This week's panel suggested by Patrick A Reid

Ah, The Calm before the Storm...

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

Sunday 10/01/2000

Debbie and Steve

  • A doctor (scrubs, gloves, mask, little light thing those guy wear on their heads, the WORKS) comes up to Carl and says to him "actually, it's a ruptured spleen" Carl has a befuddled, almost flabbergasted look upon his face.

    You should go to, a funny, online comic that you may have missed along the way.


    I know you didn't use it, but could you draw my suggestion from last week ("A message saying 'Meanwhile...' appears. Carl's Mom, Carl's Dad, Satan, a vampire, and a Bond-type villian are seated at a table, plotting how to kill Carl!")anyway and send it to me or post it on your site or something? The idea of a Bond-villian-type scene involving Carl really makes me laugh. Please, if it's not too much trouble. If you don't, than I'll just do it myself and that's pathetic! I'm serious. Please! Please! O, Please! Anyway...

  • The cast of "Survivor" appears and says "Did you say 'survive'..." (OO-WEE-OO-WEE-OO-WEE-OO-WO...)
  • John Lennon appears and says "You need love, so, no."
  • A doctor comes up to Carl and tells him that his heart is LITERALLY broken, and that they'll need to operate!
  • Carl lays in a grave, waiting for death.
  • A "Monty Python"-type foot comes down and crushes Carl.
  • Goldar attacks and Carl realizes it's morphin' time! (Don't ask how I know about the Power Rangers!)
  • Carl goes to a gym and tries to meet woman, hoping to fill the void of... THE LOSS OF HIS PARENTS! I don't think it'll be to hard though. I mean it's just... THE LOSS OF HIS PARENTS! I mean, it's not so bad. It's just... THE LOSS OF HIS PARENTS!
  • A giant heart with arms and legs and a face that has a crack going across it's body, walks by and says "Yeah."
  • Carl says "Oh, No! They're coming for another round!!"
  • A music recording agent with a cowboy hat on says to Carl "You could sing country music!"

    Wow! 10 suggestions. I hope that's enough.

George Gibson

    Just noticed a goof: I apparently typed 'Marvin' instead of 'Marlin.' Oh well, maybe he's the evil twin brother. On with the suggestions.

  • Carl looks up into the sky, where his mother is visible in the clouds (no, this scene has never been done before, has it?). "Why did you leave me?"
  • Space monkeys - there has to be something with space monkeys.
  • Comic-strip version of Scott McCloud steps into panel and says "Confused? You won't be!"

Michael Patrick

    I'm just gonna go with another obvious one this time.

  • Carl: I guess I'll have to drink the pain away.

    Hi Scott, it was nice to meet you at the Expo. I hope you don't mind the fact that I kind of butt in while you were talking to WIll Eisner.

[Conventions are *designed* for buttin' in, Michael! Good to meet you. --Scott]

Kevin Pease

  • Carl grits his teeth; you can tell he has made up what little there is of his mind. "Not without the warm, comforting embrace of BOOZE!"

Doug Waldron

  • Carl drinking a beer: "Yeah, I guess I can."
  • Carl: "Or more precisely, can I survive for at least five more panels?"

Lee K. Seitz

  • A drink sure would help.

Travis Pelkie

    Okay, what I just learned today is not to increase the size of the browser while you're posting to Carl. Remember that, kiddies!

  • Carl reminisces (sp?) about Daisy. To get surreal-er, have HAL in the background (hahahah)
  • In comes Dave Sim, talking about how each Carl poster owns part of the panel that he, she, or it has contributed. Yeah.
  • Man, I've already forgotten what I was going on about.

    So I briefly visited Mia's site, neat stuff, so this is the kind of mind who gives us ibexes (sp?). The "Gerhard factor" is something I may have misunderstood from Cerebus, but whatever. I went to Ithacon 25 over the weekend, good stuff, and I found out you were a guest there in '92. At the masonic temple. There was a memory booklet of old shows (anniversary and all, y'know), and I believe what it said about you was that you were known for Zot! at the time, and went on to write important books about the medium. Actually, were you working on UC at the time, and did you show anything to anyone there (if you recall, that is). Any chance you'd ever get back there?

[Don't know when I'll be back, but yes, I think I had blow-ups of the first chapter of Understanding Comics at my table (UC came out in '93) --Scott]

Travis Pelkie

    Sorry, just thought of something.

  • Carl's broken heart, beating on the ground. "Oh, I guess I got trampled too hard."

    Yeah, that was worth another post.

Rusty Priske

  • Carl, with a big smile on his face. Carl: Well, c'est la vie!


