Botched Spot is a comic about professional wrestling. It has a niche audience, and the average person won’t always get the joke. For instance, this Randy Orton joke is nonsensical to most people (and, as someone who gets it, honestly not that funny)

Shortpacked is a comic about toys. It has a niche audience, and there is no joke. This comic is literally Willis (who makes a career of displaying people who dislike orange plastic on dolls as disgusting fat neckbeard nitwits) complaining about chrome paint on dolls.

Like, is anyone reading this a Transformers fan? Do you care about this chrome thing? Does anyone? Anywhere? Besides the obvious hypocrisy, is anything about this funny?

I was wondering why that dartboard in panel 4 wasn’t in a dartboard cabinet, especially given how neat and tidy this “dive” bar was. 
I was about to write it off as “Enh, whatever” when I realized the answer. If it were in a cabinet, then there’d be a piece of wood blocking the board, meaning that Jeph would have to draw the characters at a bit of an angle so that we could see inside the cabinet to make it clear there was a dartboard in it. And drawing people at an angle is hard. So there’s just a lonely dartboard in the wall because good enough.

I was wondering why that dartboard in panel 4 wasn’t in a dartboard cabinet, especially given how neat and tidy this “dive” bar was.

I was about to write it off as “Enh, whatever” when I realized the answer. If it were in a cabinet, then there’d be a piece of wood blocking the board, meaning that Jeph would have to draw the characters at a bit of an angle so that we could see inside the cabinet to make it clear there was a dartboard in it. And drawing people at an angle is hard. So there’s just a lonely dartboard in the wall because good enough.



It wasn’t until “I asked around and someone saw you last night high as shit with a shovel. so that pretty much tells me you killed them” that I felt confident saying this was ironically bad.

This is actually really good. It’s quick and doesn’t fuck around, the plot is sufficiently simple and straightforward that it doesn’t descend into meaningless LOL RANDOM noises (the use of sonic characters also helps, since it minimizes the amount of shit that needs to be established), and it’s got some nice setup/punchline gags.
Pretty good comic, I like.
It wasn’t until “I asked around and someone saw you last night high as shit with a shovel. so that pretty much tells me you killed them” that I felt confident saying this was ironically bad.

This is actually really good. It’s quick and doesn’t fuck around, the plot is sufficiently simple and straightforward that it doesn’t descend into meaningless LOL RANDOM noises (the use of sonic characters also helps, since it minimizes the amount of shit that needs to be established), and it’s got some nice setup/punchline gags.

Pretty good comic, I like.

Aw man, if there’s one thing I love, it’s off-panel visual gags!
Speaking of the art not selling the joke, has Jeph Jacques ever actually been to a dive bar? I grew up near a $5 for a pint of Jack Daniels while pro wrestlers dig in the basement for gold bar, and it sure as fuck doesn’t look like that.
It doesn’t even look like a hipstery fake-dive bar. There’s literally no decoration except for the fish, and are those fucking rows of flagons I see behind the bar? Has Jeph Jacque ever even seen a poor person? Does he know anything at all about them? Does he think the bars are that bright on the inside when the sun is setting on the outside? 
The art here completely no-sells the joke (“joke”) of this being a seedy bar. This is the least seedy-looking bar I’ve ever seen.
(Also, what the hell is that thing to the left of the fish in panel 2 merging with the panel gutter? Is that a TV? A door? What the hell is it and why is it at an angle?)

Aw man, if there’s one thing I love, it’s off-panel visual gags!

Speaking of the art not selling the joke, has Jeph Jacques ever actually been to a dive bar? I grew up near a $5 for a pint of Jack Daniels while pro wrestlers dig in the basement for gold bar, and it sure as fuck doesn’t look like that.

It doesn’t even look like a hipstery fake-dive bar. There’s literally no decoration except for the fish, and are those fucking rows of flagons I see behind the bar? Has Jeph Jacque ever even seen a poor person? Does he know anything at all about them? Does he think the bars are that bright on the inside when the sun is setting on the outside?

The art here completely no-sells the joke (“joke”) of this being a seedy bar. This is the least seedy-looking bar I’ve ever seen.

(Also, what the hell is that thing to the left of the fish in panel 2 merging with the panel gutter? Is that a TV? A door? What the hell is it and why is it at an angle?)

Anonymous asked:

I just realized that one guy's comment about The Awesome, the Power, the Gay and the Bastard was a Tails Gets Trolled reference. On that note, what do you think about Tails Gets Trolled?

Never actually read it. I’ll bookmark it and read it tonight after work.

