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Annoying things in Webcomics
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Marscaleb



Joined: 28 Aug 2012
Posts: 255

PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2012 7:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Heh heh, while of course I'm not reading all fifty pages of this thread, one thing I have noticed from what I have been reading:
Everything listed as an annoying thing, while I largely agree, I can also think of a few examples of comic that did this and I loved it.

I am reminded of something I said to a friend after watching a movie that I liked more than he did: Cliches are cliche for a reason.

Granted, most of these are less of cliches and more of habits or oversights, but even so...
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LifeInPanels



Joined: 19 Dec 2012
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2012 3:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Unfortunately, I too like Marscaleb before me here, did not read all the replies yet. However, I find one of the biggest turn-offs in webcomics for me is predictability.

It's really difficult for me to continue reading a long webcomic when I know what the ending is going to be or what is going to happen. This happens sometimes because the writer maybe hinted to it or the structure of their plot was too simple. Furthermore, gag strips with predictable jokes aren't very enjoyable for me. If your reader can conclude what the joke is before you reveal it, you're doing something wrong.

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Justinfh



Joined: 30 Sep 2012
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2013 12:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

LukeSurl wrote:
Comics about someone who doesn't have any ideas for comics - in fact, pretty much any references to the webcomic making process. It comes across as incredibly self-absorbed.

Any hiatus in the first two months - you really should have planned that far ahead.

Comics drawn in MS paint.

Comic Sans.


Ms paint adventures makes pretty good use with Ms Paint. When it comes
to comic sans, I've used it a few times to be ironic.
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Varethane



Joined: 18 Apr 2008
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 3:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MS Paint Adventures hasn't actually been drawn in MS Paint for a good few years now...
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Ka-Ching



Joined: 09 Feb 2013
Posts: 42

PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2013 7:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Justinfh wrote:
LukeSurl wrote:
Comics about someone who doesn't have any ideas for comics - in fact, pretty much any references to the webcomic making process. It comes across as incredibly self-absorbed.

Any hiatus in the first two months - you really should have planned that far ahead.

Comics drawn in MS paint.

Comic Sans.


Ms paint adventures makes pretty good use with Ms Paint. When it comes
to comic sans, I've used it a few times to be ironic.


I heard Comic Sans was recently elected President of All Fonts at the biannual Fonts Across the World conference.
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Marscaleb



Joined: 28 Aug 2012
Posts: 255

PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2013 7:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay, I've decided on something I do not like.
Comics that show ads where they are in color, have promo art such at at the top of the site that is in color, but all the pages themselves are in black and white.
Now I don't have a problem with a comic being in black and white, nor with a black and white comic using color from time to time, but if you advertise your B&W comic with color images then you are basically using false advertising.

...Also, if you guys are complaining about a comic using the comic sans font, then -I'm just going to come out and be blunt about this- you have no idea what you are talking about.
No, you're just getting on the bandwagon of people bashing comic sans, trying to make yourself sound smart and distinguished, but in truth you have no idea what makes a font a bad font.
(I suspect you might not even know the difference between a font and a typeface, but that's beside the point.)

Let me explain what makes a font a bad font.
First of all: there are no bad fonts. (Well, maybe the fonts that just have images instead of characters. Seriously, why not use clip art?)
What there is are fonts that are used wrong.
Every typeface conveys some sort of feeling or emotion. The differences in style give a different effect in what is communicated. Just as how when you talk to a person you communicate with far more than just words; your voice has cadence and timbre and tone and speed and emphasis, all of which add to the communication in a manner that is not carried by the words alone, and furthermore there is body language and facial expressions; just as there is more communicated than just the words that are spoken, so too is there more communicated than the words that are printed. The look of a typeface gives a certain feeling that adds to the communication that extends beyond the word themselves.

So what happened to Comic Sans is this: It was one of many fonts that came packaged with windows, but looked fairly different than the others. It has a fun, round look to it, so many people see it when looking through their fonts and think "hey this looks like a fun font!" (largely on a subconscious scale) and so they used it for the item they were making.
But they didn't give proper consideration to the additional feeling that the font used. It has this silly, cartoonish feeling, and yet they were using it for a more serious and professional environment. And moreover, it was happening a lot.
Now it wasn't that the font was bad, it was just that it was being used in the wrong way. And of course, since it was being wrongly used in such a large scale, it drove people who recognized the problem up the wall, which of course leads to a lot of complaining, and a lot of people being told not use the font. And from there we run into many, many people who are being taught that the font itself is bad, and begin to shun it entirely, not because they really know why, but because they've been told it is a bad font.