  • Daisy, looking murderous: Well, *I* did! Carl: Daisy?!

Patrick A Reid


  • *KABLOOM!!* as Carl's heart explodes and splutters out of a great big hole in his chest.
  • A fork. Just a fork. No reason. Or so you think! It's actually a deeply symbolic non-sequinned thingumy. Fork. Fork fork fork!
  • Daisy enters, smiling sweetly. Wiping the tear from his cheek with a soft brush of her fingertips, she says, "Oh, Carl. I still love you." (Wait a minute. That wasn't funny! Oh well, it's kinda sweet. Can't we have just a little bit of feelgood romance in amongst the violence and the pain and the oh so hilarious pickaxe jokes? Can't we all just get along? Oh, sod it! I hate you all!)
  • Same as above, but Daisy wipes the tear away with a fork.
  • Same as above, but Daisy stabs Carl in the eye with the fork instead. And eats him.
  • How about, um, nothing? Nothing happening. Just a nice atmosphere panel. A sunset. A cloudy sky. Carl standing alone in the world. The readers feeling his misery. Beautiful but sad. You know.
  • Same as above, but with a fork. And Carl explodes.

    Re: Michael Martin's comment. Yes, it is sad to think about Carl's final death at the bottom of the current section. His final death! I mean, how - um - final! Poor Carl. I think he should live on. So: maybe he could fake his own death! Yeah? Yeah! What think ye?

Shu Shiung Low

  • The solitary tear continues its lonely sojourn, to splash weakly at Carl's feet. Almost immediately, plantlife sprouts from the ground, initially only from the spot where the tear landed, but eventually the dusty saharan-esque landscape around Carl bursts into life; vines, trees, and various plants of the creeper variety erupt out of the ground and grow rapidly, until Carl is virtually engulfed in a veritable jungle of flora far taller than he. Simultaneously, a smattering of green would spread gradually across the screen, until the formerly black and white panel is completely greened out in vegetation (with perhaps Carl's hand sticking out). This panel would be a fluid, moving-image type panel, obviously; although the animation sequence should be brief enough that one never gets caught in the middle of the "movie" after reading the previous panel, but long enough to suggest the passing of time

    In Reinventing Comics, it is mentioned that animated sequences in early prototype online comics were stunted imitations of film (limited animation/sound as opposed to complete animation/sound offered by film), and I tend to agree. However, a medium such as *this* DOES offer myriad opportunities that print comics do not, animation and fluidity in colour being just some of them. My panel suggestion aims to convey surprise through contrast--the suddenness and rapidity of movement, in contrast to the previous poignant, static image (a Van Gogh to The King and I). Transporting still images from page to screen wholesale seems to still not push the capabilities of the medium quite far enough. Imagine an ancient Egyptian column frieze translated to a computer screen today--a static representation would be relatively dead alongside one where the individual images of the frieze moved and danced and frolicked on the spot. Granted, animated panels would not work so well in action ! ! to action panels (transition 1 from Understanding Comics), and that would be a poor relative of film, but perhaps in other transitions, like aspect to aspect transitions, or non-sequitur transitions, animated panels could add life and vibrancy to a visual sequence in an online comic. The "life flashing before Carl's eyes" panel is a good prototype example. My two cents worth, anyway.

[I like looped animations like those in Magic Inkwell and may be experimenting with some unorthodox applications of Flash in the near future. Interesting ideas Shu Shiung. Thank you for writing. --Scott]

dan wheeler

  • carl looks down to his chest to reveal an ibex horn sticking out. he's pierced through the heart. carl "i mean literally, how do you survive a broken heart? owch."
  • carl looks up & sees the "rip carl" panels in the top right corner of the page. carl "whoa! creepy... my own mortality has never seemed so coldly real that at this moment. i must do everything within my power to forstall that final moment of inevitable nothingness. for truly what kind of world would that be? a world without carl ... it's too terrible to contemplate."
  • carl looks down at a body broken by a stampede of wild ibexes. carl "and a broken collarbone, and a few broken ribs and a femur with a compound fracture and internal bleeding and multiple contusions and...

    hey scott, do you realize that if you pick one of my suggestions this week i'll have contributed to at least one panel for each of the 6 sections of choose your own carl. anyone else out there with one in each? i wonder who's the contributor with the most panels (besides you of course)?

[When I'm done with CYOC, that's one of the things I figured I'd do first; figure out who our most successful, prolific, funniest, most verbose, etc posters are. Good luck, Dan. --Scott]


  • I think we need to get Daisy back in action here. Something sappy.

Glen Seymour

    Sounds like it's time for Daisy to appear, or not.

