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most irksome generic elements?
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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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JohnK



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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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munkymu
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 10:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Things I loathe (in addition to Spike's list):

Introductions:

- Fantasy comics that start off with a world-creation myth, or any other lengthy piece of exposition on world-building. The author loves their creation SO MUCH that they have to tell you about it right away! This also includes those awful "dating profile" character introductions. Save them for the cast page!
- Any comic that starts with an epic battle between two characters who are any combination of mysterious, vampiric, teenage, werewolf, wizard, smart-alecky and/or whose character design wouldn't look out of place in a Final Fantasy game. Bonus points if the bad guy sneers.

Characters:

- Stupid Sitcom Dad or other male character everyone beats on for no real reason
- The Evil Cute Thing - Bun Bun from Sluggy Freelance or Bucky from Get Fuzzy. Look, a cute animal! But it's EVIL! All too often, the ECT gets more and more screen time as the rest of us think "will someone kick the shit out of this critter already?" Never suffers the consequences for its assholish actions. Or if it does, they aren't lasting.

Plots:

- Love saves the world. I think the only time this didn't make me hurl was in Dan Simmons's The Rise of Endymion, and even there I had to squint and say "Hmmmmmm."
- The Gotta Catch 'Em All fantasy -- where the hero travels the land picking up companions and visiting temples to pad out the plot. I blame LotR and pretty much any and all Japanese RPGs for this.
- Naive racism or sexism - where some social group is unsubtly and unjustifiably oppressed; bonus points if the main character belongs to said social group or is a half-breed outcast.
- Destiny, prophecy and fate - as soon as some character starts blathering about their destiny, I'm out of there. Maybe there are comics that handle this well. Mostly it seems to be a way to botch character motivation and explore free will with all the grace of a boulder on a skateboard.

I'm sure there's plenty more that irritates me.

I see no point in hating whole genres like videogame comics or sprite comics, though. That's like hating cheese. Chances are, there's some form of cheese out there that's perfect for you, but if you just dismiss it all you'll never find it. Although I guess things like "rape fantasy comics" are a genre too...
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Chilari
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2007 12:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Any story at all that starts with an epic battle... whether it's a comic or a novel or a film, is always a bad sign. Ditto for the naive racism or sexism point.

A story in which starts with an epic battle between two characters who don't sneer at each other and are fully developed, or a plot in which two countries are pretty xenophobic and enslave as many of the others as they can during the war which leads the aforementioned characters to fight is fine, however. Or it'd better be. I've been writing that thing two years now...
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munkymu
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2007 12:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="KEZ"]
munkymu wrote:
Things I loathe (in addition to Spike's list):
Ouch, crash and buuuurrrrrnnnn. Crying or Very sad


If was you... I'd start your comic on page 13. Here you've got someone with a clear dilemma -- they want to help people who are losing, but are scared of dying themselves. Page turning material! If you colour it, you can make it clear that there are two sides, and this guy is on one of them. A little later on, once we've gotten to know and like a few of the characters, you spring the "last stand" thing on us. Oh no! People we care about are going to die!

You can provide the backstory for everything else as needed. For example, the oaths people swear by will tell the reader things about the religion.

And I'd cut out a bunch of that annoying narration: "Ten minutes later Ian realizes he is lost, just like the enemy, in the Labyrinth." Why can't you just show the guy in a giant maze and have him think "I'm lost!"?
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James Sawatsky
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2007 1:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I read and re-read Spike's list praying nothing I did was on it... The only one I think I'm guilty of is the no backgrounds... There have been a few strips where there is no background to be seen... and I'm actually ashamed of them... If I ever put them out in a treasury or something, I will be throwing a background or two in. I really need to start making 3D models or something of common areas (Jaie's apartment, Tammy's, Faces Coffee Shop) so I can regulate the layouts etc. Oh well. If I'm pissing anyone off with my breaking any of ther other "rules", please lemme know. I want this strip to be around for awhile.

One thing I can't stand is characters that are complete ripoffs from obscure shows or games that most people don't watch/play. Just because YOU think it is underground and only YOU have EVER seen it, trust me, there are hundreds in this forum alone that have read the book that only ran 3 issues, played the game that was pulled from the shelf due to lack of interest, or watched the TV show from the 70's that was on for 3 weeks before being cancelled. You're not that special. And don't use Tupac as a main character 1. we know it's him, 2. likeness rights'll be frickin expensive if his estate ever finds out.
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munkymu
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2007 1:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

KEZ wrote:

After more than 3 years of doing this, that makes perfect sense, and is almost how I would start it, if I were to restart it (oh yes, I've considered it many a time). Unfortunately, inexperience sucks. Ah, well. Ever forward, eh?


See... more beginners should consider writing short comics. But no... everyone's got an epic to tell. Razz

Kail wrote:
Honestly, threads like this kind of bug me. The OP doesn't like Fantasy comics, Iron doesn't like comics that use Comic Sans. I write a Fantasy comic that uses Comic Sans. So what am I supposed to do with this information?


