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Annoying things in Webcomics
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Liliy



Joined: 24 Jun 2008
Posts: 268

PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2009 4:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Meggyc wrote:

People always react to stories and conversations. No one (I hope) goes through life with an unreactive, unemotional face. Sometimes, we hear something and can't help but to moan or grimace. That level of realism should be put in comics, even if it means the cocky grin or the telling face.


That's what I was thinking when this conversation started. It's natural for the person the joke is being used on to react or make a face. B/c they're in the situation so it's probably just a bad a pun/joke or whatever for them as the audience.

If your friend says something stupid, chances are you're going to raise an eyebrow at them. Smile
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Miluette



Joined: 03 Feb 2009
Posts: 679
Location: TN, USA

PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2009 9:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Manga has a lot of conventions for facial expressions in certain circumstances. A good mark of a bad manga-influenced comic is one that uses them constantly.

But that doesn't even bother me as much as a full-archived comic in which you can count on one hand the changes of expression on so many characters from "neutral" to something extraordinary.

Ah, I remembered something. Anyone else think more story-based webcomics should have chapter/arc/volume summaries? Semi-detailed, slightly spoilery ones so that we as readers don't have to trudge back through the whole thing to remember what happened 400 pages ago?

Of course, you'll want to reread and re-enjoy comics that are good, and I read several 100-200+ page webcomics that read easily (that is, quickly, while still being good; I'm generally a very slow reader). But others really require thought, absorption, or they're just read more slowly for one reason or another. Maybe a lot happens in them. In which case, each volume would deserve a summary in the way that printed volumes would have.

But almost no one does this, and I don't know whyyy (except evidently we're all horrible at writing summaries - took me forever to do any GOOD ones for my comics, but I tried XD).

I just think it's good to have little reminders, especially since you can't always remember what page stuff happened on, and it's not as easy as flipping through really quickly in most cases.
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Miluette



Joined: 03 Feb 2009
Posts: 679
Location: TN, USA

PostPosted: Sun Apr 19, 2009 6:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hehe... I don't think there's any great way around spoiling a storyline comic on the front page. Not that I've seen.

On both my comics I have the latest page linked to via thumbnail on the main page, mostly because the full comic would break the layouts. (I considered making the thumbnail a smaller version of the latest comic instead of a cropping, but I have to debate its practicality, and wonder how many people would think that's the full-sized comic...)

It's a decent compromise though, and shields from spoilers. Someone, think it was Kez, said that all storyline-based comics should have a "read from the beginning" link up-front, and that's a good idea.
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Lavenderbard
^_^


Joined: 12 Sep 2006
Posts: 845
Location: Ohio

PostPosted: Sun Apr 19, 2009 1:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Senshuu wrote:
Someone, think it was Kez, said that all storyline-based comics should have a "read from the beginning" link up-front, and that's a good idea.


Yes it is. It doesn't help the intermittent readers getting inadvertently spoiled, though.

I suspect this is another thing where having a regular update schedule really helps. At least that way your reader has a fairly good chance of knowing whether or not it's safe to let the front page load.

Curiously, this is one that doesn't bother me. I'm not hugely spoiler adverse, and it really doesn't bother me to flip backward through the latest however-many pages to get to where I last left off.

If I were that spoiler adverse, I think I would bookmark the archive index page, rather than the front page. Er... y'all DO have an archive index page, right?
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Miluette



Joined: 03 Feb 2009
Posts: 679
Location: TN, USA

PostPosted: Sun Apr 19, 2009 6:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm terribly spoiler adverse! Still, I would recommend people bookmark the main page rather than archives, 'cause there's always nice (and maybe less spoilery) stuff to read there. (Also, main page hits = good.) 'Course some people already do things the bookmark-archive way, and probably for good reasons.

When you think of it that way, that's a good reason to use things like Serialist and Piperka, too.
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Liliy



Joined: 24 Jun 2008
Posts: 268

PostPosted: Sun Apr 19, 2009 7:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The thing I've found with most spoilers, is if the series is good enough a lot of people don't care. (Depending, there are definitely exceptions to this. XD But for a serial strip that keeps going, usually it's not too big of an impact unless you spoiled the ending or something...).

