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is art the only thing that matters in a webcomic.
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takoyama



Joined: 20 Mar 2010
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2011 2:54 am    Post subject: is art the only thing that matters in a webcomic. Reply with quote

There are some comics online that are stick figure comics that are good and there are some comics online that have AMAZING ART BUT IS BORING. i make my webcomic to fill a creative need i have it is not the best drawn but it is not the worst either. i guess my question is

would you give a webcomic a pass on so so art if it had a interesting story?
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Kail



Joined: 10 Feb 2007
Posts: 424

PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2011 4:46 am    Post subject: Re: is art the only thing that matters in a webcomic. Reply with quote

takoyama wrote:

would you give a webcomic a pass on so so art if it had a interesting story?


I'd say yes and no.

You can have a good comic without having great art. But I don't think anyone can write at such a high level that the art becomes unimportant. Comics are a visual medium, if you can't express yourself visually, you're going to have problems.

On the other hand, these are webcomics, so nobody's expecting you to be Michaelangelo right from page one. A lot of comics started out visually pretty bad, but got better over time. People might stick with a comic that's improving visually if the writing is good.
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4LS



Joined: 18 Jan 2007
Posts: 666
Location: UK

PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2011 9:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It depends entirely on the type of webcomic you're doing - though I think the art always has to have something going for it. Basic rules I'd argue for are 1) reasonable consistency, 2) distinctiveness, and 3) conveying what the hell is going on without being confusing for any length of time.

Very obviously, the more you want to convey with the art (rather than the words), the better it has to be. So if the comic relies less on hilarious word-play or complex philosophical discussion, and more on silent emotions or action sequences, the more the audience is going to notice when, say, the anatomy is off.

Personally, yes, I have read and enjoyed several comics with so-so art, because the story struck a chord with me - so it's perfectly possible. On the other hand, you're always going to lose some readers, because the art is the first thing you see. Some people see bad art and don't bother investigating further.
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Snotnarok



Joined: 13 Mar 2011
Posts: 89

PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2011 11:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd say it depends, I've seen comics with a very 'simplistic' style that are a great read. However I've seen comics that are action-y that have lack luster poses and no sense of umph in the attacks they're trying to show off.

That's not to say the comic is bad and not worth reading but that it's got room to grow and it'll get better.
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Howonurth



Joined: 24 May 2010
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 11:24 am    Post subject: Re: is art the only thing that matters in a webcomic. Reply with quote

The writing is THE most important element of a good web comic. If you surf around the millions of web comics online these days, the vast majority of them are manga-influenced graphics, in many cases beautifully drawn, but with so little of anything to say that reading them is just painful.

Now think about it; a web comic is really a very very very low budget movie. A movie with a great idea and great plot, great dialogue, and great insight can look like hell, but still you think of it as a great piece of work. Whereas the biggest budget movies in the world always have stunning cinematography, brilliant sound work, pretty much every tech aspect all presenting at the highest quality. Do these things make for a great movie? NO! If the story sucks, no amount of jazzy technical ability can save it. A bad story, lacking in originality or good structure of any kind, can in no way be saved by the "art."

Same holds true for comics. Brilliant art + bogus writing = bad comic, not worth tuning in to again. However, great writing, really clever gags, great compelling story + lousy, childish, stick figure art = good comic, entertaining and curiosity provoking, so much so that the reader will come back again and again. In spite of the less than Da Vinci-esque visual art, if the writing is really clever, the comic is good.

This has been my experience.
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Koad



Joined: 16 Jul 2008
Posts: 227
Location: Here

PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 12:39 pm    Post subject: Re: is art the only thing that matters in a webcomic. Reply with quote

takoyama wrote:
would you give a webcomic a pass on so so art if it had a interesting story?

No. I'm aware that I'm in the minority in this regard, but for me art is by far the most important part of a comic. If the art is gorgeous I'll put up with a completely incoherent story (if it's really that bad I'd just ignore the story and look at the pretty pictures). But unless the art attracts me I'm not going to read the comic at all.
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Casual Notice
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Joined: 18 Mar 2005
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 1:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The more serious your comic is, the better the art has to be.
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frankm53



Joined: 14 Aug 2011
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 6:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's hard to dissect a marriage - and that's what the writing/art amalgam is. But suffice it to say, always strive to improve both components - be your own harshest critic.
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rocketpig



Joined: 20 Dec 2010
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 6:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I try not to weight one over the other. In my opinion, every good comic has a healthy mix of good art and writing (yes, even xkcd... "good art" does not necessarily mean "complex").
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Tropylium



Joined: 30 Nov 1999
Posts: 83

PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 8:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some random observations.

