My new webcomic, Late Night Cereal

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  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    These are the only real "success" comics I would pick out of your stuff:
    006-Grammy.jpg
    Easily understood, decent art, good pacing.

    001-New-Guy.jpg
    Interesting idea, fails a bit in implementation but probably one of the more clever things you have posted.

    011-Slow-Dogs.jpg
    This has the most promise, but would have been better served with a "show-don't-tell" moment. I would have merged the last two panels into a panorama of the character looking at the title images he names, and letting the audience parse them out as part of the joke. It would be more complicated to draw, but would pay off better.

    008-Religion.jpg
    This is a safe internet joke. It works, and is a passable carry for your comics. It won't gain readership, but won't lose it either.

    All of the others you posted are not necessarily "failures", in that they have decent attempts, but all fall apart in delivery in some fashion. Lets take a look at your most recent:

    014-Fellas_V2.jpg

    So, without looking at your dialog following it up, here is what I see (using the three panel setup):

    Situation: Crabs making fun of male seahorses for carrying babies.
    --->Problems: Assumption of knowing seahorses have males carry young (survivable to joke)
    Setup: "Karma will take care of it"
    --->Problems: Joke hinges now entirely upon Karmic payback in some fashion. (survivable to joke)
    Expectation Break: Crabs are killed near hotel, seahorses playing cards.
    --->Problems: Disconnect between karmic death and natural death, uncertainty over why playing cards (mobster feel?), uncertainty over how this is related to the seahorses or, if not, where the joke on expectations comes from. (Kills the joke).

    Now, with this situation and setup you have to do SOMETHING with karma. The more direct and unexpected this is, the better the joke will be, for example: maybe cut the last panel and instead do a pan-out to a wider shot, showing the crabs laughing in the background... and in the foreground revealing that all four characters are in a fish tank at a Crab Restarant, where the "Father's Day Special" is crab legs. This would be a bit Perry Bible Fellowship of a take on the joke, but it would play with Karma.

    If you want to keep the non-karmic route, you would need to include visual clues of a possible karmic solution in your setup, then show how that solution was grossly misunderstood by the audience in the panel. An example of this, using sort of the same image as your own joke, would be implying with the "Karma" quote that they would be murdering him with some weapon in panel two and then have it shown later that weapon was used to "defeat" them in a fatherhood related, non-violent way. I honestly can't think of a way to reconcile this with the limits you have on the joke (crabs, seahorses, modern world "underwater" feel), but for an example think the Family Guy "LOIS I'M GONNA KILL YOU /AXE... [beat] in teh race for school board president ./use axe to tap down signs"

    You are going to be restrained by every thing you put in the joke. If you use Karma in the setup, you have to use Karma even when you are NOT using karma, simply by having to re-reference it in your expectation break.



  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    Really, what you should do at this point, in addition to your art, is go watch stand up comedians. Netflix and HuluPlus have a ton available, go watch routine after routine and do the following:

    1) Watch and enjoy the jokes, see what you laughed at and what you didn't.
    2) Look at the ones you laughed at and take apart why. Was it because of the joke itself, or the buildup? Deconstruct it down to the core elements and see how and why it worked with you.
    3) Look at the ones you DIDN'T laugh at, and do the same. This is possibly more important because if you can understand why it flopped here, you can use that as a test of your own jokes when you push them forward in your comics.

    I did want to mention I think the coloring you did on the seahorse is definitely an improvement that adds a bit of character. Keep pushing that (and your character designs).

  • PifmanPifman Registered User regular
    edited April 2013
    I can only assume Enc was BANNED for questioning my comedic approach :D

    Anyways, thanks for the feedback. I was really thinking that I MIGHT have nailed that seahorse comic. Right up until you pointed out that I didn't. Here is what I was going for:

    1. In the first panel you get the impression that they're dainty little seahorses. Weak and motherly. Then boom, in the last panel it reveals they're actually hard-ass mafia-type murderers not to be fucked with.

