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Yahtzee vs. CAD the decisive battle

#1 User is offline   Game Over Icon

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Posted 24 March 2008 - 07:20 PM

QUOTE
As a recent interview with me over at Gamespot and several references in previous reviews and writings may have informed you, I have a long-standing hatred of the webcomic Ctrl-Alt-Del. I thought I'd take a moment to explain it a bit better.

You see, I have this theory that the internet is causing a general mediocritisation of human culture, because you can put pretty much any piece of work on the internet and no matter how hugely it sucks dolphin jizz you'll find some dick who's prepared to tell you it's brilliant. This is the principle on which Deviantart appears to be founded.

But the cruellest thing you can do to an artist is tell them their work is flawless when it isn't. It gives them no incentive to improve or try new things, which a creative person must always strive to do. And it tends to foster the kind of monstrous egos the webcomic sphere grows like mushrooms in the shit-spattered dark. Tim Buckley of Ctrl-Alt-Del is notorious for having a zero tolerance for any criticism, constructive or otherwise, often deleting it unregarded from his forums, or declaring them invalid for half-baked reasons. It seems blanket praise has already done its damage to this fevered ego.

I don't hate Buckley. I look at CAD and I see a lot of misdirected potential. I know, that sounds hilarious even to me. But if you look at Buckley's art blog, you'll find that he's actually a pretty decent artist when he wants to be. But the promise of easy praise and popularity keeps him mired in his copy-pasted shoulder-hunched droopy-eyed slack-jawed magnum opus.

Not that copy-pasted art need necessarily ruin a comic - Dinosaur Comics is one of my favourite regular reads. It's the fact that for having run a gag-a-day strip for however many years, Buckley still has no idea how to structure a joke. I've never known an artist so determined to never learn anything about their craft. His usual response to this sort of thing is that he just has his own style and that there's no such thing as a 'right' or 'wrong' opinion, but the fact is, while humour is a flexible harlot, it still has rules. Rules which can be broken in the right contexts; contexts which don't include anything Tim Buckley has written.

I'm going to post a link now to a Ctrl-Alt-Del comic from July 2007. Don't let the fact that it's old excuse the mistakes; this is still very typical of Buckley's current work.

http://www.ctrlaltde....php?d=20070718

Here's another comic, this one a Penny Arcade strip from early the same year. The subject matter and joke are the same (Puzzle Quest) but it's a fairly obvious joke to make and I can easily assume both writers came up with it independently.

http://www.penny-arc...omic/2007/03/28

Both comics identify the humour in the situation - that the rules of a game world seem absurd when applied to the real world - but while Penny Arcade understands that the crux of a joke should be reserved for the final panel, Ctrl-Alt-Del is apparently so excited about the idea that it blurts it out right away, leaving three more panels to flounder in excessive dialogue and pointlessness.

A punchline should be equated to an actual punch in the face. That's why it's called a punch-line. You deliver it and run. You do not hang around explaining how you did the punch and that the recipient should probably be in a lot of pain now.

Identify the funny part of the idea and save it for last. Leave with the audience laughing. If you do nothing else, finish strong. That's a rule any humourist will agree with. But with the centrepoint of the gag already uselessly spent, Buckley's comic is forced to fall upon its old standby of violence as a sort of prosthetic punchline. Now, violence can certainly be funny, modern cinema was virtually built on the tradition of slapstick, but it doesn't work in static, non-animated media. There is humour to be found in shock value, but most people have been on the internet long enough to not be shocked by anything as mundane as a claymore through the sweetbreads.

But even if the joke were structured properly, there is still far too much dialogue. This is a problem common to a lot of webcomics, but since we're already in the CAD-bashing groove we'll stick with it. Shakespeare wrote that 'brevity is the soul of wit'. He did not then add 'unless you're writing a webcomic'. It applies to everything, and don't tell me you're arrogant enough to claim to know better than Shakespeare.

A gag strip has a very simple formula. Buildup. Buildup. Buildup. Punchline. Anything that does not in some way build towards the punchline can safely be removed. If any dialogue can conceivably be replaced with a gesture or facial exp​ression (visit Perry Bible Fellowship for a crash course in this), do so; this is a comic, a predominantly visual medium, not a fucking essay. Additionally, any dialogue pertaining to either ninjas, pirates, monkeys or Jesus should be excised, sealed in resin and buried in an undersea volcano.

This is why Ctrl-Alt-Del is a blight, and the fact that it remains crushingly popular despite making mistakes that a child would be brutally caned for on their first day at comedy school is one of the main reasons I openly weep tears for the future of human culture.

