Zero Punctuation: Webcomics

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Nice time to break out the Nuggets boxset.

Meh, i stopped reading CAD a couple of years ago due to it not being overly funny and i completely agree with your assertion in the Mass Effect video that it did have "too many mother fucking words".

However is it really worth making a whole video about it and therefore push to the side lines people that dont know/dont care about your internet tif?

sure move away from games abit. I quite enjoy your tangents (MoH vid/condemned vid), but this was over the top.

P.S CAD isnt as bad as some of the crap being put out, like Drawn by Pain

A self-important, bearded transcript:

The thought occurs that for all my banging at the "games are art" drum, art is only as good as the culture that surrounds it. A game could give the most extraordinarily emotional experience in the entirety of human culture, and bring tears to the eyes of a jaded war veteran with no eyes, but it's all for naught if it's not surrounded by self-important bearded tossers who read too much into things for a living, and since I'm one of gaming culture's alpha self-important bearded tossers, I thought I'd discuss the trend of internet gaming humour. And by that I mean the trend of gaming webcomics. And by "trend", I mean "plague".

So you've looked at Penny Arcade, seen the massive amounts of money, prestige, and money those guys get for nine panels a week, and decided that you want in on that. Many gaming webcomic artists have thought the exact same thing - in fact, let's not beat around the bush, all gaming webcomic artists (except Penny Arcade, obviously). The first thing to do is to be, or move in with, someone who can draw, forcefully if necessary. If you don't know anyone who can draw, and you yourself draw like a flipper-handed freak child who just discovered MS Paint, don't fret, just write excessive amounts of dialogue, and hide the hideous art with huge speech bubbles. If you don't know how to draw or write, are a functionally retarded quadruple amputee, and can only communicate by banging your head against a Wacom tablet, that's still no reason to quit; you can wipe your ass with a page of Mega Man sprites, and there'll still be someone on Comic Genesis who'll tell you that it's brilliant.

The next thing you need to do is create your main character, and since it's important to write what you know, the main character will obviously be you, but while you are a repressed, socially retarded dullard who no one would ever honestly admit to liking, your author insertion character is a fantasy, so they will be a charismatic eccentric who is unconditionally loved by everyone, even while he's setting their dog on fire. The secondary character is the straight man, whose job it is to play comic foil to the other character's bullshit, and inexplicably tolerate his behaviour, when any sane person would be checking the Rooms To Rent pages with one hand, and slamming the idiot's face in a drawer with the other.

The third character is The Girl. You know, girls? Those mysterious creatures you see on the bus, who have their own bathrooms, and spray stingy liquid in your face. If you don't know much about girls, because your conversations with them don't last for more than a few minutes before the police are called, just use your Mum as a frame of reference, characterizing the female as a disapproving, eye-rolling nanny who tolerantly wipes up the whoopsies of the idiot man-children and chastises them with the occasional spanking. And since your ego should be swelling nicely by this point, she should also become the main character's girlfriend somehow, because she finds something adorable about the way he gets hypnotized by her breasts.

Now you have to make your comic funny. And reading most existing webcomics, one could be forgiven for thinking that humour is entirely optional, but believe it or not, there are people who laugh at that stuff, even if it's just the author's mum. Fortunately the advantage of running a gaming webcomic is that gaming humour is incredibly easy. All you have to do is apply video game logic to the real world for comic effect. For example, in say, Gears of War, you have to push the analogue stick to move forward, when in real life, you have to continually put one foot in front of the other. This might not sound like "A" material, but trust me, phrase this right, and there's a fortune to be made in Cafepress shirts. If that doesn't work, go for the edgy crowd, and do a comic implying that Mario does Luigi up the arse. And if that doesn't work, just go on about the Cake being A Lie.