2 things: 1) “The Awesome, The Power, The Gay, and The Bastard” was a reference to Tails Gets Trolled, one of the greatest webcomics ever made. seriously, you should read it. it may have shitty art and bizarre writing, the amount of shit it gets right is astounding. the plot, for example, is completely insane but still mostly cohesive and easy to follow. at the very least it’s better than Sinfest, Willis’s stuff, and Dresden Codak combined

2) point i was (poorly) trying to make is that while female characters in Sinfest have flaws, they’re treated like more like “quirks”, while male characters’ flaws are treated as actual flaws. it reminded me of how in 80s cartoons (decade was wrong) the one girl on the team was nearly always the moral center who was never wrong and her flaws were focused on a lot less compared to the guys. not sure where i going with that Willis thing i’ll admit. don’t sleep that much and get confused sometimes

Oh yeah, the girl always ended up being the mom and going “boys" or repeatedly explaining that she was just as good as a boy even though she was a girl.

The Mega Man cartoon (super fighting robot!) was probably the weirdest/most hilarious for this, because Roll was all “I can do anything a man robot can do” and Mega Man was like “LOL no you can’t” and….Mega Man was usually right.

But Monique’s personality isn’t “Girl” or even “Feminist”. This whole little arc is her showing far more personality that she has since the pre-feminism days, it’s just that that personality is an abusive jerk.

Hey man, you can review me if you want but you don’t have to. I’m just a big fan of webcomic criticism because I work in the webcomics field and it helps me figure out how I can improve my own flawed portfolio. I must say though, its nice to have a blog that only deals with webcomics without getting too political or edgy. (Major irony in me saying that!)
 

Please, continue flattering me. I feed off it.

Anyway, I make a conscious effort to avoid mentioning the politics in Shortpacked or Sinfest or whatever. What would be the point? “Don’t write comics espousing a message you think is fundamentally wrong and don’t believe in”? It’s better to pretend the message is neutral, and focus on the structure. At least, eye em oh.

"How in the fuck is Monique supposed to be a likable protagonist?" remember how 90s cartoons had like a 5 person team and the males in the team had roles like The Awesome, The Power, The Gay, and The Bastard, while the one female was always just The Girl? it’s kinda like that except instead of it being their entire personality, being a girl is enough to make them likable. Willis does this too, just look at Maya, Robin, or DOA!Sal. if they were guys he’d acknowledge what obnoxious pricks they are
 Most 90s 5-person cartoons had two girls, the girly girl and the tomboy (and I’m not aware of any kids shows even now with “the gay”). I’m not sure how much I agree with the rest of your statement, either. I think Tats just decided that Monique Is A Good Person and never really thought about it much past that
A brief review of tonight’s episode of Monday Night Raw:
John Cena threatened to beat up Paul Heyman “at halftime, in about 80-90 minutes”. Since he did so at the start of a three hour show, audiences assumed he meant “around 9:30”. It turns out he literally meant “half time”, as in the football game on the other channel.
Since WWE can not predict when Monday Night Football’s halftime would be, the entire show is being rewritten on the fly, resulting in utter incoherence and a complete collapse of structure for any storyline besides Cena/Lesnar. For instance, Seth Rollins gave a promo where he said the following

Roman Reigns will be punching me until his knuckles bleed. But his knuckles will be bleeding….because he’s a neanderthal. He drags his knuckles on the ground, like this”
[Rollins hops around like a chimp]
"Ook ook ook ook"
"Roman Reigns is part Gorilla, part Samoan, and part…..uh…..Rhinoceros. You know, the Rhinoceros is the strongest animal in the animal kingdom! But they’re not very smart. And I believe in brains over brawns.



This is not normal bad writing. This is someone making up a monologue on the spot in one take because the show had to be rewritten while it was on the air, realizing he was saying something stupid, and being unable to escape it.
Reigns then beat Rollins clean in a few minutes, which is supposedly going to make me want to see them fight again at the next PPV this Sunday. The main event was two mid-carders arguing over Vladimir Putin (!!!!!!!)
If you ever want proof of the important of planning your stories in advance, go find this Raw and watch what happens when you’re rewriting things as you go.

Also, Cameron, who has been a professional wrestler/reality TV star for years, tried to pin someone who was lying on her stomach, in the worst fuck-up since guest referee Eva Marie proved incapable of counting to three a few months back (reducing the commentary to literal sputtering incoherence).How the fuck is the internet-only developmental show so good, when the main TV show is so, so bad?

A brief review of tonight’s episode of Monday Night Raw:

John Cena threatened to beat up Paul Heyman “at halftime, in about 80-90 minutes”. Since he did so at the start of a three hour show, audiences assumed he meant “around 9:30”. It turns out he literally meant “half time”, as in the football game on the other channel.

