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Annoying things in Webcomics
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Miluette



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

PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 12:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

lol, most of the time when I see comics do something like that I really, REALLY hope for some aspect of the comic to back up the claim even slightly, and every time I am disappointed.

I like to give the benefit of the doubt in general, but it's getting harder (and in some cases impossible)!

Oh, I thought of something else. I think this was mentioned in one of these threads, but comics whose names play off a phrase currently known in pop culture/cult followings. Things only some people would get/find clever, in other words. Unless of course it's to that specific audience, it just looks eggghh and makes me not want to read, because I can't get past it. I wouldn't even do such naming for that one audience; not to say every title should be broadly understandable, but I just like titles that aren't derived of anything, since they otherwise seem to, uh, "obvious."

I mean I've seen it done well in the webcomic world (not parodies, either), and I think done well slightly more often than awful, but I feel bad for less-than-par naming because it's something that holds me back as a reader to that comic (it might actually be a good comic, after all).
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Hyena Hell



Joined: 19 Feb 2009
Posts: 38

PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 3:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, I tend not to read comics if I constantly have to search for the latest one- I hate overly complicated web design. I prefer to see the latest comic first, and then read comments, blogs, extras, etc. if I so choose. Most times- not offense- I could care less about the author's blog, or whatever else people feel the need to cram on the homepage. If it takes me more than 5 seconds to find the comic, I probably won't stick around.

Also: As much as I rant about poor descriptions, I gotta confess I am awful about describing my own comic. I have a propensity towards not taking myself seriously, so anytime I try to describe my comic seriously, I get this "overly pretentious!" gag reflex. I've actually thought about having a contest where my readers write a quick summary and I can pick the best one, or throw together parts that I like... Good idea? Bad idea?
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jpcline



Joined: 24 Mar 2009
Posts: 291

PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 3:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hyena Hell wrote:

Also: As much as I rant about poor descriptions, I gotta confess I am awful about describing my own comic. I have a propensity towards not taking myself seriously, so anytime I try to describe my comic seriously, I get this "overly pretentious!" gag reflex. I've actually thought about having a contest where my readers write a quick summary and I can pick the best one, or throw together parts that I like... Good idea? Bad idea?


oh dude I am totally with you on that. I actually had my wife write the description I use for sites like this because I felt so pretentious talking about it LOL
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Varethane



Joined: 18 Apr 2008
Posts: 559

PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 4:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hyena Hell wrote:
Also: As much as I rant about poor descriptions, I gotta confess I am awful about describing my own comic. I have a propensity towards not taking myself seriously, so anytime I try to describe my comic seriously, I get this "overly pretentious!" gag reflex. I've actually thought about having a contest where my readers write a quick summary and I can pick the best one, or throw together parts that I like... Good idea? Bad idea?

I have to confess to the same damn thing. x_x I didn't have a description on my site at ALL until someone pointed out a lack of an About page, and then I wrote one that really doesn't say much of anything at all (and actually considered stealing the short one someone else wrote for the comic's TWCL listing. Yes, that is how much I suck). This goes also for writing about myself, although oddly, not for writing synopses of other people's stuff.

That contest is an interesting idea...
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ryan.noriega
Plan Eleven


Joined: 21 Mar 2009
Posts: 336
Location: Texis

PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 4:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think you guys need to lose your inhibitions, stand in front of a mirror, and just go for it. If you need a crash course on being in love with yourself, watch Stephen Colbert. Or just be overly confusing.

I write a completely different description for my comic everywhere I post for it, each time trying to capture the meaning of the strip in the writing of it. That might be the first thing people read.

This guy has some important tips too:

http://www.collegehumor.com/video:1907003
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jpcline



Joined: 24 Mar 2009
Posts: 291

PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 4:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

well I also don't want to describe it too much. not having a detailed description on my website forces me to explain the premise and characters through the strip. bottom line the comic should speak for itself.

segway

It bugs me when people expect you to read a 4 paragraph character bio to understand why character A is different than character B. (actually it doesn't really bother me that much, I was just trying to get back on topic)
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ryan.noriega
Plan Eleven


Joined: 21 Mar 2009
Posts: 336
Location: Texis

PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 4:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I hate it when things describe themselves as offensive. Way to take the Mencia approach.

"Don't read this strip or you will be offended!!>!!!!MN!@!"

Good idea.
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GregC



Joined: 30 Nov 1999
Posts: 140

PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 4:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

max1975 wrote:
One thing I don't think I've seen mentioned--webcomics that aren't funny. By this I mean webcomics that aren't intended to be funny. I just think it's the wrong format for serious life & death drama.


I'm the opposite. I want a comic I can sink my teeth into. Humor comics get dead boring in a hurry. I don't read any strip comics (comedy or otherwise) and Cat and Girl is the only purely humor comic that I read still, but I've had to take a break from it before. I want full page continuing story comics. So, basically, a graphic novel but serialized online. I don't always read every update the day it's posted - usually I'll drop by once a week and catch up. If the comic is well written enough for me to get into the story then I can keep up. If not, then I stop. I also only regularly read 7 webcomics which makes it easier to keep up with the story in each. I don't expect someone that reads 50 comics to keep up with my story. And I'm fine with that.