So, now your comic is squatting on the internet like a sewage plant on the river Thames, but you're still not popular because you're competing with every other hack with a Playstation and a messiah complex, so how do you stand out against the crowd? Well, you're forgetting the most important ingredient: drama. I'm not talking about dramatic storylines, although that can certainly be part of it. Let's say, for sake of example, that you're sick of making Companion Cube jokes, and suddenly do a serious storyline about your female character having a miscarriage. Obviously, you'd need to have several blood clots in your brain to think this is a good idea; you're established as a wacky humour comic, so this is going to be an awkward tonal shift at best, and hugely disrespectful of the subject matter at worst. Your most hardcore supporters will feebly attempt to go along with you on this, smiling nervously at each other as they would around a mentally unstable friend with a shillelagh, but mean-spirited, emibttered cocks are gonna call you out on it. At this point, there are many ways you can respond. "I don't see you doing anything better," "I can do whatever I want with MY comic," "You're just jealous because I get more readers," and other equally flawed arguments, but above all else, never admit defeat, because the bigger a douche you are, the more traffic you get, as spectators line up to see you jump around the monkey cage, screaming and flinging your poo.

Drama is the mortar that holds the webcomic community together, and there are so many wonderful ways to create it. Make absolutely no effort to improve your horrible drawing style, act like a prick at a convention, respond to constructive criticism with hostility, and just generally behave like the kind of monstrous egotist that blossom like mushrooms in the darkened trough of shit that is the internet. And if anyone really pisses you off, depict them in your comic as a ridiculous strawman and mock them with infuriating self-righteousness. You know, kind of like exactly what I'm doing now. So your gaming webcomic package is compete. All that's left to do is gather it all together, and throw it in a fucking bin, because you're a talentless cultural pollutant who deserves to suffocate to death on a bag of porridge.

Funny, in some bits reminded me of Bob and George while the rest was very obvious.

Though I agree to interject that much drama into a comedy all at once is bad writing, you have to ease into it not throw it in. I liked CAD for it's game parody's more than it's "main story" anyway.

Ahh, so this is the internet drama of which he talks. I haven't read anything CAD in many a year, and even when I did it was for about 3 strips, because it was shite (imo). I am, however, amused that with the plethora of absolutely garbage web comics out there, every single person here assumes that it's CAD that he's talking about - speaks volumes to the quality of CAD.

I used to read Bob and George, and this reminds me of how it used to be.

Except for the Author being the main character, but he did pop in now and again.

Anyway, Bob and George was actually pretty funny, but I can't be buggered to keep up with it by reading it every day.

p0nda:
Ahh, so this is the internet drama of which he talks. I haven't read anything CAD in many a year, and even when I did it was for about 3 strips, because it was shite (imo). I am, however, amused that with the plethora of absolutely garbage web comics out there, every single person here assumes that it's CAD that he's talking about - speaks volumes to the quality of CAD.

"assume"? did you not see the picture with "Bontrol Bolt Belete" on it? It was blatantly obvious

David_Cat:
I did NOT like the CAD bashing.

Thats funny, because I did ^^.

Great vid. I stopped reading CAD a while ago, but it is a rule that if you remove all the text and splice the comic with other comics you can get something funny out of it.

image

(yes, I suck at photoshop)

If Yahtzee knows the cake is a lie, who are we to argue?

Now a miss Megatokyo. Was a very good webcomic untill it turned into a romance drama.

Congratulations Yahtzee, this one didn't suck. I actually prefer watching videos about you poking at things you are passionate about. While it wasn't a video game review, per se, it was a good slap in the neck that the internet needed. Now that you've ascended your golden throne its a good thing that you are still sticking to hating things that need hating rather than simply being "another reviewer".

As far as I can tell from the review, in reply to a previous comment, Yahtzee's attitude towards Penny Arcade was "fair enough, well played".

Also, oooosh at the entire review. Maybe not entirely subtle enough, but good god if CAD did actually pull that shit then it deserves anything it gets thrown against it.

