The original punchline was the guy saying “we still have friendship” as his girlfriend gets sucked up by the tornado behind him, but as I was drawing it I was thinking man, “that’s way too easy a joke” and changed it.
When I first started drawing comics as a thirteen year old this was mostly how I operated. I’d draw the comic with a mouse in Macromedia Flash (and then later in Adobe Flash) with a fairly straight script. I usually hoped and prayed that by the time I labored my way to the final panel, and figure out a way of twisting the whole thing into a joke instead. I’m not saying I was a master of wit at 13, more a master of cringing my older self out, but it seemed to work. When it happens to me these days I get a kick out of it, because it’s the closest I’ll ever get to being surprised by my own comics.
Of course this system doesn’t work so well in a collaborative environment. You can imagine Kristof’s dismay as he spends days crafting the most perfectly worded script about love and loss. Then he’d bring it to me, like a shy virgin eager to please with the rawness of his soul, only for me to go “Lol, you know what would be funny? ANIMAL CRUELTY.”