This week's panel suggested by Matthew Mella.

How's that for a brain-bender?!

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

I'll be travelling again next Sunday, so please join us again on Sunday NOVEMBER 19 for our next panel.

Sunday 11/05/2000

Glen Seymour

    I've been trying all week to come up with suggesions, but only one really keeps coming back to me.

  • Carl Jr. in a car runs down Carl in the crossroads. We see a drunken *hic* coming from the car.

    Not a very long list from me this time. Oh, well I'll see you next week.

Kevin Pease

  • Carl trudging down the road: "If I had a car it might be possible."

Nat Gertler

    Gee, I coulda swore I sent one in last week. Maybe I shouldn't've put a URL in my comments.

  • Carl2 looks up toward the panel above, and says "I think I'll walk up into the sunset!"

[Uh-oh. Did anyone else make a suggestion that went AWOL last week? I'm worried that my mail might be acting up again. --Scott]

Golden Lion

    Well, we've got to have something connecting the two panels again, don't we?

  • How about Carl and Carl Jr. meet on the road and say to each other, "Hey, who the hell are you anyway?" in unison.

    They're both travelers on the road of time, one from the past and one from the future! They don't know yet that they're father and son!

Sean Kinlin

    Yow! The present and future are about to collide! How do we reconcile this?! I guess I'll suggest the obvious first:

  • Carl and Future Carl Jr. meet at the crossroads. As they see each other they both exclaim, "What the-?"
  • (blatant rip-off) We see one of the Carls getting into a DeLorean that has a big hook sticking out of the back.
  • Carl Jr. says to his Dad (older Carl): "so Dad, what happened after you got to the crossroads?"
  • Carl (Jr. or Sr., who knows?) gets into a car thinking, "Deja Vu..."
  • Carl Jr. bends over to tie his shoe, not noticing the young version of his father walking by.
  • A Carl takes a drink thinking, "She didn't say anything about time-travelling!" as he steps into a time machine.

Andrew Solovay

    Okay, I'll go for the obvious:

  • We're at the crossroads. A man has just stepped into the intersection; a car is barreling towards him. There's just enough detail that either the walker or the car's driver *might* be Carl (or Carl Jr.), but we can't tell for sure.

    Good enough?

Tim M

    All right, I'd better take another crack... gee, I wish I had found this earlier.

  • As carl comes to the center of the intersection, a car comes hurling at him with carl sipping a bud visible inside. Carl is so wrapped up in his problems he doesn't even notice. (Carl Jr. can later be explained to be an identical twin later on if necessary[Crisis of infinite carls?])
  • Carl is STRUCK by a car in the same manner as above...
  • Carl approaches a liquor store or a pub, or some other alcoholic beverage-selling place. "Hmm, I sure could USE some alcohol right now... but..."
  • The two carls approach each other on the crossing roads. Both carls are thinking, "Maybe I'll just take a walk..."
  • Carl reaches the other side of the intersection and 20 years have passed. Carl himself is unchanged. That doesn't make any sense... or does it?
  • Carl is at the center of the intersection. Bird's eye veiw, zoomed out.
  • Caption: Later... Carl grabs a beer from his fridge. "Oh, I think i'll be OK." Optional: "Sorry, Mom."
  • Simply cut to Carl passed out on the table at a bar, surrounded by empty beers.
  • Or be unbelievably corny: "How many roads must a man walk..." nah, forget I mentioned it.

    Better go before I make any more stupid suggestions like that last one. Hope everything turns out OK for Carl.

Tad Ramspott

    Argh! The introduction of CJ into the strip is going to make suggestion grammar a lot more awkward. Well, anyway, we'll start with the suggestion that everyone is going to make this week:

  • Car (driven by (a possibly drunk?) Carl (Jr.?) ?) smacks into Carl (Jr.?). Or:
  • Dramatic shot of a car coming up behind Carl, with a panicked C.J. at the wheel and a can of beer on the dash.
  • With those out of the way ... A few more completely unoriginal but hopefully vaguely helpful ideas:
  • Carl (Jr.?): "I can't live the rest of my life like this."
  • Carl (Jr.?): "Mom wouldn't mind if I just had one beer."
  • A walking Carl (Jr.?) gets stopped by police. "What's in that cup, son?" "Beer." (This is indeed illegal in many locales, especially college towns.)

gregg lamse

    Ooh resolve THIS! 20 year timespan difference...

