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Podcast #2: Last Place Comics
ifelldownthestairs at 3:56PM, Nov. 17, 2010
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Man. That was a ramble and a half! Anyway, what did you guys think of the podcast? More importantly, what's your stance on Last Place Comics? Questions, questions!
you know why birds don't write their memoirs? because birds don't lead epic lives, that's why. who'd want to read what a bird does? nobody. that's who.
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elektro at 7:13PM, Nov. 17, 2010
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I liked the review of Budd Dwyer's suicide. Maybe you guys should do a review of Thích Quảng Đức's suicide next.

(By the way, am I the only one who finds it ironic and funny that the first fan art contest I ever win was with the shittiest, most intentionally horrible piece of “art” I've ever made in my entire life? It's beautiful.)
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Exzachly at 2:38AM, Nov. 18, 2010
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Well, you guys have given me some food for thought. I know I've been phoning it in for the past year and needed a wake up call. That said, I don't think I have the same fondness for those old strips as you guys do, and I REALLY like some of the longer ones. The strips you guys brought up, I'll admit I wasn't that into, but “Deciding Movies”, “Winter Wonderland”, “Will Reading”, “Movies”, “72 hour energy”. Those five are up there some of my personal favorites. Do you guys like those strips? Or is the long form comic just structurally flawed? I'm not just asking Kev and Hark here people. How does everyone else feel? I honestly don't know if my tastes are starting to diverge from my readers. It's hard for me to get any kind of meaningful feedback and I want what I can get.

EDIT: PS: Inez, my girlfriend, wanted to add that she's the straight man and I'm the weird one cause that's our relationship in real life. It's exaggerated of course, but I am pretty eccentric and she's pretty down to earth.
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harkovast at 3:29AM, Nov. 18, 2010
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Elektro- You won the contest for making the worst comic page possible…yeah I can see how that might give you mixed feelings…

Exzachly-I am kind of relieved that you said you feel you have been phoning it in, cause I was worried we were going to say that and you would say “What? I poured my heart into that comic!” and make us feel like jerks for suggesting it.
It does come across in your comic, sadly.
You've got to get it back! We need Zach back….the OLD zach!

The thing is with those longer strips is that there are some awesome jokes in there, but those jokes would work better as stand alone strips rather then lost in a big long drawn out comic.

I cant believe you are down on the old strips! Old strips 4 da win! Seriously, everyone loves those! Go back and read over some of those classics again.

Also, some of the longer ones can become a bit repetitive. The OH FUCK movie idea is funny, but it runs on and on and on for ages until it gets a bit tiresome.
(And then it comes back for a few more strips afterwards.)
The short, snappy zing of the early comics makes the comedy seem sharp and focused.
Especially when Zach (the protagonist, not you….though I question how different those two are!) does something whacky and shocking, the shock is greater in a short comic as this means it happens quickly. We jsut get one or two panels of the reveal and consequences. In a longer comic his actions come across as drawn out and planned, or like he has been doing the same whacky thing for ages so its not that whacky any more.
A good rule of thumb would be that if there are scenes in a comic that are not essential or panels that could go without spoiling the central joke, take them out.
To requote shakespeare- Brevity is the soul of wit.

Sorry if my observation on the roles of men and women in webcomics came across as a criticism of you in particular. I didn't mean that as any kind of attack or accusation of sexism on your part. It was just a general observation on webcomics (and comedy in general I suppose.) I hope you aren't quite as excentric as your comic name sake though.

Also…Inez and Zach? Does everyone you know have an awesome/crazy name?



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zaymac at 6:52AM, Nov. 18, 2010
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I actually listened to this podcast while finishing my comic for the week this morning.

My favorite part was Steve from VA. I think I'm going to put him in my webcomic.

It's a Grizzly Bear battling Zombies. Do you need to know more?
DOLLAR STORE HAIRCUTA daily webcomic of unfunny.
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harkovast at 8:07AM, Nov. 18, 2010
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Steve from Virginia is going to be the big hit of these pod casts.
The guy has star quality!

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harkovast at 2:16PM, Nov. 18, 2010
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Okay to illustrate my point, I have taken an episode of Last Place Comics.
The original comic was called Greeting Cards.
Click here to read the original-


http://www.drunkduck.com/Last_Place_Comics/index.php?p=665290

Now look at how much dead space and rambling I managed to remove and yet still leave the central joke (which is incredibly funny and pure genius) intact.



It only took four panels.
While the rest of the page was okay, it ended up just being distraction from the good bit.

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Exzachly at 6:02AM, Nov. 19, 2010
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harkovast
While the rest of the page was okay, it ended up just being distraction from the good bit.
See, this is where I have to say “it's just a matter of opinion”. Cause most people liked the twilight card best http://exzachly.deviantart.com/gallery/#/d2iy70j, and I really think all of those stand alone just fine. But I do think you're right that they would have worked better as separate updates.

