Napkins, doodles and one of my loves.

By Jeremy Meltingtallow

I was looking for something this morning and came across an old brainstorming book of mine. It’s 21 years old. (I can tell from certain notations in the book) I thought you might be interested in seeing the nitty-gritty scribbles that go into writing my comic:

First up: the napkin. I have no idea where it came from but I must have had an idea I didn’t want to forget and grabbed the only thing available to write on.


There is actually more scribbling on the napkin but it didn’t show in the scan.

Next up: a random page…


I must have been narrowing in on the week’s writing because I’ve listed ideas from “1” to “6” on the side of the page. I can see I was distracted at some point because of the little design doodle on the left. The little drawing of a character crying is a visual part of my writing process. It’s a quick way to show me the mood I’m trying to write. The writing is the most important part of a cartoon but the drawing is a necessary aspect of the communication. I could take the exact same gag and draw each one differently (in terms of the character’s actions/expressions) and each comic would have a completely different meaning.

Last: where my mind strays to…


I’m trying to work out a gag in the page above…writing and rewriting the conversation to work my way into the final gag. I included this particular page because of the notation in the middle of the bottom third of the page. Seeing this made me feel rather verklempt. Apropos of nothing else on the page, I had spontaneously written “I love Devin” with three hearts. Devin, my first-born, was less than a year old at the time.