I guess the one question I am asked the most is “How do you come up with these funny strips?”. Is there a trick to writing? Is there a special system for conjuring up these crazy scenarios. Well here is my secret. It may only work for me, but you are all welcome to give it a try.
The only time I have to write is during my lunch hour at my real job. In real life, I am a graphic designer for a packaging and manufacturing company. When I can sneak away, I love to go to a busy restaurant with a notepad and a pen. The white noise produced by the busy chatter of the patrons helps me focus my thoughts in a daydream-like state. I have to keep track of my time though because it is so easy to lose yourself in your thoughts and have the hour fly by. After completing sketching out each strip, I carefully check the time to insure I return to work on time.
The white noise is only the beginning of the process. The next big step helps me get my mind in the correct pace. I draw four rectangles at the top of the page. These shapes represent a four panel comic strip. I’ll sit and stare at the first panel and Charmy… or Fug… or Weaver… or someone just starts playing out the scene in my head.I scribble down the conversation. After the first panel plays out in my head, I move on the the second panel… and then the next… and then by the fourth panel a zinger, or joke magically plays out! Sometimes the funny ending reveals itself in the third panel, and I’ll adjust the final to a three panel comic strip. Now, every once in a while, the strip plays out with a punchline in that first panel or the second panel. Whenever that occurs, I just keep plugging away. It never fails that I can then get two jokes into one strip for my readers!
I have my rhythm with this method and it works well. On a good day during my lunch hour, I will crank out scripts for three strips. Minus drive time to a restaurant, time to order and get adjusted, I spend about thirty minutes writing. In other words, the stories are not flying out of my head. it takes a lot of daydreaming and pencil tapping to get the ideas out and onto the paper.