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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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:iconblue-swastika:
Blue-Swastika Featured By Owner 3 days ago  New Deviant
Assigned Male in a nutshell.
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:iconsciartherp:
SciArtHerp Featured By Owner 6 days ago  Hobbyist General Artist
This is so true.
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:iconvagodellago:
VagoDelLago Featured By Owner Edited 6 days ago  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Are people aware that "Social Justice Warriors" do this kind of foolishness as much as the alt-right/Anti-SJWs, right?
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:iconpapagonzales:
PapaGonzales Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2017
Oh my god, this comic was funny but was kinda unrealistic in 2011. But now in 2017, during the age of the alt-right versus social justice, this is more relevant than ever, LOL! The fat, androgynous character with green hair is totally an amalgamation of SJW stereotypes.
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:iconrejectedsuperheroes:
RejectedSuperheroes Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2017  Student Filmographer
lol all to common
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:iconbizzypig20:
BizzyPig20 Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2017
j u i c y
Reply
:iconheyyitzfuntimefoxy:
HeyyItzFuntimeFoxy Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2017  New Deviant
WARNING! Carry on reading! Or you will die, even if you only looked at the word warning!
Once there was a little girl called Clarissa, she was ten-years-old and she lived in a mental
hospital, because she killed her mom and her dad. She got so bad she went to kill all the
staff in the hospital so the More-government decided that best idea was to get rid of her so
they set up a special room to kill her, as humane as possible but it went wrong the
machine they were using went wrong. And she sat there in agony for hours until she died.
Now every week on the day of her death she returns to the person that reads this letter, on
a Monday night at 12:00 a.m. She creeps into your room and kills you slowly, by cutting you
and watching you bleed to death. Now send this to ten other pictures on this one site, and
she will haunt someone else who doesn't. This isn't fake. apparently, if you copy and paste
this to ten comments in the next ten minutes you will have the best day of your life tomorrow.You
will either get kissed or asked out, if you break this chain u will see a little dead girl in you
Reply
:icontigershark88:
Tigershark88 Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Hey how you doin' lil' mama? lemme whisper in your ear
Tell you something that you might like to hear
You got a sexy ass body and your ass look soft
Mind if i touch it? and see if its soft
Naw i'm jus playin' lets just say i can
And i'm known to be a real nasty man
And they say a closed mouth dont get fed So i don't mind asking for your head
You heard what I said, we need to make our way to the bed
And you can start usin' yo head You like to fuck, have yo legs open all in da butt Do it up slappin ass cuz the sex gets rough
Switch the positions and ready to get down to business So you can see what you've been missin' You might had some but you never had none like this Just wait til you see my dick Ay bitch! Wait til you see my dick
Wait til you see my dick Ay bitch! wait til you see my dick Imma beat dat pussy up Ay bitch! Wait til you see my dick
Wait you see my dick Ay bitch! Wait til you see my dick
I'mma beat dat pussy up Like B-AM, B-AM, B-AM, B-AM, B-AM, B-AM, B-AM, B-AM, B-AM, B-AM, B-AM, B-AM, B-AM, B-AM, B-AM, B-AM
Beat da pussy up, Beat da pussy up, Beat da pussy up, Beat da pussy up, Beat da pussy up, Beat da pussy up, Beat da pussy Up, Beat da pussy up
You fine, but i aint gone sweat ya See i wanna fuck, tell me whats up
Walk around the club with yo thumb in ya mouth
Put my dick in, take your thumb out
There might be a lil ? to deal with Wet ? hope they dont spill shit I keep a hoe hot when i'm puttin' in work
Wanna skeet skeet you bout to get your feelin's hurt Cuz I'll beat dat cat with a dog And knock da walls of a broad til she scrawl Like (OOOOOH!) Yea something like that, but it depends on the swing of the baseball bat Fuck a bitch on da counter make the Place fall mats On the floor she aint screamin she a nut so they crack Crack...crack
Fuck that bend over imma give you the dick Ay bitch! wait til you see my dick Wait til you see my dick Ay bitch! Wait til you see my dick
I'mma beat dat pussy up Ay bitch! Wait til you see my dick Wait you see my dick Ay bitch! Wait til you see my dick
I'mma beat dat pussy up Like B-AM, B-AM, B-AM, B-AM, B-AM, B-AM, B-AM, B-AM, B-AM, B-AM, B-AM, B-AM, B-AM, B-AM, B-AM, B-AM
Beat da pussy up, Beat da pussy up, Beat da pussy up, Beat da pussy up, Beat da pussy up, Beat da pussy up, Beat da pussy Up, Beat da pussy up
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:iconheyyitzfuntimefoxy:
HeyyItzFuntimeFoxy Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2017  New Deviant
XD thats random 
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:iconmoonmettle:
Moonmettle Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2017  Student Photographer
so is posting stupid fucking copy paste chain mail pussy
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:iconheyyitzfuntimefoxy:
HeyyItzFuntimeFoxy Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2017  New Deviant
XD You guys still hating on me for this? Lmao that's old now
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:iconmoonmettle:
Moonmettle Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2017  Student Photographer
and it not real
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:iconheyyitzfuntimefoxy:
HeyyItzFuntimeFoxy Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2017  New Deviant
Yes I know it's not real lmao 
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:iconmoonmettle:
Moonmettle Featured By Owner 6 days ago  Student Photographer
so the fuck why you post it
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:iconclowntown64:
ClownTown64 Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2017  Hobbyist Artist
Somebody once told me the world is gonna roll me
I ain't the sharpest tool in the shed
She was looking kind of dumb with her finger and her thumb
In the shape of an "L" on her forehead
Well the years start coming and they don't stop coming
Fed to the rules and I hit the ground running
Didn't make sense not to live for fun
Your brain gets smart but your head gets dumb
So much to do, so much to see
So what's wrong with taking the back streets?
You'll never know if you don't go
You'll never shine if you don't glow
Hey now, you're an all-star, get your game on, go play
Hey now, you're a rock star, get the show on, get paid
And all that glitters is gold
Only shooting stars break the mold
It's a cool place and they say it gets colder
You're bundled up now, wait till you get older
But the meteor men beg to differ
Judging by the hole in the satellite picture
The ice we skate is getting pretty thin
The water's getting warm so you might as well swim
My world's on fire, how about yours?
That's the way I like it and I never get bored
Hey now, you're an all-star, get your game on, go play
Hey now, you're a rock star, get the show on, get paid
All that glitters is gold
Only shooting stars break the mold
Hey now, you're an all-star, get your game on, go play
Hey now, you're a rock star, get the show, on get paid
And all that glitters is gold
Only shooting stars
Somebody once asked could I spare some change for gas?
I need to get myself away from this place
I said yep what a concept
I could use a little fuel myself
And we could all use a little change
Well, the years start coming and they don't stop coming
Fed to the rules and I hit the ground running
Didn't make sense not to live for fun
Your brain gets smart but your head gets dumb
So much to do, so much to see
So what's wrong with taking the back streets?
You'll never know if you don't go (go!)
You'll never shine if you don't glow
Hey now, you're an all-star, get your game on, go play
Hey now, you're a rock star, get the show on, get paid
And all that glitters is gold
Only shooting stars break the mold
And all that glitters is gold
Only shooting stars break the mold
Reply
:icontigershark88:
Tigershark88 Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
You deserve a Medallion. World Ruler Nominee
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:iconkounelivw:
kounelivw Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2017  New Deviant Professional Interface Designer
Oh my god :worship:
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:iconfireball1401:
Fireball1401 Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2017  New Deviant
I love you
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:iconenderplasma16:
Enderplasma16 Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
beautiful
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:icontommyelgato:
TommyElGato Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2017  New Deviant
seriously, screw off
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:iconcartoonicus:
Cartoonicus Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2017  Professional Filmographer
This is perfect. The internet explained.
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:iconthelilaro:
thelilaro Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2017
did you mean plebcomics
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:iconaj-morrow:
AJ-Morrow Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2017
Well that about sums up every artist argument ever.
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:iconthesegaloser:
theSEGAloser Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2017   Writer
Andrew Dobson
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:iconemoticon-dude:
Emoticon-Dude Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
mmm... delicious, delicious strawmen
Reply
:iconpsiandco:
psiandco Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2017  Student Writer
So true... 
I think the worst SJW's are the people who can't get laid.
A lack of sex, especially in the teen to young adult years,

