Workshop Wednesday: Shark Attack!

Last week’s strip posted a unique problem: I had painted myself in a corner that now required a payoff. Mike’s crew had just rung his doorbell and after he slammed the door in their faces, the crew marveled that Mike hadn’t “didn’t even mention the  . . .” whereupon Nod’s “zzzzzzz!” covered up what Mike had not even mentioned! You can see that strip here.

So I had a lot of fun there. I had a final panel I liked _and_ I had a bit of a cliffhanger! Except for one thing: I had no idea what the answer to the cliffhanger was. Whoops. But I gave in to the temptation of using it in the hope that something would happen. I thought it was funny in itself and I wanted the challenge!

At first, though, not too much happened:

sharks first 750

At that point, I was really considering it to be a strip between the  crew and the wife, as you can see here in the third panel of a later iteration:

Sharks three 750

And then I involved Mike (I mean, it’s _his_ strip after all), and . . . not too much happened again:

sharks second 750

In fact, I was doodling by panel three here, just to see if something would pop up. Nevertheless, I had come up with the idea in panel one of the crew and Mike bickering back and forth, the crew minimizing what had happened, Mike noting that it was a wee bit more serious than they were letting on, and that’s where I thought it was finally starting to become a little bit funny: “oh, it wasn’t _that_ bad, Mike!” “No, it was WORSE!”

I had also come up with the idea of Mike getting tossed to the sharks earlier, but thought that was somehow too expected, so I tried to come up with something “funnier” or at least weirder (like, say, guacamole dip), but nothing happened.

It did indeed take me the whole week, but, voila!, the night before it was due, something did indeed happen!

Sharks four 750

But now I had put myself back into a spot I didn’t want to be in again: how to finish it! “You couldn’t coordinate a _____.” Well, I had punished myself enough by this point, but then it just popped into my head, “Well, hey, if it was an accident, then . . . !”

I thought that was silly enough. Mutiny? Hey, it’s what pirates do. Tossing overboard? Of course. Given. But sharks? Now _that_ was unnecessary, even by pirate standards! That cracked me up.

I also like that the first two panels were pretty funny on their own in a number of respects. I enjoyed the “difficult circumstances” statement followed by Mike’s “you were feeding me to sharks.” I also liked the “air” quotes and then Mike’s use of the words “chunk” and “butt” in the second panel. As you can see, I tweaked the third panel to have the crew sorry about the sharks (but nothing else). I also liked the idea of trying to coordinate with fish. What would that look like? Silliness reigns.

I still came up with a different line for the crew in the third panel: “We were mutinyin’! We just wanted to throw you overboard! The sharks were a complete accident! An excellent touch, yes, but completely unintentional!” I like that last line a lot, but I cut myself off for once. I couldn’t bear to get rid of the “coordinating with fish” line and I figured people would understand that Mike had been thrown overboard.

So we finished here!

Shamu 3 750

As always, I want the characters to do something funny visually, even if it’s just with their faces. I love Mike’s face in the last panel, like, hey, he’s really giving this some discerning thought when he _should_ just be throwing them to the curb like the scheming little twerps they are. Ah, but friends are friends . . .

So there you have it folks! Another Workshop Wednesday under our belts! As always, let me know what you think! I look forward to hearing from all of you!

See you Friday for the new strip!



6 thoughts on “Workshop Wednesday: Shark Attack!

  1. Really well considered & executed Brad. I do love the co ordinate with fish line – it’s really funny and I also like the implication that it is only the crew’s intelligence holding them back from having done this – they would if they could have. Excellent stuff!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks! Very kind. I appreciate that. And, yeah, they would if they could! Ha! This was one where once they started talking to each other, so the proverb goes, they wrote it themselves! It was pretty cool.


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