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Dave and Not Dave; the unfunny comic project.

franciumfrancium Registered User regular
edited January 2013 in Artist's Corner

so here is a little project me and ol monkeybox came up with. the setting is that these nerds are about to start playing some games for bragging rights. i wanted to make it apparent that they were entering a gaming facility like an arcade, but i chose not to specify so that no game could be excluded. the players will become the pieces in a sort of battle thread/strip style joke bananza. anyone can make a strip. (think adult calvin and hobbs)

i hope we get some takers. i will make some more and post them soon.
stay frosty my friends.

francium on


  • Monkey BoxMonkey Box Registered User regular
    We were hoping to get some involvement within the AC community as well as some critiques. Francium and I thought it was time for something fresh and new, much like a battle-thread. Francium and I thought we could post these two nerds fighting it out in several different video game universes, such as Halo, Street Fighter, Quake, Joust, etc etc. PLEASE, if you'd like to add in a new character that thinks he (or she) can take us on, bring it.

    This is our project, but more so, we would like it to be the community's.

    Crashino hunks break yer bones
  • franciumfrancium Registered User regular
    edited January 2013

    in this comic the two are in the middle of an FPS match. is that made apparent by the information in the image? what does the costume mean to you (each individual). and should there be a "ponder panel" inbetween the 2nd and 3rd. and lastly, did this even make you smile just a little... just the smallest tiniest amount? cause if it did. i'd be highly encouraged to hear it. id really like to make people laugh.

    francium on
  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    I like the art. How, exactly, do you imagine ACers participating in this with you?

    I feel like you aren't hitting your jokes, and some of that may be me being out of the loop on alot of games, but I feel like the first punch line is pretty generic shit talking. If you work to build up these characters over time, you may come up with something more interesting. The art has a charm to it that makes me wonder what would happen if the comic was in long form, and had a little story around it.

    You may want to consider pursuing that sort of avenue if you cant drum up other participation. Comic artists tend to have to have their own shit going on on, so getting them to play ball in someone else's personal project is difficult. Even things with organization and interest, like war for arcadia, have people falling in and out a lot.

  • franciumfrancium Registered User regular
    edited January 2013
    I regret to say that I'm not sure... I don't know much about how collaboration works here. I'm new...

    The generic shit talking is correct. We intended to do a sort of battle thread so it seemed a generic way to start one of those.

    The second joke is... Funny to possibly, only me.
    But I'm okay with that.

    I guess I'd be happy if AC could help us write, or at least edit some scripts to draw. i felt very much like the second joke was well planned and executed. ive never been a good "story teller" IRL. so i took a long shot at what i thought avoided the most obvious answer, but monkey box tells me he was withholding, and also feels meowth implies "pussy" rather than "furry" or heaven forbid the personality of the character dave was dressed as, which i thought was a pretty comic way to bait and switch. but as i said before, im a bad story teller... i like slow humor. if anyone else did this i would crack up. im still very happy about it.

    could you expand on what you meant about long form?

    francium on
  • NakedZerglingNakedZergling A more apocalyptic post apocalypse Portland OregonRegistered User regular
    I honestly do not understand the last strip.

  • franciumfrancium Registered User regular
    edited January 2013

    thanks iruka, for the help.

    sorry for the hilariously unfunny comics guys. i'll try to put forth some real effort in making a strip that is actually funny.

    @NZ: what has you stuck? ive heard from a number of people that they didnt understand that the guys are in a video game. but i will also accept that the costume doesnt make sense to you. new reasons are also welcome.

    francium on
  • WassermeloneWassermelone Registered User regular
    I understood the 'being in a videogame' thing but I don't know what if anything is happening in the second panel. And I really have no clue what is going on in the third panel. I just have no idea why they are there, why they are wearing those costumes, what emotion is supposed to be being portrayed there, or even what sort of environment they are in.

    Humor is about setting up expectations and breaking them. You think one this is going to happen, and you do something else. With the first comic, the 'punchline' fits what people expect of a moment like that in real life so it doesn't really seem to even have a joke. I also think you didn't really set up the environment well here either. The 'bing' and grey wall in the second comic didn't say game shop to me. Pulling back in the second panel, showing the door and showing a rack of boardgames or something.

  • NakedZerglingNakedZergling A more apocalyptic post apocalypse Portland OregonRegistered User regular
    I got that they were in a game (call of duty 3?) That the first guy got killed and is waiting to respawn, and that the second guy got a multikill, probably showing that he's getting his ass kicked, by the first guy. Then the third panel......huh?

  • franciumfrancium Registered User regular
    All things noted about the first comic. Thanks for being thorough. I didn't try very hard on that, I wasn't sure what I was doing yet.

