Thursday, March 03, 2005

Webcomics: A Guide and a How-To

So I recently found links to a couple of webcomics, namely Alien Loves Predator and Order of the Stick. The first I found legitimately amusing, if more for the commentary from the artist than the actual strips, and the second just fulfilled some D&D nerd need or something. But after looking at those I started following links to other webcomics of some popularity. This, combined with my memories of Diesel Sweeties, has led me to a conclusion.

All webcomics are shitty. Also, all webcomics are exactly the same. There are certain templates to follow. Because I am awesome I will now show all of you faithful readers (or the person that came here randomly after reading the fascinating Blog of Wonders) How To Make a Webcomic.

Step One: The characters.

You have to have a horny guy. Horny guys are "hilarious." This is because they always want to do sex with girls and yet they never do. This mirrors the situations of webcomic makers and webcomic readers and most guys anywhere. That makes it relatable and funny.

You also have to have a sociopath guy. This is because webcomic people have been beaten down by life for many years and wish they could do something about it. They can't because they are webcomic people, not actual badasses. So they make up the exact same sociopath guy who either wants to kill people or does kill people in the comic. Laffs ensue.

You have to have a "hot girl." More attention will be paid into the drawing of said hot girl than all other characters combined. This hot girl will most likely be perfect in every way. She will have nothing to do with most of the characters because they want to do sex with her and she is unattainable, just like every woman in a webcomic person's life.

You should have some sort of "hilarious" genre character. This can be a robot, a pirate, a ninja, a Frankenstein, or some combination thereof. This is because everyone who reads or makes these things is just as nerdy as real comic fans and, let's face it, we love that shit. My anus tingled when I wrote the second sentence in this paragrah.

You can now fill in the rest of your cast with way too many damn people. Each of them will have one or two stock jokes that you will return to without mercy. None of them will actually be funny more than .75 times, though. Note: it is possible that sociopath guy or horny guy can be one person, or can even be female. Otherwise, though, no changes.

Step two: jokes

What are those? Those are the part at the end of your strip where one of the characters raises a sardonic eyebrow and no one laughs ever.

Step three: art

Art should be simple and easy to reproduce. In fact, the more cutting and pasting possible, the better. Really, if you could draw well you'd be doing something other than making a webcomic.

Step four: pimping

Constantly try to get more readers by begging, cajoling, bribing, and getting your friends to vote for you. Spend more time doing this than honing your "craft" or coming up with ideas that are "funny" or "original."

Step five: go somewhere without computers and never bother the rest of us again.

The end.


Blogger Greg said...

I want to believe the "Blog of Wonders" is made up by someone with a brain, but I used to teach high school, and it's all too familiar ...

3/03/2005 07:07:00 PM  
Blogger Brian Cronin said...

I love the "check the next blog over" function.

It's almost as awesome as that one reader who came to us after searching for "mind control slavery Claremont."

3/03/2005 07:11:00 PM  
Blogger Brian Cronin said...

As to the topic at hand, Brian Hibbs (I believe it was him) had an excellent point once about how, since comics are much easier to produce independently than a movie or a TV show or a novel, then there is a much higher probablity that the work is going to be poor.

After all, EVERYone is not going to be a talented comic book maker.

Well, making a webcomic is even EASIER to do than making an actual comic, so the odds are pretty decent that there will be even MORE poor webcomics out there than there are poor regular comics (which is to say, A LOT).

With this being said, I think you are being far too generalized, Joe. There are plenty of web comics out there that are both A. Funny and B. Well drawn that do not have "hot chicks" in them.

There are plenty of strips out there that match your descriptions/guide perfectly, but not nearly enough, I do not think, to go with the statement "All webcomics are shitty."

3/03/2005 07:15:00 PM  
Blogger Joe Rice said...

Brian Cronin: Wrong in the Past, Wrong Right Now, and Wrong in the Future.

There is no webcomic that anyone without mental problems would ever spend money on in real life.

3/03/2005 07:21:00 PM  
Blogger Brian Cronin said...

I am undone!

Seriously, though, I've been linked to plenty of webcomics over the years that I would pay money for.

Granted, they were all humor strips.

I will agree that I have yet to see a webcomic drama that I would pay money for.

3/03/2005 08:10:00 PM  
Blogger Joe Rice said...

Your lies are making Tadgghghhgh cry.

3/03/2005 08:15:00 PM  
Blogger adam said...


Do you know the Webcomics Examiner? Here's a place that's standing in opposition to exactly what you've pointed out; that's tired of webcomics being like you said and arguing for something better.

There's a column in the WCE called Aggressive Experiments that looks at nonhumour webcomics that expand horizons, or at least try to.


I was going to offer my own strip as an alternative, but you nailed me on a couple of points there - especially the bit about jokes and the cut-and-paste art.

