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Sudden, Out of Place Dramedy by kevinbolk Sudden, Out of Place Dramedy by kevinbolk
This was the art for one of the slides for my "10 Things I Hate About Webcomics" panel I put together for Zenkaicon 2011. The idea behind the whole thing was to poke fun at common webcomics tropes, cliches, and/or bad habits and to help new creators recognize them and then either avoid them or exploit them (because anything, even tropes, done well can still make for good entertainment). This stuff can be applied to a lot of other media as well and I think most creators (myself included) have been guilty of them at one point or another.

This comic was part of the "Sudden, Out of Place Drama in a Funny Comic" slide. For whatever reason, creators will feel the need to toss the well-established comedic tone of their strip in favor of a darker, more serious storyline. I have very rarely seen this done well and, in some cases, it's the sorta thing that gets ridiculed until the end of time.

The simple solution? Avoid it entirely! Decide early on what you want the tone of your comic to be and STICK with it.

The harder solution? If your comic is more story-based funny comic, then take a page from TV comedies like Scrubs and weave it into your story in a way that doesn't completely cast aside the overall tone of the comic. Don't let something EXTREMELY terrible happen out of nowhere and have the characters spend the following 3-4 comic angsting about it over coffee. If your comic is entirely a gag strip, I still say AVOID IT LIKE THE PLAGUE! Not to say that comedy shouldn't have pathos. In fact, the best comedy does, but it takes A LOT of care to do it right.

Well, this is the last of the new comics I did for this panel. I had a few parody images for the "Video Game Comics About Video Games" slide, which I may show later at the risk of being a total hypocrite (lol). Or I'll avoid the headache entirely and just say "If you wanna see 'em! Get me to a convention near you and come to my panel!" :D

And no, Roxy does not have AIDS. I feel kinda silly having to say that. :P
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:icontimewap1:
Timewap1 Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2014
Mis....carriage....
Reply
:iconold-marcie1234:
Old-Marcie1234 Featured By Owner May 17, 2013
I have AIDS.
Reply
:iconsubstitute101:
Substitute101 Featured By Owner Nov 23, 2012
...i'm going to sound like an idiot right now,but what's with all the blank comments?
Reply
:iconthelugia702:
TheLugia702 Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Is it wrong that I giggled?
Reply
:iconnordtimmy:
NordTimmy Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2012  Hobbyist
The same thing happened to looking for the group: (
Reply
:iconwanderingbishop:
wanderingbishop Featured By Owner Aug 28, 2012
What dramady are you talking about? Go into the future, grab a cure for AIDS from the researchers in AD 2250, and come back. Problem solved.
Reply
:iconjessedurona:
JesseDuRona Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
This is great, Kevin! We all know who the worst offender is in this category, but there are SO many comic creators out there who do this.
Reply
:icongyrin:
Gyrin Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2012
omg was that line stolen from Philadelphia? :iconimhappyplz:
Reply
:iconphen01:
Phen01 Featured By Owner Dec 17, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
:icontransparentplz:
Reply
:icontune4jack:
tune4jack Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2011
I just love that this comes up if you type in "Control Alt Delete."
Reply
:iconnathaniel2k:
nathaniel2k Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2011
cerberus syndrome...can be done right but not very often...katekyo hitman reborn did it right
Reply
:iconcat-on-the-moon:
Cat-On-The-Moon Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Supernatural does it hella right.

Mmmmmn I love me some mood whiplash.
Reply
:iconnathaniel2k:
nathaniel2k Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2012
i love me some tropes too and wow old comment is old ^^
Reply
:iconmelonehalf:
Melonehalf Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2011
Ctrl Alt Del much? :B
Reply
:iconinkbottleinc:
InkBottleInc Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2011  Student General Artist
MISCARRIAGE!

No, that was WRONG.

I am a fan of series that can handle many moods without going off the edge of ridiculous. There are ways to balance humor but from what I can get from this comic, too many people add it in at the wrong time. Even though I am NOT a fan of a certain web-comic in which I guess this was based off of, I can see WHAT he was trying to attempt that still doesn't excuse that what he did was executed badly.

HE was trying to come up with an arch where our lead would have to face some challenge of real life that would pull him out of his idiotic man-child behavior. A lot of good stories can pull this off fine but the problem is in that version, it WASN'T. Our lead never grew up, never learned, and it all seemed like a PLOY in an attempt to make things more dramatic. Another thing was the fact that it also felt like the creator knew that by creating a new addition to the cast, especially a certain age group, he would have to learn how to incorporate that into the story. I guess in the end, it was too hard for him and he had to hit the reset button, but in this case RESET was much worse.
Reply
:iconbobafett56:
bobafett56 Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2011  Student Traditional Artist
Ah common the prequels wern't that bad.
Reply
:iconlightskira:
LightsKira Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2011
you just described every Cyanide and Happiness comic
Reply
:iconjumiku:
JuMiKu Featured By Owner Apr 27, 2011
Maybe people should read more Shakespeare before writing comedy. His comedies were always very clever in incorporating tragic elements.
Reply
:icondrmginius:
DrMGinius Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2011
What I wonder is... if they want to make a drama storyline... why don't they make another freaking webcomic about it? It's not like they need to find and pay someone to publish it. In fact, wasn't that the point of a webcomic anyway?!
Reply
:iconbt-01:
BT-01 Featured By Owner Apr 14, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
So wait... Is AIDS funny or not?
Reply
:icon1-alone-together:
1-alone-together Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2011
~is that even a joke?

