I was quite inspired by the rules of Roadrunner cartoons as posited by Chuck Jones. You can read them here, but come back soon.
I thought these were fantastic: simple and clear, providing a direct map for the creative process. I’ve always found that creativity is fostered, not inhibited, by having a narrow canvas to work on. Experience bears this out. When I ask a group of students to write a creative piece about ‘anything’, they sit and stare blankly. If I instead say that ‘two characters we’ve studied this year from different texts meet in the cafeteria right before a fire drill’, students immediately get to work, their synapses firing.
So it goes with Ted.
Here is my initial list of the Rules of Ted. These are subject to develop as the strip grows, but they seem pretty solid right now…
- The strip cannot serve to glamorize the profession of teaching or turn all teachers into Pollyanna characters.
- The strip cannot serve any particular agenda other than my own.
- Some stories or characters may rub people the wrong way. That’s okay. People should be able to laugh at themselves. I want to do this a long time, and I can’t make concessions on the off chance I get someone mad at me.
- No ‘group’ is the villain. Not all administrators, not all lunch ladies, not all board of ed members, not all parents, not all politicians…
- No ‘group’ is the hero. As above.
This is a pretty simple list, but it sets out clear boundaries for the strip to work within.