This week's panel suggested by

  • Morgan Doninger
  • gregg lamse
  • Lance H. Simmons (dialogue)

Nice, RGB that.

Also suggesting the somewhat less specific "truck" were:

  • Mr. ?
  • James "DexX" Dominguez

And an actual Budweiser truck reference courtesy of:

  • Travis W. Howard

Happy, um... January!

Welcome back. Hope everyone's holiday was exciting -- but not too exciting!

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

Sunday 01/09/2000

The Nominations are in!

What should Carl's Dad's Name be?

Check in next week to see who the 2 finalists are!

Nat Gertler

  • "That guy looks just like me!" thinks Carl-in-a-car, almost running over fleeing-Carl.

Joseph Chiang

  • Carl got run down by a drunk driver.

    Sir, I've always wondered if there could be one ending where Carl doesn't end up in the grave? Just one.

[All threads must end with the same "R.I.P. Carl" tombstone panel. As for Carl actually DYING... well, draw your own conclusions. --Scott]

Mr. ?

    no comment

  • Carl runs into a busy intersection as we see either a drunk Carl (whatever happened to Carl's clone?) or a massive truck barreling down on him.
  • Close up of Ethyl with bloody knife: "Now you will never drink again!"
  • Carl runs into the closed garage door or wall at full speed.
  • Carl is about to run into a wall at full speed saying "Hmm.. this drinking and running thing might have some potential."
  • Same quote as above, but Carl is running drunk and swerving tipsiley onto a busy highway.
  • A Tsunami is about to hit. Carl: "Not that kind of Drink!"
  • A bartender on the second floor tosses a beer bottle carelessly and beans Carl on the head.
  • And the obligatory surrealistic suggestion: Enter, Water Effrit.

Matthew Johnson

    Once again, we've got to get Carl killed off in a hurry...

  • Carl is standing between two Moms (one from the left panel, one from the panel above). Each is holding a kife and is about to stab him. Carl: Is this the end? Caption: Yes!
  • The ever-popular cARL-FALLS-DIOWN-A-MANHOLE!

Markus Gerwinski

  • Carl is drinking and running. In front of him, there's an open manhole.
  • Close-up of Carl drinking. On the bud can, there's a skull-and-crossbones sign.
  • Close-up of Carl drinking. In the background, Mom is approaching with the knife.

Charles Sumner

  • Carl dives into a swimming pool full of beer while his mom continues chasing him.

Travis W. Howard

    Doug Waldron:
    >> RE: C.A.R.L. You would be guessing correctly about the acronym.
    >> "What are we going to do tonight Travis?" "Same thing we do every Monday Travis, try to take over the world!"
    Legion of Substitute Travii, I like it in a lackey-of-Doctor-Doom (tm) Way.. :P
    Well, onto this week's silliness..

  • Carl: "Where's dad when you need him?" Evil Vampire Carl's Dad in background: "Someone mention me?"
  • Enter Billy Dee Williams, Colt 45 bottle in hand. "Heyyyyyyy.. say pretty lady..."
  • Close up of Carl's face, eyes rolling, "Calgone (tm), take me away!!"
  • Close up of Ethel, absolutely furious, psychotic saying "NO! MORE! LIES!!!!!" knife looking very sharp, light reflecting off it? (animation of sparkle effect on blade?)
  • Zoom out on a Budweiser (or Wisebuder) truck glowing in a Holy Grailish way.
  • C.A.R.L. (car) zooms into panel. "Don't worry Mich, er, Carl, I'll shave you, hic.." and lasers shoot from the headlights at the pair. "Ooops!"
  • Ethel deadpanning "Is that your final answer?"
  • Carl (thinking): Maybe I'll have a Bloody Mary.. (look of shock reacting to off panel terror) OH GOD!! NO!!!!"
  • Carl in a moment of clarity, and stepping out of the 4 walled world for a second looks at the reader with a panic'd shocked look and says "Please! Spare me for the love of God! I don't want to go through this again!"
  • Close up of Carl in a reflective moment thinking "What would Brian Boitano do?"

    Over at Brian Michael Bendis's board, there's talk of who'd win in a fight between his iconic portrayal in Fortune and Glory, versus you in Understanding Comics. I haven't seen it personally, anyone else by chance? The page is at:

    I personally prefer "Fred" Short, like Carl, same one syllable type name, goes with Ethel well (unless you consider I Love Lucy reruns).. Other names: Fred Frank Bob Bert

gregg lamse

  • Carl runs in front of a beer truck. The driver slams on the brakes...


  • Ethel(Still holding the knife) has a beer in one hand. Ethel: Ah, what the hell- drink yourself to death!

