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Eric: On the other hand, I could call a copycat strip an homage. Yeeeeeah....


(From Partially Clips: A Webcomic for Grownups! Click on the thumbnail for full sized Immimelation!)

Robert Balder is a brilliant man, with a wonderfully dry sense of humor. And, he was smart enough to hosey the whole concept of clip-art based comics. (Not that he's the only practitioner, but it'd be hard to launch one of these of my own without being... well, a dirty stinking copycat!) Balder understands how to use dialogue to bring the Funny, which is important since Partially Clips is largely a talking heads strip (it's hard for it to be anything else, given that Balder typically uses the art for all the panels).

Today's strip is a good example. The joke works well. The clip art becomes an effective medium for the dialogue that's set up and executed. Also, there are mime jokes. And all that's pretty cool.

Posted by Eric Burns-White at July 28, 2005 7:40 PM

Comments

Comment from: SeanH posted at July 28, 2005 8:51 PM

I wonder if "Immimelation" should enter the Lexicon?

Comment from: Thomas Blight posted at July 28, 2005 9:21 PM

Hm. You know, I always thought it was [b]a[/b] homage. Then again, I might be pronouncing it wrong. I read it as if it has a hard H, as in home. It just becomes home-age to me. Is it supposed to be read more like french pronounciation?

Right, comment on the actual snark.

It's actually kinda hard to comment on clip art comics. There's less of a creative process to it than other alternative-media comics (like Photo comics). It really comes down to: Is the writing good, and does the clip art work with it?

For me, most of Robert Balder's jokes pass me by. Today's is a very "silent amusement" strip, and I'm not a quiet guy. I've burst out laughing at Gin and the Devil (which is ridiculously funny). His comedy is just kind of... mellow. It's not something where the punchline hits you and you giggle devilishly. It's a slow punchline. It's not that it's not funny, it just creeps up on you slowly, and by the time you realise the joke, it's already dying down already.

Comment from: gwalla posted at July 28, 2005 10:19 PM

It's like the French pronunciation, yes. "oh-MAHZH"

Comment from: Dragonmuncher posted at July 28, 2005 10:34 PM

I love PartiallyClips. Sometimes the jokes are... eh... but often they're hilarious. There've been the inevitable comparisons to Red Meat, but I like it so much more.

Take a few minutes and go through some of the archives, and you're guaranteed to find a few out-loud laughs.

Comment from: Johnny Assay posted at July 28, 2005 11:51 PM

OK, Eric, you got me: what the heck does "hosey" mean?

Oh, and no discussion of clip art cartoons is complete without the obligatory link to David Rees' stuff, which (I believe) predates the earliest stuff in PartiallyClips' archives.

Comment from: miyaa posted at July 29, 2005 3:34 AM

http://www.partiallyclips.com/index.php?id=1050

*cackle*

Comment from: Eric Burns posted at July 29, 2005 9:06 AM

Hosey, or so my parents swear to me, means "calling." As in, "I call shotgun!" could also be "I hosey the front seat."

I thought they were insane until the day the Headmaster of the school I work at stuck his head in a meeting I was having with the Associate Head, and said "when you're done here, I'm hoseying you."

As a side note, it's generally a bad idea to tell the Head of School you work for that he just heard a word you've only heard your retired parents use, and you thought they were making stuff up.

Comment from: Paul Gadzikowski posted at July 29, 2005 9:48 AM

It's actually kinda hard to comment on clip art comics. There's less of a creative process to it than other alternative-media comics (like Photo comics). It really comes down to: Is the writing good, and does the clip art work with it?

When I discussed Dinosaur Comics on my own site, I quoted (verbatim to the degree I remember it accurately) Dr. McCoy's comment upon observing that tribbles are born pregnant: "It seems to be a tremendous timesaver."

But that's not exactly fair. As you observe, even clip and cut-and-paste cartoonists must actually write a new joke every time. And the point of my discussion was that sometimes you have to try a webcomic daily as it's intended to be consumed, rather than judging it by reading its archives in a massive gulp, in order to experience its effect properly. Since then I've kept Dinosaur Comics on my daily trawl and even written North for permission to use his art in a filler on my site.

Comment from: alienpriest posted at July 29, 2005 10:11 AM

it'd be hard to launch one of these of my own without being... well, a dirty stinking copycat!

What's wrong with being a copycat? The creation of art, by its very nature, is the act of ripping something off. Incidentally, clipart comics demonstrate this brilliantly. The only way to be original about something is to do nothing, and even that's been done before. So copycat away.

Clipart comics, for the creator, has inherent value outside the novelty of the gimmick. It is purely a writing exercise. You aren't spending time with concern over composition of the images as you are focusing on the delivery within the constraints of the art that is available. Continuing the task over long periods of time on top of the same art can become challenging, since you've removed the ability to play off of the image as part of the gag.

ItĚs one of those things that looks easy, until you try it.

Comment from: Subhuman posted at July 29, 2005 11:42 AM

Well, I actually did laugh out loud at that one. Thanks for the link - I've got another bookmark.

Comment from: Pseudowolf posted at July 29, 2005 12:36 PM

Hm. If my boss ever told me he was going to "hosey" me, I'd be left wondering if I ought to sue for harassment.

Comment from: david malki ! posted at July 29, 2005 10:04 PM

Clip-art comics are a funny thing. PartiallyClips and Dinosaur Comics are both, by design, all about the writing -- but sometimes clip-art strips can incorporate visual gags, too. (My own Wondermark is an example.)

I'm a fan of Balder's work, and he's a fan of mine, and I'd be a liar if I said I wasn't inspired by David Rees, but I think there's lots of room within the genre too. In other words, I don't think Mr. Balder has "hoseyed" the concept at all.

Comment from: david malki ! posted at July 29, 2005 10:04 PM

Clip-art comics are a funny thing. PartiallyClips and Dinosaur Comics are both, by design, all about the writing -- but sometimes clip-art strips can incorporate visual gags, too. (My own Wondermark is an example.)

I'm a fan of Balder's work, and he's a fan of mine, and I'd be a liar if I said I wasn't inspired by David Rees, but I think there's lots of room within the genre too. In other words, I don't think Mr. Balder has "hoseyed" the concept at all.

Comment from: Flower of December posted at July 29, 2005 10:08 PM

Does it still count as a clip art strip if there's image manipulation to make the bits flow together well? Because I still hold up http://www.patheticinc.com/2005/01/116.htm as the pinnacle of clip art webcomicry.

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