  • A flying saucer picks up carl/ carl jr. in a tractor beam.

Ross Horowitz

  • Carl: But what will I do if I don't drink?

Mr. ?

    Too bad I didn't get with my suggestions sooner. I mean it wasn't like anybody else after Michael Rubinstein had that exact same suggestion for the '20 years later' caption. With the exact same dialouge. Sheesh. (Not that I'm bitter about it or anything :>

  • Carl Jr. steps out of his flying DeLorian time machine right infront of a very surprized Carl Sr. Carl Jr.: "Dad! I'm from the future and I have something important to tell you!"

[Yikes!! Shame on me, "Mr. ?" , you did indeed have almost exactly the same suggestion as Michael Rubinstein! As soon as I got your post, I immediately changed the page to reflect that. Also colorized the names on the suggestion page -- apparently I was really asleep at the wheel last week! Sorry about that. --Scott]

Travis Pelkie

    I forget if I posted yet this week.

  • Carl and Carl Jr. meet up on the path. "Whuh?!?!" Okay, it's obvious, but maybe you'll pick it then.

    It's Halloween, and no one is dressed up on campus. It's very dull.

adam ford

    yeah, my email address changed. been a while.

  • Carl (or Carl Jr), sitting on the back seat of a bus, next to a ragged old hobo character, to whom he is passing a bottle of the alcoholic beverage of your choice wrapped in a brown paper bag. CARL (JR): ...I'll take the bus!

Mike Yi

    Will Carl die? Or will Carl Jr. Die? Or will Carl's evil twin come back to die? Ack.

  • Carl, sitting on a plain park bench: "What can I do now?"

    Ties it together, but leaves a bit of strech to make the lines make sense in the next areas. Long live Carl. Or something.

garth robbins

  • It is obvious. Carl senior stops carl jr from drinking and driving or carl senior says, wait for me either would work with both story lines.

J. Wiener

    The obvious.

  • Carl Jr. pulls up alongside Carl the original (now wrinkled). "Hey old timer, need a lift?"

    I thought Carl Jr. looked incredibly vacuous, but I see it's the same drawing.

Matthew Mella

    Nearly finished Reinventing Comics... As with when I read Understanding Comics, it seems to fit in strangely with what I'm doing at the moment with my own life. All you gotta do now is write a book about being unemployed and drinking too much Guinness... that's where I'll be in another seven years!

  • Carl/Carl JR, walking down road wiping brow: "at least whilst I'm walking I can drink"
  • Carl/Carl Jr, looking dejected whilst walking down the road: "I wish that Dad wouldn't have died in such tragic circumstances..."
  • Shot of a car speeding around a corner, obviously being driven by someone under the influence
  • INTERMISSION: Shot of comedy monkey rubbing belly and patting head saying "hey, buster, waddya mean I'm drunk?"

Markus Gerwinski

  • The obvious one first: At the crossroads, Carl gets into a hovercraft.
  • Carl kneeling on the road, covering his face with his hands, crying out: "WHY!?" (This question fits with Ethel's sudden death as well as with the drinking prohibition.)
  • A cabrio stops besides Carl: "Wanna take a ride?" The cabrio driver is not yet visible in the panel. (Fits with both threads either.)


  • The two Carl's meet But . . I'm . . your . . . AHHHHH!! in unison
  • Carl Jr. driving towards Carl senior "She didn't say anything about Drugs." (stick with a classic)
  • Daisy finds the two Carls "Ooh, this gives me ideas."
  • Carl driving down the road reading flier "Hunh, what's the big deal with youth in Asia? Was that a bump?"

Jon Delorey

    I don't have any comments, but I thought I would put something here anyway.

  • After counting the panels I find that I can only live for 10 more weeks so... what the heck a drink or too couldn't make much difference

Matthijs from Utrecht, the Netherlands

    Hello there, here is my first suggestion ever. I have been following Carl for a while now and I like it very much. Scott, I also liked "Understanding Comics". It was hard to find it on this side of the ocean, but our local library has a good comics-section. I am curious about "Reinventing...", which is even harder to find... It was good to notice that in America there are people who actually know beautiful european comics like Asterix and Tintin. Do you know Dutch comics too?

  • Maybe it is too obvious, forgive me. Carl JR. drives a car that hits Carl Sr. Maybe you can work in a "temporal distortion in the space-time continuum" or other Star Trek technobabble...