Can do some really F'd up Shi- to a person's psychology.
Someone who is truly repugnant, (doesn't work to make themselves beautiful/sexy) is deprived, and disturbed.

Meme magick belongs to all true Kekistani, 
Even as a normie - I approve this to become a meme topic.
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:iconsorenisnotdead:
SorenIsNotDead Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2017
Praise kek nibba
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Flagged as Spam
:iconpsiandco:
psiandco Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2017  Student Writer
uhm, dude? 
 what?

what are you replying to?
You have the floor.
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:icondevianttestbed:
DeviantTestbed Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2017
Praise Kek
Reply
:iconviolet-dawnmlp:
Violet-DawnMLP Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
good advice, since i kinda want to start a webcomic with my ocs
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:icondiamondtapir:
diamondtapir Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2017  New Deviant
Oh my god, this is so accurate it hurts. These comics are all the same and they're so boring. Sure these comics can be used to illustrate a point, but if you have to make up a strawman to make yourself look reasonable and smart, you're probably... Not. 
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:iconlunaurorakoroleva:
LunauroraKoroleva Featured By Owner Edited Nov 4, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Totally most political comics, from both the left and the right... //sigh
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:icondiamondtapir:
diamondtapir Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2017  New Deviant
You're right to a degree, but I think this is specifically mimicking an anti-SJW comic, and not necessarily a political thing. (Not that SJW/anti-SJW stuff can't heavily involve politcs) The fact that the person the guy is arguing with is a fat women with dyed hair who is obviously meant to be ugly makes me think this. 