Honestly? People who dislike whole genres... well, they are just not your intended audience. You can't do anything about them. All you can do is try to avoid the cliches for your genre, and you need a fan of the genre to really dig in and tell you what those are.

As for Comic Sans -- why did you pick this font? Did you look at a variety of fonts suitable for comics and think to yourself "yes, this one is the one I like best for the reasons foo, bar, and baz." Or did you pick this font because it was the only default font installed on your computer that didn't look like it came out of an accounting report? I think the main problem with Comic Sans is that it is the font of least resistance, and not a particularly great one at that. I suspect people would rail about it less if most of the people who used it had reasons for using it that were better than "well... it was there and it's got 'comic' in the title!"

So. If you have good reasons for using Comic Sans, you might as well keep using it. You'll get some flak for it but hey -- you can defend your choice. If you picked it as a default, download and try out some other comic fonts.
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munkymu
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2007 3:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jdalton wrote:

Re: Destiny stories. Usually I hate them. But they can be done well. Anyone know the story of Oedipus? The Greeks knew how to take a cheesy concept and give it literary depth. Wink


Smile It helps that Oedipus is a tragedy. Plus it's been around for a couple thousand years or so -- that's one serious testimonial to how good the story is!
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Traitorfish
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2007 10:17 pm    Post subject: Re: most irksome generic elements? Reply with quote

Iron Spike wrote:
It's the 21st century. A whole lot of girls... play AD&D...

Then they're just a little behind the times, aren't they? Wink

hajrarara wrote:
- 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)

Define "fantasy". If you mean generic, cookie-cutter D&D-in-comic-form*, then I agree. If you mean speculative fiction as a basic concept, then I couldn't disagree more.
You see, terms like "fantasy" and "science fiction" are broad and imprecise, so, particularly in contexts like this, its important to elaborate.

*Just to clarify, I'm not bashing on D&D. I'm just saying that a lot of fantasy comics have generic stories which, while they could make a fun D&D campaign, make a shitty comic.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2007 1:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hajrarara wrote:
you got me - I'm biased because I can't elaborate on the genre because I'm biased.

Even then, you should at least define what you're biased against. If I say, for example, "I'm biased against France" I should at least know roughly where and what France is. You simply said "fantasy"- a very broad term- and left it at that.
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Jardel



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PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2007 8:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the most annoying cliche I see in comics is what I call Cassius Clay Syndrome. That is the main characters resolve problems by simply showing off their skills and announcing that they are the greatest.

"I won that duel 'cause I'm the greatest swordsman in the world."
"I can break that spell because I am the greatest wizard alive."
"I got that contract because I am the greatest artist born."

No explanation about what makes them great, no exploration into the hows, whys and have nots. Just there to re-enforce in your head "This person is awesome."

The comics that do this tend to do it at least one per story arc, sometimes wasting half a story just to remind you about it.
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munkymu
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2007 7:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's a helpful list of overused Fantasy cliches

And I'm not going to bag on "in medias res" -- it's a technique I fully approve of. IF you are starting with a battle, though, for God's sake resist using it to show what badasses your teenage vampire (half) protagonist and your sneering albino wizard antagonist are. Dragonball Z already covered that territory. Unless you're playing it for clever laughs, let it go.

Out of curiosity, I checked out a few random fantasy webcomics today. Three of them started with badass protagonists rescuing a random girl, two started with an infodump creation myth, three started with someone waking up (two of those were late for whatever it was they were late for) and one started with a relatively funny confrontation between a swordsman and a werewolf with a mullet. The only one I'd continue reading would be the last.

You can get entertainment out of a cliche, but you'll have a hard time playing it straight and doing a good job at it. It is a cliche exactly because everyone and their dog has used it twice, so unless you have a clever twist on it, 1). it has already been done and 2). it has almost certainly been done better.
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James Sawatsky
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2007 12:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That list was awesome. I've been toying with a Fantasy story and none of my character ideas, plot devices appeared on the list! Woo hoo, I either have an original idea, or one that hasn't been done to death. Either way, I'm golden!
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Jardel



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PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2007 3:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lord Pandar wrote:
And anyone who hates Comic Sans, I assume it's because they'd rather all text be giant sparkly Myspacian gifs. Which is also a worthy font choice.


Eh, most people I know of hate it because it's like the Budget Discount version of comic style fonts. It has no personality, is not particularly easy to read and is in billions of crap comics.
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munkymu
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2007 3:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Aarin wrote:

I like what I do. I do what I like.

I often find more fault in those presuming to 'elevate the medium' than the chucklehead dumbfucks doing it for the hit-or-miss lulz.


This *is* the web. Everyone is free to do what they think is best, which is why the most famous site on the Internet is a search engine.

Gods know I love the Internet, but if bookstores and libraries worked the same way you'd have to wade through a pile of Naruto x Harry Potter yaoi and pregnant cheetah shemale pictures just to get to the entrance. While anyone trying to raise anything to the level of "high art" is pretty much full of it, I wouldn't mind raising the average level of anything on the Net to "barely competent."
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