    In the FPS comic, the punch line was supposed to be whatever word the meowth costume made you think. Honestly, I thought this was funny because I'd never call anyone a meowth... I mean, I'm laughing while typing this... I am afraid that I am special or something.

    I understand that it's suffering. What do you think I could do to achieve a more global humor?

    I have some family circus type material I could draw...

  • Lewis RiceLewis Rice Registered User regular
    There is nothing interesting in the characters that would make me want to put their personalities to videogame inspired comics. They just seem like Ctrl Alt Del extras or a Penny Arcade joke about annoying gamers anger.

    I think videogames have given me a lot of inspiration. They've effected how I approach a story or an idea. So when given the freedom to create a videogame inspired environment, that excites me, but I've already got that freedom, I don't mean this to be insulting, I'm just trying to explain it, that involving these characters doesn't excite me or offer a unique comic journey, I read them and only see an easily made character, similar to the ones in many other video game comics.

    Allowing your creations to interact with other people's work is what I like about battlethreads. This feels more like a theme for the AC challenge than a battlethread.

  • RaharlRaharl Registered User regular
    the 3rd panel is Meowth right? It seems like you are stretching to much to add that reference. Maybe it was funny to you, but it's to much of an inside joke for everybody else.

  • MagicToasterMagicToaster JapanRegistered User regular
    edited January 2013
    francium wrote: »
    What do you think I could do to achieve a more global humor?

    Imagine going to E3, then the speaker at the main event turns out to be a cardiologist explaining the difference between LDP and HDP. You might not know about LDP and HDPs, in fact, you have no idea what the hell he's talking about.

    Your last comic was something like that.

    MagicToaster on
  • franciumfrancium Registered User regular
    edited January 2013
    @Magic toaster, by last, I have to assume you mean the third comic. So Dave says "what did AC say about our comic", and not Dave replies with the face of iruka's avatar which while showing little real emotion, is alarming to Dave. Is that difficult to get?

    I appreciate that everyone is trying to be helpful by letting me know my comic isn't landing it's jokes. However, I already came to terms with that during the day or two that went by where nobody said anything at all.

    @lewis rice; What you said was more or less "I don't know who these characters are yet." which is understandable. But you didnt give me anything to build on. I'm going to address the fact that I was approaching this work like a battle thread and I wanted it to be generic enough that anyone could add to it.
    My expectations for forum participation are from 2003 megatokyo battle threads. Iruka helped me pick a better direction to work in, taking into account the modern dynamic of a graphic arts forum.

    To explain meowth; monkey box had brought to me a story that starts and ends more or less like that one, but instead of meowth for the punch line, he wanted Dave dressed as a hipster (both characters actually). I think I hear about hipsters once every day cause I live in new Orleans... I thought the joke was very standard. Rather than digging for the 'perfect image' I went with one of my top three non insulting insults, meowth. I was sure it would work because I thought AC was a bunch of gamers artists who would like the juxtaposition...

    @nz: the third panel; it's two guys standing in front of some sliding doors. The fat one is pretending he isn't with the skinny one, because he is dressed in a furry costume of meowth.
    I don't think you are being literal when you end off with "huh?" but I dont know what other question to answer.

    Let the record show: the first two were part of an idea for a battle thread. I have since trashed that idea. They were wimsical, and quickly put together with only a little planning. And the third comic was an AC inside joke, which I'm thinking no one appreciates.

    To be honest, Other than for godfather's egg and brownie battle thread, these are the only strips I've done. I'll keep making more for the practice, but as far as critique goes, wassermelone and iruka seemed like the only people concerned with giveing something back to me.

    francium on
  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    edited January 2013
    francium wrote: »
    I'll keep making more for the practice, but as far as critique goes, wassermelone and iruka seemed like the only people concerned with giveing something back to me.

    Doesn't seem like anyone here is trying to be anything other than honest and helpful. "I don't get your jokes" may not be what you want to hear, necessarily, but that doesn't mean they aren't good crits.

    Perhaps you should just try some strips without the idea of collaboration at all. I'd also be interested in seeing what your work looks like when its not in comic strips, if you have some one of pieces.

    Iruka on
  • Lewis RiceLewis Rice Registered User regular
    francium wrote: »
    @lewis rice; What you said was more or less "I don't know who these characters are yet." which is understandable. But you didnt give me anything to build on. I'm going to address the fact that I was approaching this work like a battle thread and I wanted it to be generic enough that anyone could add to it.

