• Karl

Where do you get your ideas from? Part I

Ask any cartoonist what is the question they are asked the most, and they will all say: 'Where do you get your ideas from?'. Well, the truth is there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this, most perennial, of questions.

But in this regular feature either I, or a guest cartoonist, will endeavour to explain how they arrived at one of their gags. Like I said, it wont be a definitive answer, but it will give the uninitiated and the eager student of comics, a better understanding of the gag writing process.

So I guess it's me first. Here's the cartoon taken from my thrice weekly comic Adam and Eve---more of which can be seen here in the archives and are regularly updated on my Facelessbook page.

Most cartoonists or script writers---in fact anyone who makes some kind of a living from writing funny stuff---will say they start by staring at a blank piece of paper or into the screen of their computer thinking about the bills or the mortgage. Others will say that something someone says or does sparks an idea; it can even be something they saw.

In this case it was something I read.

For my comic, Adam & Eve, I'm often reading a lot of articles to see if I can generate any gags from what I read: like the gardening strips I do, or the fishing based gags, ect. But on this particular day I was researching the meanings behind dreams.

Through the course of researching the meaning of dreaming of a mystery woman---very dangerous ground for Adam---I began to think how frustrating it would be if you were trapped in a loveless, luckless marriage and dreamed only about beautiful people you could not attain.

Then the idea came to me that seeing as Adam has the ear of God, he may just be able to get the big fella to create her for him. Then I thought: But how would God know what she looked like?

I realised Adam would have to describe her or draw an image. Then I realised Adam can't draw and the resulting image would be a very childish drawing, and God, not wanting to offend his half-baked little experiment in spit and clay creation, would just produce what he saw.

Okay, so I've explained it in a rather clinical fashion. But that is really how I get ideas like this. It's a kind of natural progression; you see the start and you follow the track until something weird comes along and that's when you stop and begin to poke the 'weird' with a stick until it gives up the 'funny'.

Like I said, some just drop into my head fully formed, some come from conversations of which I give an alternative ending to, but in the case of a comic strip, if you know your characters well enough, it's always easy to imagine how they would react to a certain situation.

So that's my little explanation. Like I said, I will try and get other guest cartoonists to find time out of their busy schedules to do the same. I, of course, will fill in the gaps with more of my own babblings, and I can only apologise in advance for that.

Incidentally, no one seems to have noticed that God also created the little childlike sun in the corner. My thinking was that when ever a child draws something out doors they produce these 'sun' images with the little lines coming off them like sparks. If you noticed that, well done. If you didn't, don't worry, you're not alone, the irony seems to have flown unbidden over the heads of a largely uncaring world.

Also, and as always, if you like what you see, and would like to see more, then please subscribe below and get an email notification every time I publish a new post.

Thank you.


All artwork and the written word are copyright Karl Dixon