3/03/2005 08:15:00 PM  
Blogger Joe Rice said...

Those elitist jerks! How DARE they expect more out of webcomics! Harumph!

3/03/2005 08:20:00 PM  
Blogger Christopher Burton said...

Joe Rice said:

"You should have some sort of 'hilarious' genre character. This can be a robot, a pirate, a ninja, a Frankenstein, or some combination thereof. This is because everyone who reads or makes these things is just as nerdy as real comic fans and, let's face it, we love that shit. My anus tingled when I wrote the second sentence in this paragrah."

Ooooo, it could have a robot, pirate, ninja Frankenstein -- all in one! Oh wait. Marvel did that. It's called Deathlok.

3/03/2005 09:17:00 PM  
Blogger Michael said...

Joe, I have two words for you:

Sluggy Freelance.

3/03/2005 11:42:00 PM  
Blogger Julio Oliveira said...

Webcomic drama that deserves payment:

or Same Difference on (Derek Kirk Kim is one of the artist from the Flight anthology)
or even the non-drama Cooper on

Seriously... I think your reaching out of your grasp when you people try to talk about webcomics... Stick to what you know and will be a lot better.

3/04/2005 06:59:00 AM  
Blogger Joe Rice said...

Michael: You said it twice so that's four words and thus disqualified for LIES!

Julio: I think you should stick to things YOU know like being down by the school yard. ZING! Also, Derek Kirk Kim is a frickin' genius.

I honestly was only talking about "humor" web comics, which, I still maintain, are all awful.

3/04/2005 07:03:00 AM  
Anonymous Dave Lartigue said...

Everything sucks and is stupid! Nerds can't get laid! Why do you park in a driveway and drive in a parkway?

You make some good points (I am tired tired tired of the "oh look it's something that is supposed to be cute but it's really an evil sociopath hurk hurk) and yes I understand the process of using exaggeration as humor to advance a point, but man, please get some new material.

3/04/2005 10:19:00 AM  
Blogger TCSmith said...

Don't listen to that sourpuss! You guys are hilarious!

3/04/2005 11:53:00 AM  
Blogger Joe Rice said...

This issue can only be resolved by a gladiator match between Top Cat and Dave. Dave wins, I stop typing what I think is funny and type what he thinks is funny. TC wins and I never change anything ever especially my haircut.

3/04/2005 12:48:00 PM  
Blogger Julio Oliveira said...

Joe Rice:
I stick to my claim. The fact there is one zillion webcomics makes difficult to know the ones that are really good, just for the sheer amount of all kinds. I think Queen of Wands ( and Questionable Content ( to be great humor on "banter" kind of humor. I like Something Positive in its attitude of "holy cows makes the best burguer". Really, you people know comics... but not webcomics, at all. In this regard is not the thing I look in this blog, because frankly even if your good critics, doesn't matter much if you are talking the broadest sense possible about something you have admittedly the litlest information (you all say that don't read webcomics). Also Derek Kirk Kim is a genius, you won't find me denying. Really, the problem with this thread is that if I wanted serious webcomic commentary, from someone who knows webcomics, thus making the experience of reading said commentary, I would read

3/04/2005 12:49:00 PM  
Blogger Joe Rice said...


3/04/2005 01:09:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Isn't Player vs. Player a web-strip that also makes money in real life as a comic, and is funny?

3/04/2005 01:21:00 PM  
Anonymous Shaenon said...

People, if you want to convince the man that webcomics aren't all about nerd-wank genre characters, sociopathic fantasies, T&A, and ironic hipster non-punchlines, don't keep recommending webcomics with nerd-wank genre characters, sociopathic fantasies, T&A, and ironic hipster non-punchlines. I see this mistake made again and again by comics fans: "Oh, you're looking for a comic, and you're a ten-year-old girl who's scared to go into your local store because of all the creepy boob posters? You know what you'd really enjoy? FRANK CHO."

I dunno...the only humor webcomic I even read anymore is "Achewood." And Derek Kirk Kim hasn't updated his site in a million years. Stupid Derek Kirk Kim. Let's get him.

Oh, wait! "Return to Sender" is funny! Not a strip, though.

3/04/2005 01:43:00 PM  
Anonymous Dave Lartigue said...

"This issue can only be resolved by a gladiator match between Top Cat and Dave. Dave wins, I stop typing what I think is funny and type what he thinks is funny."

Nah, you type whatever you want, doesn't bother me. I'm just sayin', the schtick is old. I don't disagree with your opinions on gothity-goth comics and most webcomics, but how many iterations of "You people should stop making things I don't like because you're stupid and can't get laid!" do we need?

If you're gonna be screeching about people not being funny, grow a skin if someone screeches back.

