May 2008

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cubicle refugee

I don't know... You also picked that strip about the personal trainer, and that was lame.

Jayabrata Bose

The 3 elements of comic writing as 'I' see it:


Great post, Scott!


Sounds like a list out of "How to be Funny" by John Macks. Your main points pretty much overlap, both with strong emphasis on funny words, having a target (or "writing about people"), having a call back (what he calls tagging the joke), and even the disclaimer of the funny gene. Humor is pretty much universal, I guess. But nice job simplifying it all down to one post.


Some people have said F Minus is not funny...must every slightly-bizarre one panel comic be compared to The Far Side? The Far Side is too unique and WEIRD to be compared to. It's just WEIRD.

Also, webcomics ARE pretty darn hilarious.

Andrew Shaw

Please explain one thing to me. Why do I find your writing incredibly amusing yet your cartoons lame?

Thanks in advance for your help.


This is by far the funniest comic I've ever read. In Tony Carrillo's F minus archive-- I was laughing for literally days afterwards.

rc sugrue

Prune. There's a word you don't get to use too often. I'll bet this whole post is just a vehicle for "prune."


The F-minus on July 4 was hilarious:

So what is it that makes the "crank" on the One Laptop Per Child so totally hilarious? Among anyone who knows about the thing, I can bring them to tears by bringing up the crank. I don't even have to mention the little Elbonian furiously grinding the crank to get another 20 minutes of web browsing out of the little guy. And if I'm lucky enough to have someone who thinks OLPC is a fine, serious idea that we all should support in my little audience, it's even funnier.


thanks for the post and I think Tony is hysterical


Our newspaper (The Patriot News, Harrisburg, PA) recently started carrying F Minus (in place of Fox Trot during the week). My parents look at it and say "I don't get it." I look at it and CRACK UP LAUGHING. I think it mostly employs the "bizarre" method - but not in that endearing British way.


Clever - Nope. Not really.
Cute - Certainly not unless you think snakes are cute.
Bizarre - Slightly. Been done too many times to really be odd.
Cruel - Not in the slightest.
Naughty - Yup. Got that right.
Recognizable - Not at all.

So that will be why I didn't laugh. 1 out of six deosn;t work.

I mean, what if it was as long as you suggest, but he was a midget? Where would he keep it? The thing would be coming out the bottom of his trousers. Could you imagine the indignity of tripping over your schlong? And then every time he got arounsed, he'd do the Hulk thing - only in reverse - His shirt would still fit but his underwear would rip.


Dear Mr. Adams,

I think it's very sad that you treat humor as a science, a simple mixture of standard ingredients. you have no respect for your own work. You have no clue what cartooning is all about and with this kind of attitude you will never learn.
You think of yourself as a very intelligent person. This bothers me immensely. You are the contrast of Charles Shultz, a very warm, tender and modest man. You may have the rational braintools, but you don't have the heart of a true great cartoonist.


Nothing is less funny than talking about why something is funny. Wodehouse is funnier than you, BTW.


Tony Carrillo also has one other aspect of funny - Discovery - you often have to search for a small detail in the drawing to see the point of the joke.

This compliments the observer and makes them feel smart for having found it. Clever when you can pull it off.


I'm sorry. I don't find "F Minus" funny. TOO deliberate.

I think when you take true quirks about people and situations, and exaggerate them or present them in new and unusual way, is what makes me laugh out loud. That and slapstick comedy. Seeing people get hurt, but not traumatically, never stops being funny. But it has to be new, seeing the same old pratfalls, and hearing the same humorous situations repeated gets old.

Of course nothing is funnier than two vaginas arguing whether to have a python shish-ka-bob or a wiener roast.


Tony Carrillo is very funny. I didn't know he's new. I've been reading his comics everyday for over a year. I love the ones with historic references and bizarre puns. The "Caveman painting" was one of my favorites.


Interesting post Scott

BTW that Tony Carillo is pretty good...

but obviously not as good as you.

Noah Vaile

Next big thing. eh?


Other useful information here:

Admit your Python influence, and it will be well with your soul.

Or kill me.


Here’s a link to a newish comic called F Minus, by Tony Carrillo. He has the humor gene. I’m picking him to be the next big comic. (Read a few weeks of his archive before forming an opinion.)

Good lord that was tragically unfunny, and it gets worse the more you read. Are you serious or are you trying some sort of gullibility experiment?


Thanks for sharing your insights (again), Scott. But isn't this like a magician showing folks how the trick is done? Won't the other comedians run you out of town, complete with tar, feathers, torches, and pitchforks? I mean, you've just exposed the system that shows comedy as something anybody can do if they just work at it.

For that matter, I imagine a lot of unfunny people will also be upset by this, because it just shows that they're too lazy to be funny. Like me. I just take whatever small amount of funny I stub my toe on... I'm not going to sit down before publishing each blog post and say, "OK, did I get at least 2 of the 6 elements in? Do I have my pop culture references?" I already have a day job. Being funny is just something I do (or fail to do) for fun.

Fred Ipsum

F-Minus is quite a bit like Wulffmorgenthaler, except they make jokes that would never make it into print.

andrew harrison

I don't find the F minus comics funny in the slightest. They seem like good ideas but aren't very well executed. His dialogue explains too much of the scenario, so there isn't that "oh yeah" moment - you just get the joke, which isn't particularly funny, and move on. It's more of an "alright" moment.

Some Bloke

This is the next big thing in comics? All the one-panel simplicity of Larson with none of the charm, intelligence, bizarreness, or humour?
Well, more proof that syndication is a dead end for comic humour I suppose.
Why not try - a comic that manages to combine geekishness, mathematics, intelligence and insane humour with less effort than Carrillo displays in an entire month of work. A lot of the jokes are mainstream - risky, but at least it's not lazy and safe.

I'm in Penny Arcade's camp on this one I'm afraid.


Useful tips! I especially like the tip on simple sentence, some humor blogs out there have such long and difficult sentences..

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