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Submitted on
March 23, 2011
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The Straw Man Argument by kevinbolk The Straw Man Argument 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 was actually the second part of the "Webcomic As Soapbox" slide. The first part covered the straight-up rant that features the author's avatar breaking the fourth wall to express his opinions directly at the reader for panels upon panels (which I have done myself so I just used one of my older comics as an example). This one is the slightly less obvious "Straw Man Argument". You will see it quite often in political cartoons and in auto-bio comics.

I really do my best to avoid these like the plague. It would be like beating a one-eyed dog at chess. It's way too easy and it kinda makes me look like a jerkass (especially in the eyes of people who don't already agree with me).

Not that webcomics can't or shouldn't express a point of view. I'd just like to see it done with a little more finesse.

::EDIT::- The purpose here is not to take stabs at fellow artists, which is why I was reluctant to post these outside the context of the panel in the first place. ~_~ Any direct resemblance to any particular work is completely and honestly unintentional.
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Where can I get glasses that disappear in the middle like that?
Cooldude104 Feb 25, 2014  Student General Artist
A proper argument, while possibly heated, can still be sound, sane, and logical. The opponent must have a sound argument otherwise it just seems unnecessary, or that your argument can't stand on it's own merits. The point of a argument is to convince the other side of your ideals, to simplify them or make them seem just off will only serve to anger and drive away people from your point of view.

Shit I just ranted

And I can understand why you avoid these like the plague. Politics is a tough place.
Dekler Jan 27, 2014  Student Digital Artist
I love how my sidebar that says "More from deviantArt" has nothing but Tom Preston webcomics. I like the guy but he tends to be guilty of this.
Well no you spoiled the ending of around 80% of all shortpacked comics pages what am I supposed to read now?
Ransom922Studios Jun 3, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Exactly, the opponent is portrayed as ugly, stupid and one dimensional, unable to comprehend being wrong, while the Author Avatar is always made to look somewhat attractive and automatically right.

Straw men are posion.
Why would apologize to fellow artists? If anything, they're the ones who should be embarrassed for making comics that do this. Deviantart is plagued by things like this everywhere thanks to them.
l-l-7 Feb 28, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
this is like every Doonesbury comic ever.
Wow the girl is very fat . Lets not talk about that lets talk about your comic your comic is like world winds famous comics congrats you are now famous of the comic and the fat girl congrats famous guy or girl c:
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