    2. I spent a lot of time on the wording in panel two. It's SUPPOSED to be ambiguous, but more importantly, a little misleading. Imagine you're watching a gangster movie: Two mafia types are getting hassled and laughed at. He quietly tells his partner-in-crime something to the effect of, "I have a funny feeling they won't be laughing very long." Basically, telling him that they'll whack 'em soon, payback is a bitch, etc. But because you don't know that they're hard-asses in the first two panels, the verbiage in the second panel should read as innocent "lets ignore them" talk. When really, after you read the third panel, you realize he was basically saying, "You're going to meet my baseball bat, Karma." ...It's quite possible I didn't show this type of attitude/situation well enough.

    Now I explored the idea of "showing" this mafia side of them more spelled out, like having a baseball bat in the background or even them eating crab legs or something, but I was hoping that the viewer could just see that they had zero response to the radio news. No shock or surprise, just continued to drink, smoke and play cards. Sort of like when Joe Pesci shoots that younger guy in the basement halfway through Goodfellas, he just acts like no big deal, "What?!"

    Lastly, yes I think the joke hinges on the knowledge of male seahorses carrying the babies (which explains the bad joke coming from the crabs), but I'm very OK with that. Whatever my comic-voice ends up being, I do know that I want to treat my readers with some intelligence. I don't think it's that rare of a fact and I enjoy webcomics (like xkcd, PA or PBF) that don't spoon-feed their jokes to the lowest common denominator.

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  • PifmanPifman Registered User regular
    edited April 2013
    I took this entire thread and translated it: Be funnier.

    I've actually adjusted from twice-a-week updates to just once-a-week (on Mondays), in order to hone in and try to nail each one. Quality over quantity, etc.

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  • redfield85redfield85 Registered User regular
    edited April 2013
    Pifman wrote: »
    I feel like the balance I'm currently struggling with is over-explanation and "I don't get it" humor. Right now I'm trying to see what I can get away without being too abstract.

    Please read the following comic...

    013%20Fly-1.jpg

    Did you get it? Were any of the panels confusing as to what was going on? Now here's one that helps "sell" the idea a little more...

    013%20Fly-2.jpg

    And as much as I like how the "CRAASSHHH" looks, I've very comfortable with leaving it out, if I can get away with it. Your thoughts? Lastly, has this type of joke been done to death? I know of the old "fly bugging the orchestra conductor and wackiness ensues" but hopefully this is a fresh enough take?

    Was just browsing the forums and wanted to give my input on this particular comic.

    I had absolutely no clue what was going on and then you put the CRASH in there. I thought he ate the fly to be honest. I'd even suggest seeing how the CRASH looks placed in between/on top of the bottom left and bottom middle panels.

    edit: If I was playing around with this one, I would see what a 4 panel version would look like. Use the top middle, top right, bottom left (with CRASH on it), and bottom right. Get right to the point.

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  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    Pifman wrote: »
    I can only assume Enc was BANNED for questioning my comedic approach :D

    I was banned for the greater good. I stared Geth in the face and fought on for honor, dignity, and Animethread.

  • Lewis RiceLewis Rice Registered User regular
    I think you should show the crash. Great imagery a plane crash.

  • m3nacem3nace Registered User regular
    I would prefer it without the crash. It's perfectly apparent what's going on and if an image of the crash should be the punchline I think the whole comic would need a different structure. I like comics like these that leave a bit of the imagery to the reader.

    Enc
  • Lewis RiceLewis Rice Registered User regular
    edited April 2013
    013Fly-1_zps6d2a4ff8.jpg

    EDIT: But really, I did notice on the actual comic that in the fifth panel it looks more like he's looking at the viewer and not the crash, i thought it was a bit of a disconnect between the fourth and fifth panel.

    Lewis Rice on
  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    With that take on it you could probably axe the last panel.

    @pifman While I think the original joke stands, the one @LewisRice made works a bit better for me due to the perspective shift. Varying your art can add a lot of interest to a joke, though it is also harder to pull off. I don't really feel either are really emotion grabbing, for humor or horror, but the art in Lewis Rice's pulls me a bit closer to horror than the original did humor.

  • squidbunnysquidbunny Registered User regular
    edited April 2013
    I agree with m3nace broadly for the reasons he mentioned, but also because the 180 flip required to show the crash bothers me. Perhaps a compromise with a sound effect and the dude is dodging some smoldering, airborne debris.

