174: Private Buffoons

Private Buffoons

Humor sites on the internet may be a dime a dozen, but that doesn't mean there isn't room for one more. Allen Varney discusses his webcomic research in preparation for launching his own site.

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I'm trying to word this comment without it sounding like cruel abuse, but...

For a humorist, this article wasn't very funny. If you make everything a ninja is it automatically funny? I don't know... I class this article as self-promotion. I class this comment as possibly pointless, so I'll add that I disagree with everything stated. There's too much stuff (web-comics) out there already, it's all a mushy mess, nothing stands out anymore, little talent is required, I see no point in adding to it.

Ninja Adrian, signing out.

PS: Alas, turns out Ninja Adrian is just as unfunny as regular Adrian.

Adrian, you might be relieved to learn I'm not the principal writer on the Ninjalistics site, and that the main creators are, in fact, funny. Even if you're not relieved, I assure you I was. Relieved, I mean, not funny. No, wait...

Man, mgoode, that is some of the clumsiest word-of-mouth marketing I've ever seen. I see from your profile you've made two posts on these forums, both contriving to mention this cellphone.

I should be taking notes -- there's satiric potential here. "Boy, I'm so glad to find this site about pipe wrenches. I've been thinking about asking the corporate ninjas at NINJALISTICS to use pipe wrenches as weapons when they undertake their next job for me in the hotly competitive covert tactical realignment operations industry."

mgoode:
I've noticed a trend in the increase of humor sites content is taken from cell phone videos. With technology making it easier to capture moments like this, I have my sites set on the krave as my next choice in cell phones. Since i'm currently working with motorola, I get the jump on the latest technology and the krave is probably the best choice for anyone launching their own comedy site. check it out for yourself at .com/. Let the comedy begin!

Wow! This krave sounds like LOLOL! Wut duz it do? I just wana kno if it dos teh thing where the phn tks pictrs nd stff. Y knw?
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I can't believe it. How'd this get in the Escapist forums?

Shoo!

The same "mgoode" is spamming the Crave forums and Hellforge about the same phone. Didn't even come up with a new user name. Think it through, guy! Man, the intelligence of spammers is in sad decline. No wait, not sad -- heartwarming.

What's the best way to fight this? Motorola's vice president of global marketing is Jeremy Dale -- maybe working up some kind of Googlebomb that links him to "mgoode Motorola Krave forum spam"?

But what, i ask, about serious webcomics and sites? Not everyone can be as silly as AskANinja.
Heck, even the silly ones tend to develope Cerebus Syndrome overtime. Look at Emergency Exit. It goes from being almost absurdist to one gorup of villains perpetrating horrible on-frame carnage to another group.

I DEMAND AN ARTICLE ABOUT THE ONLINE DRAMA MEDIUM! The power of the serious webcomic and the amatuer online stories!

Only vaguely related:
Man, i wish i could draw. I have images in my head and the words for it (but not enough words for a novel) but no ability to put images into a medium.
I recently did an excersize where i visualized all of the last few chapters of Farenheit 451 as a comic and i loved the way it looked, but it will never end up on paper, much less online.

Actually Muphin, you make a good point. All webcomics that I have seen are humorous, but it would be interesting to see something with more depth as well.
One comic that seems to be a bit different so far is goblins; which started as humor, but has a more involved story line now. (http://www.goblinscomic.com/)

Allen Varney:
The same "mgoode" is spamming the Crave forums and Hellforge about the same phone. Didn't even come up with a new user name. Think it through, guy! Man, the intelligence of spammers is in sad decline. No wait, not sad -- heartwarming.

What's the best way to fight this? Motorola's vice president of global marketing is Jeremy Dale -- maybe working up some kind of Googlebomb that links him to "mgoode Motorola Krave forum spam"?

Wow! That phone would be great, if I hadn't just got one that's a million times better! That spam phone doesn't even have a proper operating system. I laugh at your phones which don't have an SSH client on them.

Also, pipe wrenches are awesome. Now. Time for seriousness.

Interesting concept, but I find it difficult to conceive of it being kept funny for a long time. Corporate jokes are funniest when taken from the perspective of somebody who normally has to deal with suits, with the likes of engineers and computer programmers well-known for their commentary on the apparent lack of thought expressed by the "people upstairs".

You see, while taking a group of people that you wouldn't normally associate with a job, and putting them into that position, there is potential, but it doesn't always work. I think that the comedy potential of putting somebody with the stereotyped "stiff upper lip" into a comedic piece is greater than putting a group of people most associated with coolness and stealth into a job which is essentially sedentary.

The primary success of Dr. McNinja is that it doesn't rest on its laurels. Oh sure, it could get a fanbase just by having a doctor (who's also a ninja), but every week there's a new defining point of absurdity.
"I come from a race of sneaky lobster people."
"Knife Eye Attack!"
and so on

The big problems that deter people from interest in webcomics, namely Cerebus Syndrome, poor art/proofreading, irregular updates, and injokeyness tend to be things easily overcome if the strip is trying hard enough or has few enough of these problems. Unfortunately, Sturgeon's Law means a high probability of seeing the worst of the worst before you see the best of the best.

What this means is that to be a "successful" reader of webcomics you have to be able to read bad ones with abandon, follow linked favorites with no sense of self-preservation, defy the boundaries of the furry ghetto, ignore bad art... In terms of one's cynicism and level of expectations this is best left to the imagination, one must become a hardened snarker, an overly tolerant milquetoast "fan", or someone who just takes things as they come. Regardless of outcome, enough time spent in archive binges will mean that about the time you seriously worry about wasting your life you WILL find a few diamonds in the septic tank.

This topic touches (somewhat lightly) upon one of the consequences of always-available, ever-evolving content: Information overload. Unless you are a speed-reading hermit who does nothing but surf the web and sleep, you cannot possibly find, visit and keep current with every website that deals with your interests. (Though I also would be hard-pressed to say what interests a speed-reading hermit who does nothing but surf the web and sleep would have, besides surfing the web and sleeping.) Everyone is going to miss out on something, somewhere, despite the best efforts of these aggregation websites. It might be for the best if that happens, as well- moderation in everything, you know?

To the dude in the Photo, nice trainers, Vans?

Completely irrelevant to article I know but I'm curious.

Not my favourite piece of yours, but it's nice to see something new from you. Keep up the good work. I hope to see you around these parts more. You're one of my favourite contributors.

P.S. Have you ever given any thought to writing your "How to become a game designer FAQ" as an article? I bet that would get a lot of interest around these parts.

I actually liked that article. Maybe because it kept saying what I wanted it to say: my first thought when I realised it was going to be an article about webcomics was "oh no, someone has read Penny Arcade, Ctrl+Alt+Del and xkcd and thinks they know what they're talking about", but you really hit the nail on the head: it's anarchy out there.

 

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