Comic Talk, Tips and Tricks

what to use instead of swears?
Kristen Gudsnuk at 4:34PM, Aug. 23, 2007
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ok, so here's my dilemma:
my comic is rated E, AND my little cousins and brother and other children read it. when I casually inserted the words, “Dammit!” into my comic, little Laura, who's like 9, expressed her deep disappointment in me (and demanded that King have some romance in his life… XD!)

well anyway, cutting to the punch, here's part of the script I'm writing:

KING GOES INTO CLOSET, WHICH IS VERY NEAT, BUT KIND OF EMPTY AND DEPRESSING. PULLS OUT A BOX, OPENS IT, AND GINGERLY TAKES OUT A STRANGE, CLUNKY DEVICE.
KING: aha, here it is.
HE STARTS PUSHING BUTTONS, AND IT BEEPS.
KING: hmm… oh… shit.

so what could he say that ISN'T a swear in this situation? the only feasible response in my opinion, would be a muttered “shit!” or “fuck!” but what is something natural to say when expressing dismay in a monosyllabic manner? oh and I don't wanna use “dammit” either, it just doesn't sound right (he's seeing something seriously bad on his little machine.)
so could you help me out???
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:22PM
usedbooks at 4:52PM, Aug. 23, 2007
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I like “crap” or “crud.” It can be a word of great impact if a character uses it only in extreme circumstances. I do use some curses in my comic (especially certain characters), but I have a character who will never use that kind of language. For lesser annoyances, she says “darn it,” but when the shit hits the fan, she utters “Crap.”
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:36PM
mapaghimagsik at 5:05PM, Aug. 23, 2007
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It depends on what the person is feeling. The small ‘oh shit’ can be replaced with ‘oh no’ and you get the same effect. More exasperation calls for less controlled words.

But what do I know, I'm rated M, and can say any $#!@# thing I #@$% want.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:51PM
kytri at 10:28PM, Aug. 23, 2007
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I agree with usedbooks, a “crap” or “crud” will work fine in most cases.
Depending on the character and situation I might also put in something a little silly if the character needs an expletive and I don't want to use a swear. I used “aw, biscuits” as an expletive in my comic once.
I sometimes do this myself IRL; I swear a lot under normal conditions but I find sometimes when I'm more stressed or angry I tend to use tamer words.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:24PM
deletedbyrequest03 at 11:42PM, Aug. 23, 2007
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I personally do “sh!t” or “s***” (The second one is safer)

You'd be getting your point across, and younger folk don't know what that means.

This year, school's full of BS!!!
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:05PM
Disgruntledrm at 2:21AM, Aug. 24, 2007
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Blast! Curses! Darn. Gee Willickers. Jiminy Crickets! Sweet Schaupenhauer (my favorite one.)
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:12PM
marine at 2:30AM, Aug. 24, 2007
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shit becomes shoot
fuck becomes fudge, fark, fleep, any type of f word.
damn becomes darn, dang, that sort of thing

Seriously, if you want to do clean comics, thats how you do it. If I was getting paid for a company, I'd censor the shoot right out of my comics. But since I'm online, free, and doing some low brow stuff anyway, why not? Lately I've started phasing out curse words. Only one day a week has curse words now, and usually its got more than enough for the whole weeks worth of comics. If I get a page that I feel only works with the profanity, I'll do it. If I can do it without freaking cursing every other fleeping word, I'll do that.

I'm still going to use cunt though, no one likes that word and technically its not a curse word.

Its just vulgar.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:52PM
Blackmoon at 7:04AM, Aug. 24, 2007
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You could do what I do, assuming you have Photoshop or something similar. Type it out as is, and then rasterize the text layer with the naughty no-no word on it to make it editable; then just select the word you want censored and use the Mosaic filter on it.

Bit of a pain in the ass, though, isn't it?

I suppose you could always go with the old comics standby and use “$*@#!” or something. You know, a random string of characters.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:23AM
spacehamster at 7:28AM, Aug. 24, 2007
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It really depends what you're going for… the @#%$ thing always looks comical, so if you want your scene to feel serious, Id' avoid that like the plague. I'd go the “oh crap” or “oh no” route.

The way I see it, I want my characters' dialogue to feel as natural as I can manage. Some people swear, some people don't. If you generally want your comic to be clean, populate it with people who don't swear. And then ask yourself what someone like that would say in the given situation.

