Anger Management
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woohooligan Apr 21, 2011
woohooligan NEW! Check out our best laughs from 2016!
Woohoo! I finally uploaded another comic! :D

Things have been so busy lately I haven't had much time for cartooning, but I'm hoping things will settle down a little now that we've gotten a lot of stuff squared away.

So on the subject of this comic, y'know, over the years I've heard a lot of people say that comedy is always about anger or that something can't be funny unless it makes people angry. When I first heard this I thought "hmm, that's an interesting idea... maybe..." ... But now that I've seriously thought about it, I have to say to those people "are you fucking crazy!?" Yes there's certainly room in the world of comedy for the curmudgeon, the guy who's always angry about something like Lewis Black or George Carlin in his later years... but my god man! How myopic do you have to be to look at someone laughing at a well-timed pun and say, "that man is a font of misplaced RAGE."

For my part I think comedy is mostly about the unexpected... which also means it has to be about the familiar and expected as well. People have to think they know where you're going in order to be surprised when you don't get there. It can be angry, but if you're not presenting it in a new or unexpected way, you're not likely to get a laugh. Lewis Black as an example had this routine about the old "duck and cover" campaign from the early 1950's just after the development of nuclear weapons. In the bit he says (paraphrased) "when I was a kid, we saw these films in my elementary school where a nuclear bomb would destroy everything in sight, except for the children who were hiding safely under their desks. We had air raid drills every couple of weeks. The adults in my community were telling me that I could protect myself from a giant fireball by hiding under wood." There's still a punchline there at the end, so you might get a chuckle, but it's not nearly as funny as the unexpected way that Black tells it.

On a sort of related note, I think I'm kind of glad to see traditional newspapers dying out as an industry. It's not that I dislike the idea of having news or of journalistic integrity -- I think both of those things are pretty valuable... but I think that traditional newspapers have offered a kind of false sense of security in that their articles don't really dig deep and answer questions and that they often provide really biased information under the guise of being "neutral".

What's really funny about this in particular is I think you can see this even in the comic section. Because newspaper cartoons really rose to prominence some time around WWII, that industry grew up in the 50s when it was illegal to show a married couple sleeping in bed together because "oh god! People might think they had sex!" At the time, newspapers appealed to most people because there weren't reliable alternative sources of large amounts of news readily available (TV and TV news was just getting going). And so newspapers, knowing the size of their audience, decided to play to the mainstream of their day by sanitizing the hell out of everything, the same way the TV sensors did. And likewise newspaper comics had to focus on very sterile, non-threatening subjects like "old people don't like new technology" and "kids don't like eating vegetables"... And I have to think there are a lot of ideas that never make it into the newspaper for the same reason - it'd be too damn shocking for all those tapioca-gumming old people who're the only people who still read them.

A few years ago when I started cartooning, I thought it would be cool to get myself into the newspaper... We've been buying the newspaper since my mother-in-law came to stay with us last year and so I've been paying more attention to the newspaper comics since then. And what have I seen? Oh, "old people don't like new technology" and "kids don't like eating vegetables"... blech! It hearkens back to the times of Bowdlerization, when you couldn't say "dick" to a girl because it was thought her head might explode from the shock of hearing it! ;P I hope my humor is never that predictable and BORING! It seems newspapers are still basically trapped in the society of the 1950s, so I hope it could never be said that my comics would be "good enough for the newspaper business". ;P

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This was done in Manga Studio... I have no idea how long it took me. I still stand by my earlier assertion that the folks at Smith Micro have no clue how to make software that's "user friendly" and really need to get their act together. But having said that, I do like some of the features, like the panel cutter, sketch layers and the way the pen tool works. But god-damn! Add a freaking gradient tool instead of forcing people to go through something that looks like a freaking flight-simulator to create a simple gradient using a "tone layer". And let me change layer opacity without right-clicking to get preferences for the layer!

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Robotwin.com Apr 21, 2011
Robotwin.com This is excellent. I enjoyed the commentary too. Can you recommend some good resources on writing comedy?
woohooligan Apr 21, 2011
woohooligan Oh god, no, I can't!

I appreciate the complement tho! :D

But no, I write from my gut, I've never looked for books or anything on how to write comedy... maybe I should. ;P
ThornsInOurSide Clown rage, it's better than clown fear.
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