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most irksome generic elements?
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hajrarara



Joined: 03 Jul 2005
Posts: 114
Location: .ba

PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 8:19 am    Post subject: most irksome generic elements? Reply with quote

Hey, what's a generic element in webcomics, which you find most irritating, which you want to run and hide from when you see them (i mean, close the tab in internet lingo)??

This will greatly depend on your taste I guess, but let's see the pet peeves of whomever is answering.

Things that irk me by default:
- sprite comics (never lasted over 5 pages to look at one)
- manga (big eyes long legs pink hair - the closes thing to manga style that I ever followed was MacHall -- not that manga at all, eh?)
- bunnies (I've followed SEVERAL bunny comics with dedication, and just hearing "bunny" makes me crack up, but lately I've seen so many reincarnations - that it would take dedicated effort to look through another one enough to like them SadSad )
- fantasy (my pet peeve with fantasy is that it's so damn arbitrary wherever you look at it. And then I see people put solid great effort into elaborately painting fantasy panels and I'm just... saddened)
- furry (there's a reason between antropomorphic animals and antropomorphic faux sexy cutesy animals. I prefer charicaturized zoomorphic people characters)
- gamer (just don't get anything)
- college/sitcom (hey ... Mandy... 'sup... hey.... Redge... heart... sulk... run) - if the story is dialogue based, Shakespeare should be weeping at that dialogue.

and last, but not least...

MS Paint - I MAKE one of those - but - COMRADES - where's the effort gone???!
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Casual Notice
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Joined: 18 Mar 2005
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 12:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I believe the word you're looking for is "clichéd", not generic. Generic would suggest simple common elements of a comic that can be applied across the spectrum and in multiple genres, like the 2-1-1 shot (two people talking, headshot of one, headshot of other—in film, I think the head shot's are "over-the-shoulder" shots).

Clichés are not, in and of themselves, horrible things. It is only in the misuse and over-use of clichéd elements that a problem arises. I can name any number of comics that employ any number of the genre clichés you list, and do so well.
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Iron Spike



Joined: 15 Apr 2005
Posts: 244

PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 12:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, since you asked.

Unpromising starts.

- First comic: "Hi, and welcome to our comic!"
- First comic: "Oh no, we don't have a joke ready!"

Drama.

- Revenge comic
- Foe art, made and/or received and prominently displayed and fussed over
- Bitter, whiny blog posts
- Bitter, whiny blog posts, including names and links
- Threats to stop making the comic
- Threats to stop making the comic over lack of hits/donations/feedback
- Rivalry with another webcomic/webcomic author/webcomic reviewer
- Imagined rivalry with another webcomic/webcomic author/webcomic reviewer
- Manufactured rivalry with another webcomic/webcomic author/webcomic reviewer for the sake of attention

Casts/Cast members that should not be.

- Video game sprites
- Funny Guy/Straight Man/The Girl triumvirate
- Jesus Christ
- Cthulhu
- Satan
- Girl who likes "boy things" (video games, sports, AD&D, sex)
- Harem cast (inexplicably chaste and shy main character and the dozen or so supporting characters sexually preoccupied with them)
- Character that is obviously the author's ideal girlfriend/boyfriend
- Author as a colossal badass
- Character who's primary character trait is "The Gay One."
- Character who's primary character trait is "The Girlfriend."

"Humor."

- Punchline: Violence against anyone who disagrees with the author
- Punchline: "Valid point/You have a point/I see your point."
- Any mention of pirates, ninjas, robots, etc. fighting one another
- Carefully planned and choreographed wackiness ("Spork! I chew your head! LONG LIVE THE MUFFIN LORDS!")
- Sass-mouthed non-human sidekick
- Gags stolen from The Simpsons, Family Guy, or any other mainstream-as-fuck source

Comic? What comic?

- Pin-up/Excuses in place of a real update
- "On Hiatus" for the last two years
- Comic "In development," no pages produced

Grab Bag!

- Recurring Scene: Playing video games on the couch
- Obvious cut-and-paste
- Panel background: Google Image Search results, run through a Photoshop filter
- Panel background: Video game screenshot
- Panel background: Blank white space, always
- Comic Sans font
- Sound effects that are not actual sounds ("appear," "grin," "leap," etc.)
- Emoticons in word balloons
- Nipponphilia
- Gag comic suddenly turning serious
- Gender swap storyline
- Any storyline about religion ending with a character's conversion to the side the author agrees with
- Sex scene that instantly betrays the author as someone who has obviously never had sex
- Madonna/Whore female characterization
- Comic described as "random" or full of "randomness"
- Poser
- "Strong female character" = Sociopathic, misandric ball-breaker
- Every character looks exactly the same, apart from hair color/style
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hajrarara



Joined: 03 Jul 2005
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 12:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

uh yeah, maybe I'm on about cliches... but place "things" in that title spot, the irksome things...

@IronSpike: goood list! There's one thing I like very much on it, tho: gag comics that go serious in the end. Not all, but it can be executed nicely.
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Dutch
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 12:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm with Iron Spike on these ones too. He's just about hit the thread right on the head there. Have to agree with just about everything he's listed.

With the exception of the cut and paste cos I make use of it in several circumstances myself (reusing a scenery panel to place the current story in a familiar location, a character once more sitting or doing something that is part of their character by showing the same panel for that effect, characters haven't moved but the mouth or eyes have changed expression etc).