Me, I just slapped an M label on Bulletproof and that's the end of it. If I think someone should drop the C-bomb in a given situation, I'm gonna do it. I prefer not to have to think about these things in terms of “can I get away with using this word” because it distracts me from what I really should be thinking about, which is “does this seem natural.”
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:50PM
nerdsareinvading at 12:18PM, Aug. 27, 2007
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well, personally i'd do a euphemism… like in the new ‘Battlestar Galactica’ they use “frack” rather than fuck… so i'd try coming up with something that gets the point across, and people recognize where its coming from, but they're not offended that it's there… but i cant come up with any good ones… but i'd try just getting some friends together and trying to come up with some good ones, and perhaps some of the younger people that you mentioned, and have them say what they'd use instead…


but perhaps like…

oh, christ/ god/ lord/ jesus…

compassion???
bling bling bling, now with 50% more bling…
THE CAKE IS A LIE!!!!

music is like candy… throw away the rappers

smiley agrees,right? lol!
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:11PM
bongotezz at 2:24PM, Aug. 27, 2007
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make up words like they did in farscape - frell, dren, etc.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:32AM
nerdsareinvading at 2:46PM, Aug. 27, 2007
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bongo, that's a euphemism…


euphemism


noun

an inoffensive or indirect expression that is substituted for one that is considered offensive or too harsh

compassion???
bling bling bling, now with 50% more bling…
THE CAKE IS A LIE!!!!

music is like candy… throw away the rappers

smiley agrees,right? lol!
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:11PM
legendkiller13 at 3:59PM, Aug. 27, 2007
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curse words :)
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:34PM
patrickdevine at 8:11PM, Aug. 27, 2007
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“Oh, fudge.” ? “Goshdarnit.” ? “Smeg.” ?
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:41PM
Warspritecomic at 8:23AM, Aug. 28, 2007
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Or maybe you could make a joke out of it. Like making a really strange name; ‘Oh sugar honey iced tea’ or maybe just put a black box (like censored) and put a random word in the middle of it.

For example the King would go:

'Oh…'

That's what I would do.
FIGHTSPLOSION 5!!! IT HAS 2 ALIENS, A PIRATE, A HORNY NINJA AND A HOMOCIDAL FIRE PRODUCING PENGUIN! AND A BIRD WOMAN AND A CAT WOMAN!

Also a mute that reminds me of Johnny Bravo and Samuel L Jackson at the same time!
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:48PM
SarahN at 10:52AM, Aug. 28, 2007
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I like iowabarbidoll's old way of dodging a swear:
“Oh shiii–take mushrooms.”
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:23PM
Darth Mongoose at 4:42AM, Aug. 29, 2007
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I use a lot of British cuss words. ‘Bugger’, ‘Bloody Hell’ etc. They work well. Of course, if you guys actually knew what ‘bugger’ means, it'd probably be rated as a much stronger swear word… But since most people are ignorant of its meaning, it's okay to use, hahahaha!
For obvious reasons, using British cussing only works if you or the character in question is British or Australian.
(Note to all Americans who say ‘Bloody’ because they heard it in ‘Harry Potter’ or whatever: You sound silly. You don't sound British. We're all laughing at you.)
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:08PM
Jeegoo at 5:12AM, Aug. 29, 2007
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I use the Susan Death method. “Does a bear poo in the woods?”
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:07PM
patrickdevine at 7:06PM, Aug. 29, 2007
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Darth Mongoose
I use a lot of British cuss words. ‘Bugger’, ‘Bloody Hell’ etc. They work well. Of course, if you guys actually knew what ‘bugger’ means, it'd probably be rated as a much stronger swear word… But since most people are ignorant of its meaning, it's okay to use, hahahaha!
For obvious reasons, using British cussing only works if you or the character in question is British or Australian.
(Note to all Americans who say ‘Bloody’ because they heard it in ‘Harry Potter’ or whatever: You sound silly. You don't sound British. We're all laughing at you.)
What does “bugger” mean?
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:41PM
Ninja Krow at 2:31PM, Aug. 30, 2007
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You could jsut get word out of the picture and use the Blambot.com Pottymouth free font. anytime some one saying something a bit too mature for an “E-Everbody” rating Type in a few letters and presto, they are saying something too mature for children to read but the idea is there.

Also I liked a method used by “The Adventures of Dr. McNinja” where when soem one would sware, Someother bubble would be in front of it saying “OH my Gosh… HE said a BAD word…” or something like that. there was however one Page where a particulare historical figure let out alot of Mature language and it was censored out for the sake of humor, all over the place. even a Finger was censored out.

Myself, I write my script according to the rating level I'm trying to hit. If “E-Everyone” I would never have any character be in a situation or say anything that would be concitered a mature situation. Mature almost anything goes other then Entire Pages full of [Censored]'s, [Censored]'s or even [Censored]'s

I guess there are a few methods to to this.

Symbles, Censore Bar, Just not writing a lower rated comic with higher rated words or situations. The use of Alternitives like Gosh, Dang, Darn, Heck, Flip, Shoot, Poo, Pie, dookie, and the list goes on.