Since WWE can not predict when Monday Night Football’s halftime would be, the entire show is being rewritten on the fly, resulting in utter incoherence and a complete collapse of structure for any storyline besides Cena/Lesnar. For instance, Seth Rollins gave a promo where he said the following

Roman Reigns will be punching me until his knuckles bleed. But his knuckles will be bleeding….because he’s a neanderthal. He drags his knuckles on the ground, like this”

[Rollins hops around like a chimp]

"Ook ook ook ook"

"Roman Reigns is part Gorilla, part Samoan, and part…..uh…..Rhinoceros. You know, the Rhinoceros is the strongest animal in the animal kingdom! But they’re not very smart. And I believe in brains over brawns.

This is not normal bad writing. This is someone making up a monologue on the spot in one take because the show had to be rewritten while it was on the air, realizing he was saying something stupid, and being unable to escape it.

Reigns then beat Rollins clean in a few minutes, which is supposedly going to make me want to see them fight again at the next PPV this Sunday. The main event was two mid-carders arguing over Vladimir Putin (!!!!!!!)

If you ever want proof of the important of planning your stories in advance, go find this Raw and watch what happens when you’re rewriting things as you go.

Also, Cameron, who has been a professional wrestler/reality TV star for years, tried to pin someone who was lying on her stomach, in the worst fuck-up since guest referee Eva Marie proved incapable of counting to three a few months back (reducing the commentary to literal sputtering incoherence).

How the fuck is the internet-only developmental show so good, when the main TV show is so, so bad?

Sami Zayn is a character on NXT, and he’s the closest thing they have to a “protagonist” on a wrestling show, in that he’s the hero of the primary storyline. Here is what they have done to try to get me, the viewer, to want Sami Zayn succeed.
Sami Zayn is a fun-loving, cheery guy. His theme song is cheery ska music, and he looks happy a lot.
On the first big show, NXT Arrival, Sami Zayn has a match with then-popular WWE wrestler Antonio Cesaro. The match is great, and very close, and Sami ultimately loses. He does, however, earn Cesaro’s respect for his fighting spirit.
On the next big show, Sami Zayn is facing the nefarious supermodel Tyler Breeze. The winner will get a shot at the title. Before the match, in a great bit of visual storytelling, we get a quick shot showing that Zayn’s locker room is dirty, dingy, and badly lit, whereas Tyler’s is super swash and fancy.
Sami is winning the match, and goes for his finisher, a boot to the head. Tyler, being a supermodel, goes “Oh no my face” and ducks down while covering his face with his fists. This ends up causing Zayn to accidentally hit Tyler’s fists with his testicles, and thus gives Tyler a chance to steal the win.
Zayn is dicked around a bit in other storylines involving Natayla’s husband, who’s just a jerk to him. Once that’s done, it’s time for the next big show, where the main event will be a four-way match for the title, featuring Zayn, Tyler Breeze (who lost his 1-on-1 title match), Natayla’s husband, and the champion Adrian Neville, who is the other good guy in this storyline (less because of his character, and more because he does cool high-flying moves). First one to score a pin wins.
Much of that match is the two bad guys ganging up on Zayn, to get him over as the underdog, before breaking into an entertaining clusterfuck type match.
Zayn gets his big hope spot, knocking out Breeze and Neville outside of the ring, and using his finisher on Nattie’s Husband. He goes for the pin, but Neville pulls the ref away to prevent him from counting the three (which is legal, but kind of a dick move). Zayn goes out to confront Neville, who superkicks him and basically kill-steals Nattie’s husband to retain.
Now there’s an obvious follow-up to that match, with Zayn getting a 1-on-1 match with Neville, who has become a bad guy through his underhanded tactics. Since NXT is competently written, Zayn will likely have to get through the other two bad guys first in order to prove his worth/kill time so that the big match doesn’t happen until the next big show in December.
This is a fairly basic story, and I’m using it as an example just because I’m on an NXT kick (and because pro wrestling and webcomics have a lot in common). Hero is built up as working really hard and being maybe good enough. Bad things happen, preventing the hero from winning. While these bad things are going on, a personal feud is set up between the good guy and the bad guy, because stories are ultimately about people. All the details can change, but “Guy works hard enough to deserve it, is suffers setback, and is ultimately victorious in a suitably climactic way” is a pretty easy to do storyline, and is flexible enough to be done multiple ways. Shit, wrestling’s been doing it once a month for decades, and most of it’s not written nearly as well as NXT. 
So how the hell does Sinfest fuck it up so bad?!

Sami Zayn is a character on NXT, and he’s the closest thing they have to a “protagonist” on a wrestling show, in that he’s the hero of the primary storyline. Here is what they have done to try to get me, the viewer, to want Sami Zayn succeed.