    (When everyone is giving you different advice it is probably best to go with your own gut as personal preference is now obviously in play.)

    squidbunny on
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  • PifmanPifman Registered User regular
    Well it seems like there's no CLEAR obvious answer to what would be the best solution, but I do think that Lewis Rice's mockup would work well with my last panel. His makes it look like the air-traffic controller is walking away with satisfaction. Like he meant to do it. Where as my last panel he's playing it off as if he had nothing to do with it. Anyways, moving onwards and upwards...

    Here are my three latest ones. Sorry I haven't posted any sketches in here lately, I'll get on that!
    015-Parkitin.jpg

    016-The-Kids.jpg

    017-Gamer-Logic.jpg

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  • PifmanPifman Registered User regular
    edited April 2013
    Also, I've decided I'm going to take what I'm calling the "PA90X Challenge!" Translation: Doing the Strip Search elimination 90-minute comic challenge in real time. So basically, when I'm watching the elimination episode, I'd pause it when they say the classic line, "Ready. Set. ART!" start my own 90-minute timer and then see how I do with the two selected words. Of course that means I can't watch the episode until I'm in front of my equipment and have an hour and a half to kill, but I'm excited to try!

    Anyone else up for doing the same?

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  • loscrudosloscrudos Registered User new member
    I think you're on the right track for sure. I found some of these funny. The homework one, the religion one (non practicing atheist) made me laugh out loud.

    It's been said before, your humor comes from you and your experiences. If you thinks it's funny I would put it out there and continue to take critiques on how to communicate that. I have warmed up to your style really well.

    Keep at it!

  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    I find the painfully tragic loss of memories leading to the steady depression and destruction of family lives from Alzheimers just hilarious, personally.

  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    edited April 2013
    Oh wait, no I don't. The opposite of that is how I feel.

    This is like joking about cancer. You can make a joke where the audience, even those suffering, can laugh with you. Or you can make a joke where you are laughing at those suffering. The second one is what you did here.

    Enc on
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  • MrDelishMrDelish Registered User regular
    I found these last three amusing. I've read the earlier ones and they didn't quite click like these do.

  • PifmanPifman Registered User regular
    edited April 2013
    Enc wrote: »
    This is like joking about cancer. You can make a joke where the audience, even those suffering, can laugh with you. Or you can make a joke where you are laughing at those suffering. The second one is what you did here.
    Obviously I can't change you interpreted it, but I disagree. I'm pretty surprised that I was able to (already) make two comics that seem to offend people, with absolutely no intention to do so.

    My wife works with elderly people every day so I made sure to talk with her on the wording of this one. Things like, what makes more sense, "Memory loss?" .. "Dementia?" .. "Alzheimers?" and I initially wrote it to have him simply giving the thumbs up, but then added the no-pants to further hit home that he has a serious problem that isn't being addressed. It's supposed to paint a picture of a man's health being ignored in lieu of yet another app being crammed in our faces. I would expect reactions like "Oh that's sad :(" or "Oh that's horrible lol" but I really didn't intend to make it say "Oh hey let's all laugh at people with Alzheimers!"

    It's a fictional product with fictional characters in a fictional situation. Hopefully I handled the topic ethically. My wife wasn't bothered by it, and it's literally her job. I don't think any topic should be off-limits, but I do agree that it has to be done right.

    Pifman on
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  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    Having gone through the loss of a relative in this fashion, it is taking a lot for me to not rant for several paragraphs about how absolutely mind boggling your stance on this is to me. "My wife knows old people" making it ok, that's like saying "I have a Black friend" after using a bunch of racist jokes. It's ridiculous to me.

    Suffice to say your comedy is clearly not for the sort of audience I am included in, so you should probably just disregard all of my suggestions and stick to doing what you do. Someone will like it, probably lots of someones if Least I Could Do is any indication.

    tapeslinger
  • SpaceMooseSpaceMoose Registered User regular
    That last comic is gold, but you're definitely gonna hit an age gap with it. God I miss my NES.

  • m3nacem3nace Registered User regular
    SpaceMoose wrote: »
    That last comic is gold, but you're definitely gonna hit an age gap with it. God I miss my NES.
    Yeah it took me a while to get it. Funny nonetheless.

  • NappuccinoNappuccino Registered User regular
    m3nace wrote: »
    SpaceMoose wrote: »
    That last comic is gold, but you're definitely gonna hit an age gap with it. God I miss my NES.
    Yeah it took me a while to get it. Funny nonetheless.