So now what are we discussing today?
COMICS.
If you think that it is wrong to be using a comic-styled font in an actual comic, then you don't know what makes a bad font. It's that simple. Yes, it is bad to use Comic Sans on your business cards or your company header or a letter you are writing and pretty much in any formal setting. But there's nothing wrong with using Comic Sans in an actual comic.
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iaviv



Joined: 03 Sep 2011
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2013 11:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

@Marscaleb - Soooooooo I guess all these comic books with color covers and black & white interiors are just false advertising too. Shame on you, The Walking Dead and Scott Pilgrim. Shame on you all.
Listen - complaining about advertising in general is pointless. It's advertising - of course you'll hate it! No one likes advertising, man. None of it. It's all false. Why is this news to you?

Ah. Comic Sans. Sure, people have been hating on it a bit too much. I agree. But it's still not a good font for comics. It's readable so it can't be bad (yes, there are bad fonts: unreadable ones), but it just doesn't look at all as good as other, just as free, alternatives. Maybe it works with some people's work, I haven't seen that yet, but maybe. I won't rule it out completely. Everything's possible.
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wendyw
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Joined: 10 Jul 2008
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2013 12:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are good reasons not to like comic sans in my opinion. There are a few things fundamentally wrong with it in my opinion and it's all to do with it being inconsistent.



Firstly, it's supposed to sans-serif, but look at uppercase C, I and J and the lowercase r and s. They're all serif letters. Now an argument can be made for the I being a serif letter, but the others?

Some lines are wobbly, some lines are straight and some lines are curved. Whilst all the individual characters do look hand lettered, they don't look they were all lettered by the same person at the same time. If you look at the lower case b, d, h, k and l, you'll notice that the d has a lean to the right whilst none of the others do. That isn't so bad until you have to use it a lot. If you have a single letter where the same stroke has been done differently like that it breaks the illusion of hand lettered text, because while people do sometimes do things like that, they don't do it for one letter and one letter only every single time.

Compare the vertical line on the lowercase b with the one on the uppercase R. The b has a quick single stroke. It's a nice smooth line, but the R looks like it was done late into the night when the only thing keeping the letterer from falling asleep was his sixteenth cup of coffee. Likewise, the rounded section of lower case d is pretty much perfect, but the lower case c is a mess.

Also, as iaviv said, there are much better ones out there that do the same job.
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ttallan
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Joined: 28 Feb 2008
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2013 10:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I'm not a font nerd so I'm not going to get into the Comic Sans debate. However, as the creator of a black and white comic who occasionally needs to advertise, I'll jump in to the other discussion.

I can understand your complaint, Marscaleb, and for a while I was trying to comply with that thinking-- that B/W comics should use B/W ads so as to avoid the appearance of deliberately misleading people. But the problem is, the purpose of ads is to catch the eye and get people to click, and trying to do that in an ad without colour is difficult. I get way more hits with my colour ads than I ever do with my B/W ones, so the choice seems pretty straightforward. iaviv's comparison to book covers is a good one-- the job of the cover (and an ad, for that matter) is to look appealing, not to tell you all about the contents.

All that aside, though, I can't help but morosely wonder if the real, secret complaint here is that webcomics need to be in colour nowadays. Because if seeing black and white when you click through is really that disappointing.... sigh...
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Metruis
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 6:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

wendyw wrote:
There are good reasons not to like comic sans in my opinion. There are a few things fundamentally wrong with it in my opinion and it's all to do with it being inconsistent.

Also its default kerning is pretty shitty and while that's something that can be fixed with a little by hand fnangling, no one who picks a Windows prepackaged font is the type of person to actually do that.

Plus there's a lot of inconsistency between the basic strokes too, some are upright, some are tilted slightly to the left, some are tilted slightly more to the right... like the little j tilts left and then the little q tilts right and the little m is freakin WOBBLY...

I think the Order of the Stick uses Comic Sans? (Or maybe it's Blackboard or Chalkboard or whatever it is, either way they're a similar looking lettering font) And that looks all right. But the reality is there's better free alternatives that are better designed.

Of course I'm in the camp that lettering should all be done in all caps, which is another reason I dislike Comic Sans used as a lettering font. I've never once seen it used in all caps, and any lower case in comics bothers me. Comic Sans... it has uses. That use is for, oh, kindergarten literature. It's a legible font that resembles handwriting so I think it's also good for English-as-a-second language instruction, since it's more distinct than a typewritten style font. But as a lettering font, it's poorly designed for the purpose, by someone who was just mimicking what he saw in comics rather than an actual letterer, and let's be realistic. There are many art styles. There are some comics where Comic Sans looks all right. There are some comics where Anime Ace doesn't look right. Or Webletterer. Or Digital Strip.

