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This post brought to you by the word "characters".
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contagious



Joined: 10 May 2012
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2012 3:52 am    Post subject: This post brought to you by the word "characters". Reply with quote

What kinds of characters do you feel webcomics need more (or less) of?

Do you feel that webcomics are, in general, as good a spawning ground for strong characters as any other medium?

Who is your favorite webcomic character (in a comic which is NOT your own), and why do they appeal to you?

Do you feel that this post uses the word "character(s)" too many times? Wink
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UncleRobot



Joined: 30 Apr 2012
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2012 6:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can't help but feel there should be a poll attached to this somehow.

I think webcomics need more 'believable' characters.

With the right amount of exposition I think webcomic or comic characters can be as strong as in any other medium.



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contagious



Joined: 10 May 2012
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2012 8:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

UncleRobot wrote:
I can't help but feel there should be a poll attached to this somehow.


Yeah, I sorta went to town with the questions. Probably should've picked a question and stuck with it. Just wanted to get a ball rolling talking about character creation, webcomic style Wink

UncleRobot wrote:
With the right amount of exposition I think webcomic or comic characters can be as strong as in any other medium.


The only reason I bring this up, is that I feel that without editors like one might have at Dark Horse or Image or what have you, characters in webcomics can often feel much more self-indulgent. I don't mean this insultingly by any means because you get a much more personal glimpse of the creator through their characters this way. It's kind of like a Hollywood blockbuster that was cooked up in a board room and those indie films where the written/produced/directed credit is all by the same individual. The characters from the Hollywood film are calculated to please, while the indie film characters are more of a quirky acquired taste.
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Traegorn



Joined: 16 Feb 2010
Posts: 157

PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2012 5:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I guess I don't understand the premise of the question.

"Believable" is what I'd go with too.

I mean, yeah - self inserts and author avatars can be really terrible... IF they're written unbelievably. If they're written realisticly (not a soapbox, have real development) then they're indistinguishable from any other character to the reader.

So yeah, "characters appropriate to the premise who act in a believable fashion" is the only answer when the question is so vague.
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Eve Z.



Joined: 10 Aug 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2012 6:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In order to make a good comic, you need to know some psychology; create your characters based on people you actually met, maybe add some bits of yourself to them. Then sit and analyze the situation and their personality and how they'd react to the given environment.

I've seen a lot of comics/ shows/ cartoons where the main characters are perfect-looking selfless Mary-Sues with a kind heart who will forgive everything! Give them some ego and make them interesting! XD

Perfect characters make for boring and predictable stories. srsly. You will already know how they'll react in the long run.
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contagious



Joined: 10 May 2012
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2013 2:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Eve Z. wrote:


Perfect characters make for boring and predictable stories. srsly. You will already know how they'll react in the long run.


I agree. It sometimes seems like some authors are afraid to have readers dislike their characters, but I'd rather dislike them than have them leave no impression.
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UncleRobot



Joined: 30 Apr 2012
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2013 6:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This may just be my impression, but I think that most webcomic creators are artists first and writers second. Perhaps this contributes to the lack of solid characters.


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vulpeslibertas
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2013 7:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's easier to draw well than it is to write well... or more accurately, it's easier to know when your drawing sucks and you need to hide it. I think the deficiency in webcomic writing (if there is a deficiency) is because it's hard to tell when you have bad writing. It's easy to see when art isn't right.

Maybe we should start a discussion or evaluation panel on writing...
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UncleRobot



Joined: 30 Apr 2012
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2013 7:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think that would be a great idea. Maybe we could pull together some writing resources and post links as well. Which sub-forum would be the appropriate place for that? "How to...?"

ps I submitted a few links for comic writing resources to the admins. Hopefully they'll post them to the how to comic thread.

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Casual Notice
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 12:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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vulpeslibertas
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 5:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Casual Notice wrote:
You mean like this one?
Lions and tigers and bears, oh my! It's like we've had this discussion before in a dream. And you, and you, and you were all there!
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nsanelilmunky



Joined: 12 Nov 2012
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 7:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Isn't there a bit of a difference between a guide and a council/board? A guide gives pointers, but I had the impression they were talking about a group of people who would read over one's story/script and say what's strong/weak about it.
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vulpeslibertas
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 12:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We've done Round-Robin reviews like that too.

Speaking of which, does anyone want to do reviews? I'm not updating at the moment so I don't need any reviews, but I'd be willing to review other people's work.
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Marscaleb



Joined: 28 Aug 2012
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2013 4:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

UncleRobot wrote:
I think webcomics need more 'believable' characters.


Please, if all our characters were believable we'd have no Dr. McNinja.
We'd have no Mayberry Melonpool, or Tony Flansaas, or Commander Badass, or the whole cast of Two Guys and Guy, and Biff's book would be fraking boring!

You know, sometimes people WANT the unbelievable. Sometimes people WANT the extraordinary. And even when you are making a serious drama, even your best characters have something about them that isn't that believable when you really examine it. If Walter White was really such a genius chemist, how could he possibly teach High School chemistry without shooting himself in the head after one year?

With all stories there is ALWAYS some degree of suspension of belief. In order to follow any story and appreciate any character, to some degree or another, even if it is so minute you aren't aware of it, you have to swallow your disbelief and just accept the story.

And if a story seems too unbelievable to you, does that make it a bad story? No, just one that doesn't cater to your tastes.

contagious wrote:
The only reason I bring this up, is that I feel that without editors like one might have at Dark Horse or Image or what have you, characters in webcomics can often feel much more self-indulgent.


That's actually precisely the reason why I love webcomics over big-league published comics. (Well, that and being free.) Because these are made by just one person or perhaps a small group, and they don't have to come before an editor nor producer nor publisher, they all come straight from the heart. There is no one saying what can and cannot be done except the creator himself.
(That's actually a non-gender-specific term when you use it that way, by the way.)

This isn't about making some mass appeal, but instead it's a window into a person's heart. This is their labor of love, and it shines greater than anyone earning money for a company.
In fact, the best pieces we've seen from the big league have been the few occasions where they have been permitted to create such personal works. The Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, The Watchmen, all of these revolutionized the industry, and they were explicitly created because they were what the author wanted, not some executive.

But with webcomic we don't have to wait for the stars to align for such a work to be produced, they get made every day. (Well, every few days.) Each new comic and each new adventure comes straight from the heart.

vulpeslibertas wrote:
It's easier to draw well than it is to write well... or more accurately, it's easier to know when your drawing sucks and you need to hide it. I think the deficiency in webcomic writing (if there is a deficiency) is because it's hard to tell when you have bad writing. It's easy to see when art isn't right.


That's debatable.
As the artist, if you're really pursuing the craft it ALWAYS looks wrong; it's always something you could make better. So technically, you don't know when the art isn't right because you don't know when it IS right.
As the reader, who is to say the art is bad over just meeting an appropriate style? Sometimes it's not supposed to look "right" because it needs to convey a different emotion.
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Traegorn



Joined: 16 Feb 2010
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2013 6:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You should have to suspend disbelief at a premise, not the characters acting within it.
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