    I'm 24 and got it in an instant.

    But I didn't really laugh . . .

    Like to write? Want to get e-published? Give us a look-see at http://wednesdaynightwrites.com/
    Rorus Raz wrote: »
    There's also the possibility you just can't really grow a bear like other guys.

    Not even BEAR vaginas can defeat me!
    cakemikz wrote: »
    And then I rub actual cake on myself.
    Loomdun wrote: »
    thats why you have chest helmets
  • SpaceMooseSpaceMoose Registered User regular
    Nappuccino wrote: »
    m3nace wrote: »
    SpaceMoose wrote: »
    That last comic is gold, but you're definitely gonna hit an age gap with it. God I miss my NES.
    Yeah it took me a while to get it. Funny nonetheless.


    I'm 24 and got it in an instant.

    But I didn't really laugh . . .

    How much time did you spend blowing into cartridges? I remember always doing that which I guess is why I got a good chuckle out of it

  • NappuccinoNappuccino Registered User regular
    edited April 2013
    All the time. Most of my games wouldn't work unless I blew on them and then shifted them around in the NES slot a bunch and then blew on them some more.

    I just . . . didn't get why he'd need to blow on cold bread. The set up could be a little better.

    Nappuccino on
    Like to write? Want to get e-published? Give us a look-see at http://wednesdaynightwrites.com/
    Rorus Raz wrote: »
    There's also the possibility you just can't really grow a bear like other guys.

    Not even BEAR vaginas can defeat me!
    cakemikz wrote: »
    And then I rub actual cake on myself.
    Loomdun wrote: »
    thats why you have chest helmets
    tapeslinger
  • SpaceMooseSpaceMoose Registered User regular
    Nappuccino wrote: »
    All the time. Most of my games wouldn't work unless I blew on them and then shifted them around in the NES slot a bunch and then blew on them some more.

    I just . . . didn't get why he'd need to blow on cold bread. The set up could be a little better.

    Fair enough.

    And damn to I remember the shifting. If blowing didn't work I could move a cartridge a little to the left or right, or not put it quite all the way in (*ahem*) and get it to work. Some games were always worse than others.

    But anyway, back to arting!

  • tapeslingertapeslinger Space Unicorn Slush Ranger Social Justice Rebel ScumRegistered User regular
    Enc wrote: »
    Having gone through the loss of a relative in this fashion, it is taking a lot for me to not rant for several paragraphs about how absolutely mind boggling your stance on this is to me. "My wife knows old people" making it ok, that's like saying "I have a Black friend" after using a bunch of racist jokes. It's ridiculous to me.

    Suffice to say your comedy is clearly not for the sort of audience I am included in, so you should probably just disregard all of my suggestions and stick to doing what you do. Someone will like it, probably lots of someones if Least I Could Do is any indication.

    Just to put it out there, intent to cause offense is usually not a factor in whether or not something happens to be offensive to someone. It's a standard water trap of any kind of humor writing, but I would urge you to not hide behind the "well, my beta is (demographic) and s/he liked it, so it can't be offensive!"

    If you write a joke that offends someone (or, hey, a group of someones)-- own it. Don't try to displace the offensive material to your wife, or your dog, or whomever you enlist to beta your work. You wrote the comic.

    The quality of the art is improving, overall, but it still looks like a mashup of CAD and Family Guy, which, to me, doesn't really give you a lot of voice and individuality. In a market that critically depends upon offering something unique that you literally can't get anywhere else, I think you're selling your abilities short by hanging your hat on this stylization. I think the writing is generally where this comic is not really gelling for me, though. There are a lot of places where I think pacing suffers. None of these jokes need four panels; the NES toaster, for example. Eliminating the third beat changes almost nothing with the rhythm of the comic and gets to the point faster. Your joke presumes the audience understands how both an NES and a toaster work; it doesn't need to show the transition.

    Any time you are tempted to deploy that fourth panel, ask yourself why you need to do so. If you aren't going to change the scenery (thus requiring that 4th panel for the art), find a way to tell the joke in 3.

