Zero Punctuation: Webcomics

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I don't read Penny Arcade, and I've never even seen CAD. That said...

I thought this was a funny and very pointed effort by Yahtzee which absolutely managed to hit the mark. And I say that as one of those very same webcomic writers he so accurately lampooned.

Okay, so my webcomic wasn't about gaming, and there was never any desire or expectation of making money off of it, but otherwise he was so spot on that my eyes widened with horror, shame and wonderful mirth as I listened to him. Obnoxious main character who is a fantasy self-insertion? Check. Straight man? Check. The girl? Check. Relationship between main character and the girl? oh god. Horrible art, questionable humor and strips dedicated to mocking those who mock me? Please allow me to crawl into this little hole and whimper. (In my own meager defense, I can only say that I stopped writing the thing a year ago.)

Thank you, Yahtzee. Now, what flavor of porridge should I go with?

--Kkat

Humor's a sensitive subject because it's subjective and what you find funny I might not find funny. That being said, a good joke has form and content, and CAD can be criticized on form. Yahtzee, in some interview or another, made this point by comparing CAD's and PA's strips about puzzle quest: Penny Arcade's is a classic "beat, beat, punch" format, while CAD front-loads the entire premise then sort of withers. Pointing this out is constructive criticism: in this case mr. buckley's eye for a good joke was right on, but his execution needed work. He's got a good joke with wider appeal if he just re-arranges things.

Buckley's success proves his sense of humor resonates but that doesn't mean he's beyond criticism. And he has earned a reputation for dismissing or lashing out against detractors. It may be he's changed, in which case given time he'll stop reaping the karmic rewards for past drama. Admittedly writing CAD must be harder than writing PA: he's flying solo (and anyone who's listened to the PA podcasts can tell you how quick ideas seem to come together with two maniacs working together), and he's got continuity to worry about which means he has to handle every corner he writes himself into on-the-fly.

I like quite a few webcomics. I never miss a PA, a Schlock Mercenary, an XKCD, or a YAFGC. That said, I'm not afraid to say so when PA is waning in teh funny department. Sometimes it gets into a real slump. I feel like they were in a mild one recently until the ping pong thing started. But if you're an RPG geek and you don't like "The Skills," http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2004/12/10/ then it's fair to say I don't understand your sense of humor.

jeo suprima:
oww gosh, yatzhee you old meanie! now everybody knows that the truth can be the biggest insult!
keep up the good work!

I second that statement. Penny Arcade has its own game? Seriously, wtf?

Also, excellently fitting music selection, as always =D

Arbitrary13:
It just hurts ZP to keep distracting from game reviewing like this, though. Sooner or later we'll have a video equivalent of Catsby and Twisp or Chef Brian or whatever abysmal non-sequitur nonsense web authors who lack appropriate editors churn out when they've scraped straight through the bottom of the barrel.

And here we have the nub of the problem. If you stray to far from your format you are going to lose fans. If you stand still you run the risk of getting stale. Unless you are Radiohead in which case people seem to excuse you for going nuts (Kid A, Amnesiac, Hail to the Thief)and welcome you back when you have something worth listening to again.

Is Yahtzee Thom York? Or is he Francis Rossi, running the same few chords over and over and over?

I am, and always will be amused and amazed at all the trivial arguments that go on in the internet in forums and message boards.

As for the review, I agree pretty much with what he said about web comics. The only one I still occasionally enjoy is VGcats, and even then it is still pretty hit and miss.

Also, whats all this about Buckley sending pics of his wang to little girls?

McChiken:
If only he could review movies. (Mind wanders off into the laugh fest that will sadly never be.)

Actually he has, only not on video form, and not preciselly from the biggest blockbusters:
http://www.fullyramblomatic.com/reviews/

TheFunkeyGibbon:

Arbitrary13:
It just hurts ZP to keep distracting from game reviewing like this, though. Sooner or later we'll have a video equivalent of Catsby and Twisp or Chef Brian or whatever abysmal non-sequitur nonsense web authors who lack appropriate editors churn out when they've scraped straight through the bottom of the barrel.

