kazerad

kazerad:

A lot of storywriting I see online falls prey to this disturbing trend where the author treats it as a representation of themselves.

I can understand the temptation to do this - whether you like it or not, people are going to make assumptions about you based on your work. However, there comes a…

This was actually really important for me to read, and I had a discussion with my artist about this topic last night. I’ve been having some of the issues Kaz has been talking about here, and I realize now that it was hurting my story.

Today’s Questionable Content, instead of the standard four panels, is a single big panel.
I’d normally be happy to see Jacques doing anything experimental and new, no matter how small. But this strip (which could be a normal four panel strip if Jacques felt like drawing that way) really highlights how little the art adds to this comic. I cut out the bottom third of the page, and all you’re missing is the identity of the speakers, which you would’ve been missing when you read this page anyway since you would’ve read it top to bottom and thus read all the text first.
If you read Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud (or Making Comics, which has a similar chapter. Both of those books are mandatory for anyone who wants to know comics. Reinventing Comics is interesting but can be safely skipped), there’s a chapter about the different ways words and pictures can intersect. This QC strip, like the vast majority of webcomics, is word-specific. This is more obvious than normal today, but really they all are. The joke (“joke”) or plot (“plot”) is in the text. And what this means is that Jeph can actually draw whatever the fuck he wants, all he needs to do is include the characters. Different camera angles besides the omnipresent side view would be a nice start. Perhaps more expressionistic art, or exaggerated reactions.
In this strip, for instance, we could’ve perhaps focused more on the tie clip, so we got more detail of it than just a disembodied right angle. We could’ve seen the image in Faye’s head of Angus shivvin’ fools left and right with his tie. Really, anything. The world was Jeph’s oyster.
We got this

Today’s Questionable Content, instead of the standard four panels, is a single big panel.

I’d normally be happy to see Jacques doing anything experimental and new, no matter how small. But this strip (which could be a normal four panel strip if Jacques felt like drawing that way) really highlights how little the art adds to this comic. I cut out the bottom third of the page, and all you’re missing is the identity of the speakers, which you would’ve been missing when you read this page anyway since you would’ve read it top to bottom and thus read all the text first.

If you read Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud (or Making Comics, which has a similar chapter. Both of those books are mandatory for anyone who wants to know comics. Reinventing Comics is interesting but can be safely skipped), there’s a chapter about the different ways words and pictures can intersect. This QC strip, like the vast majority of webcomics, is word-specific. This is more obvious than normal today, but really they all are. The joke (“joke”) or plot (“plot”) is in the text. And what this means is that Jeph can actually draw whatever the fuck he wants, all he needs to do is include the characters. Different camera angles besides the omnipresent side view would be a nice start. Perhaps more expressionistic art, or exaggerated reactions.

In this strip, for instance, we could’ve perhaps focused more on the tie clip, so we got more detail of it than just a disembodied right angle. We could’ve seen the image in Faye’s head of Angus shivvin’ fools left and right with his tie. Really, anything. The world was Jeph’s oyster.

We got this

mousathe14

mousathe14:

scarafaggiagrappolo:

uncannybrettwhite:

Maybe people wouldn’t be so annoyed with Milo Manara’s “Spider-Woman” #1 variant cover if every series got overtly sexy variant covers—not just the ones with female leads.

This is a world I want to live in.

Ecco.

My god… It’s so… Bara….

This makes the exact same point the Oatmeal was trying to make, but does so in a way that’s not so exaggerated as to make the entire argument look silly.

I’d actually read that Punisher comic, too, just to know why Punisher was dressed like a male stripper in a cartoon dinosaur land.

I’ve thought for a while that Homestuck was kind of a better version of Sinfest in a lot of ways (despite rather different politics), and shortly after I make that comparison, Tats introduces a new "cool" vaguely bad-guy character who’s a usurper to the throne of the emperor and has grey skin and curved horns (in opposition to most other devils in the strip, who have short straight horns). Coincidence? Yes, almost certainly. (If he bullies Fuchsia into being a witch, though, I’m calling shenanigans for real)
Also like Homestuck, and less spuriously, Tats spent a long ass time building up the mystery of this new BBEG character, (going for far to reveal part of his face), only for it to be revealed in a page with great fanfare that -surprise! - it was an entirely new character and all the mystery was a fake!
At least Homestuck followed up its utterly stupid reveal (and, while I generally like Homestuck, building up English’s identity as a mystery for so long only to have him be a new thing was a little bullshit) with us getting to meet the bad guy as a kid and see how he got there, there will be no such follow-ups.
Yes, I expected Devil Slick to be Vainglorious, because I thought the coy reveal of part of his hair meant that somebody was Vainglorious. But nope. New character.
And now he can safely go in the Reality Zone! Wow! That would be impressive if
A. The Reality Zone was consistent in its rules (even within this strip! The shield is protecting Vainglorious from the Reality Zone, but he’s still drawn more detailed?)
B. The rules of the Reality Zone were explained to us
C. There was any kind of inkling of why I should care he’s in the Reality Zone. The guy he’s trying to overthrow isn’t in there, after all, and I doubt Sinfest is going Meta here and trying to say Vainglorious really exists, so wtf.
D.  I had the vaguest idea of if Vainy G was a good guy or a bad guy or what. Even Lord English, for all his ultimately pointless build-up, was actually doing things and people were saying he was an invincible and evil demon and he had agents going around doing bad things.