    Always use the fewest panels required to tell a dynamic joke. It's a sign of confidence in the art and the writing that you don't need extra material to help sell the joke.

    squidbunnyEnc
  • PifmanPifman Registered User regular
    SpaceMoose wrote: »
    That last comic is gold, but you're definitely gonna hit an age gap with it. God I miss my NES.
    I'm fine with that. I'm not trying to please everyone under the sun, just those that vibe with my brand of comedy, whatever that is (still finding out!).
    Nappuccino wrote: »
    I just . . . didn't get why he'd need to blow on cold bread. The set up could be a little better.
    Well I guess that's why it's a joke, innit? Blowing on bread to get it to "work" in the toaster is pretty ridiculous, but similar enough to the feeling of inserting an NES game that it's sort of a stupid funny when it actually works. Although, maybe I could've set it up to have the man just waking up and all groggy (stubble, wife-beater, boxers, coffee in one hand, eyes half-open) and he does the NES trick almost as a only-half-awake reflex. Or maybe that'd take away from the simplicity and stupidity. I dunno.
    Just to put it out there, intent to cause offense is usually not a factor in whether or not something happens to be offensive to someone. It's a standard water trap of any kind of humor writing, but I would urge you to not hide behind the "well, my beta is (demographic) and s/he liked it, so it can't be offensive!"

    If you write a joke that offends someone (or, hey, a group of someones)-- own it. Don't try to displace the offensive material to your wife, or your dog, or whomever you enlist to beta your work. You wrote the comic.
    Thanks for all the great words. For the record, my wife is a social worker and it's her job to make sure her residents are treated, and spoken to, ethically. But really I don't prefer to go down this road further because I didn't intend for the comic to be offensive. Nor do I think it's offensive. So I'll take credit for this comic 100%, of course, but not on the premise of it being offensive. That wasn't my goal and I'm sorry it upset Enc.

    Going to put together a post of recent stuff I've been working on. Will post in a few minutes.

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  • PifmanPifman Registered User regular
    My last two comics, without comment (oops too late):

    018-Car-Lot.jpg

    019-By-the-Book.jpg

    I've been really trying to think about what I've learned here in my last several updates. Jokes that may end up pleasing a specific crowd, but can be approached by anyone coming to the site for the first time. I usually ask myself, would somebody want to share this with their social network? It's really hard to see your own work from a fresh set of eyes (at least for me). Meaning, asking myself, "Would I like this if I didn't make it?" and honestly that's really hard for me to answer usually. I'm too close to it. But I'm trying. For example, I think my style is too "safe" - not edgy enough. I don't want my shit to be written/drawn with the sharp corners sanded down and baby-proofed. The movies, music and comics that I enjoy are all what I would consider "edgier" (Bjork, Chili Peppers, Ween, Gorillaz, Snatch, Inglorious Basterds, etc..) so why can't I push in that direction further? Gonna have to work on it I guess.

    Here are the sketches/inking for those few comics:

    Parkitin-sketch1.jpg
    Parkitin-sketch2.jpg

    The-Kids-sketch1.jpg
    The-Kids-sketch2.jpg

    I actually started my Gamer Logic comic out like this, but it felt too stiff and rigid. Not cartoony enough...
    Gamer-Logic-sketch1.jpg
    On top of that I didn't want to draw attention to the empty second slot. So I changed it to a straight side-profile shot, but felt it was still too perfect. Decided to not allow myself to hold the Shift key while inking it! Which produced results 1,000x better than before. Tiny achievement earned there for me...

    Gamer-Logic-sketch2.jpg
    Gamer-Logic-sketch3.jpg

    Car-Lot-sketch1.jpg
    Car-Lot-sketch2.jpg

    By-the-Book-sketch1.jpg
    By-the-Book-sketch2.jpg
    By-the-Book-sketch3.jpg

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  • PifmanPifman Registered User regular
    I'm sure that most of you watch StripSearch, and I figured I'd put my Home Edition efforts up here. Even though it scares me to put up anything that I had to conceive, write and draw in only 90 minutes! :shock: Knowing that so many people would see them made me want to cheat, but I resisted!

    Mermaid + Ukulele
    Mermaid-Ukulele.jpg

    I learned a lot from this one (I actually like the script/joke/flow but would majorly re-haul the art if I could). Using the same art in all three panels can look pretty bland and repetitive, I needed to find some other way to cut corners and save time if needed. Which led me to go for a more monochrome, 2-color approach in my next one (and switch up the panels a bit)...

