This week's panel suggested by Mia Descandion

Too Obvious?

Strangely, Mia was the only reader this week to suggest a herd of stampeding ibex. A real missed opportunity for the rest of you, I must say.

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

Sunday 07/30/2000

Morgan Doninger

    I like Carl's face in the same open mouthed fright for two panels. It's... neat. So:

  • Carl open mouthed in horror: "But aren't you dead or a monster or something?" Carl's Mom: "Yes.". Then we also see Ethel shift from Ethel, to the monster, to dead-mom ala Car's life flashing before his eye's.

    Yeah, yeah, I know, too much stuff for one panel, but it would be... neat.

Patrick A Reid

  • But wait! Another Mom leaps in and says something like - No, Carl! I'm the real Mom! - and Carl is left to figure out which Mom is the imposter - just like in all those cheesy television shows. Mystery! Intrigue! Huzzah! And so forth.

    I'm going to be taking my shot at a twenty-four hour comic sooner than later. I'll let you know more details when they exist. Cheers!

Wade Bowen

  • Carl curled up in a defensive position "I...I love you mom?"
  • Carl curled up... "You're plan isn't to kill me... is it?" Possible setup for a dramatic pause next panel? Carl with a nervous "Charley Brown" smile?

Benjamin Cirillo

    Yet another inane set of suggestions (and I have the gall to call myself a writer!!)

  • A 12 ton weight falls into panel. Carl: Huh?
  • Wait, here's how I reinvent comics: It turns out Carl is the last survivor of a planet called Krypton, and the yellow sun makes him... What do you mean they've already done that one?!?!?!??
  • Carl: Ay yi yi! No me gusta!
  • Carl: But I'm not a vamp... Ahhhgggghhhh!
  • For no apparent reason: Carl's mom is wearing a wedding dress, Carl is a french chef named Pierre, while Carl's dad has turned into a toaster oven and is dancing with penguins from West Siberia.
  • Enter: Gary Coleman!
  • Carl: But I wasn't drink... Ahhhggggghhhhh!!!!
  • Carl: Beer Mom?
  • Carl: There's no possible way you could kill me!!! (But of course, there is)
  • Carl: But, I'm gay! (I don't get it either...)

    Cable modems rule! I suggest you all try it, it's, like, fast and stuff. Hey Scott, any chance we can make comics prices lower sooner?? $2.50 for a 20 minute read really isn't the best deal. I'm paying almost as much for comics as I am for gas (stupid Chicago metro area. Stupid car. Stupid OPEC. Stupid everything... grumble grumble grumble...)

[Print comics should be cheaper -- but webcomics will eventually have to cost a little more than they do now (ie, free). The long ones anyway... Carl, OTOH, should always be free! --Scott]

Kevin Pease

  • Carl's double appears. He has the wings from Section 1, and perhaps something of a dark air about him as well. WINGED OTHER CARL: "Leave the mortal alone. It's me you want."


    Please don't judge me yet...

  • A vindictive reader, angered by the tardiness of Reinventing Comics, writes Scott McCloud into the story. He meets his immediate demise, unfortunately, just as the book, which could have assuaged the reader's anger, finally hits the shelves in Oklahoma, where said vindictive reader lives...
  • The stake turns out to be a sharpened kumquat. Dad arises and sucks Mom dry. Campy dialogue: "Oh no! The stake was actually a sharpened kumquat! My plot is foiled."
  • Mr. Rogers arrives and helps devise a peaceful solution, only to be impaled.
  • Two words: plunger, rhino...
  • Mom dies of heart attack. SFX="HURK!!!" Carl: "Whew, thought today was my last day on earth.."
  • How about a big ugly fish with Barry Manilow's face and an unsightly erection. That way you can graph the panel transistions and have a non-sequitor bar on there, so everyone thinks you're avante guarde.
  • Maladroit mother trips over father's corpse. HAHA! Slapstick! A thousand laughs!
  • Carl: "Uh, heh heh, funny joke mom..." Mother: "Not yet..." or Mother: "Funny? I, Darkness, know not the meaning..." or Mother: "Clean your #$&@ing room!!!" or Mother: "Oy! Jeg har diarre!"
  • Carl pulls a gracefull evasive maneuver and Mother falls out of the panel into either oblivion or the following strip.
  • Carl is stabbed and Mother laughs maniacally: "YARR HARR HARR!!!"

    Actually, I just bought a copy of Reinventing Comics a few days ago, which means that Alan Moore and David Mack are currently the only ones on my list of egregiously tardy authors...

Brian Lewin

  • "I TOLD you son - NO alcohol!!" she says, lunging at a now-running Carl.

Rusty Priske

  • Carl: What are you doing with that carrot?!

Mike Sugarbaker

  • Daisy charges at Mom from off panel, with stake in hand. Daisy: "DESTROY!" (Optional: Mom reacts with anger and annoyance, as if expecting this. Mom: "SHUT UP!")

