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View Full Version : Cartoon humor-- how important?



Kislath
2011-05-13, 10:32 AM
For about 2 years I've had an idea for an amazing storyline that I wanted to turn into a webseries, but I lacked the special effects capability so crucial to it. It never occurred to me to just make a webcomic instead. The problem is that it can't have a joke in every strip. Would that be a big problem, you think?

Maxios
2011-05-13, 10:34 AM
I, personally, don't think it'd be a problem.

TheSummoner
2011-05-13, 10:34 AM
Depends on the overall tone...If humor isn't the main focus, jokes really aren't all that important. Don't force humor in just to have humor. Tell the story you want to tell and make jokes where you feel they fit.

Tengu_temp
2011-05-13, 10:58 AM
It can work well, but remember one important thing: making a webcomic is not the same as making a comic and then publishing it page by page every day. Pacing is extremely important: each strip must end with a mini-cliffhanger, something that will make the viewers want to come back later to see what happened. Look at Girl Genius to see how it's done right. Look at Erfworld or Goblins to see what happens if you ignore that rule - they are good comics, but they have extreme pacing problems.

Kislath
2011-05-13, 11:41 AM
Hmmm... yes, I see that, now that I think about it. The overall tone is humor, but there's a lot of mindscrew, too, at least at first, and then.. well, I guess it's mainly all about being stuck in the middle. ( and HOW! ) Hmmm.. new problem; I just remembered that I'm a crappy artist. Drat.

Mr_Saturn
2011-05-13, 11:53 AM
But you'll be surprised, even artists with lower amounts of ability can still be wildly popular. Take for example Cyanide and Happiness.

Kislath
2011-05-13, 04:01 PM
Good to know, yep.
This storyline is a pretty original one, and pretty good, too. I still eventually want to try to make it into a liveaction series. Would putting it out as a comic first be a bad idea, or a good one?

Lateral
2011-05-13, 04:07 PM
But you'll be surprised, even artists with lower amounts of ability can still be wildly popular. Take for example Cyanide and Happiness.

Well, but it's very hard to make a non-gag-a-day comic without a decent ability to convey action, movement, and expression. Cyanide and Happiness is an amazing comic, but it's a gag-a-day comic- the art quality doesn't matter that much. Try to picture Order of the Stick with xkcd-style stick figures, or Erfworld with the... I'm not even sure what those things are in Cyanide and Happiness.

'Course, if this is a gag-a-day, ignore this post. But seeing as the title is 'Cartoon humor-- how important?' and a gag-a-day comic is by definition a gag-a-day comic, I sort of doubt it. :smalltongue:

Kislath
2011-05-14, 03:54 AM
I've been reading Girl Genius, and that's pretty much the vibe I'm reaching for, a mix of humor and suspense, but it depends heavily on it's quality art that I can't hope to match. How hard is it to collaborate with someone on this type of thing?

Kislath
2011-05-18, 11:41 PM
Well, I just discovered Blank-it, and now everything is ruined. My creation is vastly different, but at first glance would look so similar that I'd inevitably get called a copycat before anyone read page two.

Threeshades
2011-05-19, 01:09 AM
Not every webcomic has a joke on every page. I don't think it's a problem. If its a story dirven series, then lack of joke doesn't matter as long as there is no lack of plot :smallbiggrin:

Icewalker
2011-05-19, 02:35 AM
Well, I just discovered Blank-it, and now everything is ruined. My creation is vastly different, but at first glance would look so similar that I'd inevitably get called a copycat before anyone read page two.

Don't worry about that. If it's really different it's really different. I'm working on a major project and come across similar ones, but in the long run, they won't be anything alike. That's what matters really. (Besides, for people to call you a copycat they have to seen the thing you are allegedly copying, which many will not have).

Teutonic Knight
2011-05-19, 03:48 AM
They also are differing levels of similarity. You could say that all video game-based webcomics are copying each other, what with having the characters play and/or enact the games they make fun of.

If you think your thing is too similar, keep at it anyway. The Internet hardly protects anyone's intellectual properties; anyone can claim another's work with the excuse, "They stole it from me. I came up with it first." So, again, don't about it.

As for humor, I once asked that question here (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?p=7945397#post7945397).