Allen Rubinstein

    The plot sickens.

  • Caption: "Later..." Carl and Ethel in the front seat of car -- Mom is behind the wheel, schnockered. Ethel: (feeling much better) "Shee, Thish will teach you to mind me, Carl." Carl is slumped onto the dash, moaning (drunk or stabbed, you decide!).

    Scott, I'm really madd at you.

[Speaking of M.A.D.D., I always liked the one about the new organization called D.A.M. (Mothers against Dyslexia).--Scott]

Jeff White

    My nomination on a name for Carl's Dad: Franz. As for a last name, no idea as of yet.

  • Carl's Dad appears out of nowhere with a 40 and gives it to Carl as he shouts "Here ya go son! It's on me!" Carl is then suddenly distracted leaving himself open for his mother.
  • Repeat the frame from two week's ago, where Carl's Mom shouts "LIAR!!!!!"

Josh Ronsen

  • Have Carl, holding a bottle booze, walk across the street with a speeding car rushing towards him. The woman could be in background, thus perfectly tie-ing in the three squares. Maybe Carl could say something like "I'll never drink and drive" if you thought some irony was needed.

Jason Fliegel

  • Carl runs headlong into ... an eight foot tall, fanged, menacing beer bottle. "You can't escape me, Carl!" the beer bottle exclaims.

    Regarding the great Ethel/Fran debate: Yes, Ethel fills in the end of the Carl...Daisy sequence nicely, but Carl's mother should come BEFORE Carl. That's why I stand with my original suggestion of Bernice. Carl's dad can be Abe, which means our cast of characters thus far is Abe, Bernice, Carl, Daisy, and Elephant. (And God, the Devil, and Brian Boitanno, but no pattern is perfect, right?)

[Well, if nothing else, we're staying in the pre-H part of the Alphabet. --Scott]

Daniel Achterman


    Huge fan of all your work. Don't usually contribute to Choose Your Own Carl, but I had a brainstorm this time:

  • Carl faces off against his knife-wielding mother. He assumes a Jackie-Chan Drunken Master fighting stance.
    CARL: I'll drink and practice Kung-Fu!
    CARL'S MOTHER: Rrrr!

    Still thinking of that perfect 24 hour comic plot...

James "DexX" Dominguez

    Damn, Christmas and New year have postponed my 24 hour comic until 2000. Annoying... oh well, here are my suggestions...

  • It's an old comedy cliche, but... Carl stands in the the centre of the panel, sculling (chugging for you US people) a can of beer. Very small, in the background, is Ethel, holding a knife. Several fountains of beer squirt out of Carl's body, presumably where he has been repeatedly stabbed. (Suggested onomatopaeia - SHWISH! SHWISH!)
  • Carl stands beside his car, the door open, and a beer in his hand. A familiar-looking knife is flying from out-of-panel toward his head. (Suggested onomatopaeia - if it's spinning, WHOKKITA-WHOKKITA!)
  • Carl climbs into a large barrel, saying "This looks like a good place to rest!" The barrel is marked BEER BREWING VAT.
  • Carl runs through a door, and finds himself flying through the air at the top of a steep staircase. Suggested dialogue, "Oh, this is going to hurt..." ...or, "Oops, wrong door!"
  • Carl runs out onto the road, saying "Where did I leave my car?" He doesn't notice the massive truck bearing down on him... (Suggested onomatopaeia - GRRRRRMMMM!")

    I am off work until the 4th January, so maybe "Do a 24 hour comic this week" will be a new year resolution...

Dave Forsythe

    This is my first suggestion...Hope you like it.

  • Carl Suddenly realizes that he really is a liar and puts a revolver to his head intending to kill himself

Travis Pelkie

  • Carl's dad saves him, or just swoops in, or something
  • Carl takes a swig as mom stabs him. Killed one way, leaks another
  • Y2K ruins Carl, and my suggestions never get used (when do they ever?)

    That's all for now, hope everyone has had a lovely holiday season, and I hope the world doesn't end. Carl's dad is Fred or Franz (goes well with the vampire stuff, sounds Transylvanian) Let's save A and B for Carl's grandparents, Agnes and Ben, or something. Frank, also a good name

Michael Avolio

    Let's see if I can get back in the swing of things...

  • Carl falls on his face while Mom plunges the knife into his back.

    Happy holidays to you and yours, Scott. And remember, everybody, it isn't the new millenium YET. We've still got one more year to go.

[Indeed. --Scott]

Michael Avolio

    And By the way, I think Carl's father's name should be Frank.

Tod Caviness

    Why didn't I think of this one before?