The choise is really up to you. but there are lots of alternitives to swears, even a simple facial expression can convay a swear without swearing.

I don't know, I guess I'm just ranting now. I'll stop…
~ NINJA OUT!
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:17PM
Hijuda at 7:20PM, Aug. 30, 2007
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I would recommend any of the following:

“DICKSHITASSCUNT!”
“FUCINGASSWHORES!”
“CRAPPINGSHITFUCK!”
“SHITTINGDICKNIPPLES!”

Personal favorite:
“JESUS CHRIST GET IN THE CAR!”

Darth Mongoose
(Note to all Americans who say ‘Bloody’ because they heard it in ‘Harry Potter’ or whatever: You sound silly. You don't sound British. We're all laughing at you.)

Can we tell this to all the Japanese wannabes?
It's a comic!

LOLOL LAMFAO
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:48PM
SteveMyers22 at 11:38AM, Aug. 31, 2007
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Someone
HE STARTS PUSHING BUTTONS, AND IT BEEPS.
KING: hmm… oh… shit.

HE STARTS PUSHING BUTTONS, AND IT BEEPS.
KING: hmm… oh… SNAP!

That's how I'd write it.

You could also go the rap music route:

HE STARTS PUSHING BUTTONS, AND IT BEEPS.
KING: hmm… oh… shizzle.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:58PM
emilin_rose at 12:43PM, Aug. 31, 2007
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****. it always works.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:21PM
Lsnewton at 9:49AM, Sept. 3, 2007
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Step 1: Instead of ass say buns, like “kiss my buns” or “you're a buns hole”

Step 2: Instead of shit say poo, as in “bull poo”, “poo head” and this “poo is cold”

Step 3: With bitch drop the t ‘cause bich is latin for generosity

Step 4: Dont say fuck any more ’cause fuck is the worst word that you can say

So just use the word mmmkay!

last edited on July 14, 2011 1:48PM
Kristen Gudsnuk at 12:27PM, Sept. 3, 2007
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I really like the “oh snap!” thing, haha!

here's another one: what should one say instead of “fuck you!!”?
I really like the sound of that, it just has a really nice tune to it, you know? I mean, what comes most naturally to one's lips after a personal effrontery? a good old “fuck you!”
I wonder, would people hate me if I just threw in ONE F-bomb into my comic? just the one?!

any suggestions would be great.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:22PM
Kristen Gudsnuk at 12:34PM, Sept. 3, 2007
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Darth Mongoose
(Note to all Americans who say ‘Bloody’ because they heard it in ‘Harry Potter’ or whatever: You sound silly. You don't sound British. We're all laughing at you.)

what if I say it with a british accent?
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:22PM
Hijuda at 12:58PM, Sept. 3, 2007
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If anyone is offended by it, you could just say ‘fuck you’!
It's a comic!

LOLOL LAMFAO
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:48PM
usedbooks at 2:03PM, Sept. 3, 2007
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Kristen Gudsnuk
I really like the “oh snap!” thing, haha!

here's another one: what should one say instead of “fuck you!!”?
I really like the sound of that, it just has a really nice tune to it, you know? I mean, what comes most naturally to one's lips after a personal effrontery? a good old “fuck you!”
I wonder, would people hate me if I just threw in ONE F-bomb into my comic? just the one?!

any suggestions would be great.

I think “damn you” has the same effect – maybe even more intense since the “f word” is so extreme it's almost comical these days (you might as well say “frog you” for how silly it seems in print sometimes…). A good “damn you” whispered in an angry tone is very effective and dramatic. (Or the character can scream it, whatever fits the mood.) Even “Curse you!” works well. I believe I have a character say something along the lines of “Curse you, you wretched, evil woman!” And it was the natural dialogue, not a replacement for anything. – Although “M” rated replacement words are easy to think of.

Depending on the situation, you could change it to something entirely different. Like “Get away from me.” “What have you done?!” “You bastard/monster/beast!” “I trusted/believed you…” or even just a well-placed angry, silent stare.

It's an interesting topic. Curse words don't come naturally to my characters, so I don't have to think in terms of “replacements.” My comic is rated a “natural” T+ not a forced one. ;) The worst I've done is a “Son of a –” (After which the character is interrupted.)
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:36PM
Lsnewton at 3:48AM, Sept. 4, 2007
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Alternatives to ‘fuck you’:
Up yours, screw you, go to hell, bite me, suck it.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:48PM
Vixus at 11:52AM, Sept. 4, 2007
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I'm pretty sure I wouldn't want my nine-year-old kid uttering any of those either. :p
Tending my fruit, tending my fruit
Ah, you've got to have a hobby
A man must have a shed to keep him sane.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:42PM

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