Tanukitsune (tanukitsune) wrote,
Tanukitsune
tanukitsune

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Sprites, pixels and photo comics! Oh, my!

No, I don't have any animated pixels for today, I want to talk about webcomics that use them and about sprite and photo comics...

Most people can't tell the difference between pixel and sprite comics. Sprite comics are the ones in which the objects, characters and even the background is taken from an old 2-D videogame or several games. Some authors alter a bit the characters, but you can always tell where they came from if you know your old games.

The problem with these comics is that.... they are usually made by... well.... lazy people... Many make excuses saying they make up for the lack of originality and artwork with good writing, but so far they usually have subpar writing, the best just have average writing...

The other thing with sprite comics is that since they use characters from videogames and they might get in trouble for copyright infringement. And most importantly since they use characters that already exist they don't have much room for character creation and original plots. Sure you make make Megaman smart or dumb, a hippie or whatever you want, but he is still Megaman and he will act like him and people won't think he is original even if you try to innovate the character. As for the plot, you can innovate it as much as you want, but the bad guys will be bad guys and the good guys will be good guys and they will fight. You can alter the plot as much as you want, but it will still be similar to the plot of the game they were taken from and once again, people will think so even if you try to innovate...

Not only do sprite comics "cheat" by using artwork that isn't theirs, they "cheat" to get readers. How? Because the fans they get are only there because they like the games you got the sprites from! I am very opened minded, but there is no way you will convince me that people read Bob & George or 8-Bit Theater because they have good writing... ¬_¬

You only read them because you adore Megaman and Final Fantasy, I know because I lost interest in them the moment I lost interest in the games they are based on...

I really REALLY hate to say this, but... I've yet to see a sprite comic worth reading....

And now before you strangle me, I'll explain "pixel" comics, a word used by few but should be used more often. Pixel comics are the ones that are made well... by pixels of course! You can tell them from sprite comics because they use original artwork and only look like old game but they aren't from any games at all! Sure, these comics tend to copy and paste a lot, but at least they bother to create their own characters and plot. The best example of this kind of comic is Diesel Sweeties, which is a great comic, with actual witty writing and I know by fact that the author can draw and has chosen pixel art because HE CAN! Pixel art is simpler due to the fact you can "undo" any error, but pixel art has limitations and you have to find ways to work around them... Pixel artists probably won't win an Eisner, but they are worth reading...

And then we arrive to the topic of photo comics, which have many things in common to sprite and pixel comics. Obviously photo comics are the ones that are simply photos with speech balloons. But what we should really call them are "toy" comics since they mostly use toys as characters, and for this reason they have the same problem sprite comics have...

They lack the creativity and originality of other comics since they don't have to create characters and once again, as much as they try, their plots are similar to wherever the toys are originated from. And of course they can get in trouble for copyright infringement... And once again they are read by fans of the toys they are based on...

A good example is Twisted Kaiju Theater, which tries to compensate by trying to be as offensive as possible, and frankly, fails at it... I've read offensive comics which can be entertaining without being a potty mouth. I remember when I used to like this comic, now I wonder why I ever read it to start with...

But like with sprite comics, it has it "pixel" side, comics that either make their own toys or alter them, and actually put a lot of work in their strips and actually make backgrounds and everything, a good example of this kind of comics would be Perils of the Bold.

A comic that deserves special attention is Concerned, a comic that is based on Half Life and while based on a game, it's based a very modern game that you can NOT just copy and paste like a sprite comic, you actually have to use a special program and I'm sure it's no walk in the park since you need to CODE! Also, it's funny!
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