  • Daisy staring out her window, "Oh Carl where are you"
  • Carl holds up a letter, "Dear John, scribble scribble. Love, Daisy"
  • [Wait, we need some happy thoughts!] Daisy appears stage right. "Oh Carl, you won't have to." Hearts float between them.
  • Daisy, carrying a butterfly net, enters stage right, "Did you see an ibex pass through here?"
  • Carl's eyes bulge out, we see a girl in a bikini. Carl shouts, "I sure can!"
  • Mom gets up, stake in hand, "Let's break it and find out!"
  • [Wait, that wasn't a happy thought, oh well...] Carl watches as Daisy walks by with another guy.

    After finishing "Reinventing Comics" I realized that it had been a while since I read any comic that could be labeled "realistic." So, while browsing through Borders I grabbed a copy of "Jimmy Corrigan, the Smartest Kid on Earth" by F.C.Ware. It's a very odd read. I like it.

[Man, I love that Jimmy Corrigan collection... --Scott]


    Carl needs help after his ordeal!

  • Carl is shown walking into an office. The sign on (or above) the door reads "Death Counselor."

Josiah Rowe

  • Daisy appears and says, "Sure you can, kiddo!". Perhaps she punches him playfully on the shoulder.
  • Carl, holding his abdomen: "... or a broken spleen, for that matter? Ouch."
  • The Blue Angel appears and says, "Sure you can... for at least four more panels!"
  • We see Carl's parents, still alive, looking at him on a video monitor. "If only he knew...", says Ethel...
  • Daisy, also in tears, rushes in to embrace Carl, crying, "Oh, Carl! I just heard! I'm so sorry!" Carl thinks, "Well, maybe it isn't *all* bad..."
  • The R.I.P. Carl tombstone, with a thought balloon coming from it: "Oh... I guess not."
  • The Pirate King enters, asking, "Have you ever known what it is to be... an orphan?" Carl replies, "Often."
  • Carl: "I think I'll run away to... Borneo!"
  • Carl walks past a billboard reading: "Depressed? Try BUD!"
  • Carl grabs a beer, saying, "Oh well. At least a funeral is a good excuse to get drunk!"

Chris Shumway

  • Carl is thinking of his dear departed mom. Have this week's panel be surrounded by a thought balloon coming out of Carl's head in last week's panel. Inside the thought balloon, ideally in soft focus with cheesy music in the background, a montage of Ethel's greatest panels ("promise me you won't drink and drive", "how'd you like your stake", etc.)
  • (the obvious) "I could sure use a drink"
  • Carl, about to get in his car, pouring out some of his malt liquor for his dead parents.
  • "I know! Beer will help me in my hour of need!"
  • Caption: "Months later..." Carl leaving the house from Psycho (with silhouette in the window), calling up "I promise you I won't drink and drive, Mother" (or just "Goodbye, Mother" to save space).

Paul Winkler

  • Carl strolls casually away, hands in pockets, whistling a merry tune.
  • (Daisy drives up.) Daisy: "Get in, Carl!" Carl: "DAISY??"
  • Carl: "I know! I'll turn to drink!"
  • Carl: Carl: "Only death can end this wretched nightmare!"
  • Carl: "I can't cope with survivor's guilt! I'm going to kill myself!"
  • (mom groans) Carl: "Mom! You're alive!"

    Some of these are obviously recycled.

Markus Gerwinski

  • The obvious one first: Down from a nearby wagon, some charlatan shouts: "What you really need is Doctor Dorkmilkers Heart Glue!" In his raised hand, the "Doctor" has a little medicine bottle.
  • Carl rides into the sunset, singing: "I'm a poor lonesome Carl boy..."
  • Resolved, Carl gets up: "Yeah! I can!"
  • A voice from behind asks: "Heart? Which heart? (Chuckle)" (Say, how do you represent a chuckle onomatopoeia in English-language comics?)
  • Suddenly, there is Daisy on the scene. With a cold look she says: "You'll get used to it."
  • Suddenly, there is a killer with a gun on the scene. With a pitiful look he says: "This is your least problem, pal."
  • Suddenly, there is Scott McCloud on the scene. With a wise look he says: "Here we have a good example for the composition of memory. (Regard the dust clouds in the background.)"

    Sorry, couldn't resist. ;-)

Gin Ferrara

    I am halfway through Reinventing Comics (love it!). I read Understanding Comics during film school, it really applied to a lot of what I was working on then, and even more now! Thanks!

