Gag writing for HOME FRIES

Postby Yupyop on Sat Dec 08, 2001 9:43 am

This gag would have followed the recent Lester walks the dog gag.<P>PANEL ONE:
The family inside watch Lester walking the dog on a windy day.
Walter: I hope my Dad is ok.
Andy: I hope my dog is ok.
Kristen: I hope the video store has a copy of WIZARD OF OZ.<P>There is a trend in today's comics to feature a week's worth of gags around one event (JAMES, RUDY PARK, etc). Gag 3 of Lester walks the dog follows.<P>PANEL ONE:
Lester is walking the dog who is airborn on the wind.
PANEL TWO:
Focus on dog. A bird is flying just ahead of the dog.
Dog: Mom always said I could become a bird dog if I tried.<P>Any other ideas featuring this event? Maybe something featuring a cat in a tree? Does seeing the dog in the air go too far?
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Postby Scatman on Sat Dec 08, 2001 11:53 am

I like a whole week's strips being devoted to one idea. For my next submission to the syndicates, I'll have at least one storyline run for at least a week (6 strips). I have a storyline on Lester shopping for a new truck that runs for 2 weeks, but if I posted them on the web, it would consume a whole month. I'm considering running the series every day for two weeks because there are a few good gags in there I think.<P>The dog in the wind doesn't go too far. I'm of the opinion that there's almost no way to go too far in the comics. The comics allow us to laugh at and escape reality at the same time. I know some strips have established more realism than others, and fantastic situations might seem out of place in those toons. But I want to make Home Fries fanciful enough that a dog flying in the wind is entirely plausible.<p>[This message has been edited by Scatman (edited 12-08-2001).]
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Postby GregCartoonist on Mon Dec 10, 2001 2:40 am

I'm not technically a syndicated cartoonist, but Scott tells me that there have been some letters asking "How could you do that to a dog... what kind of person are you" and the like. He says he used to try to explain to people that there is no dog, only a cartoon picture of a dog and so on, but now he just ignores them. I suppose if someone has to have a tiny-minded agenda, then protecting cartoon animals from physical humor is as good as any. <P>I rarely write gags for Dogzilla. My dog isn't very funny or inspiring, I suppose.<P>
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Postby GregCartoonist on Mon Dec 10, 2001 3:35 am

We did a slight variation on the flying dog a few weeks ago in The Buckets. <P>Larry (the dad) is just standing and looking up. Sarah (mom) is behind him, holding her jacket closed. there are leaves flying everywhere. Sarah says "Gosh, it's windy" or something like it "What are you doing out here?"
Next panel, Larry is pointing up. He says "Flying a kite. You see it up in this tree?" Sarah, now looking up with him, says "Yep"
Next panel Larry says "You see all the string tangled in the branches?" Sarah says "Yep."<P>Last panel, both still staring up. Larry says "You see Eddie holding it anywhere?"<P>Maybe Lester could have a similar problem. Maybe Lester could be looking around on the ground and a second character come along to ask what he's doing out in this wind. Lester, still looking around on the ground, then explains that he's walking the dog. The other character says "If he ran off, why are you looking around here?"<P>You ready?<P>Lester, hefting a rock or stick, says "Run? Nah, blown off into that tree. Help me find something to knock him down with.<P>
A little wordy. You play editor. It opens up a new line of thought, though. How cantankerous are you planning to make Lester? The sight gag of Lester repeatedly throwing sticks suggests itself. Second character says it's nice of him to play fetch with the dog. Last panel Lester says "No it isn't." Then there's a yelp. and Lester says. "Got Him!"<P>Then there's the attendant gags of Lester annoying the dog with other games. "Get the ball, Get the ball..." Splort, Hahahha. Lester then intimates to second character that it was a water balloon, <P>Lester holds doggie treat. Lester tells dog to play dead. Lester and dog immobile. Lester falls asleep, dog gets treat. I'm not personally fond of dogs that comment in people strips (is Get Fuzzy a people strip? I love that one) but the dog could think some clever comment about patience or age. How old would lester be in dog years? Do dogs figure a human's age by dividing by seven?<P>Hm. Now I got my brain all buzzing. <P>Don't be surprised if there's some variation on dog themes in the Buckets next month or so.
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Postby Scatman on Mon Dec 10, 2001 5:46 am

Ireally like a couple of your ideas, Greg. I'm not if Lester's cantankerous enough to pull it off, but one of his old cronies sure could be.
I'm a dog lover myself, and I can put things in perspective and see the humor in the gags. As a syndicated cartoonist, are your concerns different? Do you have to worry about animal lovers finding the humor too mean?
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Postby Scatman on Tue Dec 11, 2001 5:45 am

This is embarassing, but I have a voice I use to make my dog talk. When I'm talking for the dog, she has a good sense of humor. The dog's funnier than I am. <P>I've heard that lots of great comedians are really shy people. They're only funny when they're in character. Maybe getting into character helps comedians get a fresh perspective on things. Has this approach worked for anyone as far as cartooning goes? Does anyone try to think like and talk like their characters to get ideas?
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