Just Curious

For discussing The Green Avenger!

Just Curious

Postby Prettysenshi on Fri Sep 08, 2006 6:26 pm

I like this place to be more active, so I'm gonna throw this out there.

Why is it that people online don't seem to like superhero webcomics? It just seems to be that way, since I almost never seen them anywhere in webcomic search listings or anything? I love superhero print comics, so that wouldn't change just cuz I'm online.

Any thoughts?
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Postby Ryuko on Fri Sep 08, 2006 9:20 pm

My theory is that people tend to like superheroes rather than superhero comics. Of course, this isn't true of everyone, but a lot of people just buy superhero comics out of a sort of inertia. In addition, superhero comics are kind of the staus quo, whereas in webcomics you can do whatever you like, and not everyone is going to want to imitate the stuff they've already seen.

I think it's also partly because it's not what became popular first. The first really horrendously popular webcomic (at least the first one that's still around) was Penny Arcade, and so a lot of gamer comics started up. And a disproportionate amount of really popular webcomics are still gaming comics. Same with superhero comics. They were the ones that made it in the print genre, for whatever reason.
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Postby KAM on Sat Sep 09, 2006 2:27 am

It's funny. I just posted a list of superhero comics on another forum. (Yes, I listed The Green Avenger.)

I don't know that people don't like them, but, outside of that "I need a hero" dropdown list on the main page, finding them can be hit or miss.

I won't duplicate the ones on the dropdown, but the ones I know of are
The late, lamented Captain Greyhound
Sparkling Generation Valkyrie Yuuki
Kota's World & Geebo (Geebo is a sequel to Kota's World)
Bad Guy High (Hmmm, type in superhero into Drunk Duck's browse comics feature brings up 21 comics)
Blue Crash Kit
(Typing in superhero on the search function of The Belfry brings up 52.
Antihero for Hire

Warning! Features nudity!*
Gorgeous Princess Creamy Beamy
Supermegatopia

So it seems like there are a bunch out there.
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Postby Justinpie on Mon Sep 11, 2006 1:46 pm

There are some on the Graphic Smash and also the Gaming Guardians on the Keenspot I think?

I think a big reason why people do Penny-Arcade style clones is because they think Penny Arcade-like FAME and CASH MONEY will flow in after a few weeks, even though P.A.'s success has been a decade-long, carefully-cultivated exercise. So when fortune and glory don't come a-knockin' right away, they skedaddle.
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Postby Ryuko on Wed Sep 13, 2006 1:56 am

That's probably part of it. I think another reason is that webcomics tend to get started by people right as the most interesting thing in their lives is the new friends they're making in college and the things they're doing. They do a comic with those friends in it, saying the funny stuff that they say, and the friends like them more. I can't deny I am myself a bit guilty of this.
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Postby Freemage on Thu Sep 14, 2006 5:40 pm

Another part of it is the format. The majority (though not all) webcomics use a strip-a-day format. If you ever read the old daily Spider-man newspaper strips, you'd know that the form just isn't very good for a superhero comic.

Also, since superhero comics ARE the published standard (indeed, the only big sellers outside of Archie, really), by making a superhero comic, you're putting yourself up against the big boys--DC and Marvel. That's got to be a bit intimidating.

And yes, the dichotomous urges of conformity and novelty both work against doing superhero comics. Conformists try to ape the success of the big-name webcomics (college life, gaming, fantasy, sci-fi). Those seeking novelty want to do something that hasn't been done before--which means superheros are right out.

Finally, there's a general feeling that some of the specific conventions of superhero comics are silly or passe. Even if we can accept for the purposes of the story a man being able to fly and bounce bullets off his chest (or eyeball), we draw the line at believing he'd willingly wear blue-and-red spandex. Authors are reluctant to write stories about Truth and Justice without inserting either parody or cynicism.

All of which is a pity, since as our esteemed authoress shows, it can be done, and done well.
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Postby Sasjhwa on Fri Sep 15, 2006 11:29 am

These are my opinions. A part of the issue may be the serious vs. comic style of strip. Print superhero comics tend toward the serious end of things while a lot of online strips go for the laugh. If a hero strip online is to be serious it needs a really strong story to back that up since it doesn't have the immediacy of 20 some pages to flip through. People expect seriousness from the hero strip but rarely find the writing up to snuff and so move on. There are a few exceptions and those are the ones that actually have lengthy archives.

The comic hero strip seems to work for a while too, but tends to lose readers after a while as they don't have the substance behind them. My comic, "Action Figure Cinema" was a comic hero story and eventually lost readers because they wanted more story and less humor. I've reformatted it from the action figure photo comic to a hand drawn strip that will begin focusing more on story while still relying on its comic roots.

