Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Can Anyone Write a Funnier Caption?

I'm pleased with my latest "Shermin the Vermin" picture, but I'm SURE there's a better caption possible. Any suggestions?

I'm trying to nail down a style for a single panel cartoon featuring the rat, and while I like this, I really need to thicken the lines and simplify. Perhaps a chunky style that would be clear even on an IPhone or Droid.

Click on the image to see at full-size.


  1. Did you leave me any leftovers this time?

  2. I really like the drawing style of the cartoon as is. This is one of your better toons.

    Caption: "There better be a pizza in that bag..."

  3. I'm coming up blank, Brian, but there's gotta be something you can do with the concept of her bringing out trash in a deplorable vanilla-scented bag.

    I agree with Christina. This is probably my favorite Shermin posting so far. That's a very nicely drawn figure!

    I'm not sure you need to simplify, but I think a reorganization of space could help your work in general. Try different points-of-view and devote more real estate to the characters and less to things like the sides of dumpsters and walls, etc. Even random garbage can be "organized" in a few disorderly clumps to create interesting shapes within the composition.

    I would also avoid over-lighting background elements that will compete with the characters. A few well-placed bricks and minimal graffiti can add a touch of gritty interest to a bare wall.

    Overall, a great job! keep 'em coming!

  4. I'm back! I cannot resist the caption challenge.

    How about...

    "You're late, bitch!"


    "Did you bring me that rancid hamburger like I asked you?"

    or if we need to spell out their association more completely...

    "You're late! If this relationship is gonna work,
    I want my dinner by 5pm, sharp!"

    After all, Shermin is old school.

    Really nice drawing Brian.

  5. Chuck: "More real estate to the characters." Amen. That's nicely put. I've ignored backgrounds for years in my work, and I believe I'm not yet aware of how LITTLE of a background needs to be shown, especially when the point is the gag, not the setting.

    Thanks for the feedback, all. And I know I'm awful, but my favorite caption is the horrid simplicity of "You're late, bitch!"

  6. P.S. My mom laughed out loud at "You're late, bitch" as well - and she's Shermin's biggest fan. So in it goes. (I'm always proud to be supporting family values.)

  7. Brian, usually the simplest/most direct caption is the best.

    And almost always, after you've been doing this for a while, your first caption idea will be the best.

    Also, don't worry about being PC, unless your client doesn't run that kind of material.

    You have to trust your own voice and more importantly the personality of your characters. I mean, Dagwood Bumstead wouldn't tell Blondie, "You're late, bitch!" But Shermin would.

    Glad your mom got a laugh out of it.

  8. The last thing we would want in PC Shermin...