There are certainly examples on how actually neither of good art and a good story is strictly needed, eg. Dinosaur Comics, Natalie Dee. The comic portions of xkcd also fall here, I think; what graphical interest the comic has is mostly in the field of design than art IMO. (Not that that's a clean-cut boundary.) But this seems to be a rare thing to pull off.

Upon a little reflection, it is also fairly rare for me to really enjoy a story where I have to keep looking "past" the art (rather than "thru" or "at")… but this does occur as well. The Mansion of E would be one such example.

I would also argue that a large part of webmangas out there, while superficially pretty, are anything but "good" art, once you take a closer look (including things like composition).

Art evolution is also a thing. Schlock Mercenary may be the best example I can think of of a comic that started out looking pretty horrible but has evolved to an entirely professional level. If you have patience and a will to practice, don't worry if your skills aren't much now: you'll get better.

If you really really can't draw, photocomics and sprite comics are also an option, and probably not even such a bad one if you can avoid the usual pitfalls. That is, you'll want to take inspiration from Irregular Webcomic or MS Paint Adventures, not Bob and George… (8-bit Theatre may be a borderline case.)

And as a last resort, there's always the "fuck it, I'll go abstract" option, even if "underground cult classic" is apparently then the best status you may even hope for. See eg. Triangle and Robert.

(Perhaps unfairly, shitty stories with competent art can thrive much better, since art is the first thing your visitors will see of the comic. Especially if the premise itself is interesting and it's just the delivery that doesn't hold up.)
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lexia



Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 80

PostPosted: Sat Aug 20, 2011 11:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I heard somewhere that comics is 80% story and 20% art... But to me I would say more or less 60% story and 40% art or so, the art gets you to read the comic at times, and story gets you to stay and read more. Art is important but really just depends on what you doing, as long as the story and art fit each other you are fine, now if you have a very complex story and doing stick figures I think it would fail, or at least not get as much audience.

That is what I think, but then it is an Op
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ewomack
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Joined: 05 Jun 2007
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 20, 2011 3:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Like most lawyers say, it all depends... some types of comics seem more conducive to stick figures or electronically drawn figures that look more drag and dropped than penned. XKCD is the classic example here. It's unbelievably popular but would never win any art awards. Though, at the same time, it definitely has a distinctive and non-sloppy style. It's not scribblings by any means. But, most importantly, the style fits the atmosphere of the comic. Imagine the style of XKCD in a serious adventure/thriller comic. Such a combination would probably only work in a tongue-in-cheek sense. But it definitely works for XKCD, no matter what one thinks of the art. Comics need an art style consistent with the genre and overall mood of the strip. With such flexibility there's room for "bad art" to work, but the "bad art" would have to appear deliberate and not just sloppy to work. Great writing would not save all and out crappy artwork, but it might not stop the strip from garnering a following. In the end, the art side of a comic, important as it is, seems to matter more to other artists than to the general public. The masses generally seem to care more about the writing and overall mood than any technical mastery.
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tbowl
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Joined: 06 Jan 2007
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 20, 2011 10:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know photo webcomics and sprite webcomics have already been brought up.

With photo webcomics, if the actors/actresses look interesting, dressed interesting, and can do basically whatever the script requires, and then some neat photoshop effects, the story can be about anything for all I care. As long as they look like they're doing neat stuff, and having fun. These are my four favorite.

Dark Red http://www.darkredcomics.com/
Night Zero http://www.nightzero.com/
Pure and Hidden Truth http://www.pureandhiddentruth.com/
Union of Heroes http://www.unionofheroes.com/

Yeah they're all great stories and I have read them all, but with how good the "art" is I really don't care what those word bubbles say. I could just stare at the pictures, when I get bored, I go to the next page. Then when I'm done I just start over.

Sprite comics are the same way. If I like how the sprites look I don't even care about the story... but staring at the exact same sprite can get boring unfort.. so story is a plus to hold attention. But it also boils down to photoshop skills, similar to photo webcomics.
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TonyDiGerolamo



Joined: 10 Mar 2006
Posts: 362

PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2011 8:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Art gets people to check it out, but story gets people to return.
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icanbarelydraw



Joined: 31 Aug 2011
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2011 12:11 am    Post subject: Dinosaur Comics and limitations of art Reply with quote

I decided to try to make one of those Dinosaur Comics. But since I can barely draw, it came out like this:

(new URL) http://www.icanbarelydraw.com/comic/166

Edited to show new URL above. Old (outdated) URL was:

http://icanbarelydraw.blogspot.com/2011/09/dinosaur-investments.html


Last edited by icanbarelydraw on Sat Sep 17, 2011 6:29 am; edited 1 time in total
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