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!"
And no, Roxy does not have AIDS. I feel kinda silly having to say that.