And the one about every character looking the same except for their hair because that pretty well covers just about every kid in my cast Smile

Other than that though, I reckon he's right on the money.
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Justin



Joined: 30 Nov 1999
Posts: 313
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 2:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i agree with casual, and most of what iron spike says, even though she's a girl ( Wink at dutch)
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Chilari
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 3:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Iron Spike wrote:
- Girl who likes "boy things" (video games, sports, AD&D, sex)

Why should that not be? If a girl grows up with 6 brothers, or even 2 brothers, and no sisters, then it's perfectly normal for her to like boy things. I do, after all. Like climbing trees, football (my Dad used to take me to footy games because my brothers weren't interested Razz), video games (even if Guild Wars is more girly than other computer games, it still is one and I like it). And come on, let's face it, sex is good for us girls too, right? It doesn't stop me from liking boots and clothes, I'm just not so bothered about them as other girls.

Apart from that, I agree with everything Iron Spike says. Especially the panel background stuff.
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Murdaugh
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 4:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Iron Spike wrote:

- Cthulhu


Ah, I was planning on having him on. I'll just have to ask a ninja instead. Very Happy

Iron Spike wrote:

- Any mention of pirates, ninjas, robots, etc. fighting one another
D'oh. Btw, that sounds an awful lot like Roomies, eh, Okram?

Iron Spike wrote:
- Sound effects that are not actual sounds ("appear," "grin," "leap," etc.)
Are you sure? Because I think that could be used to some extent. Surprised
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hajrarara



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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 4:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

O yea, I think *leap* and such are funny too!
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Rob Powell



Joined: 12 Jul 2007
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 7:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm guilty of cut and paste, but that's because drawing a steam locomotive sequentially can be pretty hellish.

Also, my main characters are pirates. I KNOW that's cliche.
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Iron Spike



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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 7:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Follow-up:

- It isn't the fact that the theoretical female character likes "boy things" that's bad, it's the agonizingly cliche and increasingly harder-to-believe "B-b-but you're a GIIIIIIIRL!" storyline that results if her appreciation of boy things is her singular feature.

It's the 21st century. A whole lot of girls play video games, read comics, play AD&D, and have orgasms. It's not really worth making a big production over, anymore. And it certainly doesn't make for a believable "Get out of our treehouse!" style storyline, which is what this sort of thing leads to when it's all the character has as a personality.

- I remain convinced that 90% of the people who use Cthulhu as a character in their comics have never read any Lovecraft. If they have, and still insist on using Cthulhu as a shoulder angel, wacky roommate, or buddy character, they must also be the same sort of person who enjoys shitting into their hands and rubbing it all over public restroom stall walls.

- Sound effects that aren't sound effects are irksome because they so often take the form of replacements for decent artistic expression. If a character is shocked, show me with body language and facial expression, don't just scribbled the word "shocked" next to a headshot that doesn't look shocked in the slightest, you lazy bastard.

This is, of course, omitting the use of this technique for humor purposes. Fights where FACE!!! is the sound of a blow landing, or "Abject Comprehension" is floating next the the face of a ten-year-old watching a nuke hit a nearby city from his home's backyard? That's funny. It's not a crutch because the artists can't draw facial expressions, it actually adds something to the story. I've got no problem with that. What I don't like is sound effects as substitutes for good emotional and physical range.
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JohnK



Joined: 02 May 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 7:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

robpowell wrote:

Also, my main characters are pirates. I KNOW that's cliche.


Yeah but your story seems to be based around pirates, it's not just some random joke in a gag comic that has been done 1000 times.

I think my comic has run into some cliches. Everybody's does. Coffee Time started out a little more gag-centric, but over time has grown into a full-on story & character based comic. I see no problem with that & I also think more people should go in that direction. I really don't think it's cliche, but more like growing.

I also think stoner characters should be added to the list. I have the most cliche stoner in my comic, but I don't care because he's so fun to write. Plus I really do think he's got his own attitude going on.

Good list Iron Spike, but maybe a little extreme in some areas.
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GeorgeComics



Joined: 26 Apr 2007
Posts: 280
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 8:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A good list that definitely tells me what to watch out for when creating my own comics, though I don't think that there's anything listed here that I've gone overboard on...But then, I know that I have some cliché elements; however, as was mentioned earlier, I think that clichés are not inherently bad. It's when you are beaten about the face and neck with them that they become irksome.
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CarlDalton



Joined: 18 Aug 2007
Posts: 25

PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 8:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hehe, I know mine certainly is "guilty" of copy/pasting, and MS Paint. I really do like how clear-cut and clean looking those comics were, but it just doesn't work anymore.

At least I never used Comic Sans. Laughing

But really, I have to agree with 98% of the things mentioned so far. I don't recall seeing "Constant use of profanity as the sole punchline" up there, though. I can't stand how some people think that just because they have a cartoon they can have their characters constantly swearing, and it will create a sure-fire hilarious contrast between the medium and the context. It's ok to a point, but you cannot base your entire comic around it.
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Murdaugh
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 8:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I never told you my first attempt at a webcomic was done in MS Paint. Laughing
So, yeah. There are good programs that can help you.
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