May 2008

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John Koetsier

That "extreme" comic was hilarious. First one of Meyer's that I've laughed out loud about.


Age: 17
The only newspaper comics I read are Pearls Before Swine, Dilbert, and occasionally Get Fuzzy and Zits.

IMO his attempts at strip comics are just as good as his usual, larger comics. Given he's going to have to make sacrifices to be syndicated no matter what, I think this isn't a bad trade-off.


Ahem! First, I'll be 38 next month and no, I don't know of any comic to be better than Basic Instructions, but...

1. The art is good, but not too comic-like. It's "too real", so the joke is always in the words, never in pictures. People remember caricatures better then real faces (proven psychological fact), and jokes work better that way if you see something funny along with reading a joke.

2. Having two or three jokes in one comic is great, but the last joke should be the best of those. If the best joke is at in the first frame (as in " I'm looking for a new job."), the rest feels like a letdown and I felt a bit disappointed. That would also solve the problem of wordiness and maybe force Mr. Meyer to further develop his art.

3. That's it, really. "Basic Instructions" has a bright future, because it feels like a Seinfeld in comics...

Go, Scotts!!!

Emily Z

Ooops! Age 21

Emily Z

Ooops! Age 21

Emily Z

Maybe Dilbert. I think most other comics in newspapers are pretty worthless. Also, you mentioned before that the comic lacked a theme and this is kind of obvious but it does have a theme - instructions.


Great comics! They're witty, insightful, and hilarious. I don't know how Scott can come up with enough ideas to syndicate a comic like this, but it must have taken a special kind of genious to come up with these in the first place. I'd buy a BI book! The only drawback is the amount of content in each. It took a little more concentration than I normally give a single panel to finish reading each one. I agree with Sando - I could see each one being two or even three strips. [Age 31 (female), Dilbert, Far Side, Pearls Before Swine]


I'm 28, only Dilbert is better (most of the time). Good luck scotts !


I'm 37 I Enjoy Dilbert,F-minus,Over the Hedger,Get Fuzzy, Pearls Before swines.
I think Basic Instructions is a great idea for a comic strip. But I don't think it's yet ready for syndication.It's still too wordy, and the placement of the word balloons are not quite working.Scott needs work on getting point across
with fewer words by self editing ideas.


I am 14 and I love this strip! I think I like foxtrot more but that is only new on sundays. I also like dilbert but the newspaper I get doesn't have it, I have to read it online every day.

Russell Smith

Omitted from my Basic Instruction: I'm 51.

Russell Smith

The combination of skillful artwork (love the bald guy's facial expressions), fresh concepts and cynical/endearing wit is hard to beat. Comparable but not necessarily stronger affection for: F-Minus, Candorville, Dilbert, Pearls Before Swine.



I love it! The 1st and 3rd strips are hilarious. Only the 1st panel is really funny in the 2nd one, though.

I think it's working already.

Of what is currently in newspapers, I like the following strip better than Basic Instrucions:

"This Modern World" by Tom Tomorrow
(yes, just that one!)
If "Randolph Itch 2 a.m." was still in newspapers, it would also be here.

The following stuff is "at about the same level" for me:

Piranha Club
Sherman's Lagoon
The Perry Bible Fellowship (yes, some newspapers carry it)
Doonesbury (at its best)


Hey Scott(s), why don't just you spread each "How To" on 2 strips?

Each how-to has enough material to spread into 2 strips, all that needs to be done is to work a punch line into the end of strip1 of each. It's almost there already anyway.


27, Female

BI is hilarious, but the comics I like better are Dilbert, the Far Side and Calvin and Hobbes


I'm 17.

I love basic instructions to be honest. I think it is great the way it is, and certainly a shiteload better than any other webcomic. The only comic I ever liked more (and this is technically in newspapers, getting re-runs) is the Far Side which for me is basically untouchable.


The three-panel strips work great! "There are bugs in the system." I actually chuckled, and I rarely do that when reading comics (I know, some people get laughing fits when reading comics, for me, chuckling is pretty much as good as it gets).

Concerning the "comics currently in newspapers better than BI": in Germany, newspapers rarely have comics. I don't read any, thus I couldn't possibly say. FWIW, male, 27.


I'm 21, and the only thing that jumps to mind immediately is Foxtrot, and now that that's stopped dailies . . . I'm not sure it counts.

Thing is, though, I read webcomics constantly. I think they're consistently higher quality than the majority of stuff in the newspapers. I think I might actually have some sort of weird bias against newspaper comics just because they're in a newspaper. That doesn't make much sense, but . . . there you are.


22, and I don't think there are any current comments I like better, though Get Fuzzy, Monty, Dilbert, and Pearls Before Swine might be tied.


I'd say Basic Instructions is already there. Those three were all funny and they looked great in the 3-panel format.

53-year-old male and my favorite comics are: Get Fuzzy, Zits, Baby Blues, Dilbert, Frazz & 9 Chickweed Lane. I won't say any are *better* than B.I., just that I like B.I. as much.

Frank W. Moore

I'm 54

Pearls before Swine.

He's got it. Can he keep it is the question, but he should get a syndication shot.


Neal Miskin

I'm 22 years old, and I think these strips are Hilarious already. My favorite (currently running) comics are: Dilbert, Doonesbury, Bizaro, and For Better or for Worse. I don't necessarily think that any of these are better than Basic Instruction, but certainly on par.


I'm 50 years old, a professional cartoonist for thirty of those years and I say leave the strip the hell alone, Scott.
Let the guy submit the damn thing and back off. He doesn't need your help.
Or, if you insist, send the strip in yourself with your imprimateur attached. That's unless "Unfit" has left your advocacy account somewhat underfunded.
You already demonstrated how 90% of syndicate exec jerks wouldn't know a good strip from a hole in the road. I happen to agree. The state of the comics pages in this present day is testament to the fact that syndicates are the worst possible custodians of the genre.

If you really want to make a difference, start your own syndicate using talent you've actually sourced yourself, such as the excellent Scott Meyer. If your own syndicate kicks up a fuss as a result, tell them to be as pro-active as you are, to get into the market place and discover talent instead of sitting there like buboes on a plague victim dealing with very cack-brained moron who wants to send them a submission.

Jeez, don't get me started.


I am 35 and female and other than Dilbert, the only other comic I look forward to is Doonesbury. I was really surprised that in the 50 or so comments I just read, only one other person mentioned Doonesbury!


This guy is very funny. Each comic is very good.

If he's having type size problems still, he could easily, easily cut down on the words with no problems. Actually it would probably be better to cut down on the unnecessary words anyway.

For example, the boss comic, if you wanted to cut down on words.

1st Panel "Some questions have no good answer." = same, shorter.

2nd Panel, you can lose the whole first sentence.

3rd Panel, "Or, stall until they draw their own conclusion."

The three panel sets are definitely working as well.

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