  • Suddenly, an anthropomorphic gin flask wearing a smiley face breaks through the wall. CAPTION: "Hey, Booze-Aid!!!" 'Mr. Booze-Aid' promptly tramples Carl. (CARL: "Gah!")

    If you don't use this one, you are grounded, Mister.


    Dear Santa, I have never ever had my suggestion used. So please make Scott pick this one.

  • OK, basically the Mom and Carl from the panal on the left run past the Mom and Carl from the panal above. Above panal Carl looks at Left Panal Carl running past him. Above panal Carl has a seriously confused look on his face and is completely oblivious to the mad slasher left panal Mom about to send him to the R.I.P panal. Above panal Mom can still be seen in the background of all this.

    Dear Santa, in retrospect maybe it was a little on the selfish side for me to ask to be picked. Maybe there is a poor suffering soul who would find the strength to live if only they were picked. Even if they say it was all a dream about Thor bursting in flames, if it's the only thing keeping them alive then they should be picked anyway. Heck, I should't even be asking for something as selfserving as having my suggestion used, I should be asking for world peace and universal harmony. So this year Santa I want that world peace thing. And I want to have my suggestion used.

Ryan McSwain

    This here suggestion is a masterpiece of modern suggestin'.

  • Carl: Can I can make it to that flamethrower in time?

    Good luck on gettin Zot! Book 4 out. I'm looking forward to it.

David Bedno

    The tricky part isn't finding something that both ends and continues - given the fluid nature of the plot, that's easy. What's really tricky is not using some lame y2k tie-in.

  • Carl hiding behind a tree..."Whew. I'll be safe here."
  • Alternately Carl hiding behind any number of objects, depending on how silly you want to get, thinking he's safe. In the background, Mom stalks, with knife.
  • While running away Carl trips and falls into an open grave. Screaming optional - I think a "silent" panel might be more effective here.
  • Carl picks up a beer laying on the ground, and in true Homer Simpson fashion says " will save me!"

    Hope you have/had a happy new year.

David Bedno

    Hrm...disregard all previous suggestions. I forgot that we're at an intersection, and they're almost all lame. Consider these instead.

  • Carl is leaning against the side of a building, and pops open a beer, looking nervously around the corner.
  • As above, saying "I should be safe here."
  • We see Carl running, about to trip into an open grave, saying "Nothing like a nice jog to make you feel alive."

    Ok...those aren't so lame. Hope you have/had a happy new year.

Bill Schlimme

  • Suddenly, a deluge; shot of an ark floating by, both Carl and Mom flailing about in the water.
  • Arty suggestion: the "camera" pulls back, showing that Mom and Carl are narrowly outrunning a tsunami, rendered in a manner similar to Houkusai's "Under the Wave at Kanagawa." Mom is yelling "LIAR!" emphatically.

    The best I can do. This particular juncture is not particularly condusive to my imagination. Have a Happy Y2K: here's hoping you aren't hit by the Hubble Telescope when it plummets from the Heavens!

Josiah Rowe

    Just one this week. (Until the muse strikes me again, that is.)

  • Carl: "But Mom, don't you love me?"


  • Carl's Mom looking directly out at us. "Well, what would YOU have done ?"

The Marvelous Patric of the Elephants

    Behold... the Carl of the future......

  • Giant bottle of beer falls on them, much like an anvil.
  • Run over by a DARE cop. How ironic.
  • Oh heck, just use an anvil.

    anvils are cool.


  • Mom stabs Carl off panel and shouts: "No you DON'T!!"
  • Mom lobs of Carls head and says "Better DEAD than sorry..."
  • Mom stabs Carl in the heart while in mid sentence, "...can I borrow the cagHKK!" And replies "No."
  • Carl gets a stab directly in the back from Mom, as she states "Don't humor me..."
  • Carl ends up in the middle of the street, where he is warned by a voice "Watch out for the cars, stupid!!"
  • Mom points the knife at Carl and yells "I CAN'T HEAR YOU!!!"
  • Mom points her finger at Carl and begins a series of "Nag"'s, making Carl think "Her nagging's gonna KILL me!!" (heh heh, gags are fun)

    Remember, the millenium isn't untill NEXT year. So have a happy CENTURY.

[LoL! --Scott]

Terry D. Johnson

    After being chased by the woman with the knife, Carl realizes that his only chance is to fake his own death.

  • "The only way out of this is to fake my own death!"

    Thus, the RIP Carl. ~fin~

[Joseph Chiang, take note...--Scott]

Greg Lam

  • A car rams into two people. Neither the victims or the car driver are identifiable.

