5 rules for submitting ideas to Explodingdog

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Explodingdog artist Sam Brown might create an illustration based off your suggestion—if you avoid these five things.  

If you’re a regular Daily Dot reader, you’re probably familiar with Explodingdog, one of our weekly comics.

But did you know artist Sam Brown draws each week’s picture based off of a Daily Dot reader suggestion? Next week’s tip could be yours.

After 16 years of taking suggestions online through email and Twitter, Brown has gotten to the point where he receives hundreds of prompts from readers every day. However, the artist told the Daily Dot that they’re easy to weed through because he has a specific set of rules about what he will and will not draw.

In order to help you up your chances of sending Brown a submission he’ll use, we sat down with the artist and asked him to clarify his parameters. Here are the five things Brown avoids.

1) Proper nouns

Brown said he avoids submissions that include proper nouns, including famous people’s names, recognizable locations, or current events.

“I don’t like the idea of commenting on something before I’ve really reflected on it. It’s hard to be playful with current events.”

2) Bathroom humor

With two young children, Brown likely gets enough of this elementary-level humor  at home.

“I just don’t like bathroom humor ones.”  

3) Joke titles

The artist said that when the prompt is already the joke, it doesn’t give him anything to add with the drawing. Brown’s trademark is turning a mundane prompt into a joke with his art.

“I want there to be something to play off of. Something that will lead to a larger story.”

4) Memes

With themes spanning from outer space to the Jurassic period, Brown doesn’t want to anchor his art to just one time period. As memes get tired, he thinks it’ll date his comics. Plus, Brown prefers to work with original themes instead of somebody else’s.

“It feels like using somebody else’s art.”

5) Monkeys

This is Brown’s most well-known rule, included even in the Explodingdog FAQ. Basically, the artist isn’t especially fond of drawing monkeys, much to the chagrin of his monkey-happy readers.

“There was a group of people that thought monkeys were inherently funny and kept suggesting them, so I had a rule I wouldn’t draw monkeys."

Still have a submission idea? Write to the Daily Dot comics wrangler, Liz Jones-Dilworth, with Explodingdog in the subject line.

Photo by Explodingdog

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