Perhaps a couple more comments could have been more evidently neutral - after all, despite the obvious criticisms levelled against CAD in the review, it's hardly the only perpetrator of such bullshit - the internet is flooded with crap gaming-related webcomics, after all, and to see the entire review as a well-orchestrated snipe is probably exaggerating a little.

All in all, I lol'd.

Well, while I understood about 80% of the comic references, which comic strip was attacking Yahtzee as a "comeback"? I know Duelling Analogs did one about him about him, but it wasn't offensive or anything like that.

http://www.duelinganalogs.com/comic/2008/04/03/zero-punctuation-multiple-puncture-wounds/

Bleedin' hypocrite. Me likey. What's good climbing moral high grounds if there is a cackling white middle class misanthrope sitting already atop and stomping on pretenders' fingers?

On the other hand. Now I may not be a webcomic veteran to speak on the matter, but I dare gather that Sir Yahtzee is very much aware of the ultimate mind-blowing masterpiece of human thought that is Concerned? Cyanide & Happiness has its moments (to say the least) as well.

I shall watch the fallout of this little ka boom with utmost interest. Teh intrawebz is on fyre!

p0nda:
Ahh, so this is the internet drama of which he talks. I haven't read anything CAD in many a year, and even when I did it was for about 3 strips, because it was shite (imo). I am, however, amused that with the plethora of absolutely garbage web comics out there, every single person here assumes that it's CAD that he's talking about - speaks volumes to the quality of CAD.

There were references to CAD apart from the miscarriage thing: the wand tipped with an XBox controller was one of the more obscure ones.

after watching that i have decided to write a webcomic

hmm.. see while i agree most webcomics are awful. I still like the writing in CAD.
I also realize im probably one of the few, that has yet to laugh at a penny arcade comic.
"Oh look garbage humor it must be grand!"
Thanks to comics like those(and most comedy movies made these days) I have lost my sense of humor. I do enjoy quite a bit of your wit, heck i even chuckled a few times. I even enjoyed todays review.
The mis-carriage was a little off in the series, but didnt stop me, or my wife from liking it. Because it added a little bit of depth. It opened the way for characters to grow up a little.

and yes I understand im probably going to be yelled at for saying Penny Arcade isnt funny.
But to be fair your probably the people that like LOL Catz(though ive only been told about it... not really sure what it is).

Yes, Yahtzee read Concerned.And before anybody points out, he has a lot of experience with webcomics since he used to make a couple of them.

I am a fan of CAD and I thought the digs at it were funny.

Anyone else think that Buckley is going to retaliate in his comic? I sure hope so.

*grabs popcorn*

Hypersapien:
I am a fan of CAD and I thought the digs at it were funny.

Anyone else think that Buckley is going to retaliate in his comic? I sure hope so.

*grabs popcorn*

I doubt it. Tim is too mature

So far it is limited to: "Everyone is entitled to their opinions," on the CAD forums.
Who knows, maybe he won't?
I imagine Yahtzee would be more disappointed that anything else if Buckley did nothing.

Am I the only freaking person that likes Penny Arcade?

David_Cat:

p0nda:
Ahh, so this is the internet drama of which he talks. I haven't read anything CAD in many a year, and even when I did it was for about 3 strips, because it was shite (imo). I am, however, amused that with the plethora of absolutely garbage web comics out there, every single person here assumes that it's CAD that he's talking about - speaks volumes to the quality of CAD.

"assume"? did you not see the picture with "Bontrol Bolt Belete" on it? It was blatantly obvious

And the fact that his "Example" was a female character having a miscarriage. Call me crazy, but I don't think he's talking about PvP.

I like CAD, Penny Arcade, and ZP, and no one's opinion about any of these will change my mind. It gets a little exhausting at times, though.

David_Cat:

Hypersapien:
I am a fan of CAD and I thought the digs at it were funny.

Anyone else think that Buckley is going to retaliate in his comic? I sure hope so.

*grabs popcorn*

I doubt it. Tim is too mature

Wait; what?