I mean, it's one thing to say "oh, so and so dies" or even "This happens and so and so dies" but usually tha't snot the same as reading it.

Or you just forget when you go back and read from the beginning.

In Moulin Rouge, one of the first lines of the movie is "My love is dead." and by the end of the film you forgot they told you that so when she does die, it's almost a shock.
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Miluette



Joined: 03 Feb 2009
Posts: 679
Location: TN, USA

PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2009 10:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, yeah, definitely. Although Kaspall carries me along pretty well - I actually remember most of what I've read so far. Very Happy Though that's only half, lol. I have the feeling heavy plot points might start snowballing and building up in your comic though.

I dunno how helpful this is, but I might suggest writing your summaries from a character's POV - a character who definitely has no clue what's coming up next, and maybe has experienced most of the chapter's plot. I'm going to do that with Millennium as soon as I've finished enough of the comic to do that with.
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Lady Tygry



Joined: 25 Aug 2006
Posts: 237
Location: Buckeye State

PostPosted: Fri May 15, 2009 3:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As others have concurred, most of us are unanimous in what we find annoying. Before I add my two cents, I'll say that I'm picky when it comes to what webcomics I enjoy, moreso than I am with prose-exclusive literature. There's little rhyme or reason to the similarities of the comics I follow (liking the art's the only commonality) but I tend to prefer original, story-line types. That said, my number one pet peeve:

I.HATE.MARY.SUES.

--This probably stems from my own former Mary Sue (I think a lot of writers/artists develop some sort of an avatar in their teens) and I realize that a lot of Mary Sues (or Marty Stus, if you will) are the result of inexperience but I cannot stand when I'm asked to put a lot of faith in an idealized character with no noteworthy flaws. I am always distracted by the underlying notion of an author's own wish fulfillment. Poor character development of any kind in a plot-based story bugs the hell out of me.

--I am not a big fan of lore that leeches heavily from popular lore in anything other than parody, satire, etc. (LotR fanboys, looking at you!) I realize that delving into the fantastical isn't easy to do well (there's a reason critics seldom take it seriously) but please, do not claim your comic is completely and totally original when it's dripping with clichés from more well-known works. This isn't as big a deal to me as most mythical creatures and humanoids have already been represented to death but so many authors feel the need to cling to old stereotypes that it often seems to hinder more than help establish their own foundations.

--Authors/artists who are married to their work and cannot take criticism, especially when they ask for advice outright. I'll be the first to admit that my art is not perfect: I'm terrible at coloring (still have a tendency to end up with saturated results), my BGs are (and look) rushed and I tend to turn out work that's of poorer quality of which I'm capable because I want to move on to the next page and not have to do a lot of clean-up. (My website also looks like ass which is the result of my poor design skills-- not the fault of the coder). It can be rough to hear less than stellar comments about something into which you've put a lot of time but I try to appreciate a new perspective.

--People who throw up a store/donate page before there's even a handful of entries in the archive. It's great to see you think you have a real gem there (a select few do actually!) from the get-go, but right away, you're implying that if I don't start paying up, your comic won't be around long enough for me to even get involved.
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Clockwork Virus



Joined: 12 May 2009
Posts: 111
Location: Vancouver, BC

PostPosted: Fri May 15, 2009 8:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

oppie wrote:
A 'realistic' picture in an otherwise completely handdrawn comic almost looks like it's transported there from another universe. It doesn't fit, and it highlights the fact that the comic's author is either lazy or not skilled enough to just draw the background/poster.


Whoops. Guilty as charged. I try to avoid photo backgrounds since they never look really right, but yeah, I've stumbled. I've seen photo/drawing/vector combos done well in certain super-designy comics but it's usually a mistake. I'll try to avoid it in the future, now that I'm finding other ways to do things.
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Clockwork Virus



Joined: 12 May 2009
Posts: 111
Location: Vancouver, BC

PostPosted: Fri May 15, 2009 9:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

See, something like that doesn't bother me. In fact I think its easy recognizability adds to the joke, or at least keeps the joke from being obscured.

I guess I can see oppie's point in that maybe an initial drawn close-up would have worked as a reveal too. After the initial joke is made, you could just draw vague impressions on the box afterward to suggest the same design. So you'd only have to draw an accurate Landau once.

