Let’s Play Comics and Captions!

Let’s Play Comics and Captions!


In 1983, the Dayton Daily News accidentally switched the captions for “Dennis the Menace” and “The Far Side”.  And then, a few days later, they did it again.

So that got me to thinking… Scott McCloud invented “Five Card Nancy“, using panels from Ernie Bushmiller’s “Nancy” comic strip.

Could I make a similar game, using the real-world example from the Dayton Daily News?  Of course!

So here it is!

The Rules:

  1. Only single panel comics can be used, and only those with captions below the art.  In panel spoken text is not allowed.  Silent panels may be included.
  2. At least two comics are used.  If you wish to make it more interesting, you can use more, but the number should be even.
  3. Normal strips should be offset by the more unusual.  For every “Dennis the Menace” there should be a “Far Side”.  (See below for suggestions.)
  4. There should be at least 100 examples from each comic (100 panels, 100 captions).  The more people who play, the more comics or examples should be used.  Random examples may be used, but should be in equal proportion of “normal” to “unusual”.
  5. The playing deck has two parts: comics and captions.
  6. Each player is dealt four cards from each deck.
  7. Play begins with a player presenting a match of a caption with a panel.
  8. Other players then try to “edit” the match by replacing either the comic or the caption with a card from his/her hand.  Play ends when none can improve on the mismatched comic.
  9. All players then refill their hands and play continues with the next player.
  10. If you need to keep score, post the mix-matched creations to your social network feed (Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Friendster, Usenet).  Score points for each “like” or re-share.

Recommended comics:

“normal” comics

Dennis the Menace
Family Circus
Berry’s World
Brother Juniper

“unusual” comics

The Far Side
New Yorker
Willy ‘n Ethel
Close to Home

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  1. comicsatemybrain says

    “And then, a few days later, they did it again.” Not exactly.

    The cartoons that you show at the top of this story were printed in 1983. But what you and the linked blog say was a later event (the snakes and Dennis’ mom on the phone) are clearly dated 1981.

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