May 2008

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« Poster Child for Cognitive Dissonance | Main | Basic Instructions, Part 2 »



The comic was really funny,Good conversation is going on..


Been reading this blog since it was a newsletter, but never had reason to post.

Basic instructions is awesome. Perhaps even more so than dilbert. *sorry* Every single panel is funny!

Can't say I can think of another comic I like better, though other one-panel comics come close (like Bizzaro).

With all the attention this post is generating, is syndication necessary?

26, male.


Name: Michelle
Age: 35

I guess I will be much more succint than others. Here is what I don't like:

1. Only need intro on first panel.
2. The characters need to face each other more, or look up. Looking down looks weird.
3. Needs more background in his art.
4. He tends to put a punchline in every frame. Use the last frame for the punchline. Otherwise, it seems like three or four comics in one panel.
5. No emotion; meaning, no exclamation points, etc. He's not getting the tone of the statement across. It's hard to do in words; needs to improve on that.

There are a number of cartoons that I like; both in the paper, and those out of syndication. I also like User Friendly (, which is very well written, but only available online.

So here are some of my favs:

1. Calvin and Hobbes
2. Bloom County (my absolute fav)
3. Cathy
4. Far Side
5. User Friendly

Anyway, that's my two cents, for what it's worth.


Xerxes Gusmão

Xerxes Gusmão, professor da U.V.V., é um grande filho da puta!


Her - What do you want to do?
Me - How about the mall?
Her - I don't feel like walking around.
Me - How about coffee?
Her - I'm not in the mood.
Me - How about rollerblading?
Her - It's too hot outside.
Me - What do YOU want to do?
Her - I don't care. You decide.

turkey goblet

I like the other way, CHANGE IT BACK!!!!


You seemed to have missed the point Bob. Any stiff can use a Wacom Tablet. It's not the method of presentation, it's the content that's important. Hard work is involved in conceiving something original and definitely funny. I don't think technique takes precedence to idea in Mr. Meyers mind. If his work looks like others (to you).... well...whatever. Paper and sissors, spit and polish, horsehair and string.. who cares how easy it appears, or what means are employed to convey the idea. If technique - STYLE -was the most vital thing in the Cartoon Equasion, more cartoonists would be successful. Could I draw "Dilbert"?... maybe... do I possess the same twisted (in a good way) sense of humor to make it a success? ... no way. Cartoonists who only copied Mr. Larsen's visual style.... bombed, as they failed to appreciate the need for the-"uniquely funny"- bit of the equasion.. Artists really are a dime a dozen, unless their thinking is new.
If Mr. Meyer truely has that comedic spark that transends others of a similiar "visual ilk" - and I think he does- he should be very successful. Personally, I don't like the cartoon "Cathy", but somehow it works quite well for others (visually and intellectually) ...yet who am I to pass judgement on their background or taste (no matter what my credentials). Ultimately, if he is fortunate, the public will be the decider of Mr. Meyer's worth and talent, not you or I (as it should be).

Bob Eckstein

No, I wasn't being sarcastic, just honestly commenting my opinion. I brought up my creditials just to state where this opinion was coming from, that I had been a cartoonist and not someone without any background in the field. Looking back, you're right, it comes across as boosting or defending, whatever.

I love the Wacom Tablet and use it myself. I agree with what you say regarding it only being a tool but not as a way to getting around hard work and subsequently doing something others already do, making Xerox copies or using clip-art and then attaching funny comments. This is a funny technique but only the first few times (not times Scot uses it, but amount of cartoonists out there whose work along side Mr. Meyer's work in a blindfold test you would not be able to distingish) – I've seen many similiar cartoons. That's the problem with using this style unless it's you who originally came up withthe style. You have not seen other cartoons almost identical? If not, you are a poor judge of what the competittion is out there. Your reference to Gary Larson makes no sense – it's oranges and apples – whether anyone liked it or not (it wasn't my thing), Larson's look and style of humor was groundbreaking and, similliar to my argument here, I frown apon Gary Larson copycats who exist out there.

I think this trend of using repeating panels has taken off because it's easy to make comments a la Science Mystery Theartre – it's way more difficult to create an envirnoment and family of characters from scratch and go from there. You can make a funny cartoon just taking clip art of an office scene and adding these posts to those people having an argument. None of this has anything to do with Scot Meyer's marketablity which I don't pretend to guess – I just think there's nothing original with that style nor was it any funnier than those other cartoons in this same style.


I don't get Bob Eckstein's comments. Were they trying to be funny? Informative? Self promotional? or Just snarky? Any success demands hard work... duh... just as any success commands a bit of luck as well (like someone willing to recognize and promote budding talent). Objections to a Wacom Tablet ??? IT'S ONLY A TOOL (simular to a cartoonists' pen and ink). Funny is funny. Many of us know a ton of artists who can render perfectly, yet have the humour of roadkill. Mr. Meyer's format might be questionable (to some) but content will dictate success ultimately. When Gary Larsen began, he was just hoping to pay the rent....his work drew incredibly negative reaction from those unable or unwilling to "get" the humour... and his drawing style was slammed....somehow, he didn't do too badly in the end. Keep up the good work Scott, your humor is priceless (and unique)!