What bothers me most about seeing Comic Sans is that generally, it means people didn't try find a comic font that fit their comic, but instead picked the first free one they could find. If you try a few one and decide great, this is the one which I think looks right for me, then props to you. But like any great design, the first choice is often not the best choice.
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Marscaleb



Joined: 28 Aug 2012
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 11:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wendyw wrote:
If you have a single letter where the same stroke has been done differently like that it breaks the illusion of hand lettered text, because while people do sometimes do things like that, they don't do it for one letter and one letter only every single time.

But that is a natural fault in all fonts that are designed to look hand-lettered. You'd need an array of specially-crafted fonts and a special program to randomize the look of each letter, which I've never heard of before. By design, a font has only one image for each letter. Is your complaint for Comic Sans or for all hand-written-styled fonts?

Metruis wrote:
What bothers me most about seeing Comic Sans is that generally, it means people didn't try find a comic font that fit their comic, but instead picked the first free one they could find. If you try a few one and decide great, this is the one which I think looks right for me, then props to you. But like any great design, the first choice is often not the best choice.

That's a pretty fair statement. But as rebuttal (Though less of a counter-point and more an alternate-point) not everybody really can pick out a good font even if they give it a little more time. And if you are going to go through the internet searching for a new font you are going to spend A LOT of time searching for some perfect match. Time you could have spent getting better at drawing, refining your jokes, finding ways to attract readers... There are a lot of things far more important than your typeface.

In my opinion, it all boils down like this:
What width do you set your comic to? In all honesty, it doesn't matter. Sure, if you had a mental issue you might pick something extremely high or low that effects people's ability to read your comic, and if you really study your art and pacing you could find a width that suits you just right. But really, no one is going to notice, and no one is going to give a crap.
Comic Sans is a clear and readable font, and there are for more important things that will make or break your comic than a simple typeface. If your comic has any true merit to it then people won't even notice it.

iaviv wrote:
@Marscaleb - Soooooooo I guess all these comic books with color covers and black & white interiors are just false advertising too. Shame on you, The Walking Dead and Scott Pilgrim. Shame on you all.

First of all, Walking Dead uses minimal colors on the covers; tones and shades really. It's not exactly a let-down to then see the comic itself actually go full B&W.
And if I'm not mistaken, Scott Pilgrim is printed in Manga-sized books, so the reader already expects it to be black and white. It's not like they picked up a copy of Superman and found it to be black and white.
Furthermore, a lot of people DO cast shame toward comics that have covers with very misleading covers.
And finally, it is the standard for ALL comic book covers to be in color. It simply isn't comparable to a banner ad which is expected to be reflective of the actual product.

iaviv wrote:

Listen - complaining about advertising in general is pointless. It's advertising - of course you'll hate it! No one likes advertising, man. None of it. It's all false. Why is this news to you?

That's not true. There is a lot of very honest advertising out there, especially for webcomics.
I'd say that 90% of webcomic ads use artwork straight from the comic itself. It's very straightforward. That's honest advertising.
False advertising for a free product is counter-intuitive. All you do is draw in people who are not interested.

ttallan wrote:
I get way more hits with my colour ads than I ever do with my B/W ones, so the choice seems pretty straightforward.

But how many of those hits stay around?

By way of comparison I'll juxtapose this with another issue. A lot of women try to wear revealing attire to get attention from boys. Later they come to discover that their boyfriends are jerks. What did you expect? It's a very logical statement: the only people they'd attract with revealing attire that they wouldn't have attracted otherwise are those who are only interested in them for that revealing attire.
Likewise I think of your advertising for a B&W comic with color ads. How many people are you going to draw in that are willing to read a black-and-white comic? If your ads are in black and white then such people will be turned away from the get-go.

(Of course, my juxtaposition falls a little short between looking for a partner versus looking for readers, because with a comic you can cast out lines to hundreds of readers and bring in as many as you want, so an advertising method that manages to snag a tiny percentage more actually works; whereas a woman looking for one man who advertises herself in such a manner is only fooling herself to think she'll get that tiny percentage of men who really would care about her but needed a little extra incentive.)

So, here's what I have noticed with advertising.
If you share a joke from the comic you are advertising it's humor. If you are sharing a piece of the storyline then you are advertising it's story.
But if all you have is an image from you comic then all you are really advertising about it is the artistic style. All you are getting people in for is "hey I like how that comic looks; I wonder if I will enjoy reading it." And that is totally valid; it's a great way to advertise. But if they are drawn in for the drawing style and come to discover that said style is not used in the comic, then you just lied to them and they won't stick around.
If I saw an ad that featured a joke or an interesting piece of story or a character trait, and said ad was in color and I found the comic to be in black and white, I wouldn't be bothered. I was brought in for a different element. But usually I'm just looking at the picture and wanting to know more. In that case, I'd rather the picture be honest.