I know that an opinion can't technically be wrong and that there could be people who still like CAD for the characters or the art, but if you genuinely think that it is well-written, then you are demonstrably wrong. That's all there is to it.

Yahtzee is well aware that his own previous webcomic efforts aren't necessarily any better but reminds you that they came out of a dark time in his life from which he has determinedly moved on without a backward glance

- Yahtzee


Actually, I have to totally agree with that. Though I liked CAD back when I was young (two years ago), I know that Tim's a pedophile who doesn't know the real formula of comedy and does not accept criticism. Now that I look back, I now in fact feel kind of guilty for falling into Buckley's circle, all those broke back strips with photoshoped layout turned me into a temporary retard.

The animated series was a disaster for me and it almost made me grow a tumor in my eyes.

So far, the adventures of Ethan, who is probably a disgrace to all Irish gamers (though he invents some interesting stuff every now and then, they all turn out to be nothing use to the human race), Lucas, Ethan's friend who is um...more like a talking cardboard with some mechanics on his face, Lilah, Ethan's retarded girlfriend who is forced by the writer to be a dull and pinheaded example of a female gamer (or maybe females in general) finally and Zeke, who would make Bill Gates to flush himself down the toilet.

http://en.wikipedia....;oldid=32072999

I don't even know if there is a smiley to express my feelings towards the above link and its content. So far, Tim was forced to delete his own Wikipedia page after countless attacks and is now holding on his CAD page. I've lost my sympathy for him already.

http://images.sorryy.../Wordsclock.jpg

This may be the future of Tim.

Winter-een-mass and Church of Gaming?
I feel stupid for laughing at those stuff.

http://images.sorryy...ckleyFurfag.jpg

I am also very glad I am not part of that community.

This post has been edited by Game Over: 24 March 2008 - 07:21 PM

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#2 User is offline   Dannysaysnoo Icon

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Posted 24 March 2008 - 07:38 PM

As crap as it may be, Ctrl Alt Del is still making Buckley oodles of money.

Sigh.
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#3 User is offline   Legion Icon

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Posted 24 March 2008 - 08:43 PM

I must confess, I myself read CAD and enjoy it for the most part. But here's the defining part; I also read Penny Arcade, Lackadaisy Cats, Dominic Deegan, Looking For Group, Slightly Damned, Sinfest and a whole load of others, as well as practicing my own spriting in form of a shitty thing that I am, in accordance to Grand Master Yahtzee's gospel, posting on DeviantART. So while I have no problems with watching a personified Xbox trying to have sex with a television (because we all know they REALLY do that), I can say that whatever interest I have in pretty much ANYTHING is fleeting and casual. You'll not hear me defend Buckley like some sort of ravenous cock goblin because I simply could not give two lumpy peanut-decorated shits, because I'm reading the comic; not his forum, myspace or wherever it is his bruised and oh-so-fragile man-ego resides. And leads me to point out that the very crux of putting anything even mildly humorous on the worldwide cyberspider is for other people to enjoy. It is there, enjoy it, and anything else that has nothing to do with helping you get your funnies can go fuck itself with a radioactive carbon rod.

In summary: Sucks to hear Buckley's a total dicksmasher. Oh well, I guess that means he goes on the list of other arseholes I have to make de- OH LOOK ETHAN SAID VAGINA HAR HAR HAR
I'm not pessimistic; I've just realised that the light at the end of the tunnel is an incoming train.
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#4 User is offline   Ghello Icon

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Posted 24 March 2008 - 09:10 PM

I don't read webcomics, I may occasionally check out Perry Bible Fellowship and hit random for a while but that's it. CAD is shit though, I got what Yahtzee ment from that Puzzle Quest example and it wasn't funny, I don't get why people dig this shit but it just seems very bland and the only thing it has going for it is videogames I guess, and I guess gamers will put their dick in anything that relates to them, no matter how shitty and bland.

Disgusting Halo 3 Mountain Dew anyone?

This post has been edited by Ghello: 24 March 2008 - 09:11 PM

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#5 User is offline   DreamerM Icon

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Posted 24 March 2008 - 09:11 PM

Well here's a twist.

Yahtzee's link to Ctl-Alt-Del on his main page is sure to send an influx of (possible) new readers into Buckley's villainous lair, even if it is just to see what all the hate is about. Getting scathingly reviewed by Yahtzee isn't exactly a death-knell (he's even scathingly reviewed his fans and yet here we still are) when you're of the opinion that any coverage is good coverage.

