The Adventures of Trike Man – Scene #1

*NEW* Life outside the Box hero, Trike Man – Scene #1.

Emily MoonI asked artist and high school student, Emily Moon, to take some comic slam challenges to show how the Life Outside the Box playing cards and comic slam worksheets can help comic book creators build a likeable superhero with unusual super strengths and ordinary character flaws who is ready to face everyday — and extraordinary — challenges.


"Fly tricycling" one of 20 "quirky super power" cards in the Life Outside the Box deck.

“Fly tricycling” one of 20 “quirky super power” cards in the Life Outside the Box deck.

First, Emily chose the “fly tricycling” quirky super power card.  Each card is designed to get the comic artist think of odd, funny powers that come with save the world potential but also are likely to lead to funny or awkward social moment. Each quirky super power card also suggests a motto for the hero that reveals a bit about their personality. Emily’s card read:

Superpower: Hero can ride any tricycle at top speed breaking the sound barrier — even fast enough to ride on water but sadly not fast enough to fly — can only move like a rock skipping on water.

Unfortunate side effect: Villains mocking: Hero can’t fly like a “real” hero and can never look “cool” or “tough” riding a tricycle..

Motto: “Flying a tricycle is way cooler than flying wearing a dumb cape, right?”

After choosing this card, Emily used the Life Outside the Box comic slam, “Create a quirky super hero” to further develop her hero, Comic Slam – Create Quirky Hero – Life Outside the Box. This comic slam had these sections:

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Comic slam: “Create a quirky super hero.”

A) Big idea: QUIRKY: an odd, unexpected or weird action, behaviour, personality or mannerism.

B) Method: Step 1. Choose a card from the “Quirky Super Power” deck. Step 2. Create a character who has the chosen quirky super power with unfortunate side effect. Your character can be male or female; human, animal, or alien; child or adult, etc. Step 3. Name your hero and sketch out/describe clothing, head and foot wear, etc. Step 4. Choose a place, year, culture, and/or world for your hero. Step 5. Describe the social life of your hero. Are there family members, friends, coworkers, pets, children, etc?

C) Comic: Now that you have created your hero and “back story” (congratulations!), sketch a comic showing a typical day in the life of your hero.

After reading the comic slam, Emily was ready to imagine and created her hero’s origin story in, “TrikeMan – Scene #1.” (Note: She created her comic using Comic Life 3 digital tools.) Enjoy the adventures of TrikeMan! (Click image to read).


Scene #1: This single dad is keen to try out his new flying bike. Unfortunately, a flat tire takes the air out of his superhero-ing practice time.

Follow the continuing adventures of Future Hearing Man in scenes #2-3, and scenes #4-5 …

The Adventures of Trike Man – Scenes #2 – 3.

Scenes #2 – #3 of the Adventures of Trike Man.

Emily MoonAfter writing the origin story for Trike Man, guest artist, Emily Moon, needed to show the growth of her character as he came to understand the possibilities and limitations of his new “fly tricycling” powers.  To help her with her hero’s growing pains Emily followed the Life Outside the Box comic slam worksheet: Life Outside the Box Comic Slam “Fail, fail, fail, save-the-day!”  This comic slam had these sections:


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Comic slam: “Fail, fail, fail …Save the day!” (click image to read)

A) Big idea: GRIT – firmness of mind or spirit; courage in the face of hardship or danger; able to deal with hard times

B) Method: It’s time to give your character some Super Power lessons. Learning to control super powers and those annoying unfortunate side effects can be challenging, dangerous — and sometimes embarrassing. You need to give your hero some grit! Step 1. Imagine a scene in which your beginner-hero first accidentally discovers her or his super power. What happened? Who was affected? Step 2. Imagine what would happen if your beginner-hero was trying to “save the day” and she or he did not yet know how to turn on the super power. What happened? Who was affected? Step 3. Imagine what would happen if your beginner-hero was trying to “save the day” and used too much super power. What happened? Who was affected?

C) Comic: Draw a comic strip in which your hero’s super power lessons get off to a rough start — first, there is “too little” power; second, “too much” power, and third — hurray! — your Hero’s super power is “just right” and helps to get the job done.

D) Rules 1: To build up your beginner- hero’s grit and strength, you must make your Hero go through some failures before the ultimate win. 2: Your hero must go undergo a super power learning process. 3: Just like Goldilocks, your beginner-hero must learn about: “too little,” “too much,” and “just right” when controlling super powers and unfortunate side effects.

Emily’s hero struggles to sustain his tricycling power…


Scene #2: This heroic and determined dad, having broken his super cool bike, hops on his daughter’s tricycle and attempts lift off.




Scene #3: Super dad achieves lift off on his daughter’s trike. Unfortunately, he still has to learn how to steer.

Read more adventures of Trike Man in scene #1 and scenes #4 – 5 …

The Adventures of TrikeMan – Scenes #4 – #5.

Scenes #4 – #5 of the Adventures of Trike Man.

Emily MoonOur guest artist, Emily Moon, wanted to see her superhero succeed in his crime fighting debut. But this hero’s win is bittersweet. Unfortunately, because in scene #4 he was seen fighting crime on a tricycle (recall his own bike broke down so he had to ride his daughter’s tricycle), bystanders dubbed him “TrikeMan.” Spoiler alert: Future scenes will reveal that “TrikeMan” will be an embarrassing superhero name when he has to confront arch-villain, “Motorbike Man,” a tough, tattooed, villain who rides a suped-up Harley Davidson motorcycle. Motorbike Man is also a single dad whose daughter attends the same day care as TrikeMan’s daughter. Even though day care pick up invariably involves the mean villain’s humiliation and teasing of TrikeMan, TrikeMan always triumphs over evil in the end. Whew!

(SWAP PDFs for these jpgs.)

TrikeMan banishes the criminals but gets branded with an embarrassing superhero name.

Scene #4: TrikeMan banishes the criminals but gets branded with an embarrassing superhero name.

TrikeMan gets famous and come to terms with his new superhero name.

Scene #5: TrikeMan gets famous and come to terms with his new superhero name.