That is where I think the success comes. A comic that balances the comic with the serious and has strong writing appeals to the broadest range of people and can hope for some longevity. I read through all of the Green Avenger's archive this week and it really fits this model. It is quite well written and has both serious and humorous stories balanced together. I don't add many comics to my "must read" list but I did with this one because it is such quality in all areas.
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Postby Prettysenshi on Wed Sep 20, 2006 12:33 pm

Huh. Interesting points of view. I think the web needs more superhero comics. Other than SGVY and GA, I don't see any others that I think are really up there in terms of story and art.

Plus, I have a dream of starting a superhero collective!!! One that rivals BLC and Dayfree Press with visitors!!! MWuahahahaha.

>_>
<_<

Ahem. Yes, well, it's just a dream for now. I think that a lot of people within the community think that webcomics is a thing just for fun, and that making a superhero comic, a genre that's already popular, means that you're being too serious or something, like you plan to publish it. So, they don't read it. I don't know. It's just weird.

I'm just tired of all the manga stuff I see online. Honestly, people! Manga is all well and dandy, but must it be everywhere? Geez.

Batman for the win.
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Postby Sasjhwa on Wed Sep 20, 2006 3:01 pm

I think a superhero collective would be cool. I like when comics band together into "stables" and help each other out with resources and readers.

You may be right about people taking the genre too seriously (or interpreting that of the artist). I've seen a lot of strips that look like they are headed for the print market before the first strip is drawn. The full page style of comic books does lend itself to publication. Unfortunately the dream of instant riches is just that for the vast majority of us.

I will also agree with you on the manga influence. It is fine in its place, but it is so overused it is tiresome. There are a lot of strips out there where a lot of attention is given to making the perfect manga face and there is very little skill in the drawing of the body or backgrounds or anything else. It is a shame because if they put as much effort into their total skill development they wouldn't need to fall back on the simple manga design. Of course there are a lot of strips that use it that are pretty popular so maybe I'm wrong.
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Postby ShardZ on Tue Sep 26, 2006 4:55 pm

My first guess might have been that the "traditional" superheroes are indeed seen as being a bit overdone for the younger generation of webcomickers. But the opportunity to reach other fanbases (gaming, fantasy... genres that have a completely different variety of "heroes," if they choose to acknowledge them) also makes a heap of sense. Of course, the "joke vs story" and "strip vs page" conflicts have probably been around since someone first thought to put those sequential story-pictures on the 'net... and it seems painfully obvious which sides won. ;)

I have to wonder if the recent American Sci-Fi Channel show "Who Wants to be a Superhero?" will kick any enthusiasm for the genre down another couple of notches. At least two of the "contestants" were campy, over-the-top heroes straight out of the 50's. Right down to heroic poses, internal monologues ("Must... not... fail...!") and cheesy catchphrases ("Be a winner, not a wiener.") *Sigh*

But it is nice to know that the genre is hardly dead. :) And there will likely always be the superhero's younger cousin, the reluctant hero. Often a lack of costume, sometimes less-than-super powers, anger and fear from those they help (especially the vigilante-types), and likely truckloads of angst due to being forced into the role of hero.

Oh, and ditto on the manga sentiments. I can't imagine how it got so popular, but it seems like the majority of Western comickers have chosen to idealize certain... aspects. *Shudder* Regardless of how many different styles and genres can be found in Asian comics.
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Postby Ryuko on Thu Sep 28, 2006 8:16 pm

I dunno about that, a lot of people liked that series FOR the camp. It might turn people ON to the ability to make your own hero.
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Postby Linkara on Thu Sep 28, 2006 11:00 pm

Major Victory was awesome. :P

In any case, I have to agree on the aspect that of gag-a-day vs. serious strips. Let's face it, it's easier to gain notoriety by being funny than it is by writing a serious story. Fortunately Abby knows how to balance the two effectively, whereas a certain other superhero webcomic always tends to go for the serious side and forgets the funny.

<.<

>.>

What are you looking at?

Oh, and superhero collective? Pardon my squirrely ignorance, but huh?
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Postby ShardZ on Fri Sep 29, 2006 4:52 am

Ryuko wrote:I dunno about that, a lot of people liked that series FOR the camp. It might turn people ON to the ability to make your own hero.


Could be... I guess I'm just skewed--I'm a pretty serious person by nature, plus I was greatly impacted by an article in which the writer obviously preferred the later, gritty Batman comics/movies over the earlier comics and tv show. The reasoning made sense at the time, mostly because I didn't know of many campy heroes from the 90's. :P

And yeah, Major Victory was adorable in more ways than one. :)
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