    Naughty + Mystery
    Rabbit-Hole.jpg

    Again, I'm proud of the basic joke I was able to conceive, but would change a couple things about the setup or framing. The 2nd panel is just atrocious. Again, I think there's something here and I think I'll revisit and redo this one down the road. I'm excited (and scared) to do the next one Tuesday. Anyone else here taken a shot at one also?

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  • PifmanPifman Registered User regular
    edited May 2013
    Since I'm on a roll and posting way too much work for one day, I may as well keep going!

    The 2nd post of this very thread I said I'd post on how the Artist's Corner had a very strong influence on my decision to get into webcomics. And that post is this post. Years back, there was a "battle" thread where the users all made their avatars/characters battle each other (no kills allowed) and it just blew me away (do you still do them?)! I was so enamored (and still am) by how animated the artists were able to make their characters. POW! BIFF! ZONK! Some time passes and I thought I'd carry the torch over to a designer forum I frequented. But instead, we'd use actual members of the forum. Here's my first effort, probably my first effort at anything resembling a comic:

    (The only thing you have to know really is that one guy is VERY pro-Apple and the other is VERY pro-Android)
    Sketch1.jpg

    For my second effort, I pitted a very Anti-Apple guy (I'm seeing a pattern here lol) against Steve Jobs himself, MANY inside jokes here that nobody here will get, but trust me, it's filled with them, even the ending makes sense, as crude as it is :/
    Sketch_2-1.jpg
    Part 2 spoiler'd...
    Sketch_2-2.jpg

    Sorry if the ending is too much for the AC, just let me know and I can take it down if needed. Again, this dude got straight up VIOLENT when talking about Steve Jobs, so that combined with some other inside jokes made it appropriate. It was all made for a very specific crowd. Moving on!

    Everyone found them funny, so I started making comics that did nothing but make fun of that particular forum's members (in good fun). I'm going to post just the artwork of any that simply wouldn't make ANY sense to people here - so this part of the post is trying to shine a spotlight on my digital drawing progress:

    WhereTo.jpg
    yh-meanwhile.jpg
    yh-noobs.jpg
    sweet-martha.jpg
    Post-PC-Era.jpg

    One guy in the UK found this amazing (and huge) Black Swan hat-thing on a dumpster one day (turns out it was once part of a high-fashion runway show). So it inspired this one:
    black-swan.jpg

    And you guys know Olly Moss! He used to post here back in the day. You'll get this one if you follow him on Twitter. I don't think he ever saw it.
    humble-brag.jpg

    So then my biggest question was, can I make funny comics that aren't for a very specific, very small crowd. I'm still exploring that question. But more than anything, I'm focusing on progressing and continuing to move forward. Those blue comics took me ages to draw on a tiny Bamboo tablet. LOTS of Cmd+Zs to say the least! Looking back on the last year or so, this is how I see my drawing progression (the first was about a year ago, the last was this week)...

    WhereTo.jpg
    019-By-the-Book.jpg

    ...and it keeps me going.

    Pifman on
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  • Lewis RiceLewis Rice Registered User regular
    edited May 2013
    "edgier" is a very abstract concept. The artist who you've spoken of could all be under that heading. But what makes them edgy is probably a little foggy. What are the experiences that have contributed to their world view? What art and culture informs their taste, sensibilities and aesthetics? I think it's a big question and has a lot of philosophical ramifications.
    I noticed that none of these artists that you've given as examples are in the same medium that you are working in. What are the edgier artist of the comic strip/comic book medium? Certainly not stripsearch or penny arcade thats for sure. These people receive millions of viewers and millions of dollars of revenue. While I'm sure there is a lot of creativity involved in their method, their main focus is a constant stream of content, a multiweek comic strip that must be out because it is their business and creative model. You can expand and explore while doing this but I think it ultimately constricts your movements and being very popular and hosting this show to me does not mean edgy but means mainstream. Maybe Andrew Hussie is in the same league and I would consider him to be a little 'edgier' then they are.

