Sneezing. Of all the subjects for a set of comics, why did I hit upon this one? Oh well, any material is grist for the mill of the good cartoonist, and if you can wring something funny out of it for long enough for it to be successful (as these were, I presume) then you’d be foolish not to see where it can take you. And the answer here is somewhere very strange indeed….
Above: this was based on the old urban legend of ‘If you try to hold in a sneeze / sneeze with your eyes open, it will make your eyeballs pop out / blow out your ear drums’…. I simply took it to its logical conclusion, as is my want.
Top and bottom: more developments on the same theme – the second, in particular, takes the same idea as one of my ‘beware of the dog’ strips from 1999; that of having dialogue (or sound effects) be suseptible to the same rotational principles as the characters they are attached to. Again, logical conclusions….
Top and bottom: The first two strips in what I envisaged as a series where the efforts of the protagonist to rectify the last stupid thing that happened to him instead makes the situation worse, and twists his body even further out of shape in the process; leading to another attempt, another failure…. Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, I got stumped as to where to go after my initial ideas; and never got past these first two. I added the smiley face badge (again, what is it pinned onto? Maybe it’s a sticker) onto the character so you could tell it was the same guy in every strip, and the strips formed part of a sequence…. given that he was otherwise just a generic Type One.
Top: This strip, above all others, is one that NEEDS to be presented in colour for the situation to be understood, and, more importantly, the joke to work. I know this because I beta-tested the black-and white version of this comic on my friend Jeremy, and his only response (after looking at it for a while) was ‘Have you not finished inking it in yet?’ I took the hint and made with the coloured pencils….
Bottom: Did I predict the future proliferation of energy drinks in this strip? I think I did.
Top: more thought-bubble talking Cosmosian wildlife, with a liberal dose of ‘sudden reveal of the truth in the final panel’ thrown in for good measure. Poseurs be posin’….
Bottom: The one thing that Artie and Gene will never agree on is the equal status of Star Wars and Star Trek in the pop-cultural hall of fame – Artie, for example, thinks Gene is somewhat desperate in his lavish defense of the Prequel Trilogy; while Gene thinks that Star Trek in general is just…. dumb-dumb-stupid-pants. They are willing to compromise on some things, but not this….
TO BE CONTINUED….