  • Daisy/Angel looking down at Carl and saying "Aww..." , making it unclear whether it is Daisy or the Angel.
  • Carl sees a sign that reads "Fix your broken heart!" in front of a liquor store.
  • Carl starts to bawl, and cries a river of tears that flood the street.
  • An arm appears inthe frame handing Carl a noose, "Psst, go on, take it.."

    This is a great idea, I wish I had joined you earlier!

Grant Schreiber

    Wow! I've been placed in the Carl Wall of Fame! Now if only I could get my bleeding 24-hour comic listed, I could stop stalking McCloud and get on with my life. Ah well, it's a rich life anyway. Now on with something really lame:

  • Carl, with deep introspection and a glint of deterimination showing in his little dot eyes: "I will change my filthy ways!"

    Oh my god! Carl's story is MY story! I must stop terrorizing the people at Kinko's! Nah...

[Sorry about the slow updating of the 24-hour comics index. Once I'm done with Zot! Online (see the Online Comics main page), I hope to give this site a major updating/overhaul. --Scott]

Travis Pelkie

  • Carl, hands on his sides, "OOh, I wonder if I can survive a broken spleen" Medical mayhem ensues. Laff riot.

    Love Zot! online, it seems to be a (hmm, not exactly justifiable, but something close) use of the web for comics. By the way, and you can strike this from the record if you wish, [comment struck from record -- heh-heh. --S]

Morgan Doninger


  • Daisy appears with a bevy of tuxedoed chorus boys. Daisy "Sure you can! By dancing!"

    Five, six, seven eight!

Tad Ramspott

  • Shot of newspaper with headline "IBEX ARRESTED FOR CRUELTY TO CARL" and picture of the grieving Carl from last panel.
  • Mysterious, shadowy figure: "Only if you know the truth."
  • Mysterious, shadowy figure: "Only if you know the truth." Carl: "Huh?"

Bill Schlimme

  • A giant anthropomorphic valentine heart with band-aids on it in full Rambo regalia asking "You tell me, Bub!"
  • Cut to the operating room: Doctor saying something to the effect of Carl having suffered ibex-induced cardiac arrest, and then saying something like, "Good God! Is that his LIVER?"
  • Daisy: "Well I certainly intend to find out!"
  • Caption: "Later that day..." Carl: "I guess so. I better get this plot moving now, or McCloud'll NEVER pay me!"
  • Daisy: "Oh, Carl, that reminds me..."

ross horowitz

  • Carl: Nobody loves me, everybody hates me. I think I'll eat some worms.

Michael Martin

    Hmm... This path looks like it will be moving back towards his One True Love. We need a segue...

  • Carl heading to his True Love's house, saying, "Only one way to find out!"

Shane Semler

  • A hole appears in Carl's chest and his heart flies out of it while Dingbat's head peeks around the edge of the frame and says, "I know how that feels!"

    Come see my 24-hour (well, almost) comic "Moon Jelly" at

James "DexX" Dominguez

    Awww, poor Carl... let's see if we can make his life ever worse. *evil grin*

  • "Actually, the broken leg hurts more than the heart!" Carl says this, and we see that one of his legs is VERY broken.
  • Carl whips out a botle of pills. "Maybe Prozac will help!"
  • Carl places a pair of defribulator paddles on his chest and says, "Maybe this will help. CLEAR!"
  • The broken figure of Carl's mother crawls up to him, saying, "Oh, whinge, whinge, whinge..."
  • Carl clutches his heart, with a pained expression on his face, and says, "Gah! Maybe not!"
  • Carl's face, in the extreme foreground, turns to see a distant BAR sign. "Hmmm... drown my sorrows?"
  • Carl places his hands to either side of his mouth and bellows: "Daisy! Where are you? I need a hug!"
  • Carl sits on the ground, looking dejected, saying, "Where's Daisy when I need her?"
  • Carl's face brightens back to its usual vaguely cheerful vacuous look, and he says, "Hey, I wonder what's on TV!"
  • As above, but change the dialogue to "Hey, I could do some lunch!"

    Wow... filled all the suggestion boxes, and I didn't even try hard. By the way, that 24-hour comic of mine will be coming along one day, but probably not until December. University has me just too busy right now. Even so, I have done a few pencil, redrawn in ink, pictures lately, and they have turned out well. Now all I have to do is get the hang of making characters look like the same people from frame to frame, and I am set! *laugh*

Tom Scudder

    And I thought the LAST one was tough to write for...

  • "I'll join the French Foreign Legion!"
  • "Maybe I can drink my sorrows away!"
  • Carl remembers his mom's words "Promise me you won't drink and drive..."
  • Daisy: "Oh Carl, I've just heard. I'm so sorry!"
  • "I know! I'll devote my life to fighting crime!"

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