I'm actually planning to make my comic more photographic as time goes on, with texturing and more accurate lighting/shading to make it all look integrated. My Photoshop skills are fine, but my drawing itself needs to improve before this idea is going to gel.
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Traitorfish
Postpostpostpostpost!


Joined: 09 Oct 2005
Posts: 1942
Location: Scotland

PostPosted: Sat May 16, 2009 2:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lady Tygry wrote:
--I am not a big fan of lore that leeches heavily from popular lore in anything other than parody, satire, etc. (LotR fanboys, looking at you!) I realize that delving into the fantastical isn't easy to do well (there's a reason critics seldom take it seriously) but please, do not claim your comic is completely and totally original when it's dripping with clichés from more well-known works. This isn't as big a deal to me as most mythical creatures and humanoids have already been represented to death but so many authors feel the need to cling to old stereotypes that it often seems to hinder more than help establish their own foundations.

What bugs me yet more is when people dust of clichéd races or creatures or whatever, and "reinvent them". This typically seems to involve taking the typical modern perception and fiddling a few characterstics, and maybe an alignment change, but without really doing anything interesting, especially given that most of the obvious ones, like orcs as the "noble savage", or elves as an evil race, have already been done well into the ground. There's nothing more ridiculous, really, than trying to subvert a cliché with a cliché.

I suppose this is, like you said, an example of people trying to cling to old stereotypes. Even when people are asserting some originality, they often seem to have a hard time breaking away from the standard fantasy templates. I suppose it's to do with the strange position that some fantasy holds within the broader genre of speculative fiction... It's as if people sometimes feel that the label "fantasy" compels them to hold to the sort of templates which science fiction writers do not always seem to consciously acknowledge in quite the same way. Sci-fi has a million and one clichés of it's own, granted, but I almost get the impression that these are less of a package. You may see a million stories involving robotos and a million involving space ships, but they're not always the same ones. In contrast, I don't think I've ever seen an orc without at least one wizard pottering around in the background somewhere. Perhaps this speaks to my own ignorance more than anything else, but I think that there's some truth to it.

oppie wrote:
I'm sure it will have been brought up in this thread (and it's probably a very dead horse by now), but I just have to say it; what bothers me a lot in webcomics is the use of photos in any webcomic that isn't a photo comic. Photo's from Google Image Search do not make for good backgrounds for a comic. When you need to put a poster in the background, actually draw it instead of just pulling something from the internet. The same is true for putting decals on your character's t-shirts.

A 'realistic' picture in an otherwise completely handdrawn comic almost looks like it's transported there from another universe. It doesn't fit, and it highlights the fact that the comic's author is either lazy or not skilled enough to just draw the background/poster.

More importantly, it can be distracting. Minor or background details, such as posters, should carry a "weight" appropriate to their significance, and a photo-real image sitting behind a character can carry far too much, and can draw the readers eyes to irrelevent details. Background details, particularly non-essential ones, should not draw the eye, and things like t-shirt decals should be simple and iconic- a few words of text or a simple logo. For example, in this randomish Penny Arcade strip, the setting of a fast-food place is conveyed through a few coloured shapes and some randomly squiggly signs; enough to convey a convincing sense of the setting, but not enough to distract the reader from the characters. Obviously, the exact way you approach this depends on your style, but the basic principle is that the level of detail given to an object should effect the level of significance it has.
And, yes, I appreciate the absurdbity of a guy with no comic spewing all this on a place full of people far more qualified to communicate this sort of thing, but I've spent enough time hearing this sort of thing at uni that I feel a mixture of entitlement and obliglation when given the oppurtunity to recylce it to others. Wink
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Lady Tygry



Joined: 25 Aug 2006
Posts: 237
Location: Buckeye State

PostPosted: Sat May 16, 2009 5:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Traitorfish wrote:

What bugs me yet more is when people dust of clichéd races or creatures or whatever, and "reinvent them". This typically seems to involve taking the typical modern perception and fiddling a few characterstics, and maybe an alignment change, but without really doing anything interesting, especially given that most of the obvious ones, like orcs as the "noble savage", or elves as an evil race, have already been done well into the ground. There's nothing more ridiculous, really, than trying to subvert a cliché with a cliché.