If Buckley's anti-criticism blinkers are as firmly in place as they seem to be, I doubt Yahtzee's admittedly well-thought-out, well-supported argument is going to break though to him, and he probably knows that. The article is probably less about attacking Buckley and more about using him as an example to the masses of What Not to Do, although there's very little here (get rid of everything that doesn't support the point, say it with a picture if you can) that most students of creative writing in general and comics in particular don't already know.

I think a more interesting question to come out of the article is the fuzzy boundary between Artist and Critic. Can Yahtzee be criticized for accusing someone for committing an artistic crime he himself has been guilty of in the past?

HE seems worried that could be the case, otherwise, why the disclaimer?

Any idiot that can't see why a Critic with a decent grasp of the creative process is Better then one who complains about everyone else's stuff because they can't make anything of their own isn't going to be deflected by that little note.

This post has been edited by DreamerM: 24 March 2008 - 09:17 PM

It's not stalking! It's artistic reference!

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#6 User is offline   woods18 Icon

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Posted 24 March 2008 - 09:14 PM

I am quite a big fan of the CAD comic, as for Tim Buckley i have no strong feelings towards him either way.. I don't really feel my opinion of him has any bearing on whether i like the comic or not.

I have read every CAD to date and as such, have formed a "bond" with the characters there in. Now i can understand why some readers may question whether the comic is funny or not, because quite a few of the punch-lines are based around the characters personalities and relationships. As for the game referenced comics ill admit most of those go over my head as i haven't played the game or really couldn't give a rats ass about it.. I read CAD to follow its plot.. Complaining about its content is like watching "Friends" and complaining for it being Friends!

Now i can understand that the comic doesnt suit everyone's taste or sense of humor but surely we're all adult enough that if we dont like something, that we can do something about it, like STOP READING THE BLOODY COMIC! If you dont want to watch friends you change the bloody channel.. (sorry to keep going back to the same metaphor but it gets the point across)

I respect Yahtzee for his work and think he is a very talented and funny man, but it would be nice to see him maybe realise that everyone is entitled to their own opinion and taste and the right to publish what ever they want on the internet. Its down you the individual, whether or not they view it.. and if they dont like it, TO LEAVE IT THE HELL ALONE!
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#7 User is offline   DreamerM Icon

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Posted 24 March 2008 - 09:44 PM

QUOTE (woods18 @ Mar 24 2008, 09:14 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I respect Yahtzee for his work and think he is a very talented and funny man, but it would be nice to see him maybe realise that everyone is entitled to their own opinion and taste and the right to publish what ever they want on the internet. Its down you the individual, whether or not they view it.. and if they dont like it, TO LEAVE IT THE HELL ALONE!


I think you've kinda missed the point. In fact I think everyone who feels the need to justify being one of the many many many people who enjoy Clt-Alt-Del is kinda missing the point.

Once any sort of discussion degenerates into an Us vs. Them mentality, then real debate is over. The point is not "We hate CAD" because lots of us do not.

How about you people who read Ctl-Alt-Del, instead of telling us others to be quiet, instead say WHY you read it. Do you disagree with the points made in the article, or do you just think the artwork and plotline makes up for it?
It's not stalking! It's artistic reference!

QUOTE (Game Over @ Jan 17 2009, 11:39 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
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#8 User is offline   woods18 Icon

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Posted 24 March 2008 - 10:07 PM

I must admit, on reflection; that my point about telling people who dont like CAD to leave it alone, made my other point about opinions and free speech a little hollow.. and for that i apologise

I enjoy CAD for what it is to me and so i would say; yes, its plot makes up for its lack of one off laughs, to the unfamiliar reader, although there are comics that cater to that audience. The points made about CAD maybe not using a straight-forward punchline, (again in my opinion) are subject to the taste, as this is simply how the comic is structured, and has managed to do well for itself so far..

Again, i point out that; this comic doesnt really suit to reading every now-and-then for a cheap laugh, so to address the points about the over use of dialogue, i would simply say that; this comes-in-hand with the readers knowledge of the characters. For me the use of the speech and the way its broken down, can be easily put in context in real life situations. Most of the scenes between Ethan and Lucas are broken up into short speech bubbles, in which Lucas tries harder and harder to get his point across to Ethan, until he finally gets it. Now Lucas's humour (which is a particularly cynical form of whit) and Ethan's inability to function in the adult world, can be appreciated more, by knowing more about them from previous comics.

As for the points made about Buckley.. i cant pass much of a judgement. As i said before hand i dont really read any of his reviews and dont take much of an interest in him as a person. But as for his attitude towards criticism, that its something which i would agree is unacceptable. For him to completely ignore loyal fans of his work, proves how little we as people mean to him and how much our money is all he really wants.. but who can blame the man for wanting to make money..?

