1) Rick: George, I can’t give you $10,000 a week to start your business. 2) Rick: I don’t even earn $10,000 a week. George: You don’t? 3) Rick: No, not even close. George: Oh. 4) George: I didn’t know we were poor. Rick: Let me enlighten you with the average household income.
The first Ergo comic strip! Well, I actually drew the strip “Meet George Ergo” first, but I felt that this Sunday strip best sums up the overall feel of the comic, because it involves all main human characters. This strip, like many of the other strips, went through several style iterations before I found the look I was truly happy with.
One thing I feel this particular comic strip does well: It establishes that the events occurring in the panels are real. That is, they are not merely part of a child’s imagination. When we see George building a particle accelerator out of hamster tubes, he’s really building a functional particle accelerator, not just pretending that it functions.
In fiction, I enjoy stories where the character’s actions have actual consequences, and where the characters change and develop over time and reflect on their previous adventures. I remember reading about Jeff Smith’s comic epic “Bone.” I believe he had a similar opinion. In many comics, the characters reset after each adventure. Everything goes back to a static status quo. Perhaps in some ways this is comforting for the reader, but it also detracts from some sort of momentum that can be built up over story arcs.
1) Rick: Hi honey. How was your day with the kids? Sarah: Not good. 2) Sarah: George built a mini particle accelerator out of Legos, K’nex, and a Volkswagen engine. 3) Sarah: Then he created a mini black hole in our kitchen, which collapsed into a wormhole. 4) Sarah: Then he sent Tessa through. 5) George: In my defense, she volunteered. Sarah: She thought it was make-believe!