• Karl

Where do you get your ideas from---Part II

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.

It's been a while since I produced one of these. I know I said I wanted to get another cartoonist to produce one but I feel I should maybe do a few more to give them a better view of what it is I'm looking for. So here I go again with another of my Adam & Eve comic strips---more of which can be viewed here

This gag, in itself, was one of the most pleasurable ones I have ever created, due mainly to the fact that it just happened out of nowhere. Let me explain...

I always start sketching either Adam or Eve by using the same template as you see the snake employ in panel two of the strip, and each character only become distinguishable when either Eve's hair and chest or Adams moustache and crossed plaster are drawn in; I refer to these props as the 'X' and 'Y' chromosomes of my comic strip.

It was while I was drawing the template for the first panel of the comic---the cartoon chromosomes had yet to be added---when I thought that maybe I should do a few live Facelessbook feeds of me drawing the strip, hopefully drumming up a bit more interest and readers along the way.

While I was thinking this I thought it would maybe interesting to describe how I use the same shape for them both and that it's only when I put the moustache in that you know its Adam, and that Adam would probably say: 'Even then you still couldn't be sure'. And the light bulb went on, the gag angels sang and punch line Nirvana was reached.

It was because of the nature of this cartoons arrival that I thought it would make a good example of how we 'toony-types' create the funny stuff. Normally you get a germ of an idea and bust a sweat trying to get the wording just right, but in this case it just fell onto the paper virtually fully formed.

This cartoon has become one of my favourites because of its simplicity and how it goes right to the heart of what Adam is and their relationship has become. Very important when writing about regular characters.

Hope you enjoyed this explanation and will want to come back for more of the same. Like I said, I will hopefully be able to sneakily lure some other cartoonists, both web based and newspaper, to give their insights into how they tickle your funny bones.

I hope you liked this post and have had a good look around the site at the many others. I have plenty of exciting projects on and plan many more ideas for the Cartoonist Diary website and blog and I would love to have you come along for the ride. If you like the sound of that, then please sign up below and get a link emailed to you every time I post something new


All artwork and the written word are copyright Karl Dixon