Comic Talk and General Discussion *

how much of your comic world is real?
takoyama at 2:16PM, Nov. 1, 2023
posts: 18
joined: 4-10-2011
For those doing comics that are not from fantasy lands how much of the real world is in your comics?

Do you have the same presidents as the real world or do you make up your own, do you have fake cities like Gotham or metropolis, fake countries?

my comic is in the real world with a few fake cities
last edited on Nov. 1, 2023 5:09PM
PaulEberhardt at 3:53PM, Nov. 1, 2023
posts: 117
joined: 7-21-2007
I've used the principle of “draw what you know” in Master the Tiger, so I set it in the town of Bremen where I was born and sometimes went there to take photos of certain streets or historic buildings for reference.

I remember how I once met someone abroad, who saw me ink the street scenes on top of this page. It turned out he had a flat there when he a studied, and could even point at his window in the drawings.

However I don't always go for so much accuracy. I drew that just because this is Bremen's most famous go-to quarter for pub crawls where the girls would logically go, so it had to be recognisable despite having no really memorable spots.

The street my main character lives in, as well as her house, are completely made up, but I keep them in style.
This page starts at at real place and ends on my fictional street.

Despite all this, I'm not going for hyper-realism and change things to suit me. The Bremen I draw is not the real place but a cartoon version of it, after all. All the businesses are either my invention or a shout-out to ones that don't exist any more but which I used to like. Many signs are a vehicle for stealth puns or parodies on well-known (well, at least locally well-known) brands. For example, Gröpelinger beer is a parody on the real brand Hemelinger (both named after rather ugly parts of the town). In real life, Hemelinger advertises itself as “Bremen's second best beer” and “It'll do” and is locally known as “headache in a bottle” (and still is awful, although since it has been bought up it has slightly improved), making it hard to one-up in a parody. So Gröpelinger advertises itself as “You won't easily forget it.” and “Half drunk is wasted money!” and is truly terrible, but nobody in the comic will consider any other brand, because Bremen people are stubborn in their local patriotism, even when it's ridiculous - mirroring real life again.

All the cars are at least 40 to 50 years old, but the comic is clearly set in the present (they've got smartphones and all that). That's mainly because I like the aesthetics, but it points to a slight difference to our world: people are a bit more sustainably-minded and never throw anything away. Probably, companies in my comic world just stopped bothering with new designs at one point, because too few people buy anything new and if they do, they'll prefer an old design they know and can fix themselves if need be.
This provides a link to Northern-German clichés, btw.. My characters never comment on this, though. To them, it's just normal.

I keep politics out of it, mostly. I want the focus to stay solidly on comedy. My characters do tend to show a healthy disdain for politicians and bureaucrats, but without taking sides.

What else?… Witchcraft is real, and if you want to become a customer of my witch, you can just look her up in the Yellow Pages under “W”. In other respects, everything works in accordance with cartoon physics: all natural laws are rigorously followed except when I can come up with something funnier.
last edited on Nov. 1, 2023 4:24PM
Othosmops at 4:33PM, Nov. 1, 2023
posts: 63
joined: 9-29-2007
The world in the Birdmentime's Hero novel is real. Cassis distillery Boudier really exists and is known worldwide. The places mentioned do really exist (or will in the future 😉), but I have not depicted them true to life. Martigny-le-Compte looks quite different, and I hope that Vienna will never look as ugly as I have rendered it for 2078. A little alienation has to be, even if the novel is about our future.
J_Scarbrough at 5:01PM, Nov. 1, 2023
posts: 607
joined: 8-23-2022
Just about all of my work has been set in my home state of Tennessee, but 99% of the time, I tend to use fictionalized stand-ins for actual towns, unless specified othewise.

Joseph Scarbrough
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Ironscarf at 5:49PM, Nov. 1, 2023
posts: 1,913
joined: 9-9-2008
takoyama wrote:
fake cities like Gotham

Gotham is actually a real place, quite close to where I grew up. As you can see it doesn't look much like the DC version and the main crime risk is people stealing the village sign, but it has a historic reputation for mad goings on that are said to have inspired the fictional city.

I tend to use real locations in my own comics and change the names, sometimes combining elements of two or more places, similar to what filmmakers do. I might bring together buildings from different places if I need to. Elmwych is based on a real place for instance, but the cemetery is from elsewhere.

For characters I never use real world names. My main cast will usually be based on people I've known and feel some way about, but I'll change their appearance and give them a name that suits their personality.
bravo1102 at 12:12AM, Nov. 2, 2023
posts: 6,119
joined: 1-21-2008
Never really had to worry about it because I've been vague about place names in the comics set on our planet. I have used real world photos for some backgrounds in Belle's Best that I've gotten off the internet. Even looked up a few places on Google maps to get the feel of the locality but never mention more than the state name like Texas, New Mexico or Pennsylvania.
Everything else is in space. Space is so vast there's lots of room for lots of places and don't have to be specific about anything.
InkyMoondrop at 1:30AM, Nov. 2, 2023
posts: 241
joined: 7-14-2022
Many of my locations are made up. Others are real cities, for context. I occasionally reference IRL people, celebrities, etc, usually with a comedic undertone.
Tantz_Aerine at 7:18AM, Nov. 2, 2023
posts: 1,991
joined: 10-11-2006
In Without Moonlight everything is real when it comes to historicity. Towns, villages, officials, politicians, ranked partisans, the lot. That means anyone that should be looked up or googled, can be. Same goes for important historical events.

However, certain characters that aren't as historically important are fusions of different people and they are for all intents and purposes fictional. So lower ranked partisans (like Andreas or Orestes) and random soldiers, also the middle management Nazi high command, all of those are made up but based on real people.

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