl, "Mom, relax! Have a drink."
  • Carl ducks behind tree.
  • Carl shoots Mom.
  • Carl wrestles Mom to the ground.

Travis Pelkie

    ya know, when ya don't read comix for awhile, it's quite exciting getting back into them

  • stabby stab stab
  • Carl's mom stabs at him, but either chocolate syrup or alcohol is all that comes out
  • there's a foul called for the anime reference of the previous panel
  • in comes carl's dad ("Ralph" or "Fred" are my suggestions, if he don't already have a name)
  • a big fight between Ethel (that won, right?) and Carl destined to change the status quo----forever!!
  • carl sez gaah, no one laffs

    AAAh, the Legion of extraordinary Travii is back! Of course, with suggestions like mine, we'll never take over the world. And don't forget, all of you people named Trevor or Tracey can join the Legion of Substitute Travii!! ($19.95 to join, with a $10 annual fee) Insert groans at bad comics jokes.

Charles Potts

    I have been watching for your work for a long time. I finally had the brilliant idea of checking the internet. Bingo! The first comic of yours I saw was DESTROY!, and I knew I had found someone with something to say. You printed one of my letters to ZOT! one time.

  • Carl manages to disarm him Mom by spilling some beer in her face, clouding her glasses and making her drop the knife.

[Welcome back, Charles. Make yourself at home. --Scott]

Jimmy Fusil

    Scott, I think I deserve credit for my baseball bat suggestion last week. Maybe I got the wrong murder weapon, and maybe my Ethel is a little less articulate in her condemnation of Carl's attitude (YAAArgh! rather than LIAR!), but still I got the motive and the action right... right?

  • Shot of Carl's hands catching blade samurai style.
  • Carl catches his Ethel's arm. "Ethel did you take your medication?!"
  • Carl dodges blade, which becomes lodged into the tree behind Carl.
  • Carl shanks Ethel with the shiv he has made for himself by sharpening the handle of his wooden spoon. (optional: "Here's a little something I learned up-state!")
  • Policeman/Dad/Daisy, pointing his gun at Ethel: Freeze!
  • Uhhhmmmm... Carl gets stabbed...

    Please Scott! You know I nailed it last week.

[Jimmy, my friend, if you nailed it, everyone nailed it.--Scott]

[Except for suggestions involving meteors and nuclear explosions. --Scott]

Addison Godel

  • Carl: [pointing] I'm not Carl! You want that guy over there!

Kean Soo

  • Carl stumbles out of the house. We can see Mom pushing a TV out of the second floor window above the door...
  • Carl dodges the knife, and grabs a frying pan off the counter, holding it threateningly.
  • Carl faints & falls backwards before the knife hits him.
  • Carl: "Oh yeah?" Carl smashes the end of a beer bottle and threatens Mom.
  • Mom stops inches away from Carl. Mom: "I can't stay mad at you... Just don't do it again, okay?"

    Hope y'all have a Merry Christmas!

[Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to everyone!!--Scott]

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