Bob Eckstein

Sorry, but don't understand this cartoon garnering attention – there are dozens of similiar, tracing-with-Wacom tablet-with-snarky-remarks-a-la-Mysery-Science-Theatre-overdabs cartoons. There is nothing original about his work – he's excellent at copying this latest trend which has taken the spit and personality out of drawing and self-expression.

But I think it's very generous for you to reach out and help a follow cartoonist (I've only tried in small ways through my blog sharing the business part of cartooning – I'm a full-time cartoonist (TimeOut, NY Times, New Yorker. My main advice to my students has been to understand that it's a very competitive business and be ready to work hard. )

Simon Gear

Until now, I've only loved two other cartoonists on first glance: Larson and Watterson. Even Dilbert took me a few months to twig (I'm clearly not quite as gifted as Bobby, alas). I can now make that three.

This guy is really, really good.

Rebecca S

Actually, it reminds me of my favorite books by you, How to Build a Better Life by Stealing Office Supplies and Clues for the Clueless. Those books still make me laugh, and they're still so true.

And I like this comic too. I hope he does well.


dany's right, Douglas Adams had great one-liners.

But often, he needed a page for a dozen jokes, all entwined. :-)

Actually, sometimes he needed several books for a joke (you only get to know why the bowl of petunia thought "Not again" in the third book - tho I rather suppose that he just couldn't think of an explanation earlier...).


I think he uses a vocabulary that the majority of Americans will not understand. Ennui? Malaise?
Then again, the majority of Americans don't read newspapers. Maybe it's a natural fit for syndication.

At any rate, it's great - and I subscribed via Bloglines. Thanks for the selfless dedication to finding us more entertainment, Scott.


I don't really like cartoons that look like a digital photo painted over with a Wacom Artpad. I really dispise, when the same "drawing" is used in two or more panels, because then it becomes clear that the source is photos and the Artist can't draw consistently. This ruins it for me completely.

The newer format has no repeats. This is nicer.

Rob W

I don't think the large four panel would sell which is to bad because it's great. Personally I loved How to Justify an Extravagant Purchase to Your Spouse which fits my wife and I perfectly!! I've added Mr. Myers to my RSS fead!

Matthew Kovich

I think that's the funniest F***ing comic I've read since Dilbert.

It's way funnier than F-Minus, (although F-Minus is still pretty funny).


it reminds me of the 'fighting / filing' technique cartoons :

only not as crude. yet.

Matt McNamara

I admire the fact that you're essentially apprenticing this cartoonist. I think that all of us, in whichever fields we work, have an obligation to reach out and selflessly guide another person.

But not for free. You have to ask one thing in return: that some day, when Scott is in a comfortable position of success, that he passes along the favor.


Worst thing about this comic, not updatedly frequently enough.
I mean with 3 sets of instructions about how to think of ideas, you'd think he'd have it all figured out by now.
I prefer the 4 panel variety, but that is likely because i have seen many more of them. I would suggest be flexible, 4 panel sometimes, but if the joke is a 3 panel joke, take a panel out. Hopefully he makes it big so he can quit his job (even though he just got a raise) and do this comic full time.


I like the strip format over the original and the humor. The one thing I did not like about the art was that I could not tell the ladies were ladies. They all looked like men to me at first read.


I really enjoyed the strip, and add me to those who added it to the RSS feed. His sort of wordy style works for me, but I like to read. I don't see that having big success in the tiny-sized comics pages, but I can totally see a great tear-off calendar (beside my Dilbert one, of course) and a book of his comics.

I think its greatest appeal is that he addresses questions that everyone thinks about once in awhile. His humor might not appeal to everyone but the situation does. While I'm no comics executive, I could see it as a Sunday strip, giving it a large enough forum to accommodate his wordiness.


I think the comics lost a lot with the new format. I'd be much more likely to purchase a compilation of the old-style ones than the new.


I think the format works well for Scott's humor.

Love "How to Remember Names"! It's a scream!!!


He should syndicate in the format provided in the example, and then continue to provide the strips in their original four-square format on his website. People, I have noticed, tend to really appreciate being in a cult-like internet following and having "special" strips to read on the webpage will help ppl to feel more connected to him. Perez Hilton is a great example of this. He has already gained his fame via his online blog. Now he is getting a TV show. And the original ppl who read his blog for years are like, "Yay, congrats Perez! You're my man!" and such. And the new ppl who are checking out his blog because they saw something about him on the news or on a show are like, "Wow, this guy is really loved." Hope this helps

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