    Sorry if I wasn't clear. My point was that generic characters don't attract a lot of attention, it makes it easier for artists to work with and especially on a forum were a lot of artists may be doing it for the fun of it and not as a possible profession or form of training, but generic characters aren't fun to engage with creatively, there is to much for the artist to fill in and not enough there already to make them excited about drawing the characters or have them do things.
    What could make them more interesting?
    More expressions, in their body language, facial expression, pupils might help, there is a sort of empty shell vibe i get from the first comic that comes from their eyes and face. The fat guy just kind of looks like a sad ghost in that last panel.
    I think maybe that comic's final laugh should be in his devilish and over the top behavior, it should be making fun of what he is saying, the legitimacy of his threat, I'd find it funny if his face was scrunched up, pouty lips and everything.
    It kind of makes me think of how there are jokes that characters in tv shows laugh at but aren't funny to the audience, but the jokes that are funny to us are sometimes the tragic nature of the characters or the situation. With these two characters, I think the underlying comic theme is the tragic nature to their lives. They're not battling in real life, but to them its real.
    If this is the direction you think could be a possibility then the mock drama needs to go up a few levels which coudl be achieved through more intense and dramatic expressions in their facial and body language, more extreme camera angles to express such things as power and weakness and maybe even more dynamic colour palettes to express the mood (what would help with this a lot is if you were to use computer software to colour as the markers you're using are pretty faded, which may work for softer scenes but doesn't for the extreme ones)
    But even if you do follow this or something, its not a guarantee for success or whatever you hope to achieve with it. You can only make more and more and more and MORE comics to get better. and the fastest way to to do that is to make small thumbnail drawings of strips, with notes on the colour movements, angles or expressions of the characters.
    It's really important to craft a single strip to make it perfect, but it can also take to much time and at some point you can become overly finicky of the subject or strip, so its important to just keep moving and make more strips, even in the simplest format.

    I hope this helps you some!

  • franciumfrancium Registered User regular
    edited January 2013

    thanks so much for the effort you put into your response. im flattered. i tried penciling in some eyeballs to the orphan annie eyes. it may help improve my intended humor. i will post the corrections in the near future.

    this strip above is inspired by my friends daughter. i love listening to them banter :D

    please let me know what you think of the joke. how effective the prop guy is. i meant him as a lawyer who looked threatening. did i pull that off? should i have? are the expressions not varried enough? do they make sense with the implied tone? i wanted the tone to be a flat dutiful simplified recollection of a deal made at one point between the mother and the daughter. and the daughter to reply as an exaggeration of the mom.
    should the mom have a background? if so, what?
    was the presentation successful? were you pleased with the reveal?

    thanks again AC for the help. thank you very much LewRice for that very encouraging and insightful reply once again.
    im just trying out some independent jokes like iruka suggested. i hope this one goes over a little better than the others.
    i also left it black and white so it could get some digital color.
    this is the work i did on creating the characters for the joke. battlethread002_zps4f487da8.jpgbattlethread003_zpsa9ec5f91-1_zps8392cbca.jpgbattlethread004_zps7753e6ff.jpg

    francium on
  • Lewis RiceLewis Rice Registered User regular
    No problem! Glad I wasn't entirely irrelevant.

    I like the comic, the pacing is great and the drawings are really good, the proportions being well balanced.
    I don't think you need background, I think the objects you use are enough.
    If there is one thing that is off, its maybe the portrayal of the lawyer. Because of the pinstripes and stache I kinda thought he looked like a gangster. Maybe trade it in for a plain suit, clean shave and reading glasses?
    Take away the words in the last panel and I might have thought he was a gangster, it would certainly confuse me a little more. It could even look like it was her father getting ready to go off to work, maybe a bit of a creepy dad, but I'm just trying to I guess make you aware of these details. Without the words, an image can tell an entirely different story. Does anyone else think the portrayal of the lawyer is a problem with the final panel? does it add confusion or is it pretty clear?

    (also making the lawyer plain like that might make him look like the dad even more. What you gotta hit on is the accentuated characteristics of a lawyer and not that of a gangster.)

    Also, while the comic is incredibly sweet, and I liked it a lot, it didn't make me laugh. Now I'm not sure entirely what your intention was, you mentioned Calvin and Hobbes in your first post and I get that feeling a lot from this comic. Calvin and Hobbes is incredibly sweet and mostly fills me with warmth more than pains in my side from the chortles. This is okay though, because a lot of comics do this, the purpose of strip comics isn't just to induce laughter, it can be whatever message you want, and even then I guess, like this instant and the meowth comic, its the audience that decides what to make of it.
    Once again this sort of comes around to sense of humour and what I think it needs to induce that barrel of fun funs. I think lots of lawyers, Mr Burns amounts of lawyers, all looking rather 19th century aristocratic with large noses, moustaches, bald heads and unamused eyes. But I don't really want you to change that, now I'm just on a post roll.

    Theres hundreds of webcomics out there, and theres some that are hilarious, I go onto KC Greens Gunshowcomic website and he has a list of webcomics down the side. I've been through a lot of them, I'd say only five of them can really make me laugh and theres gotta be 40 strips there. Its all pretty personal. Some people probably HATE KC Green and that just eludes me.

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