(Including, incidentally, being cruel to various girls and women. This one scene sells the “Bad guy is a misogynist jerk who’s a huge bastard and also has a issue with women generally” angle better than all of Sinfest, and the bad guy of Sinfest is literally the patriarchy and also literally Satan).
Where’s all this for Vainglorious, for all his build-up. All this is is “Mysterious Guy doing mysterious things mysteriously”. We’ve spent a lot of time with selling him as a super threat, and I don’t know anything about him. Is he good? Is he evil? Is he powerful, or manipulative. Does he have forces, or is it just the one guy? I don’t know his personality (oh, he’s an artist okay but none of his art tells us anything about him like oh wow it’s hands. I guess it says something that the devil is looking for a dude named Vainglorious who’s apparently also a famous artist named Vainglorious, but it tells me more about Tats than it does about the characters, unless I’m supposed to think the devil and his army of spy drones failed to notice the Art Exhibit for this big super enemy of his), I don’t know his tactics, I don’t know how dangerous he is (presumably a lot, given the build up, but how. Is he a powerful wizard? Does he know secrets? Have allies? Is feeding the Sisterhood information so they attack his targets for him?). Literally, all the build-up could’ve been dropped, and this could be the first time the dude shows up except the graffiti, and we wouldn’t be missing out on anything.
And maybe I’d be more patient that Tats would explain this if he explained Devil Slick, Demonique, or the Reality Zone. Or if Mint had ever come back or it had been explained how and why she made Devil Slick.
Honestly, given Tat’s track record, I half expect Vainglorious to never be mentioned again.

I’ve thought for a while that Homestuck was kind of a better version of Sinfest in a lot of ways (despite rather different politics), and shortly after I make that comparison, Tats introduces a new "cool" vaguely bad-guy character who’s a usurper to the throne of the emperor and has grey skin and curved horns (in opposition to most other devils in the strip, who have short straight horns). Coincidence? Yes, almost certainly. (If he bullies Fuchsia into being a witch, though, I’m calling shenanigans for real)

Also like Homestuck, and less spuriously, Tats spent a long ass time building up the mystery of this new BBEG character, (going for far to reveal part of his face), only for it to be revealed in a page with great fanfare that -surprise! - it was an entirely new character and all the mystery was a fake!

At least Homestuck followed up its utterly stupid reveal (and, while I generally like Homestuck, building up English’s identity as a mystery for so long only to have him be a new thing was a little bullshit) with us getting to meet the bad guy as a kid and see how he got there, there will be no such follow-ups.

Yes, I expected Devil Slick to be Vainglorious, because I thought the coy reveal of part of his hair meant that somebody was Vainglorious. But nope. New character.

And now he can safely go in the Reality Zone! Wow! That would be impressive if

A. The Reality Zone was consistent in its rules (even within this strip! The shield is protecting Vainglorious from the Reality Zone, but he’s still drawn more detailed?)

B. The rules of the Reality Zone were explained to us

C. There was any kind of inkling of why I should care he’s in the Reality Zone. The guy he’s trying to overthrow isn’t in there, after all, and I doubt Sinfest is going Meta here and trying to say Vainglorious really exists, so wtf.

D.  I had the vaguest idea of if Vainy G was a good guy or a bad guy or what. Even Lord English, for all his ultimately pointless build-up, was actually doing things and people were saying he was an invincible and evil demon and he had agents going around doing bad things.

(Including, incidentally, being cruel to various girls and women. This one scene sells the “Bad guy is a misogynist jerk who’s a huge bastard and also has a issue with women generally” angle better than all of Sinfest, and the bad guy of Sinfest is literally the patriarchy and also literally Satan).

Where’s all this for Vainglorious, for all his build-up. All this is is “Mysterious Guy doing mysterious things mysteriously”. We’ve spent a lot of time with selling him as a super threat, and I don’t know anything about him. Is he good? Is he evil? Is he powerful, or manipulative. Does he have forces, or is it just the one guy? I don’t know his personality (oh, he’s an artist okay but none of his art tells us anything about him like oh wow it’s hands. I guess it says something that the devil is looking for a dude named Vainglorious who’s apparently also a famous artist named Vainglorious, but it tells me more about Tats than it does about the characters, unless I’m supposed to think the devil and his army of spy drones failed to notice the Art Exhibit for this big super enemy of his), I don’t know his tactics, I don’t know how dangerous he is (presumably a lot, given the build up, but how. Is he a powerful wizard? Does he know secrets? Have allies? Is feeding the Sisterhood information so they attack his targets for him?). Literally, all the build-up could’ve been dropped, and this could be the first time the dude shows up except the graffiti, and we wouldn’t be missing out on anything.