This post has been edited by woods18: 24 March 2008 - 10:21 PM

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#9 User is offline   DreamerM Icon

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Posted 24 March 2008 - 10:57 PM

QUOTE (woods18 @ Mar 24 2008, 10:07 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
As for the points made abut Buckley.. i cant pass much of a judgement. As i said before hand i dont really read any of his reviews and dont take much of an interest in him as a person. But as for his attitude towards criticism, that its something which i would agree is unacceptable. For him to completely ignore loyal fans of his work, proves how little we as people mean to him and how much our money is all he really wants.. but who can blame the man for wanting to make money..?


Well, you might be unable to pass judgement on Buckley, and me being unwilling (I don't know the guy, I don't read the comic, and I don't care) but we can at least compare him to other Webcomic Artists in the same situation.

I've never really encountered Webcomic Drama before, because one comic I read religiously is Dominic Deegan and Mookie is so sweet that he'd instantly give all the cannibals feasting on his flesh diabetes and then feel bad about it. He repeatedly goes on about how much he likes hanging out with the other webcomickers at the artist ally and how he thinks his readers are the greatest people in the world. It took someone setting up an actual hate-filled "parody" website and drawing dicks all over his own artwork to FINALLY get some Anger out of this guy.

So when he finally did get some DRAMA it came from actually having a controversial storyline involving right-and-wrong, sparked some debate, and this is what he had to say about it.

QUOTE
Webcomic Drama has avoided me here in the past three and a half years. I've always pictured myself as sort of "playing in the corner" of the internet, doing my own thing and not really getting in anyone's way. I never mentioned other webcomics unless I'm saying something nice about them.

But, as of a few weeks ago, that all changed. I got me a taste of webcomic drama. One guy in particular had some really nasty things to say about me, my writing, and the story in general. And, in typical Webcomic Drama fashion, it was not to my face. It was on a website. And I gotta tell you folks, I was intrigued by this formerly elusive drama. It probably got me a bunch of new readers when all was said and done! It made me realize what this site has been missing all these years!

Drama! Webcomic Drama!

So now that that's all died down, I'm gonna rekindle the fire 'round here.I'm going to say a bunch of nasty things about other webcomics! I'm going to get their creators really mad at me so they will link to my site and their readers will storm my castle gates in anger! Maybe a few of them will stay! I don't care if it's negative attention! Any publicity is good publicity, man! Ha ha! I should've done this years ago!
And now, without further ado... I hereby create my own Webcomic Drama!

Tim Buckley is not the bareknuckle boxer he claims he is.
Hawk likes to be held in the night.
Ananth is an emo viking who killed my kin. And I cry about it.
Brian Clevinger only wishes he were a robot. He's just a dirty cyborg.
Matt Boyd once speared a man through the chest with a piece of broccoli.
Ian McConville has trouble deciding between Wizards and Psions for a D&D game.
Pascalle & Chris deserve a bigger audience... of rabid bishops!
Trish spends more time roleplaying than levelling up. The floozy.
Damien claims that reggae music has slept with Steve Martin. The floozy.
Garth & Larom are, in fact, not siamese twins. Dirty liars.
Hey! Declan! Eat dirt, ya jerk!
Josh Mirman likes to hold me in the night.
Brian Carroll is, in fact, an imitation International Latin Pop Sensation.
Aido is hereby accused of totally fangirling out. About a great many things.
Dave Lister loves his leather jacket. Often.
Rob Balder has been known to frequent pastry shops for his own nefarious purposes.
Shawn Handyside only thinks he's more metal than me.


Hah! Now they will link me for my bastardly ways, exposing me to their readers! Whereupon I shall lure them into my lair of puns, controversy, gore and shoddy writing! At last! Fame and fortune will be mine!


Mookie has been dependent on donation money for his living expenses for a few years now, and he's been able to make a decent living and thanks his fans just about every opportunity he gets for loving what he does so much that we allow him make a living doing just that. It is HUGELY gratifying to be a fan of that man.
It's not stalking! It's artistic reference!

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#10 User is offline   J m HofMarN Icon

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Posted 24 March 2008 - 11:50 PM

I rather like CAD myself, and have never really had a problem with it. The characters, I don't think are really characters in and of themselves, but the emotional attachment is brought on by the evidence of facets of the readers in at least one of the characters. But as for story and artwork and humor value, it's not the best online. Yahtzee himself mentioned dinosaur comics, I routinely check out Scarygoround, and then theres Flem and Pokey, two highly old skool comics that I still dig to death.

