I’ve always loved games, puzzles, riddles, and mazes. In addition to Complete the Quest (my graphic novel/RPG hybird) , I’ve done a number of smaller pieces for magazines like Owl, Nickelodeon, Root & STEM, as well as Nelson Textbooks and the Toronto Star.

One of my favourite puzzle spreads is this one from Owl where Pizzard the Wizard has 9 different puzzles for the reader to overcome, linked together by a funny cartoon story.

LMK! I created an image full of things that start with the letters LMK, such as Lynx Miscounting Kids, Lion Munching Kale, Lollipop Marking Ketchup, Lizard Measuring Kiwi, Lighthouse Melting Kettle and more. It appeared in Owl Magazine. The blank space is where the designer placed the title and instructions.

I’ve done several of those types of puzzles for Owl, going back to this oldest one of WWW in 2009. It’s been fun getting more space, moving from one page to a whole spread. I still get a kick from the Witch Wallpapering Whale, Wolf Weightlifting Watermelons and Wrestler Wrecking Wreath.


I also write Owl’s Spruce Street Squad comic each month. We often have an additional puzzles that I write and the illustrator Claude draws. I’ve done puzzles from mazes to Mad Libs to rebuses to random story generators. For this one, I make code cracking more fun by making up some jokes to solve.

The Escape Room puzzle was one of my favourites, combining several puzzles into one activity. Again, Claude Bordleau provided the art.

This is my most recent multi-path style comic I’ve done for Owl but I’ve also done them for Nickelodeon and Nelson Texbooks. They’re a fun way to add a replayable, comedic twist to a traditional maze

This is the oldest maze comic, done for Nickelodeon Magazine, which included a secret, unconnected bonus ending.

This rebus-like say-what-you-see puzzle was for Root & Stem, a fun way to encourage kids to chose passwords that are both easy to remember and hard to crack.

I’ve done a couple rebus crosswords where you need to find words like “rainbow”, “Antarctic”, “pinky finger”, “pitfall”, “pennant”, “super hero” “caterpillar” and “fairy tales”. Also from Owl Magazine

For the Toronto Star I wrote kid’s horoscopes as  Phantasmo Starseer every month and they got me to do a spread in the Brand New Planet section teaching kids how to do their own scavenger hunts. Sometimes puzzles can push you to enjoy the great outdoors and play with others.

I even made my own pdf called Mastering Riddles, Puzzles & Mazes to help RPG players create and incorporate these elements into their games. While fantasy stories have riddles like Rumplestiltskin’s name and Conan’s Riddle of Steel, there hasn’t been a lot of guidance on how to fit them into game narratives. I also teach how creating riddles uses the same techniques as joke writing, but the answers are on the on the A-ha, rather than Haha, end of the scale.