And here we have the nub of the problem. If you stray to far from your format you are going to lose fans. If you stand still you run the risk of getting stale. Unless you are Radiohead in which case people seem to excuse you for going nuts (Kid A, Amnesiac, Hail to the Thief)and welcome you back when you have something worth listening to again.

Is Yahtzee Thom York? Or is he Francis Rossi, running the same few chords over and over and over?

What the hell is wrong with Radiohead? I like how you use Kid A, Amnesiac and Hail to the Thief as examples - since these are 3 Radiohead albums that have equally reinvented the band and made them progress. Go and listen to Coldplay, I hear they do the same album over and over again.

OurGloriousLeader:

TheFunkeyGibbon:

Arbitrary13:
It just hurts ZP to keep distracting from game reviewing like this, though. Sooner or later we'll have a video equivalent of Catsby and Twisp or Chef Brian or whatever abysmal non-sequitur nonsense web authors who lack appropriate editors churn out when they've scraped straight through the bottom of the barrel.

And here we have the nub of the problem. If you stray to far from your format you are going to lose fans. If you stand still you run the risk of getting stale. Unless you are Radiohead in which case people seem to excuse you for going nuts (Kid A, Amnesiac, Hail to the Thief)and welcome you back when you have something worth listening to again.

Is Yahtzee Thom York? Or is he Francis Rossi, running the same few chords over and over and over?

What the hell is wrong with Radiohead? I like how you use Kid A, Amnesiac and Hail to the Thief as examples - since these are 3 Radiohead albums that have equally reinvented the band and made them progress. Go and listen to Coldplay, I hear they do the same album over and over again.

Or McFly, who rape good songs to death.

David_Cat:
He just did a miscarriage storyline, and did it well. He is mature.

You are Tim Buckley and I claim my five dollars.

Frosk:

David_Cat:
He just did a miscarriage storyline, and did it well. He is mature.

You are Tim Buckley and I claim my five dollars.

You are incorrect in your assumption.

I have never been a follower of CAD and by the looks of it never will be. Most subject matter is fair game on the internet, it may be my vagina talking, but miscarriage for a gaming comic that is not only done with an audience in mind that obviously can't get the "joke" as it is explained to death every step of the way, but it to be used by an obvious virgin with as little life experience as a man fond of dog milk, not to mention as little influence on the gaming world as dog milk! It is just arrogant to the point of obscene. To think it is OK because he does it? What a Johnson! Nice change from reviewing and a very good point! :)

fco:

McChiken:
If only he could review movies. (Mind wanders off into the laugh fest that will sadly never be.)

Actually he has, only not on video form, and not preciselly from the biggest blockbusters:
http://www.fullyramblomatic.com/reviews/

Thanks!

OurGloriousLeader:
What the hell is wrong with Radiohead? I like how you use Kid A, Amnesiac and Hail to the Thief as examples - since these are 3 Radiohead albums that have equally reinvented the band and made them progress.

*sigh* There's nothing wrong with Radiohead - the example was that despite making massive experimental changes to their sound during the 3 albums I mentioned they retained their fan base and came back with a well received commercial success too with In Rainbows. I am a huge Raidohead fan and have all their albums so before you get too uppity about it I wasn't being nasty about them but actually marvelling at their ability to stay popular no matter what. If Yahtzee can manage that then it's a neat trick but a hugely difficult one to pull off.

OurGloriousLeader:
Go and listen to Coldplay, I hear they do the same album over and over again.

"I hear they do..." so you've not listened to them then? Not particularly objective is it? ;)

Mayebe I'm wrong, maybe Yahtzee should do a ZP on how nobody seems to actually READ the posts they are replying to when using forums....

PrincessRtardio:
it may be my vagina talking

Now that's a trick I'd want to see! Makes the premise for the film Teeth seem a little limited. :D

PrincessRtardio:
Good point

You have a point, but CAD fans (myself included) have (in my case) stopped seeing it as a gaming comic. It's a sitcom/soap-opera mix.