I suppose this is, like you said, an example of people trying to cling to old stereotypes. Even when people are asserting some originality, they often seem to have a hard time breaking away from the standard fantasy templates. I suppose it's to do with the strange position that some fantasy holds within the broader genre of speculative fiction... It's as if people sometimes feel that the label "fantasy" compels them to hold to the sort of templates which science fiction writers do not always seem to consciously acknowledge in quite the same way. Sci-fi has a million and one clichés of it's own, granted, but I almost get the impression that these are less of a package. You may see a million stories involving robotos and a million involving space ships, but they're not always the same ones. In contrast, I don't think I've ever seen an orc without at least one wizard pottering around in the background somewhere. Perhaps this speaks to my own ignorance more than anything else, but I think that there's some truth to it.


I try to avoid bashing popular works because I'm afraid I lose some credibility and people write off my opinions as jealousy but I absolutely hate the 'universe' Stephanie Myer has created. I consider the Twilight series as having little more weight among popular literature than your average fanfiction. Sparkling vampires? Please excuse me while I barf all over this dreck. Prose so purple that an excited polyester dinosaur couldn't. . .well, anyway, let's just say I had an example in mind when I made that comment Rolling Eyes

I don't think there's any ignorance there. I don't know of too many writers who have the audacity to claim that they've never been influenced by anyone and anything that comes out of their mouth is an instant copyright claim. Maybe it's to do with expectations. Take Blizzard's Warcraft lore (dear god, help me!). They're credited as having a lot of originality and they have some, but a lot of the elements one might expect in a fantasy genre are still very much there. Maybe it steers a little close to false advertising. You see elves on the cover: you expect them to possess some of the traits known to be common to elves. You might tinker with it a little but if you draw an accountant messing about at his desk and call him an elf (and that's where the similarity ends), the reader might not stick around. I don't claim to know where the line is drawn with this sort of thing but there's definitely one there. Something that divides genius and hack, I guess.
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chrispco



Joined: 09 Jan 2009
Posts: 109
Location: Virginia

PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2009 7:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh man, I'm guilty as hell over the date thing. I held off dates because the first arcs were published out of order, and dates would have confused it even more. To make it worse, I launched on January 1st 2009, meaning my intro stuff had dates of 2008 since they had to be completed ahead of the launch. Hello, rookie mistakes!

As for a gag-a-day comic having arcs in the first place, I share plumluckie's problem in a way. I think storytelling in a humor strip can lead to a richer experience (the audience may not agree) but I'm always nervous about spreading stories out - even though I publish daily. When I write a story, I *want* to share the entire thing at once, since I think my comic gains something in being read in archive chunks - but keeping a regular schedule for readers is far more important in keeping readers around than indulging my often-wrong neuroses. Writing a strip that delivers stories both in short bursts and in archive perusal is quite the challenge.

Do I succeed? I hope so. I read that post a few pages back about creators trying to hard and got very paranoid. I think it's great to keep challenging oneself, but as soon as one gets in over their head, it does become a problem. It's very very important to know ones limits. You can have lofty goals, but if you jump at them too quickly it can be an awkward disaster. Some things take time to develop.
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bunnypandemic



Joined: 22 Jul 2009
Posts: 262

PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2009 1:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

1. Blood spurting
2. weird women that are almost naked
3. evil bunnies - they should be cute to an extent
4. flashing ads
5. in an alien language
6. anything involving satan, devil, blah blah blah
7. inside jokes
8. generic romance manga with no unique plot
girl likes boy. boy finds girl. girl hates boy. boy runs away. girl chases boy.
girl dies. boy cries. girl lives. happy ending ----boring.
9. excessive profanity
10. evil bunnies - seriously bunnies are inherently cute. I am fine with an angry bunny but not a pure evil one.
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Midtoon



Joined: 20 Apr 2009
Posts: 189
Location: California, USA

PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2009 5:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Going through this thread again and finding my comic strip has plenty of the stuff people hate... The first few strips are a textbook case of several maladies described here. In my defense, I only became aware of many of these problems AFTER I began my strip.

When I first started ( so long ago, 8 months) I thought I was the best thing to happen to comic strips. Now I have been significantly humbled.

I wonder if there's hope... Sad

No, there is no hope Crying or Very sad
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