What I've realized from this review is I've been letting update pressure dictate the length of my comics, rather than finding their ideal length. I think since there's more time between each update, I've been feeling a pressure to add more to each update or edit less each comic. I've unconsciously eschewed my editing process, to provide more content. There is definitely fat to be cut.

That said I still think there's some things we'll just have to agree to disagree on. Cause it seems to me like you guys are saying “find the central joke, do one joke per strip”, and my thinking is “yeah, that's good sometimes, but other times they work better in conjugation”. I dunno, I agree that over the last year or so the comics have been mostly long and mostly just ok. My motivation has been in the crapper. But I think before that there was a time when they were mostly long and mostly good, and at that time my heart actually was in it.

harkovast
Sorry if my observation on the roles of men and women in webcomics came across as a criticism of you in particular. I didn't mean that as any kind of attack or accusation of sexism on your part. It was just a general observation on webcomics (and comedy in general I suppose.) I hope you aren't quite as excentric as your comic name sake though.
Lols, this reminds me of when I interviewed you and you thought I was calling you a sexist. Anywho, I didn't think it came across that way. And I don't think Inez saw it that way either. She said it more like “Cause that's how we are in real life *emoticon smiley face*”.

And yes, everyone I know has crazy names, if they don't they're given one, on the spot, through violence. D:
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harkovast at 7:30AM, Nov. 19, 2010
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Inherrent to any review is an element of opinion, and a friend of mine mentioned he liked hte twilight one best. What me and kev make of something is certianly not an impartial ghospel from on high, but at least with give it a lot of thought and discussion.
The key point with my example is that there was a lot of that strip that could be cut out and still leave the joke/jokes in tact. As you mentioned, you could do the same thing with the twilight card, and make the strip about that one instead and it would work just as well (ending on Zach's ‘hostile’ face perhaps.) A series of short comics in which zach gives someone an inappropriate cards would deffinitely work better I think, thus cutting out the need for a lot of the transition panels. When the comics get longer and longer there is a need for more and more panels between jokes to move the plot of the comic forward. These transition panels also start to feel a bit like explaining the joke, or at least over playing the reaction to it (zach friend going “ummm” as zach stares at him with the hostile face felt unnecessary to me.)

Another example of a comic that could be cut down would be the “miracle back sauce” page. You gave a LOT of examples of the uses for back sauce, to the point where the joke felt a bit played out. You could probably cut that list in half and just uses the funniest ones and make it more effective.

I am sure I am coming across as the most arrogant, self righteous prick in the universe right now, but I am only saying things with an aim to being constructive, so I hope none of this seems like I am just putting you down.
If there wasn't a lot to priase in your comic I wouldn't bother going to such length on the problems.
Absolute honest about the comics we review is a big deal for me and Kev, but it can make it seem a bit brutal.
I think it's really good that you are keen to discuss it and bounce ideas around.

But at least we have confirmed that niether of us thinks the other is sexist, you wife beating woman hater….ooops, I've started it again.

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harkovast at 12:11AM, Nov. 24, 2010
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Just to clarify…
I said that in comics men are always the whacky one and women the straight man.
I should have made clear I was talking about gag a day comics like last place comics, rather than suggesting that there are no whacky female characters around anywhere.
Though it does also hold true of sitcoms, which use the “over grown man-child with disaproving shrew wife” formula almost constantly.
Am I the only one who finds that set up intensely irritating?

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ozoneocean at 9:19AM, Nov. 26, 2010
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I'm listening to your podcast right now. It's hilarious!

Hark, you sound EXACTLY like I'd imagine from looking at your avi! ^___^
 
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harkovast at 8:49AM, Nov. 27, 2010
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But my avatar looks like a cat!
A butch cat…but still a cat!
MEOW!

Glad you are enjoying it.

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BffSatan at 6:34AM, Nov. 29, 2010
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I prefer the long ones.
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Exzachly at 4:09AM, Dec. 9, 2010
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Hey hey, sorry I dropped off the planet there. I kinda do that. I'm not mad at you guys or nothin, I just find an internet social life…ehhh.. taxing? I guess. Honestly, I haven't been on a facebook account for two years or so.

Anyways, you bring up some good points, but like I just don't agree with you on some things. Like I said, the long ones, when done right, are my personal favorites. This review has pushed editing to the forefront of my mind though. A process I pushed back after I got the freedom to do whatever I want. And if there are readers out there longing for the days of short, simple gags, I want to accommodate them too. So why not just do both?
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harkovast at 8:35AM, Dec. 11, 2010
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Length is not necessarily a bad thing, but you have to be carefully of allowing jokes to run on and start to ramble.
There isn't a set length at which comics needs to be (and the one with how to pick which movie from just the title was really good), but if a joke goes on for too long then it starts to feel like the author is explaining it to the reader.
So its not so much a “short good, long bad” moral as it is “Edit these things more and trim the fat!”

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last edited on July 18, 2011 10:15AM

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