Some turnoffs:
starting with a "here's my comic"
starting with an info-dump
sprite comics
stick figure comics
comics that read like someone's RPG session
comics that are basically a sitcom
anything badly written, I can forgive weak art but not writing
"random"
costumed superheroes
laziness, sloppiness, and not making a decent amount of effort
so-called "webcomic drama"
bad lettering
not having the comic on the first page, and please no more than one click away with a very very obvious link to it
not having clear obvious navigation in general

and on and on... but I only read a handful of print comics too. So content is where a comic either gets me or not. I can forgive bad packaging if it doesn't get in the way too much.
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Elisa



Joined: 11 Sep 2006
Posts: 77
Location: California

PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 5:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would have to say messy and busy websites are my biggest complaint just because I can't enjoy the comic when I have to sift through all the nonesense and sometimes I can't even find the comic! Are there such websites still out there?????
Other than that....a humor comic that really isn't funny is something I just avoid. There is an audience for everything but I hope that the true comics out there that are well done and funny are awarded with the traffic that comes to them. I see such bad art and lame jokes out there that I hope people don't bother to take their time to view them.
Let the jewels shine through the haze!
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Varethane



Joined: 18 Apr 2008
Posts: 559

PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 5:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jpcline wrote:
well I also don't want to describe it too much. not having a detailed description on my website forces me to explain the premise and characters through the strip. bottom line the comic should speak for itself.

segway

It bugs me when people expect you to read a 4 paragraph character bio to understand why character A is different than character B. (actually it doesn't really bother me that much, I was just trying to get back on topic)

I actually almost never read About pages, which is why mine is so sadly neglected. So if there's essential info in there, chances are I'd end up missing it.

...So, basically, I agree. A comic should be strong on its own.
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munkymu
Postpostpostpostpost!


Joined: 30 Nov 1999
Posts: 1735
Location: Canadia

PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 5:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

max1975 wrote:

One thing I don't think I've seen mentioned--webcomics that aren't funny. By this I mean webcomics that aren't intended to be funny. I just think it's the wrong format for serious life & death drama. The exception might be if the comic is completed and published in its entirety. But if I have to read it a page at a time with days or weeks in between, my head just can't get into that space without the payoff of a cheap laugh or at least some amusement.


I almost got sucked into Mary Worth, despite the fact that it's pretty terrible. So I think if you update often enough, even with just a few panels, it would be like catnip to people who like drama or soaps.
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Meggyc



Joined: 15 Dec 2008
Posts: 253

PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 6:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am one of those people who rely on about pages and new reader pages. I like to have at least some idea of what I am reading before I read it.

It's the equivalent of the back cover of a book. Just a little bit of text so you can understand the flavor of what you are about to read. Sure, you can jump right in and find out for yourself, but sometimes, I realize I'm 50 pages in and the story just isn't appealing to me. I don't think an about page needs to be this elaborate synopsis breaking down every story arch. It just needs to be enough to be tantalizing to the new reader.
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jpcline



Joined: 24 Mar 2009
Posts: 291

PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 6:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

good point...I guess I was referring more to humor comics...and to bring up my initial post, ones where all the characters have the same exact personality, ie snarky, one eyebrow raised with a half-smile smirk, and you wouldn't know that they are supposed to be different people unless you read 3 pages of bios.
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mooncity
is awesome cool.


Joined: 27 May 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 7:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hee hee!

We're all so guilty of at least one or two of SOMETHING on this list! I know I am. But that's another thread I think ("Rules we break and why").
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Meggyc



Joined: 15 Dec 2008
Posts: 253

PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 7:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jpcline wrote:
good point...I guess I was referring more to humor comics...and to bring up my initial post, ones where all the characters have the same exact personality, ie snarky, one eyebrow raised with a half-smile smirk, and you wouldn't know that they are supposed to be different people unless you read 3 pages of bios.


Humor comics usually have a particular setting or simple theme that doesn't usually require an about page. I think that can be traced to newspaper comics. With most newspaper comics, it doesn't take much thought or backstory. It doesn't matter if you're reading today's paper or a paper from fifteen years ago, it doesn't matter in a sequential manner if you're reading Garfield. It doesn't take too many readings to realize Calvin and Hobbes is about a boy and his stuffed tiger. Likewise, most people can figure from reading a few comics that Dilbert takes place in an office/work environment.

Most humor comics in newspapers rely on generic formulas. (This comic is about kids, here's one about pets, this other one is about family, the next one is one panel gag strip with no reoccurring characters... ect.) I think most humor comics on-line also rely on formulas. Though, long form comics also rely on formulas. Just as Joseph Campbell hero archetype is seen throughout literature and mythology throughout the world, it's in comics too.

And I agree, having distinct characters with personality is very important. One should be able to differentiate characters without having to resort to reading character bios. Though I do recommend having a page of bios, if only for the sake of the new reader who wants to read up on the characters. I read character bios in the same way I look at about pages. Rather than asking "Do I want to read this comic?" I ask "Do I want to read about these characters?"
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