Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Cross Panel Comics

I recently had a dream about a comic strip that was configured like a crossword puzzle. I found it really interesting and told my son, Martin, about it. He said, "Let's make one!"

I drew a grid on an 12" x 18" piece of paper and decided we would play a game like Scrabble. I would draw a strip, and he would draw an intersecting one. Then it would be my turn, and we would continue until the page was somewhat full.

It was actually easier than I thought it would be! We completed three. I've traced off, and cleaned up, one of them. Here is it below. I've indicated the panels I drew with blue. Martin's are in green. The first strip drawn was the middle horizontal one, starting with, "What are you doing?" Click to enlarge...

Like Scrabble, the tough areas were where something had to work when two squares inconveniently touched, such as the "Love is the solution." touching "What about overpopulation?" There's a joke there, but it doesn't jump out at you.

I'm thinking this has the potential to be a fun challenge for cartoonists, much in the same way a "24 hour comic" is!

(Update! See our other Cross Panel Comics here.)

24 comments:

Trevor said...

This is a mighty lot of FUN!
More, more!

Kerry Callen said...

I plan to definitely post more in the future. I'm also thinking about creating a Halo & Sprocket one, just for kicks.

Trevor said...

And THAT would be even more FUN!

Theresa said...

This is great - very creative! I agree, more, more.

Z-Kids said...

WOW - this is awesome! What a great idea!
- AZ

Kt Shy said...

This is adorably silly! Lots of chuckles to be had :) (I found you of drawn.ca) and also, yay Halo and Sprocket! I picked up the comic a few years back and found it incredibly charming and fun, great stuff!!

Anonymous said...

that is awesome!

bill said...

Great fun Kerry. I see you putting out a book of these with starting panels to get people's juices rolling. Could be right there next to all of those crossword books on the magazine stand.

Toby J said...

This is Genius.I love it.

If its ok we might try to do one too. You've started something great.
Thank you

Matt Madden said...

Nice work, the more you read the more surprises you find. For an alterative to this approach check out this collaborative domino comic: http://revistabeleleu.wordpress.com/

Walaka said...

Scott McCloud has been working on something similar to this concept for a while... not so much as a game but and exploration of narrative structure in comics.

http://scottmccloud.com/1-webcomics/carl/index.html

Kerry Callen said...

Matt, Walaka,

Thanks for the links. I guess there's nothing completely new under the sun. It looks like Scott McCloud's work is from over ten years ago, while the domino comics is from only a couple of months ago (!). I actually did an internet search, for "cross comics" and such, before posting. Couldn't find anything. It deflates my ego a bit to see the others, but it doesn't take away from the fun of creating them. If anyone picks up the challenge, and makes the results available on the web, I'd enjoy seeing a link to it in these comments!

Danesh said...

Absolutely brilliant, man this is revolutionary for comics!

Studiomiguel said...

Fantastic Idea and a lot of fun to read... I found myself intrigued by the crossover and trying to decide which panel came first in a given scenario.

Bregman said...

This is really brilliant. I was expecting it to be more of an exercise, but all the iterations are hilarious! Great work.

David Millar said...

This was amazing! I would love to see more!

Dan Moynihan said...

These are hilarious - I want to try it!

Nienke said...

My friends and I are going to try this, we'll definitely post a link when/if we have a finished result! It's awesome :D

Me said...

My 12 y.o. son and tried this last night (we used 4 8x10 pages; 2"x2" squares) - It was so much fun!
(We started it too close to bed time... our jokes suffered from sleepiness)
we experimented with a scoring system based upon number of giggles earned after each turn.
We are going to play again this afternoon -
we ended up nicknaming the game scrabbledoodle
- Thanks!!
~ Jenni & Shea

Kerry Callen said...

Scrabbledoodle! Love it.

(Trademarks notwithstanding.)

Alden said...

Thank you for inspiring me today. :)

Anonymous said...

G**ddamn GOOD!!!!

Zeitwolf said...

this is one infinitly cool idea! (and these panels are hilarious, too)

FiKaLo said...

I am definitely going to have to try this with my kids. Awesome idea!