Edit: ESPECIALLY when the ad is colored very well. Then it has that added slap of wasted talent. "You can make a picture look that amazing but you don't?!"
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 11:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Comic Sans betrayed and murdered my father, then killed my mentor while we were escaping his evil lair. I have sworn vengeance on Comic Sans.
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wendyw
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 4:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Marscaleb wrote:
wendyw wrote:
If you have a single letter where the same stroke has been done differently like that it breaks the illusion of hand lettered text, because while people do sometimes do things like that, they don't do it for one letter and one letter only every single time.

But that is a natural fault in all fonts that are designed to look hand-lettered. You'd need an array of specially-crafted fonts and a special program to randomize the look of each letter, which I've never heard of before. By design, a font has only one image for each letter. Is your complaint for Comic Sans or for all hand-written-styled fonts?


Well not really. You could do a handwriting font where all the letters are actually angled in the same direction, or where they're all smooth strokes. My complaint is mostly against Comic Sans, though there are other examples I'm sure.

If you look at a well (hand) lettered comic if there's a slant to the vertical lines they're usually all in the same direction at roughly the same angle. Consistency is the big issue for me here. The repetition of letters by itself isn't a problem, but look at the capital E and F for example. Now an F is just an E with a bit missing so in theory the letters should be very similarly shaped, but look at the middle horizontal line on the E and the corresponding line on the F. One's a straight line with a slight upward angle and one's a curve. It's that difference that bugs me. If they both had a curve there or both had a straight line there then the lettering would look more consistent. Yes, people's lettering does vary, but the type of variations you see in Comic Sans don't work, because what you end up with is a consistent look for each individual letter but not for the alphabet as a whole and that's kind of odd.

What a good hand lettered effect font needs in my opinion is consistency between the different letters and with the varying angles, smoothness and line width in Comic Sans you just don't get that.

Also mixing serif and sans-serif letters is just an odd thing to do in my opinion.
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iaviv



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PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 7:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

@Marscaleb - "But how many of those hits stay around?"
Answer: More than the people who'll click the black and white ones. Because no one hardly does click the black and white ads. What? You think I didn't try?
People don't click the black and white ones, so they also don't stay. Maybe less people stay after clicking the color ads, but at least they click it and some of them will stay. It's simple math. Yes, people don't just slap a color ad for their black and white comic for no reason. Can you imagine? Unbelievable. We learn new stuff every single day. Simply amazing.

And now quicker reactions to stuff you wrote.

- http://walkingdead.wikia.com/wiki/Cover_Gallery
- There are fonts with more than one version of every letter which create a hand-writing look (and are designed especially for comics, and are also free).
- If you don't have time looking through fonts then maybe you're not serious about your webcomic. It's the easiest thing to do in a webcomic.
- Again, banners\ads\whatever are the same as covers. Perhaps you missed that on Advertising 101. Everything that is there to grab your attention? Advertising. Now you know.
-"90% of webcomic ads use artwork straight from the comic itself?" Not even 15%. Count again.
- You'd be surprised, but people don't actually care that much about what your ad is or isn't once they've clicked it, they care more about the actual quality of the comic. Is it funny? Are the drawings easy to understand? Is the story interesting? Etc. I don't understand why this bothers you so much. You seem to think that the font isn't important, but ads are? They're not even part of the comics!
- There's a pretty big difference between a different style in ads and color vs black & white. If you put a photo realistic image in your ad and your comic is just stick figures... that's annoying. Color isn't style.


I'm mostly annoyed but comics that are just copies of other comics. If you're not even trying to do your own thing, why do a webcomic?
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 2:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You guys can probably stop piling on marscaleb now. While I don't necessarily agree with the degree, I do have to admit that he has a point.

Comic Sans is just a font. It is not an ideal font, but it does its job well enough for those of us who view this as a hobby and not God's Gift to the Arts. Comic Sans will not ruin a good comic (for the most part) any more than tracing PA panels will make a crappy comic worth reading.

As for advertising, there's advertising and then there's misleading. I odn't really concern myself with color/BW, but there are a few ads out there that stretch the leeway one should give to advertising (one comic in particular consistently shows full-color "examples" but the link leads to a simplified line-art comic that would be at home in a small-town paper in the 70's with none of the characters or hilarity of the ads).
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