    Some artists I subjectively believe to be edgier cartoonists:
    Gary Panter: This guy's weekly strip Dal Tokyo is incredibly strange. It's constantly changing and never approaches the construction of the page in the same way. Though there is something to his line and of course the surrealism which allows us to recognize who he is...

    EDIT: GARY PANTER also did the artwork for a 80s chili pepper cover: RCHP2.jpg Bust my britches!

    daltokyo3.png
    panterdal1.png
    Jason: I think this guy is real funny, just such deadpan humour and a style that is all his own and uses it like alfred hitchcock. I could learn a lot from his pacing.
    I-killed-adolf-hitler-preview-480x674.jpg
    Jim Woodring: As if mickey mouse took dmt. It's very light cartooning, but its very dark and trippy. You can follow it perfectly but at the same time you have to read it multiple times to udnerstand whats going on. Hard to describe:
    dodge.jpg
    Johnny Ryan: Totally disgusting cartoons and more so in the format of comic strips I think that the other guys. This guy is just gross, i don't know whether to laugh or cry. Like Tapeslinger said, you've got to own it. This guy doesn't own it, he fucks it up in a back alley and leaves it to drown in its own puke.
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    I dunno. These are just a couple. There is shit loads of comics out there to look at and inspire. Edgy is a broad term, but I think these all capture it in a different way. I think what makes them all edgy is that none of them are just out there to make a good joke or start a webcomic career or something. These guys are all making comics because they love making comics and they have a very particular idea of what they can do with their comics.

    This might seem like an attack on..i don't know, regular webcomics, or the style that I think is quite broadly represented here in your thread, Pifman. There has been references to family guy and the simpsons. And whether or not those sorts of comedies are your only influence, I don't know, but I think they are very apparent. These are mainstream success stories and its important to look beyond them and explore further the field which you want to invest your time, energy...your life into.

    Lewis Rice on
    tapeslinger
  • PifmanPifman Registered User regular
    edited May 2013
    Yeah I guess "edgy" is a pretty broad term. The way I see it, everything is relative. Penny Arcade would be considered "edgy" to a person who normally reads Garfield, yet would seem mainstream to a person who reads something like Johnny Ryan's stuff. I'm very aware of that Chili Pepper's cover, but didn't know he did comics too! Thanks for that. As for "edginess" I guess I just know what I prefer and that I'm not hitting that mark. I've always respected and connected with Perry Bible Fellowship's "dark" humor (who doesn't?) and I don't think my stuff reflects that enough either.

    I swear I'm trying to get better, but it's sort of painful to be putting all this out there and sort of know it's not up to my own standards (which I'll admit, are pretty high). Was hoping I'd find my "voice" by now, but I'd say I'm only now just better at making more approachable jokes. Last night I was told by someone close, "Your art is awesome. Your jokes are not awesome." Which I think is the simplest way to look at it. I'm making contact with the ball, but they're not homeruns. Sports analogies!

    And that's twice in this thread that "Family Guy" has been brought up. I'll admit, like most people with a heartbeat I was raised on the Simpsons. So I'm sure it's humor/art is burned into my brain on some level. But Family Guy? I've never watched more than a few episodes here and there and have never considered it when making my comics. I actually don't respect the show on any level - I think the South Park episode put it perfectly. Maybe the bigger guy in the two-guys-in-a-bar comic is making people think that? I don't know, there are probably similarities that I'm just not aware of. Thanks for the great post Lewis.

    Pifman on
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    Geth
  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    Pifman, I think you would gain a lot of power by taking a few days to do nothing but watch and dissect some stand up comedy. Pick 3 or 4 different stand-up comedians of really varying styles, I'd suggest going someplace like this: http://www.comedycentral.com/comedians and just watching ones you have never seen before. Watch each sequence twice, first to enjoy it, second to take apart the jokes and see how they put them together, how the pacing works, how the layering of each joke builds on itself. Figure out what each does differently too, see what techniques they use to shock and how they vary (For example, Daniel Tosh uses extremely hostile racist, sexist, or homophobic slurs to shock a complacent audience as part of his "go until only one person laughs" technique, while Eddie Izzard uses very details, seemingly random topics that are so well layered that he can literally repeat parts of the first joke in french and get an amazing response).