that is like being given the death penalty for doing nothing wrong and having the court ruling executed five minutes after. without you knowing. yes, it's a joke.
Reply
:iconbt-01:
BT-01 Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Oookay. So it IS funny. Gotcha. :D
Reply
:icon1-alone-together:
1-alone-together Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2011
haha. :sarcasm:
Reply
:iconsarahh23x:
Sarahh23x Featured By Owner Apr 12, 2011
NO MORE STAR WARS, dAmn IT! xD
Reply
:iconvree:
vree Featured By Owner Apr 9, 2011
Someone should make a webcomic about literary clichés in webcomics.

I would read it religiously.
Reply
:iconatomiccatz:
atomiccatz Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2012
:iconthisplz:
Reply
:iconowen-phoenix:
Owen-Phoenix Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2011  Student Filmographer
I'm reminded of that godawful webcomic Ctrl-Alt-Del
Reply
:iconcypressraini:
cypressraini Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2011
OMG. U scared the frack out of me, I thought she seriously had aids!!!!! *heavy breathing* jesus man, u Have no idea how much that freaking surprised me!!!!!!!!!¡1!!!!!!!!
Reply
:iconryuseimaru:
Ryuseimaru Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2011
Y U NO travel back in time and prevent her getting aids?
Reply
:iconcupofblacksyrup:
cupofblacksyrup Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2011
The last panel made my ribs crack under the pressure of my uncontrollable laughing D:
Reply
:iconsori-li:
Sori-li Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2011
The last panel is like...perfect on it's own.
Reply
:iconfuzzypop:
Fuzzypop Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2011
I didn't immediately realize this was one of the panel slides and was kind of horrified.
Reply
:iconkakity:
Kakity Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
You should make your face in that last pannel into a plz acount XD
Reply
:iconartistmeli:
ArtistMeli Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
lol, I can't say enough how much I love the facial expressions on your characters. XD
Reply
:iconjackriles:
JackRiles Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2011
*cough* Ctrl+Alt+Del *cough*
Reply
:iconrallyself:
RallySelf Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2011
It hard to think there was a time when AIDs wasn't funny.
Reply
:iconc-puff:
C-Puff Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2011  Professional Filmographer
I wanna spread some unnecessary gospel for 'Bone' but I feel the comic's famous enough so I don't have to :D Bone did it good. That is all. (yeah yeah, I know it's not a webcomic. Whatever)

It was many many MANY years ago when I read it but I'd say a BIG culprit of this whole thing is Megatokyo. But then I got the feeling Megatokyo never really had any idea as to what it actually wanted to be.

I would go to a con to see the rest of your pictures but I'm in Africa :(

Your face in the last panel reminds me of :icony-u-noplz:
Reply
:iconmonkeythegreat:
monkeythegreat Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2011  Student Traditional Artist
Great parody of a horrible trope.

I blame Cerberus...
Reply
:iconkingkai15:
kingkai15 Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2011  Student Artisan Crafter
how dare you any starwars is !@#$ing amazing

except the tv series
Reply
:iconmariogal:
Mariogal Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2011
Dude, just let her take the helmet and let her go back in time to NOT get aids XD;
Reply
:iconinjuredbirds:
injuredbirds Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2011
well done
Reply
:iconraininess:
raininess Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Gosh, that IS horrible. Just like being handed cotton candy followed by being kicked in the balls :iconwhywouldyoudothatplz:
Reply
:iconkookiekween99:
kookiekween99 Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2011  Student Digital Artist
I think El Goonish Shive does a pretty good job of balancing humor and seriousness.
Reply
:iconsanostar:
SanoStar Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I'm creating a storyline where I want it to be funny in the beginning but I want it to develop into a dramatic story where the main characters view of the world expands with the tone. I'm afraid that I might be ruining or creating something that my viewers won't like when I do this though. :x
Reply
:iconlkani:
LKani Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2011   General Artist
There've been stories that do that sort of thing, I don't think that's a problem as long as the transition isn't jarring XP It's all about flow, and the way you describe it sounds sensible.
Reply
:iconkevinbolk:
kevinbolk Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2011
You won't know until you try. ^_^
Reply
:iconkittytyler700:
KittyTyler700 Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2011
n-i-i-i-ce.
Reply
:iconmasu5536:
masu5536 Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2011
oh if i didnt read the description i wouldve felt bad. thank goodness
Reply
:iconwolfmaster1:
wolfmaster1 Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2011
omj-s this is so how it is too.
lol i love the expressions on the last panel.
Reply
:iconmeshimallo:
Meshimallo Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2011
I want to give her a hug and make it all better. :c
Reply
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