The wintereenmas thing was kinda cute as a novelty and in the comic context, and then the church of gaming came along and it started to look like a well flogged arse. On the other side of the extras coin he does some decent Thompson bashing, but then who hasn't? I myself sent the jackass a letter asking him to help me ban Cooking Mama because it encouraged children to make maternal mincemeat. No reply from him yet though.

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Posted 25 March 2008 - 12:13 AM

Well, in response to DreamerM's post, I will point out that I was neither justifying nor defending the fact I read CAD - I was saying that I read CAD. That's it. Please do not read too far into one post in which all I say is I read such-and-such and don't really care; because we're all fucked if someone starts analyzing my thoughts and opinions on the daily newspaper.

In regards to Mookie, yeah he rocks. I especially admire his integrity and tact; for those of you who don't read the comic one storyline actually uses rape as part of a character's backstory. However this was far from tasteless; it was explained carefully, tactfully and with respect - Mookie took every possible step to ensure that it would be seen only as partly responsible for a character's personality and not some idiotic allusion or personal attack. That earned big points in my book.

And to finish off - Everyone, feel free to love, hate or say ni to whatever the hell you want - because I'm doing the same and I really could not care less whoever likes or dislikes me as a result.
I'm not pessimistic; I've just realised that the light at the end of the tunnel is an incoming train.
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#12 User is offline   Patch Icon

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Posted 25 March 2008 - 01:35 AM

QUOTE (DreamerM @ Mar 25 2008, 12:11 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I think a more interesting question to come out of the article is the fuzzy boundary between Artist and Critic. Can Yahtzee be criticized for accusing someone for committing an artistic crime he himself has been guilty of in the past?

HE seems worried that could be the case, otherwise, why the disclaimer?


If a criminal can change from his past ways, so can Yahtzee. And Yahtzee seems to acknowlede what he did.

Also
QUOTE
Yahtzee is well aware that his own previous webcomic efforts aren't necessarily any better but reminds you that they came out of a dark time in his life from which he has determinedly moved on without a backward glance

That was a terrible thing to say! YTOTW was excellent. I only hope one day I can achieve something as funny.
For King and Country
Chaotic Good
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#13 User is offline   dial Icon

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Posted 25 March 2008 - 04:24 AM

CAD fans. To them I said, "You shit-promoting assholes! This is why there's nothing good on TV!" To me they said, "Suck on a big one, cocksmear! Who are you to tell us what we can or can't like?" Arguments regarding CAD's quality or lack thereof will usually always devolve into either "Continuing to read this drivel will only promote more of the same" versus "I enjoy it, and that's what matters" or "Stop giving this rampant asshole popularity for shitting this all over us!" versus "Fuck you, buddy! Why don't you fuck off back to your elitist friends so you can talk about how things you don't like suck in harmony?" depending on the debating sides' relative levels of pansiness.

I've stopped caring. If they like it, what the hell, let them throw roses at Buckley. The fans appear to truly believe the praise they give him is deserved, and there's no use in trying to tell them otherwise. It's kind of a shame that he can actually draw well but avoids doing so because his money mine is easier to maintain with copy/pasted graphics, but he doesn't strike me as the type to put significant effort into his work beyond what's needed for popularity anyway.

And come off it, even Yahtzee himself admits YTotW sucked. I was greatly relieved when he stopped making webcomics, because they almost always dragged the quality of his better work down.
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#14 User is offline   Ghello Icon

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Posted 25 March 2008 - 06:09 AM

I can't praise a pedophile, and I don't know what his fans are thinking but christ, they all know about "Jackie" im sure, and they still religiously wank to the guys work. I mean, Jackie was a 12 year old girl for christ sakes, that's just so fucked up it leaves me speechless that this guy has a wife, im sure he lied about the picture to her, but you'd think anyone with a fucking skull can realize how much of a ass and sicko he is.

I found something neat though, 4chan made the CAD rule, which applies to every CAD comic with 4 panels. You take the 2nd and 3rd panel out and delete the text of the 4th panel, it's works for any comic, try it on the Puzzle Quest one.

This post has been edited by Ghello: 25 March 2008 - 06:10 AM

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Posted 25 March 2008 - 06:22 AM

Well thanks Yahtzee.
With critical commentary like that, I can use it to improve my own webcomic. You don't always apply absolutely everything you hear, but its a good example of what direction to go in and those comic links you posted gave a good comparison.

*checks own webcomic to see what of Yahtzee's knowledge he can apply*

Great, just frigging great, now I'm embarrassed.

Brilliant going Yahtzee, I put that comic up only a few months ago and now I can't stand the sight of it. Thanks a bunch.
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