Trazoi
2011-05-19, 07:59 PM
Well, I just discovered Blank-it, and now everything is ruined. My creation is vastly different, but at first glance would look so similar that I'd inevitably get called a copycat before anyone read page two.
Dude, Blank It is totally a copycat of 1/0. Except y'know, for the bits apart from the superficial setting similarities where they're totally not in every way. :smalltongue:

I'd be very surprised if your idea managed to be an actual copycat of Blank It without you actually reading it. :smallsmile:

Kislath
2011-05-20, 11:53 AM
Okay, thanks; good to know. My storyline has only one guy trapped in a big void, but that void is in a very important location, and highly coveted by certain factions.

Skavensrule
2011-05-20, 11:30 PM
Well, I just discovered Blank-it, and now everything is ruined. My creation is vastly different, but at first glance would look so similar that I'd inevitably get called a copycat before anyone read page two.

Free advice is worth what you paid for it but...
Try creating a buffer for your comic and then when you start, post 5 - 10 strips on the first upload. Then people will be able to see enough of your work to judge it on it's own. The second advantage to a creating a buffer before you start is knowing how long it takes to do each update. If it is taking you three days per page then look at a weekly or twice a week schedule instead of daily or three times a week. Third a buffer would allow you to take a break if you get stuck in a plothole. Good luck on the endeavor, I hope you like the results.

Kislath
2011-05-21, 06:33 AM
Awesome advice, even BETTER when free. :smallsmile: All I need to do now is figure out how to draw it. I really don't have any idea of a good look for it. Well, how hard can it be to draw a guy floating in Limbo?

Mr.Silver
2011-05-24, 11:41 AM
Homour is entirely optional. Majority of my preffered comics are story comics rather than joke comics.


It can work well, but remember one important thing: making a webcomic is not the same as making a comic and then publishing it page by page every day. Pacing is extremely important: each strip must end with a mini-cliffhanger, something that will make the viewers want to come back later to see what happened. Look at Girl Genius to see how it's done right. Look at Erfworld or Goblins to see what happens if you ignore that rule - they are good comics, but they have extreme pacing problems.

I don't entirely agree here. It is possible to do a story strip without feeling the need the to cram a 'mini-cliffhanger' on every page. It's possible to avoid problems with update pacing by consolodating your page updates so that you uploading multiple pags as one update rather than uploading each individual page on a seperate day (Freak Angels is an excellent example of how to do this).

I would very strongly agree with Skavensrule about creating a buffer. For instance, if you have a prologue put the entire thing up to start with before you settle on your regular routine. This way you provide enough to get prospective new readers invested in what's going, whereas if your first update is just a title page there's no real point anyone strating to read the comic until there's a fair 'buffer zone' of pages to begin with. This is a problem a lot of new webcomics have.


note: update pacing is not the same thing as narrative pacing. For example: Girl Genius has good update pacing but weak narrative pacing (note that the current 'Agatha in castle Heterodyne' arc has been going on for the about three volumes now, and is still a fair way from ending), Erfworld has poor update pacing but good narrative pacing and Goblins has bad update pacing and weak narrative pacing.

Vrythas
2011-05-30, 08:44 PM
Awesome advice, even BETTER when free. :smallsmile: All I need to do now is figure out how to draw it. I really don't have any idea of a good look for it. Well, how hard can it be to draw a guy floating in Limbo?

Well, i could start off with saying something intelligent like "why don't you start with concept art", except first this isn't a video game and second your lack of substantial artistic is (i am assuming) your problem (no offense or anything :smallbiggrin:). however, i will say that one really important part of all this, is what kind of style do you want for your webcomic? do you want to have your own unique style, or will you make it OOTS styled? after that, i'm sure you could find some people to show you the ropes - so to speak - of making comics. you could start a thread for people willing to help you, post up initial images of characters and places, and see what people have to say about them. that's my advice... good luck! :smallsmile:

Omeganaut
2011-05-30, 09:29 PM
Ultimately, the writing is more important than the art. Sure art really helps, but having great art without a good story just results in individual artwork, and not good comics. Don't be afraid to draw simply, and draw what you do best as often as it makes sense. Also, don't be afraid to mock your own art style. Plus, if your comic is good enough, you should be able to attract an artist. Anyways, best of luck to you.