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“Personal Feelings” Post or “Inappropriate choice of words for the title” post

July 11, 2008

Or a third possible tite, Why I Hate Sprite-based Web Comics. 

On Wednesday I mentioned that I have strong feelings on quality and provided my Video Games judgement rules. 

To refresh, or you could just scroll down (if you’re on the main page that is), my comics translation is as such:

1. Quality or decent art

2. Quality Plot

3. Compelling characters or funny jokes

This is important because it relates to why I have never read and I doubt that I’ll find a sprite-based comic that I’ve enjoyed. More specifically, non-user created sprites. Yes, I’m looking at you Bob & George and 8-bit Theatre

Yes, you could argue that every comic that was made using Stan Lee’s characters is similar and yes, there are terrible Spiderman, X-men, and Iron Man comics out there. 

The difference between a Spiderman comic and a Mega Man sprite comic is that at least the art was created by someone. Sprites aren’t even that. Most are taken from another website. 8-bit Theatre uses sprites that were on a Final Fantasy website that was shut down recently. In my mind that is hack work. 

So, you can’t draw, does that mean you need to “cheat”? No, I think not. 

I can’t draw and one day I would like to start a comic series, maybe even a web comic, but I know that I need to find an artist to share my vision. I can create plot lines, the dialogue and discuss how varying scenes might look. They have jobs for this in the comic world. 

This leads to my second rule, quality plot. The problem with most of the sprite-based comics that I’ve read is that the plot is either A) So convoluted that it’s like watching Lost with kindergarteners or B) So simplistic that you feel like you’re being insulted by the creator. 

Also, and this is the number one thing that pissed me off about Bob & George, create your own plot line! Sure, B&G tried to make fun of the Mega Man plot but the first 2 weeks of the comic are taken straight from the Mega Man story line. Ha, Ha, very cool and funny. Yeah, B&G does have original plot line later on but they’re still bad. B&G falls into the B category of bad plots.

Eight-bit Theatre on the other hand falls into the A category. At first it makes sense and is okay to follow but eventually 8-bit Theatre just gets really weird. I’m still not sure what’s happening. It’s kind of like watching someone take LSD and then asking them to describe their first day of school.

I realize that I am bashing on B&G and 8-bit quite a bit here but I figured since I’ve reviewed both of those comics they make good reference points for anyone reading this. Here’s the links to the B&G review and the 8-bit one just for even better reference points.

My final rule is tied into the plot. With video games I can forgive a plot with a few holes if the game play is fun and the characters are worth playing. For comics it is the same sort of idea. If the art is awesome and I enjoy the characters or in the case of most web comics if the jokes are generally funny than I’ll forgive a bad day or a plot hole.

The problem with sprite based comics or any comic that I don’t like is that the characters aren’t compelling. Generally, they are stereotypes, and bad stereotypes at that. At that point it’s not even worth it because you know how that character will be for the rest of the series, there’s really no room for growth.  

Also, the jokes are not funny. Let’s take comics based on video games or other books tend have a lot of inside jokes that only people who play those games or read those books will get. True, most web comics are supported heavily by gamers who find the gaming jokes funny but the really good web comics are able to reach a broad audience or have evolved beyond their inside jokes. 

The bad ones wallow in their inside jokes and create a wall for the casual reader. It’s not good business and it’s not good for the actual comic because eventually you’re going to run out of jokes, and then what? Recycling? Ugh, no one wants that. 

I want original, or I want good and sprite-based comics have yet to prove to me that original or quality can be provided. 

On the side of the coin that does not mean that my mind is closed off to sprite-based comics completely. I am willing to accept sprites that people have created outside of sprites from the 1980s and early 90s. By that I mean original sprites.

And, I will accept sprite-based comics that feature non-user created sprites but only if they are well written. 

It all comes back to quality and I am just not seeing it in that genre of comics. Maybe some day but not today.

That’s it for this one. So, check back on Monday for me taking a look at Ctrl-Alt-Del. Also, I will be seeing the midnight showing of Dark Knight next Friday. Yes, I know that every comic and movie geek in the world will be offering you their opinions but I thought I would use the following Monday to post to talk about Dark Knight and one of my favorite Batman off-shoots, Hush by Jeph Loeb and Jim Lee.

Have a good weekend,


2 Comments leave one →
  1. July 30, 2008 10:13 am

    Please Reconsider.


  1. This is hella late « cOmics eXpress

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