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

Yes, so mature that he showed his penis to a 14 year old girl and banned hundreds of people who had the gall to talk about it on his forums.

Very funny video this week, even though CAD is an easy target. It's hard to not get carried away with the the bashing and be funny, but Yahtzee managed it.

I used to read CAD and I still like the one-shot comics about games, but I think the plot is a bit rubbish really.

thebobmaster:
You have a point, but CAD fans (myself included) have (in my case) stopped seeing it as a gaming comic. It's a sitcom/soap-opera mix.

That's nice. But if I take the label off a can of Beans and put a label saying Peas on it won't change what it *is*.

Hamster, you do realize your counter example was never actually proven, right? The sole evidence was the girl saying he did that.

CommunistHamster:

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

Yes, so mature that he showed his penis to a 14 year old girl and banned hundreds of people who had the gall to talk about it on his forums.

I very much doubt that is true.

Thank you for the hilarious birthday present Yathzee, now everyone is looking at me funny, 'cause I'm laughing hard enough to cry

CommunistHamster:
Yes, so mature that he showed his penis to a 14 year old girl and banned hundreds of people who had the gall to talk about it on his forums.

I keep hearing about this, can anyone provide any substantial evidence that he did send pics of his wang to a 14-year old?

TheFunkeyGibbon:

thebobmaster:
You have a point, but CAD fans (myself included) have (in my case) stopped seeing it as a gaming comic. It's a sitcom/soap-opera mix.

That's nice. But if I take the label off a can of Beans and put a label saying Peas on it won't change what it *is*.

It ISN'T a gaming comic to me. It's not relabeling, it a genre change. You don't want to understand that, fine. I'm not trying to make excuses for the miscarriage (which I thought was completely over-the-top), I'm just explaining how fans can still read the comics after that.

This is finally the episode that made me register. I love the fact that yatzhee's description of me as a CAD fan was spot on. Seriously I was beginning to think I was the only one that was waiting for Tim to just go completely nuts. I'm still a reader of CAD, but I am "smiling nervously while my mentally unstable friend runs around with a shillelagh." Anyway, as always love the video, especially since it got my goat a little.

Let me quote you again, emboldening certain points:

Unless you are Radiohead in which case people seem to excuse you for going nuts (Kid A, Amnesiac, Hail to the Thief)and welcome you back when you have something worth listening to again

This is inherently negative, so forgive me if I misunderstood but this is directly due to your lack of clarity.

As for that strange 'objective' comment, as I understand it music taste is wholly subjective. I think you meant to question whether or not I knew what I was talking about it, and I do. My flatmate plays all of coldplay, constantly. Over and over. Again. With sound and everything.

SaneIntolerant:

edinflames:

David_Cat:

The Sound Defense:

David_Cat:

Vanguard_Ex:

David_Cat:

Vanguard_Ex:

The Sound Defense:

SaneIntolerant:

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.

This doesn't exactly make him mature. I think he wants to put on a facade of maturity in this way by not directly attacking his more popular detractors. But it's a well-known fact that anyone who criticizes his comic on his forums, even constructively, is lashed out at and often banned. He's not exactly mature.

Too right. Having a look at CAD over the years I kind of drew the conclusion that Buckley is anything but mature.

He just did a miscarriage storyline, and did it well. He is mature.

A single miscarriage storyline compared to years of jokes including Solid Snake attempting to have sex with Link from the Zelda series. Ah yes, very mature.

That doesn't make him immature.

And your single instance of mature behavior doesn't make him mature, especially when compared to years of acting like he does toward his detractors.

Can you blame him for acting like that? Most of his detractors think they are being so witty by calling him Fuckley.

Apologies to the mods in advance, but this guy is pissing me off with his retardation.

STFU YOU LIKE A SHITTY WEBCOMIC, FACE THE MOTHERF*CKING TRUTH AND GET THE HELL OFF THIS THREAD.

just because YOU like it, doesnt mean it isn't SHIT.

If someone said the exact same thing about ZP, you'd deny it until the end of days, I'm sure.

