Joey Manley Issues a Challenge to Cartoonists

Inspired by a debate in a thread (Read the original thread) about which medium is denser, in terms of storytelling-by-the-inch — prose or comics — I’ve issued the following challenge to cartoonists on my blog. It’s strictly for fun. If anybody wants to play:

A Challenge to Cartoonists

Draw a comic which adapts the following paragraph (click read more for the paragraph), the first paragraph of a classic novel from American literature. The entry must be no more than one standard-sized comics page. It must contain no words. The winner will be the comic that manages to get the most information from this paragraph illustrated clearly, and bdo so in an aesthetically pleasing, entertaining manner.

The paragraph:

From a little after two oclock until almost sundown of the long still hot weary dead September afternoon they sat in what Miss Coldfield still called the office because her father had called it that— a dim hot airless room with the blinds all closed and fastened for forty-three summers because when she was a girl someone had believed that light and moving air carried heat and that dark was always cooler, and which (as the sun shone fuller and fuller on that side of the house) became latticed with yellow slashes full of dust motes which Quentin thought of as being flecks of the dead old dried paint itself blown inward from the scaling blinds as wind might have blown them.

Send entries to as email attachments with the subject line, “Challenge Entry.” All entries will be posted on my blog, at Readers will choose the winner. The winner will receive the satisfaction of a job well done. Extra credit points for those who identify the author and the name of the novel, without Googling. I’ll know if you googled.

Joey Manley

Joey Manley (b.1965–d.2013) was the author of the novel The Death of Donna-May Dean (1992), entrepreneur, and founder of Modern Tales and WebcomicsNation.


  1. The challenge specifies a comic with no words. It doesn’t claim that comics by definition don’t have words.

    Or are you saying that there’s no such thing as a wordless comic? “Gon” isn’t a comic, all the pamphlets that Marvel put out during their “‘Nuff Said” event aren’t comics, etc.?

  2. Hmmm… maybe it’s from the book Joey put out. 🙂

  3. Please note that this paragraph is also a sentence. May our pages be equally long and unwiedly?

  4. I know I covered that story in first year English Lit… But I’ll be damned if I can remember the title.

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