How to Decide Whether or Not to Change the Format of Your Comic

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Reader Comments (59)

LOL funny just last week I was wondering "how the hell does he manage to come up with new ideas within that format every time" :-D

December 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMattia Landoni

I suggest you get help from a nationally syndicated cartoonist to rework your comic to better fit a 3-panel format.

December 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGreg E

Really loved this one.

Feel free to keep repeating yourself - You are like a whoopee cushion - funny every time!

Hmm... Let's see how could you do this again?
- How to reduce, reuse, and recycle.
- How to be meta.
- How to emulate (insert the name of some band that is past their prime and rely on the success of past hits - Kiss? The Rolling Stones? Alice Cooper?)
- How to revive your career by doing a Christmas version (title needs work...)
- How to admit that Scott Adams was right (But don't change your comic - this is JUST a topic!)
- How to proove that Scott Adams was wrong

December 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBrent Kobayashi

changing the format? I dont know how I feel about this.


actually screw that, Do what you want Mr. Meyer. It's you baby. I will still visit and buy the occasional book.

December 10, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterisiah

Never change. Change is for the weak. Look at the aztecs: did they do a U-turn once the spanish arrived? No, they just kept sacrificing their people on the altar of blood, and that's exactly what you should do.

December 10, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterlin

Ah, this kills me. The whole strip... "It's surprisingly hard to criticize you." "Thank you." ha ha ha....

You could change the name to BASIC INSULTS. Pretty much the same content, only tighter and leaner.

December 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTerraHertz

I barely notice the instructions, anyway. To me, they just sort of form a general context for the witty dialogue in that panel. Personally, I wouldn't mind if you reused the instructions word-for-word as long as the dialogue was new.

In fact, that could be a fun experiment. Maybe you should try rewriting some old comics with the same instructions but different comics for a week.

December 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBill

I like how Misty elbows her way out of the panel that says "devise a subtle way to alter it."

December 11, 2011 | Unregistered Commentertimbo

reorganization of my debt to my readers

I know you couldn't change the dialogue without wrecking the joke or going OOC, but you don't owe us anything, rather the reverse.

I think there can be a lot of value in creating art in a restricted medium. When George Lucas had to devote his genius to making movies within a budget and within the then state of the art, we get Star Wars and Empire Strikes Back. When he had the power to do what the hell he wants without limitation, we get Jar Jar.

This is a great format. I love the interplay between the instructive text and what Scott the character is up to. I wouldn't care in the slightest if topics are revisited every now and again with transparently reworded titles.

December 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJoshua

So will "BI" be getting pairing fans and fanfic soon? Will there be "ship wars" over whether Scott/MulletBuss or Scott/Rick is the best "OTP"?

December 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRoy

Scott Adams doesn't recycle? What major comic or cartoon doesn't recycle? I can't remember the last time i read a comic here i didn't enjoy - and that includes the reruns. Mostly.

How to Accept Limitations. How to Enjoy Getting Older. How to Reassure People Through Routine. How to Stick to What You Do Well. How to Know When to Shut Up.

December 12, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterbriligg

I would also add that Dinosaur Comics proves that you are never truly restrained. A rigid format can in fact foster deeper creativity.

December 12, 2011 | Unregistered Commentermoops

If you change the name to BI, you'd get a LOT more traffic.

December 12, 2011 | Unregistered

I'm not a zombie, but I still want your brain.

December 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTroyG

The first panel is coffee-through-the-nose funny. Don't worry about revisiting a subject. I mean virtually no one listens to instructions the first time on anything. This is the funniest strip since Dilbert, in fact, you frequently surpass Dilbert on the Laugh-O-Metter. Keep it up.

December 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterElyob

How many great strips revisited themes?

Lucy pulling the ball away from Charlie Brown ring a bell?

Calvin and Hobbes may be the greatest comic strip I ever read, and a good half of his strips went back to about six themes.

Don't regret working the same mine just because it keeps giving you all this boring gold.

December 14, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterChris Kelley

Chris Kelley's comment is brilliant!

December 14, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterByron Black

I just read the dialogue and ignore the caption/instruction part. It tends to make the comic funnier, for me.

December 24, 2011 | Unregistered Commentermordredlefay

If you find the format limiting maybe you should just take a break from Basic Instructions and start a new project. I am sure that most of us would not think any less of you for it.

December 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGregory Bogosian
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