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Thursday, August 12, 2010

Today's Cul de Sac, August 13 2010


About half the time, maybe more, Cul de Sac follows a story arc. The arcs are usually pretty brief and flexible enough that they can change shape or direction without hurting the forward momentum, because there isn't any. It's a luxurious way to work because it can only go wrong by being boring. I like tangents and a daily comic strip is a great way to indulge in tangential thinking; there's always tomorrow to get things back on track (if that's really necessary) so I can keep a loose grip on the reins.

For a little arc like Petey's Playdate, the only thing I have to keep in mind is how long it's going to be and what day a particular strip is going to run. I posted once a while back about what my first rough of a week's strips looks like, and it's pretty unimpressive.  But basically, the arc is always divisible by six, or Monday through Saturday, with Monday launching the story and Saturday (a day few people supposedly read the paper) reserved for clean up or commentary. Friday should be the peak of the story, when excitement is at its most white-hot and lives are in the balance. And here it is! All our protagonists and antagonists are in the same room and here comes the flabbergasting plot twist- Alice barging in with all her toys, brandishing her whole gigantic personality like the offensive weapon it is and wearing a hat with a feather in it! This kind of complication might demand another whole week of Petey's Playdate to adequately complete. Or more if Andre starts reading that Diminishing Expectations out loud, with gestures.

7 comments:

Mike said...

The spectre of the younger sibling being entranced by a visitor is such a universal! Anyone who has been a big brother or sister got a blast from the past today.

"MOM! Make her go AWAY!"

Jeanie W said...

All her toys, hmm ... so is the little fairy pirate princess having her first crush?

Rooty Toot Toot said...

Your commentary is every bit as terrific as the strips themselves. AND you're getting a jump on writing notes for the next book collection. Multitasking!

gilda92 said...

Most people don't read the Saturday paper? Wow! That's when we get the Colour Comics and all the other Important Extra Sections here in southwestern Ontario Canada! If there is a Sunday paper it's pretty thin.

Barbara Hanson said...

Had my first crush on an older man at about the same age. Adoration just shines from Alice's eyes. Can't wait to see how this goes.

James Figueiredo said...

I'd read a "Little Neuro and the Diminishing Expectations" strip in a HEARTBEAT!

paul bowman said...

It's true, the tension is hard to bear at this point. Ernesto & his cardigans never really worry me much, even at the cliff's edge, but André is a major gravitational presence & a likeable guy to boot. André & Alice in the same room, now ...