Wei-Hwa Huang

  • Carl: I'm no VAMPIRE! You can't hurt me with a STAKE!
  • Carl: But you saved my LIFE!
  • Carl: Oh, c'mon! It's not like my own MOTHER would KILL me!
  • Carl leaps into his car and zooms away, his mother running behind the car. Carl: You're going to have to CATCH me first!
  • Carl: But WHY?
  • Carl's Mom: This innocent-looking stake is actually a NUCLEAR WARHEAD! Carl looks incredulous.

Glen Seymour

  • Mom: "We're all monsters here"
  • Carl running away: "Gotta run!"
  • The pink elephant appears to save Carl.
  • Carl with stake in heart, mom laughing.

Benjamin Woo

  • In a melodramatic aside, Carl bites the knuckle of his closed fist like a soap opera character and gasps, "What is this family coming to?" .
  • Carl points and says, "Look over there: monkeys!" as he ducks off panel with three speed lines and a puff of smoke/dust. Sound effect: Vert! Mom is confused.
  • Dad gets up and brushes himself off. He chuckles, "Ha ha! Gotcha! Now, back to the terror!"
  • Carl wets himself.

Mr. ?

    I wonder if there will be a sequel after all 6 parts of this Carl are done?

  • Carl, the vampire rises from the grave! Carl: "Boy am I thirsty.... FOR BLOOD!!"
  • Carl: "Mom!? You're the vampire slayer?"
  • Carl (like Obi-won): If you kill me, I will become more powerful than you can ever imagine!
  • Carl: But I'm NOT a VAMPIRE like Dad! Carl's Mom (puzzled): Bert was a vampire? Carl (terrified): Eeeeeep!
  • Enter: Daisy. She rips the stake from Carl's Mom's hand. Daisy: STOP! He's my boyfriend. Carl: Thank you Daisy. Daisy: I get to KILL HIM! Carl (terrified): Eeeeeep!
  • And the obligatory comeback caption... Enter: Out-of-control Beer truck running Carl over.

[Once we're done with this section, Choose Your Own Carl will indeedbe done. But look for more interactive Carl comics in the future! --Scott]

Brian Lewin

    This is a variation on my earlier suggestion.

  • "You promised - no alcohol!", says Mom as Carl stands there with a confused look on his face staring at his bottle of non-alcoholic Holy Water, saying "But...but...."

Steve Replogle

    As you'll see, I couldn't always resist filling in BOTH panels leading up to terminal "Oh... I guess it is" graveyard scene.

  • Same panel lay-out as last time but with Daisy edging out Mom or replacing her entirely-- Daisy: (holding a stake, knife, or gun) "Get in line, lady!" Carl: "Daisy?!?" Or Daisy could say "Let me do the honors!" or even just "No, he's mine!" (And you could provide an alternate panel lay-out, show Daisy in upper left corner and Carl's big profile in lower right corner looking left for that swivel-headed effect) -- this could all lead to the next panel with Carl, fear-stricken, screaming, "Is this really happening!?"
  • Carl: (whipping out a gun) "No, YOU'RE next, baby!" BLAM! BLAM!
  • Carl: (whips out a knife) "Never!"
  • Carl: (sobbing) "Go ahead! You've ruined my life anyway, you might as well kill me!"
  • Carl: (whips out a knife) Come on, let's get it on!" ...This leads to the next panel, with Sigmund Freud saying: "This is one case history that is beyond all psychological understanding."

mike farrar

  • Buffy shows up, kicks Mom "Leave him alone, I'll do the slaying here!"

Peter S.

    I don't think any single panel can tie all the different threads together, but here's a try.

  • Simultaneously stabbing Carl and pulling off a mask, she says "Your mother is dead, Carl!"

    Well, she _is_ dead if you start reading from the top left.

Lee K. Seitz

  • I'm submitting this again this week because it can stilll work: Carl's mother changes into a monster (again?), and says, "miss me?"
  • Carl's mom (approaching Carl): The family that dies by the stake sticks together.
  • A 16 ton weight falls on Carl's mom.
  • Carl runs, but trips on a beer can.

    Next week should be an interesting challenge.

Dan Pollard

    I almost wrote "Whew! It was all a dream.", good job my eyes strayed over to the side of the screen :)

  • The ALTRNATE CARL from section one walks in, ALTERNATE CARL: Mom stop!!

    thus setting up the two gravestones at the end of this row, see... (`kay, I KNOW they're not supposed to be two Carl graves standing next to each other, but that's what it looks like to me.)

Mia Descandion

    Hi Scott! I talked to you at Comic Con! Remember me? Yep, the crazy girl with the scarf in her hair who was all happy to see you on Saturday. I meant to talk to you on Sunday but I was too late (you were in a panel thing...). Hey everybody reading this: Scott McCloud was one of the nicest artists at Comic Con!

