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Crock, 10/10/09

Oh, hi Crock! Thanks for stopping by to help serve as a cautionary example in my “how not to tell a joke” clinic! Here are some quick pointers:

  • “One end of a phone conversation” jokes are tricky! You have to structure it such that it seems kind of natural, but the reader still gets all the information they need to piece together what’s going on. In fact, how you parcel out that information, revealing unexpected tidbits in interesting ways, is often at the heart of the sequence’s humor! Having the one person whose dialogue you can read or hear simply repeat back what the hidden interlocutor has just said sort of kills the magic.
  • However, once you’ve established that we the readers can’t hear the person at other end of the phone conversation, and thus the person we can see will be supplying the dialogue for both participants, don’t change up the rules by supplying jaggedy word balloons out of the telephone’s earpiece. It’s confusing.
  • Fat people tend to be spherical or oblong, rather than linear.
  • A comic that consists of three panels of some dude talking on a phone against a grey background is not particularly interesting visually.

But hey, at least your punchline didn’t make light of torture or slavery!

Mary Worth, 10/10/09

“Of course, when I say ‘right behind,’ you have to keep in mind that the Earth is a sphere, and thus any seemingly straight line will, if you follow it long enough, simply bring you back to your starting point. In that sense, I’m roughly 25,000 miles behind you, which, on the vast scale of the entire universe, is barely any distance at all. I do concede, however, that by the mundane terms in which we usually view our day-to-day existence, I could more accurately be said to be ‘right in front’ of you. But our relationship is much more elevated than that, isn’t it, Jeff?”

Spider-Man, 10/10/09

Ha ha, we all think that the Sandman has mended his ways, but … the monster is forcing his innocent daughter to watch Jay Leno! Does this madman have no decency?

Marvin, 10/10/09

This week-long plot about the fact that it smells bad when you poop in your pants has climaxed with Marvin being punched in the face, and thus I take back anything bad I may have said about it.