What Did I Learn?
Balderduck is a gag comic by Antonis Vavagiannis. It’s an English version of Kourafelkythra, which you may want to check out if you can read Greek.
What is Balderduck about? Well, balderdash means nonsense. Balderduck is probably a very appropriate name for this comic and the official answer to what Balderduck means is indescribable. Read it for yourself.
When you make a comic, you tend to choose one kind of structure. For gag comics, maybe it’s three or four panels. Maybe you add a Sunday style strip with multiple panels to break out of your setup-beat-beat-punchline formula. Over time, you perfect the structure. Interestingly, Balderduck has two structures.
There’s the six panel structure for the Josephine series, restaurant series, the nervous tick series and the job interviews. With that number of panels, sometimes the setup is delayed until the second or third panel which was interesting. Likewise, the beats and payoffs are not always standard either. If you think that would be an easy formula to write a gag to, just try it.
And then you could try to write a single panel comic. That requires a totally different approach to writing a gag.
One thing the author was concerned about was whether or not the humor translated into English. I think it does. It’s often a random association that drives the humor in this comic, which you may or may not like. The creator’s influences include Monty Python, Gary Larson and the voices in the author’s head, so – hey – random it is. And sometimes, if you’re paying attention, there are some clever observations in there too.
What Did I Learn?
Every artist has their favorite themes and styles that they harken back to. None of us are as random and unpredictable as we might like. That’s why we might all take a page from Balderduck and break out of our structure from time to time; perhaps growing and improving in the process.