  • First off, for some reason, this scene needs an elephant in a fire truck. Enter the elephant in the fire truck (maybe the pink elephant) who runs both the mom and carl over.
  • Carl's mom falls over dead (from a heart attack?), landing on carl and pushing the wooden stake through his heart.
  • Carl's mom trips over Bert, falling on Carl and driving the stake through his heart. "OOPS" should be heard.
  • A stampede of Ibex whom escaped from the local zoo trample over Carl's Mom and Carl, killing them both.
  • Is it just me or does Carl's Mom look like she's going to explode (must be the stink lines...). How about she does? "KABLOOEEE" would be an appropriate sound effect. The remains of carls mom could smother carl, thus killing him.
  • Carl "Mom, you can't kill me with a stake! I'm a vegitarian!" Come on....
  • Carl's Mom transforms into a rageful Ibex. Carl: "Hey, you're not my mom! You're an Ibex!"
  • A record company executive comes over and kills carl. "Next Time," he yells, "Don't Use Napster to try out the new Brittenny Spears Album! Be ethical, like Scott!" (A stupid reference to the conversation Scott and this other guy were having while I was visiting him at his booth at Comic Con)

    Again, thanks for taking the time to sign my copy of Understanding Comics! (People, he was so nice he even signed it to my cogdonym (SIC), Mia! How cool can you get?).

[Great meeting you in SD, Mia! --Scott]

Tito, just Tito

    Hey, Scott, I simply LOVE your comics. You are a lot like me. And... this is not any proposition, man, I know you are married.

  • What if... (that sounds familiar) Carl's mam ripped her mask of and said: "No, Carl. Your mather is dead. I am your worst nigthmare".

    Before send the police after me, it was just a joke (I'm talking about my coment before the suggestion). I am a normal man and I like women. Tell me, what computer program did you use for the first of your online comics, the one with the path. I would like to do something like that. And don't let chess destroy you!

[I do most of my WebComics (including "Porphyria's Lover") in Photoshop. For frames and lettering, I often use Illustrator, then "rasterize" the results in Photoshop. For coding pages, I used a simple text editor (BBEdit Lite) for the first year or two, then began using Adobe GoLive when I felt at home enough with the code that I could still get "under the hood" when necessary. --Scott]

Zac Dozier

  • Carl flees from is mother, and unbeknowest gets his head sliced of by gardner with an electric hedge trimmer.

Zac Dozier (again)

    No suggestion, just an apology for not knowing how to spell and type in my previous suggestion

  • Daisy kills is mother, and the shock stops Carls heart.

    Ok, I lied. I thought of one.

Damian Cugley

    I got here from the Zot! Online site.

  • Daisy interposes herself between Carl and the stake, saving him. Daisy: Carl! Carl: Daisy!!

    Who knows? The grave at the end might be Daisy's, or he might get it in the neck in the panel inbetween...


    and.. It's moist.

  • Carl's Mom reveals herself to be a Demon, "Come to Momma!"
  • Carl runs away, "Whew that was close" (only to get hit by the beer truck in the next panel.)
  • Carl dives into his car, screaming.
  • Carl blocks Mom's blow with cross, and it burns her.
  • Mom misses Carl with Stake, Carl hits her with Bottle/cross. "Come to Momma...URK!"
  • Clueless Carl wonders where he put his beer; car keys, or Bryan Botano; ignoring his mother.
  • Enter : Angel. "stop!"

Jonathan Gilbert

  • Just a simple panel: Carl running for his life. (Optional word balloon: "HELP!!")

    I guess it doesn't seem very creative, but the idea is to open up possibilities open for the *next* panel ...

the marvelous patric

    LOVE ZOT ONLINE!!!!!! WOOO!!!!!!!!!!!! You should do a section on your site or another book (you know, in your spare time :-) anyway, it'd be cool if you gave us a nice how-to for a web comic that won't be a pain to load and some different ways to think in the infinite space. Examples of how to arrange the comic and code would be really really helpful. I'm thinking this is what i want to do next semester.

  • I'm not your mom..... i'm ANDY KAUFMAN!!!!"
  • steve jobs enters and unveils a carl cube.

Glenn Kenadjian

    Here's a first time try.

  • Carl: "But you're dead!" Mom: "I got better" or "Oops! Darn continuity!" or "Oops! Never mind." (vanishes) or "Hallucinations don't die!" or "And loving it!"
  • Carl: "Daisey!?" (She's holding smoking gun behind mom who's dead on floor on top of dad.) Daisey: "Oh Carl" (with disgust on her face)
  • Mom: "Not mom, your worst nightmare!" (transforms into monster of section 2, still holding the stake)

Drew Melbourne

  • Carl takes off in his car as his mother chases behind. "I have GOT to get a place of my own."

Rick Ward

  • Carl falls to the ground with a stake in his heart thinking "This can't be happening!"

zoom out