3/04/2005 02:00:00 PM  
Blogger Joe Rice said...

"Isn't Player vs. Player a web-strip that also makes money in real life as a comic, and is funny?"


Moving on, the day I grow skin is the day I stop letting my sweet sweet muscle meat feel the polluted Bushwick air WHICH IS NEVER.

3/04/2005 03:30:00 PM  
Anonymous Brad Curran said...

"Isn't Player vs. Player a web-strip that also makes money in real life as a comic, and is funny?"


Well, it does make money and is a webstrip, so two out of three, at least. It (and Penny Arcade, which is the only webcomic I follow and you would probably hate) are part of the "video game culture" webstrip subgenre that's out there. There's probably fertile bitching material there (I'm trying to figure out how much PA fits in to your template. Not very hard, but still).

3/05/2005 06:24:00 PM  
Blogger MarkAndrew said...

Fred the Clown was originally a Webcomic. I think. At least Scott Shaw! said it was. I think.

Fred the Clown is amazingly Goddamn brilliant.

Sad and funny and jes' plain bizzare. The reprints were my favorite thang Fantagraphics put out last year, and I'm a Fanta-groupie, except for, like, Bitchy Bitch and Angry Youth and stuff that's trying to be hip instead of sad.

So it is possible to do good Webcomics.

And James Kolchalka does a web comic, and while it's not undeniable in it's brilliance like Fred the Clown, I like it lots.

3/06/2005 08:30:00 PM  
Anonymous A different Greg to the one that already posted said...

Joe Rice has never had sex with a girl.

if deleted still true.

5/24/2006 06:19:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whoever wrote this is absolutely pathetic, sick and biased, and this was just embarrassing to read. How do you know all webcomics suck? have you read every webcomic in the universe (yeah, yeah, aliens are writing webcomics, what else is new)?
A story does NOT need some stupid horny guy to be good. only a stupid horny guy would think that. All this advice is lame, and you have no clue what you are talking about.
p.s. if this is deleted, that just proves i'm right.

7/09/2006 04:39:00 PM  
Blogger brtkrbzhnv said...


I would also like to point out that there are in fact a few good webcomics, most notably Dinosaur Comics.

10/28/2007 04:13:00 AM  
Anonymous Reader said...

Scary Go Round.

4/19/2008 08:47:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The previous few comments were hilarious to read. And you're right, I would never spend money on a webcomic, but then again, I wouldn't spend money on any comic.

6/11/2008 09:03:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hahahaha...See, I thought that this was a joke, but it turns out that you are the joke. It's nice to know that I can count on biased jerks with a computer trying to tell everyone the "truth". Thanks for the good laugh.

6/18/2008 08:20:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This article has zero quality and thought put into it. He generalizes all webcomics by a few. Before "researching" for his pile of immature comments, the guy probably just finished watching the Homestarrunner Strong Bad E-mail episode where Strongbad just as blatantly stupid and generalizing comments about webcomics.

I can make a "guide", too. Here is how to write a blog:

1. Take a topic you know next to nothing about and have a bias towards.
2. Don't bother with extensive research, skim over a few examples and you'll be fine.
3. Add lots of sarcastic comments and snarky humor to make yourself look funny.
4. Label people who like what you are reading up on as "nerds".
5. Post your article on the web and tick off alot of people.
6. Take a hammer and beat your computer repeatedly before submitting your blog.

Your blog was distasteful and a waste of my time. Will never read any of your blogs again, and I actually liked some of the things you had to say before stumbling upon this garbage.

10/20/2008 08:52:00 AM  
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3/25/2009 08:33:00 PM  
Anonymous Eric Stanczyk said...

Well in some respects you are right about most of the web comics out there, but there are certain exceptions that i have found. Two of these web comics are 2kinds and Slightly damned which are both very enjoyable and pretty well drawn. As for the common characters that you said are in the story only the funny character is available in slightly damned ,and while there are hot girls in 2kinds you have to be a furry fan to actually find them hot (example of a furry is Star fox). So basically yes the crappy comics are as you describe, but the goods ones are almost the complete opposite.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dude, you have no idea what your talking about. It's pretty apparent that when you satrt talking about "Nerds that can't get laid" you're talking about yourself. In short, you a narrow minded asshole, and probably a narccisist too, seeing as you feel like people would want to hear your opinion on a subject you know nothing about. Btw, you owe me 5 minutes of my life back.

9/10/2011 08:43:00 PM  
Anonymous Sinister Cock-Roache said...

Wow. I killed some time here. I love reading how to webcomic advice and how to be successful at doing webcomic. Am I fucking retarded. I am posting a comment in a dead zone, so yeah. Fuck at least there's been something resembling communication generated here. Yes!

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