C-C-C-C-Combo quotation!

Sorry, just wanted to do that.

Oooh, also, the logic of "popularity = success", particularly in relation to humour, does not work whatsoever. After all, an entire nation capitulated in laughter at the utterly humourless Catherine Tate Show.

SaneIntolerant:

edinflames:

David_Cat:

The Sound Defense:

David_Cat:

Vanguard_Ex:

David_Cat:

Vanguard_Ex:

The Sound Defense:

SaneIntolerant:

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.

This doesn't exactly make him mature. I think he wants to put on a facade of maturity in this way by not directly attacking his more popular detractors. But it's a well-known fact that anyone who criticizes his comic on his forums, even constructively, is lashed out at and often banned. He's not exactly mature.

Too right. Having a look at CAD over the years I kind of drew the conclusion that Buckley is anything but mature.

He just did a miscarriage storyline, and did it well. He is mature.

A single miscarriage storyline compared to years of jokes including Solid Snake attempting to have sex with Link from the Zelda series. Ah yes, very mature.

That doesn't make him immature.

And your single instance of mature behavior doesn't make him mature, especially when compared to years of acting like he does toward his detractors.

Can you blame him for acting like that? Most of his detractors think they are being so witty by calling him Fuckley.

Apologies to the mods in advance, but this guy is pissing me off with his retardation.

STFU YOU LIKE A SHITTY WEBCOMIC, FACE THE MOTHERF*CKING TRUTH AND GET THE HELL OFF THIS THREAD.

just because YOU like it, doesnt mean it isn't SHIT.

If someone said the exact same thing about ZP, you'd deny it until the end of days, I'm sure.

ooh Burn

This sucks. Good satire has a point and this doesn't; it's just bashing for the sake of bashing. Why go to the trouble? It's not like webcomic authors are trying to charge you money for what they make.

I want more clever game reviews. :(

The Anonymous Mr P:
C-C-C-C-Combo quotation!

Sorry, just wanted to do that.

Oooh, also, the logic of "popularity = success", particularly in relation to humour, does not work whatsoever. After all, an entire nation capitulated in laughter at the utterly humourless Catherine Tate Show.

The Catherine Tate Show is far from humourless. It is the exact opposite in fact.

...

...The defense rests, your honour.

Well, yeah, mostly every1 noticed with what webcomic you did compare

p1ne:
This sucks. Good satire has a point and this doesn't; it's just bashing for the sake of bashing. Why go to the trouble? It's not like webcomic authors are trying to charge you money for what they make.

I want more clever game reviews. :(

Wait a week.

Webcomic authors, most of them anyway, don't sell their product up-front. Many, such as Mookie of Dominic Deegan, will simply mention that their first collection of strips JUST got published wish some snazzy bonus stuff like filler art that you can pick up via PayPal for $20 so please do so because the grocery market job is killing them and they want to do more art for you etc etc. Not that I have anything against Mookie, but that's how these things usually go.

As for this sucking, I find your opinion appears somewhat misinformed and that it differs from mine.

SaneIntolerant:

Sylocat:
It also helps to be completely and utterly misogynistic.

That first link holds no ground at all, you know that, right?

Holds no ground? Did you read the comics? He clearly portrays Lucas as a shallow bastard. Now, that doesn't imply that Tim thinks the same way, but based on the outcome of Lucas' patient lie (something he continues in later parts of the strip), it seems to imply that Tim thinks these things actually work out for the better.

If nothing else, the Refried article points out the obvious -- any woman reading those panels is going to be offended.

I also didn't quite fully pin all of the references on Ctrl-Atl-Delete. I did think of several other webcomics that came to mind with each point. I also thought that the miscarriage reference was just Yahtzee throwing an odd idea out there.

Being a member of the webcomic community, I see his point and feel some of his pain on many levels.

Hannard:

David_Cat:
I did NOT like the CAD bashing.

Indeed. I for one find this to be a gross miscarriage of justice.

Did no one else catch that? I got to about page 5 and that's the funniest comment I read in the whole bit.

I thought everyone did.

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