And maybe I’d be more patient that Tats would explain this if he explained Devil Slick, Demonique, or the Reality Zone. Or if Mint had ever come back or it had been explained how and why she made Devil Slick.

Honestly, given Tat’s track record, I half expect Vainglorious to never be mentioned again.

Anonymous asked:

"I’m going to be pouring over [Kazerad's] tumblr tonight". Just a minor correction, you mean "poring", unless you're planning to print off his tumblr and pour something on the pages.

I poured my brain over his blog, so all the information in his blog dissolved into my brain, then I re-froze my brain and put it back in my head.

Do you even science?

A few weeks ago, Marvel unveiled the cover illustration of Spider-Woman #1. I decided to re-draw Spider-Man the same way.

I….no you didn’t. That’s not even close to the same pose.

If you want to draw Spider-man in this pose, just recolor it and erase the hair. Drawing Spiderman in a completely different pose just makes it look like your argument is too weak to stand on its own. (The Hawkeye Initiative had a similar issue, where it became “draw the silliest pose you can” and kind of forgot the original point)

Also, does Oatmeal Guy even read western comics? There’s far worse in terms of ludicrous hypersexualized drawings of women (not to mention outfits). I don’t understand why this cover of all things is what got the internet in a rage. No one show Tumblr Rob Liefeld, I guess. Or Greg Land.

kazerad

kazerad:

Most people cannot write very well.

That is not meant as a depressing or discouraging statement. Like, I do believe that anyone can learn to write well if they practice or study. But the act of writing is sort of like drawing: the average, untrained person’s attempt at, say, portraiture ends up…

Here’s something from Kazerad’s tumblr I do want to share. You should all read it, he’s smarter than me.

When it comes to writing, the most important thing I ever learned in school was my tenth grade English teacher saying “There’s no such thing as synonyms. If two words were exactly the same, it’d be redundant”. It’s true! There are lots of words with almost identical meanings, but none that are 100% interchangable.

Anonymous asked:

(May or may not have asked this, on mobile cant tell) Im surprised you havent reblogged anything from prequels author kazerads tumblr. Its not all webcomic related but sometimes is

Huh, I thought I was following it. Guess I’m not.

And wow, I should be. This is fantastic. I don’t even have anything to add.

I’m going to be pouring over this tumblr tonight, if it contains writing advice.

Re: Creating usable archives for webcomics. The website Oh No Robot offers a handy free service where you can get a bit of code that will put a link and search box on every archive page for your strip, which lead to a searchable transcript-archive. You can do the transcribing yourself or get help from your readers. I use it myself on my own webcomic, and it’s very useful for both readers and me, allowing me to check dialogue and such when trying to maintain continuity.
 Honestly, once you make the effort to write out all the text in the first place, most of the work is done anyway, and ComicPress lets you tag characters and such, which I really ought to play with. It’s a three-day weekend, I should get the site ready, or at least the parts that don’t require art. 
Seeing as FCA isn’t getting released until November, do you have anymore teaser art to share with us in the meantime?

Have some quality art from page 2 (this is better than I can draw ;_;).

Have you considered taking an Awkward Zombie strip and comparing it to another video game webcomic, say, ooh, Ctrl-Alt-Del or something and showing what works In Awkward Zombie and not in the other?

I’m all about comparing a bad webcomic to a similar webcomic, like Sinfest to Homestuck or Questionable Content to Lucky Penny (before the latter suddenly became Scott Pilgrim), but Awkward Zombie to CAD isn’t really that comparable, not least of which being that CAD is apparently not a gaming comic anymore (I don’t read it, I just skimmed the last few comics). Plotless gag-a-day comics are also kind of not my area of expertise (said Essay Mod, implying he had an area of expertise or any relevant skill/knowledge at all).  Still…

.

I notice a lot of gaming comics (Penny Arcade does this a lot, too) have a panel like that first CAD one there, explaining the joke. There’s a lot of comics that follow this formula:

Panel 1: Wow, [game] sure has [nonsensical element]!

Panel 2: [Illustration of nonsensical element]

In this format, the first panel is required for even fans of the game to know what the fuck you’re talking about, but spoils the punchline.

Awkward Zombie, by contrast, tends to have the joke in the form of a scene, where Katie encounters the silly element and reacts to it. If Penny Arcade made a comic about the haircuts in Animal Crossing, it would’ve been Gabe and Tycho talking about how silly this was. They would tell. Awkward Zombie shows.