    Your stuff looks like Family Guy or CAD, and that's not a bad thing. You are developing your own take on those techniques and each comic is getting a bit more distinct. I think the humor thing is true, but I feel like your problem there is less about talent and more about exposure. Every artist studies the established in their field to figure out what works, and then they apply it to their own work. That's true in art, but also in comedic delivery. Study up and you'll naturally feel out how to handle the touchy subjects with the degree of confidence and tack needed to be edgy but still tasteful.

  • Lewis RiceLewis Rice Registered User regular
    I'm sorry I've mentioned the family guy a few times already because frankly its a little unfair, its such a generic style and has such a distinct type of humour that it can be easily pointed to as a reference point.

    If it means anything or not, I know how you feel when you say its painful, i think we can all relate to that. I wonder if I will ever reach my own standards and I don't think I will. My standards lie in the same timing and scope as my dreams, so I think I'm gonna find it pretty difficult! But the ideal is always a journey, I'm not sure if its meant to be arrived at. Artists spend their whole lives trying to attain what first pops into their heads, its incredible hard! But the process, the journey of it is just as important as the final/first ideal.
    You've taken a bigger step than many by investing a lot of time into this and actively seeking out the feedback of others. Keep going and keep enjoying it!

    Also, if you haven't seen it already, you should watch the new episode of Adventure Time, James Baxter the Horse. Such a great episode! And involves the same striving to entertain people and find that personal touch that plagues de artiiiissttteee!!!!!

  • PifmanPifman Registered User regular
    So it's been about a month since my last update here. Thought I'd post my current stuff.

    First off, I don't think I mentioned this in here - but we had some discussion earlier in this thread about my comic name (Late Night Cereal) being too similar to the popular webcomic SMBC (Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal) and after a bunch of thought I figured I'd just email Zach who runs SMBC and get his opinion. He was very polite about it:
    I wouldn't worry about it. I'm pretty sure I don't have a monopoly on the word "cereal."
    I'm sure he's just being polite, and I'm still leaning towards changing it, but I don't want to make the change until I have a good direction to focus on. Moving on to recent work, here are my latest comics...

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    022-Yes-Man.jpg
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    I also did a couple more "Home Edition" challenges for Strip Search. Here's mine for Dinosaur + Rollerskates (although, I used a reference for the t-rex bones and I don't think actual players get that luxury)...

    Dinosaurs-Roller-Skates.jpg

    Here's Candy + Religion. I don't usually go this sappy, but it's the only idea I could muster. I wasn't able to finish this in the allotted 90 minutes, but I just finished it anyways. Took roughly an extra hour. I don't think I stuck the landing, but I'm happy with the whole setup.

    Religion-Candy.jpg

    I've also been trying to figure out a unique way of promoting on, and using, tumblr. I've always been very turned off by how many people share and re-share uncredited work on tumblr, so I've never liked the idea of simply posting full comics on there. I like how Kris Straub promotes Broodhollow - he just puts up one panel and sometimes changes the words to say something clever. I also like how passionate the tumblr community is over animated gifs. So I sort of combined the two and came up with these!

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    I plan on posting a new one for every weekly comic, with a couple older random ones sprinkled in here and there. I enjoy making them.

    Last but not least! Lewis Rice's posts ^ up there have inspired me to push my comics in the overall direction I *THINK* I want to take them. I've created a new folder on my computer called "Project No Rules" where I'm going to make comics in a less obvious, less safe vibe. Sort of like how early Three Word Phrase comics give you more of a "WTF?" vibe, opposed to delivering a very traditional joke. I don't know if it'll be a successful effort, but I'm gonna make a bunch, go with my gut, and see what comes of it!

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    francium
  • franciumfrancium Registered User regular
    edited June 2013
    I really like the Ground guide with the fly. I disagree with any comments about misunderstanding what is going on in that comic. My reasoning? If you don't know what "the guy with the light cones in his hands " is, then you need to get away from your drawing board and go get you some life.
    It was immediately apparent that he was negligent in a funny manor.

    I really enjoy your art. I'm glad you show your character skeletons throughout your creative process.

    The pregnant joke, the chem-suit, and the atheist boys were all good IMO. The pregnant joke was my favorite though.

    francium on
  • PifmanPifman Registered User regular
    Thanks, francium. Glad to know the last couple came through to you well.

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