But yeah, any comic involving anything resembling politics will literally have the same damn format. The only difference is what the strawman will look like. They're all the damn same. 
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:iconzekehimberry95:
Zekehimberry95 Featured By Owner Edited Nov 4, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
It has nothing to do with anti-SJW mocking. Its highlighting the absurdity of straw man comics and how the artists tend to make the "wrong" side of the debate look unflattering to try to make them seem more absurd. This was made and posted in 2011 before you saw the term "SJW" everywhere on the internet.
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:icondiamondtapir:
diamondtapir Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2017  New Deviant
I recall seeing the term around that time. Are you sure there wasn't talk about that in 2011? Maybe I'm just remembering wrong. 
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:iconzekehimberry95:
Zekehimberry95 Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I don't remember seeing it back in 2011. If you look at all the old comments the term isn't mentioned at all, its all newer comments bringing it up.
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:icondiamondtapir:
diamondtapir Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2017  New Deviant
Maybe you're right. Maybe SJW was coined in 2012 or so. It was somewhere around that time, I know as much. 
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:icongallgoyle:
Gallgoyle Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
Every debate with a snowflake in a nutshell.
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:iconpointzenith:
pointzenith Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2017
"Smug quip or 'gotcha' at their expense"
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:icondiamondtapir:
diamondtapir Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2017  New Deviant
The point of the comic


Your head 
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:iconschattenlotus:
SchattenLotus Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2017
Ooohhh, i see. Kevinbolk destroys a US-American Snowflake / SJW / Feminist(? :XD: ) in this Picture :meow:
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:iconzekehimberry95:
Zekehimberry95 Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Its about highlighting the flaws in webcomics relying on straw man arguments for content.
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:iconschattenlotus:
SchattenLotus Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2017
A " Straw man " Argument is an Argument which has a
totally non-threatening Topic as a allegedly threatening, serious
Topic, isn't it? Because " Straw Men " are harmless, as i see it.
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:iconlatinforgoddess:
latinforgoddess Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
A straw man argument is a logical fallacy wherein a "straw man" is constructed- a skewed perception of the opposing viewpoint.

Example: there's a pretend debate between people who like red zorbles and people who like orange zorbles (I made up zorbles and their attributes for the sake of this, because it's the structure that's relevant not the issue at hand). The argument of red zorble fans is that they have more star points, while orange zorble fans prefer their color because it has more moon points. Red zorble fans think that too many moon points slow a zorble down, and orange zorble fans think that moon points are superior and star points sacrifice too much power. 

Now a Red Zorble fan is making this kind of comic about the issue. To illustrate and promote their points, they construct a "straw man" Orange Zorble fan. This person is made to look as unattractive as possible and sound as stupid as possible with blown up points that exaggerate and don't accurately represent the opposite viewpoint. Probably their clothes have orange moons all over them.
"Red Zorbles are pathetic and weak and they have to eat babies to keep up their strength that they don't have! Lock up your babies! Fuck Red Zorbles! Grr!" shouts the Straw Man.
Orange Zorble fans don't think that Red Zorbles are inferior because they eat babies, or that being fast leads to baby eating. They prefer orange because they value strength over speed. This is a straw man argument because it's presenting the opposite view in a skewed way to get their point across.
"But Red Zorbles don't eat babies," the reasonable author might counter, "where did you get such an idea? Red Zorbles might not be able to beat a wrestler in a fight but they are the very fastest. Eating a baby would slow them down." The author has a single red star on their tee shirt, to show that fans of red zorbles are much more reasonable and less in your face about their opinion.
"ARRR That's just exactly what a baby eating Red Zorble would say!" screams the Straw Man.
"Heh, did all those Orange Zorbles make you that slow?" quips the author in response. 

It doesn't add anything useful to the debate because it doesn't accurately represent the opposing view. The sole purpose of a straw man is to discredit the other view and make anyone who has that view look foolish and unreasonable. 
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:iconschattenlotus:
SchattenLotus Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2017
AAAAA-MEN !!! :XD: :D thanks for the thorough Explanation. =)
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:iconpoteto-man:
Poteto-Man Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2017
Oh my God, this is almost identical to some of the strips from a comic I used to read. La la la la It makes me happy.
(Shortpacked!, in case anyone was wondering. I love it, but God that guy could preach.)  
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:iconinspector-spinda:
Inspector-Spinda Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
sometimes strawmen exist in real life. that's the sad part. the biggest example i can think of off the top of my head is with people not thinking artists should be paid for art.
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:iconphoenixofwildfires:
PhoenixOfWildfires Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
In other words, Vegan Artbook
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Submitted on
March 23, 2011
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