Kind of like a driving sequence in an FPS or wrestling on the sci-fi channel, not bad but not exactly what I came here for. I guess no mockalicious games came out recently?

Holy crap I think your right!

Esure:

David_Cat:

Hypersapien:
I am a fan of CAD and I thought the digs at it were funny.

Anyone else think that Buckley is going to retaliate in his comic? I sure hope so.

*grabs popcorn*

I doubt it. Tim is too mature

Wait; what?

Have you ever seen Tim attack Yahtzee?

I only know about CAD anecdotally because God knows I would never read it willingly, but I would remind folks who think this is strictly about CAD that pretty much everything Yahtzee rambled off would apply to nearly every webcomic artist in the past decade or so. It's not Yahtzee's fault that CAD paints such a huge bullseye right on its ass.

Whatever you think of Penny Arcade, the art has vastly improved over the years, they know how to keep to a schedule, and they're funny at least roughly half the time. *That* is the winning formula regardless of what your comic is about. Maybe it's harder than it looks, since so few seem to get it right.

It's hard to believe that things like Jerkcity and Pokey the Penguin have been around for about ten years(!) and have thrived on sheer absurdity and a complete lack of punchlines. And then you have things like Dinosaur Comics which are more like amusing art projects. Some things are just weird enough to be entertaining. But Yahtzee is keeping his scope to video game comics, and if he's making the case that gamers have a very shallow sense of humor, then that's a delicious bit of irony that I can't really argue against.

This should be forwarded to Fred Gallagher, tho, hell, I haven't hated myself enough to read his comic in almost two years. Maybe he's gotten better?

And, ya know, the greatest webcomic ever made is XKCD.

David_Cat:

Esure:

David_Cat:

Hypersapien:
I am a fan of CAD and I thought the digs at it were funny.

Anyone else think that Buckley is going to retaliate in his comic? I sure hope so.

*grabs popcorn*

I doubt it. Tim is too mature

Wait; what?

Have you ever seen Tim attack Yahtzee?

I need to second this, as Yahtzee has indeed publicly announced his dislike of CAD in the past and I have yet to see Buckley retaliate.

Yet another video game review video that didn't have a video game review in it.

I love Yahtzee's humor don't get me wrong here. I'm just starting to get a little tired of him going on about how much we hate him and that he doesn't care (and then goes on to acknowledge it over and over and over for 4 minutes).

I found the vid pretty boring and fell asleep somewhere around the 2 min mark. Not because I love penny arcade or ctrl+alt+del or anything like that, but because the vid felt pretty stale.

So c'mon Yahtzee! Go on to rip apart some horrendous piece of crap game! Stop with the fan commentary!

http://www.fullyramblomatic.com/features/goodcomics.htm

For the record, this list might stop people saying stuff like "Yahtzee have you even read such an awesome comic as Concerned" and other crap.It should clear the discussion up a little bit.

The CAD forums are dead right now. I think too many people are trying to get in to talk about this week's ZP

I'd never heard of CAD before coming into this thread, but I still recognised every beat Yahtzee mentioned from other comics. It's especially confusing, not to mention off-putting, when you come across a new comic that has suddenly switched into drama mode at the hands of a writer who has no idea how to do it. I once ran into a very disturbing example with really nice artwork that appeared to be about domestic abuse. I flicked through the previous pages to try and find out what was going on, only to be confronted by tearful flashback after tearful flashback of young women having the piss leathered out of them by their menfolk. Not shocking, just plain ol' nasty.

I usually find political comics worse than gaming comics, partly because they're usually more bitter than funny but mostly because they're always about American politics and I'd have to go and read the CNN website for a while before understanding any actual jokes they make.

Give me http://www.sinfest.net/ and the like any day.

-Nick

I'm shocked he didn't mention that Tim also flashed his cock to a preteen girl, then banned anyone who said "Dude....creepy" when it got out.

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