[I've seen only one or two Dutch comics, but what I saw looked quite beautiful. Wish I knew more languages! --Scott]

Geoff Russell

    Not very spontaneous I know, but it makes a good segue.

  • Carl (or Carl Jr. Or is it just "Carl" because both of their names are Carl? Not that it matters) looks at the sunset and says either "Ooo. Pretty." or just "Pretty."

Chris Colón

  • Carl Jr. passes or runs down the broken hearted Carl Sr. who is walking to the cross-shaped crossroads. Carl Sr. could hitchhike and offer to buy beer for the Carl Jr. If Carl Jr. runs down Carl Sr., he could say something like "Strange, I feel like I'm driving over my own grave..."

Grant Schreiber

    RE: the Carl Halloween Costume -- Take a paper plate, cut it into a basic heart-shaped mask. Draw on Carl's face: sort of an "A" on it's side for a mouth, small line nose, dark dot eyes. Then stumble about because you made the eye-holes too small. Given a little more time, one could have a wide range of Carl expressions, but I went with the mindlessly cheerful one. If I ever get around to getting the film developed, I'll send the photo.

  • Close-up of Carl: "I will live a clean and somber life. I mean sober."
  • Carl: "Well, I'm off to the voting booth!"
  • Carl bending down to pick up an object: "Hey! A decoder ring!"
  • Carl: "Oh, I'd better drop off Grandma's medication."
  • Carl: "Ooh! I got one of those real funny feelings, as if my life is mapped out in a strange and intricate pattern for all to see!"
  • Carl outside, as the horrible truth dawns on him: "Wait! That wasn't my mother!"
  • Carl by bizarre device: "The Time Machine!! I forgot about the Time Machine!"
  • Carl smirking: "Like a DUI can stop me from becoming President..."
  • Carl, disgusted: "A paper plate mask?!? That must have looked awful!!"

    Don't Forget to Vote, Fanboys!

[You send the photo, I will definitely post it! As for the election, I saw Tom Devlin a couple of weeks ago and he told me that there was a joke going around that James Kochalka had pretty much summed up the election with the title of his latest book, "Monkey vs. Robot."... Personally, I'll be voting Robot if California looks close, otherwise I'll go for Nader as a protest (and 'cause I agree with him on the drug war and corporate abuse, though I'm a lot more libertarian than he is) Hmmm, I'll bet that's more than anyone really wanted to know... --Scott]

Kyle Hawke

  • Carl (/Jr.) walking, thinking "I've had enough of lies."

    Considering the format of the piece, Carl's pretty directionless, isn't he?

[Indeed. --Scott]

Gavin S. Richmond

  • An alien ship spots Carl and decides that he'd be perfect subject to test alcohol tolerance while being analy probed.

Joe Rice

  • Carl- Hmmm... Now's a good time for a drink!

    Well, it had to happen sometime...

Michael Rubinstein

    I am so honored to have won last week. Wow! I feel like I've joined the ruling elite! Now I can die happy, because I know that I've had a significant and irrevocable impact on the world.

    Now to claim my prize... plugging my homepage! It is at Also, please check out my dad's company's new website, at It's a nifty new different way of finding info on the web. Thanks!

    On to Carl. I think a cool direction to go at this point would be for Carl to become a real straight arrow, maybe even a crusader against drunk driving, making his final untimely death absolutely drenched in irony.

  • Carl passes a teen on the street, who asks him "Hey, want to join SADD: Students Against Drunk Driving?" Carl looks thoughtful and goes "Hmm..."
  • Carl thinks: "From now on, I'm going to be a positive role model for others."
  • Carl finds a strange talisman lying in the street. "Hey, what's this?"
  • Carl says "To heck with drinking -- I'll take up smoking."
  • Carl happens upon a cute, harmless-looking puppy. "Hey, little feller... where'd you come from?"

    Thank you, Scott, for giving me my moment in the sun.

Michael Rubinstein (again)

    You want brain-bending? Okay, how about these...

  • Carl, walking along the street, spies and picks up a leaflet with the words "Praise Carl" on the cover. Carl: "Eh?"
  • Carl is surfing the Web, and happens across something called "Choose Your Own Carl." Carl: "Eh?"
  • Carl's browsing in a bookstore, and wanders into a section labeled "Spontaneous Human Combustion". Carl: "Eh?"


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