Tom Harris

  • close up of Carl's horrified face w/ thought balloon.. "Ohmigod!! What should I do??"
  • Carl behind the wheel of his car, driving fast, his mother possibly visible far in the background w/thought balloon "Whew! That was a close one!"
  • Ethel stabbing Carl in the chest, saying "Don't lie!! You've never been able to keep a promise!!"

    As for the name of Carl's father, I think Fred would work, although maybe it's a little too obvious. How about Frank?

Lance H. Simmons

  • Carl climbing into his car with an open beer can, saying "Ha, ha. I gave her the slip." The drinking and wreck would be implied here but I think at this point in the development of the story such an untold sequence would be readily understood and at the same time leave an opening for something else to happen.
  • A repetition of the original car crash scene. you could then repeat the tombstone scene and simply exclude "end." Then you could have Carl come back as a zombie which would be really cool! I don't know if it's really fair to suggest one panel ahead but I think it's a great idea.

Adam Philips

    Hi, Scott! Joan told me about your site, and BOY is it fun!

  • Carl's knife-wielding mom kills Carl's drink-warning mom. Two Carls look on in horror. Knife-mom: DIE, CA--OOPS! CARL #1: MOM! CARL #2: MOM!

[Hi, Adam! (and Hi, Joan if you're reading this!) --Scott]

Ross Horowitz

  • Carl drinks beer. Mom stabs Carl.
  • Carl at New Year's party.
  • Mom and Carl at New Year's party.
  • Carl dives off cliff after a falling beer.
  • Enter: Odin.


    Carl is God

  • Carl gets run down by a drink driver
  • Carl dies when a can of Bud falls on his head (devine retribution from God - lies make baby Jesus cry)
  • Carl fakes his own death - in one frame... maybe not

    Carl will never die in our hearts

[Especially because then our hearts would have to be the last panel. --Scott]


    This is a tadge surreal...

  • Carl looks to the floor, as does his mother ... "Why mother, a deadly cobra!" he says, pointing at the poised serpent.

    Good, eh?

["Tadge?" Lemme guess: somewhere between a tad and a smidge? --Scott]

Zack Adgie

    Eh, I think the dad should be named Fred. It just sounds right... Fred 'n ethel... but what are their last names?

  • carl trips over a rock, with his sadistic mother right behind him.
  • carl runs out into the street and into the face of oncoming traffic (as in, two big heardlights illuminating carl's shilouette)
  • Carl, looking behind him, runs off of a cliff
  • ethel gets mad and breaks out her derringer.
  • or maybe her uzi.
  • or maybe her bazooka, even.
  • or heck, why not just throw the knife at him?
  • Or how about just have carl pleading on for his life on his knees?
  • Carl just happens to run into a suicide bomber at the worst possible time. Mebbe have the guy holding some explosives of some sort, or have somebody in the background say "he's got a bomb!" or something like that.
  • Carl, standing defiantly : I dare you to try and stab your own son!

    Or mebbe you could name the father something like 7. I remember reading a really old Peanuts cartoon that had this kid named 5 in it. The entire family was numbered, so it was easier come tax time, I guess.


    Another one...

  • Carl turns to his mother... ..."gee mom, is it your time of the month or something?..."

Morgan Doninger

    Only 358 days to the Millenium!

  • CARL is hit by an uncoming beer truck.

    Due to my own personal holi-daze, I have been in absentia lately, and fo the life of me I can't remember if I suggested the "Liar!" panel. I thought you could click on old panels for the suggestions and winners that week, but nada. Is this feature no more?

[I'll link them all when the section is done. And no, alas, you weren't among the advocates of "Liar!." Congratulations on this week though!--Scott]

Jimmy Fusil

    It's very hard to kill Carl in a single panel.

  • Same as "LIAR!" panel, except the dialogue is "No Drinking!"
  • Carl runs off a cliff. Okay, so the transition from the "Don't D & D" panel is a bit of a non-sequitur, but that's closure, baby.
  • Carl running and drinking. "She didn't say anything about running and drinking." He's heading for a cliff!
  • Carl, with a pair of scissors in his hands: She didn't say anything about running w/scissors.
  • Carl gets run over by drunk driver. The irony! and he was only 3 days away from retirement!
  • Carl learns that Schulz will not be drawing anymore. He dies of heartbreak.

    Scott, what are your thoughts about Schulz's retirement? I think it is long deserved, considering the enormous body of work he has turned out, but I'm still a little sad.

[Shultz is one-of-a-kind. In a way I'm glad he's retiring now, because it means he gets to personally insure that no one ever draws the strip again. I like the way he's stubbornly held on to that clause. Creators' Rights in action. --Scott]

Brendan Wright

  • Ethel in dark shadows: You would say that, Carl...

zoom out