  1. Sami Zayn is a fun-loving, cheery guy. His theme song is cheery ska music, and he looks happy a lot.
  2. On the first big show, NXT Arrival, Sami Zayn has a match with then-popular WWE wrestler Antonio Cesaro. The match is great, and very close, and Sami ultimately loses. He does, however, earn Cesaro’s respect for his fighting spirit.
  3. On the next big show, Sami Zayn is facing the nefarious supermodel Tyler Breeze. The winner will get a shot at the title. Before the match, in a great bit of visual storytelling, we get a quick shot showing that Zayn’s locker room is dirty, dingy, and badly lit, whereas Tyler’s is super swash and fancy.
  4. Sami is winning the match, and goes for his finisher, a boot to the head. Tyler, being a supermodel, goes “Oh no my face” and ducks down while covering his face with his fists. This ends up causing Zayn to accidentally hit Tyler’s fists with his testicles, and thus gives Tyler a chance to steal the win.
  5. Zayn is dicked around a bit in other storylines involving Natayla’s husband, who’s just a jerk to him. Once that’s done, it’s time for the next big show, where the main event will be a four-way match for the title, featuring Zayn, Tyler Breeze (who lost his 1-on-1 title match), Natayla’s husband, and the champion Adrian Neville, who is the other good guy in this storyline (less because of his character, and more because he does cool high-flying moves). First one to score a pin wins.
  6. Much of that match is the two bad guys ganging up on Zayn, to get him over as the underdog, before breaking into an entertaining clusterfuck type match.
  7. Zayn gets his big hope spot, knocking out Breeze and Neville outside of the ring, and using his finisher on Nattie’s Husband. He goes for the pin, but Neville pulls the ref away to prevent him from counting the three (which is legal, but kind of a dick move). Zayn goes out to confront Neville, who superkicks him and basically kill-steals Nattie’s husband to retain.
  8. Now there’s an obvious follow-up to that match, with Zayn getting a 1-on-1 match with Neville, who has become a bad guy through his underhanded tactics. Since NXT is competently written, Zayn will likely have to get through the other two bad guys first in order to prove his worth/kill time so that the big match doesn’t happen until the next big show in December.

This is a fairly basic story, and I’m using it as an example just because I’m on an NXT kick (and because pro wrestling and webcomics have a lot in common). Hero is built up as working really hard and being maybe good enough. Bad things happen, preventing the hero from winning. While these bad things are going on, a personal feud is set up between the good guy and the bad guy, because stories are ultimately about people. All the details can change, but “Guy works hard enough to deserve it, is suffers setback, and is ultimately victorious in a suitably climactic way” is a pretty easy to do storyline, and is flexible enough to be done multiple ways. Shit, wrestling’s been doing it once a month for decades, and most of it’s not written nearly as well as NXT.

So how the hell does Sinfest fuck it up so bad?!

1. In a rare move for Sinfest, we are actually told the stakes of a plot. Monique has caused Abby to oversleep (after already getting her to skip work entirely and force her boss to cover for her), and now Abby is worried she’ll be fired and have to work in a strip club.

2. Monique tells Abby that she supports her

3. Monique makes fun of Blue, Abby’s boss, who is already pissed at Abby due to Monique, within earshot of Blue. This means Blue either knows Monique was let into the mansion unauthorized, or Blue thought it was Abby speaking. Neither of these options are good for Abby.

4. Monique tries to rob Abby’s job.

5. Abby realizes her highest-boss, who is literally Satan, is coming back. Even knowing this, Monique insists of trying to fool the hand print scanner, which she in no way “Almost has”

6. Satan has entered the building. He is clearly angry already. Monique takes out a can of mace, intending to attack Satan.

None of this is going to hurt Abby. The story is pretty clearly pointing to Satan blaming Blue for everything, since she was in charge and everything went to shit. If anything, Abby might get promoted over this, with Blue being sent back to the club. But Monique has no way of knowing any of that. She is repeatedly and recklessly threatening to ruin Abby’s life, often for no fucking reason except her own amusement.

How in the fuck is Monique supposed to be a likable protagonist? She’s either intensely stupid and self-centered, or actively trying to get Abby fired. Either way, she’s an asshole. She’s been a radfem for years, and the one time she can improve or hurt a woman’s life in any meaningful way, she does this shit.

I don’t want to root for this person. I don’t want to see her succeed. I want to see her get her comeuppance. I want to see her have a raving lunatic breakdown, or at the very least some kind of character arc. And I don’t think that’s the emotional response Tats is going for here, so I have no idea what the fuck he’s doing. Sinfest is generally fudgy on the details, which is one of its crippling flaws, but does Tats seriously not notice what a jerk his heroine is being? What the fuck?