Ah. The word “pants”. The lazy comic writer’s instant punchline. See also: Star Wars Lines Improved By Replacing A Word With “Pants”.
In regards to the comic, I’m obviously still using way too many words. The bubbles crowd out the art and confuse the message a bit. If I want my work to improve, I need to work to reduce my usage of pants.
I think this was a case where the multitudes of fonts didn’t help anything. There’s a lot of text and it kind of turns in to a mess when you look at it. This is a clear example of why we should have thought about readability and compatibility when coming up with fonts for everyone.
In general I think this strip was fairly ‘meh”, but I’m still amused by Josh hiding in panel 1.
This was also I think the first strip that brought about the Ramgar’s Pants speculation, a question Shamus and I hadn’t actually answered at that point, and wouldn’t reveal in the comic for quite some time.
One of the tricky things about doing a humorous, story driven comic is it can be really hard to balance the two. You end up either telling jokes, or moving the plot along. Sometimes, you do both. Sometimes, like this one, you don’t particularly do either. ;) Since CB Shamus has gotten around this by focusing almost exclusively on jokes with Stolen Pixels, and I’ve gotten around it by making humor an aspect of Clockworks, but by no means the main goal.
Also, come back and look at this comic in like 10 or 15 strips, and just marvel at how quickly the art progressed, especially the colors and backgrounds. My first comic was all in black and white, and rarely had backgrounds beyond a grey broken up splotch. So these earlier strips were a very public crash course in working with color and backgrounds. I like to think that these days I’ve gotten fairly decent at it.
I agree with Shawn that this is generally “meh”. There isn’t enough joke here to make it laugh-out-loud funny, but that’s not always the goal. Panel 1 does some plot stuff, panel 2 establishes some character dynamics, and panel 3 is both the setup and punchline for a joke. My problem isn’t with the lack of funny, but with the wall of overly verbose word bubbles.
Let’s ignore the comic as a whole and just focus on the last panel:
Josh: I vote we let the newbie lead us. And as leader, he should go first in the marching order.
Josh: It will be easy to avoid all the traps once he's set them off.
Marcus: SHE! My Character is a SHE!
As it stands, there are a lot of extra words. Take Josh’s first line:
I vote we let the newbie lead us. And as leader, he should go first in the marching order.
Just deleting a few words helps a lot, but it still takes too long to get to the point. This is even better:
Josh: Let the newbie lead us. He can go in front and set off all the traps.
Marcus: SHE! My Character is a SHE!
This doesn’t make it any funnier, but it would be more fun to read. My advice here is similar to the advice I have for the Archon: If you don’t have anything clever to say, you can at least be concise.
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