Where do ideas come from? Everywhere. I just choose something and try to think of how to change it into something new. How could it be part of a funny story? A scary story? A happy story? Who would the story be about? How would different perspectives change the story?
Combining two unlike ideas always fascinated me. What would happen if the story of little red riding hood took place under the sea? What if the three little pigs story and the three bears story were combined?
From time to time, I’ll spend a few months generating twenty story ideas a day. I try not to be critical of the ideas, and usually the last few are the best ones, or at least the strangest. It gives me material to work from for a long time.
Is it the same process for writing comics? Pretty much. It’s just about picking an object or a situation and wondering how it would be funny.
For example, here’s my thought process for the cartoon I drew for this week. I began with asking what is funny about carrots? What do I know about carrots? Fact-checking comes later.
Bunnies eat them. They’re good for eyesight. They’re often sold in packages of mixed vegetables. Are bunnies funny? Are peas and beans and lima beans funny? What do I know about them? What if bunnies preferred peas? Or left all the peas on their plates after eating the carrots? Maybe they should stop buying mixed vegetables. Why did they buy them in the first place? What a waste. Maybe they need a pet that eats peas. What eats peas? Maybe they could turn them into some sort of pea soup fog. That sounds like a story idea. Hmmm.
I think I’ll go back to the mixed vegetable idea. I can see the vague outlines of a cartoon idea for that. I’ll sketch it out and see how it looks on paper.
Once done, I need to ask my husband what he thinks. Unfortunately, my sense of humor isn’t universal. Yay! He laughed. Now I can spend more time on it.