Art Clones

Anyway, clones in comicbooks have been done to death so I’m not going to talk about it. I’m more interested with the clones in art styles used in webcomics. In the past decade, webcomics have become a very big thing on the internet and has allowed countless artists to showcase their artwork and storytelling skills. And with that they also garnered fans, who happily support their favorite creators financially. I know this is a good thing and I have nothing against it. It’s just sometimes, other artists, seeing that a specific formula worked for these successful webcomics, decided to cash in on the bandwagon and start their own somewhat similarly flavored webcomic.

Let me point out some examples. Two of my favorite webcomics are xkcd and harkavagrant.

XKCD is a webcomic drawn in stick figures, graphs, and charts. It’s about math, science, programming, philosophy, and nerdy stuff I don’t completely understand but still find funny.
Hark! A Vagrant is a comic that makes fun of history and literary characters, with a distinct cartoon style.

These webcomics stood out from every other webcomic out there because of their art style and story format. They have gotten a lot of followers and even have printed collection of their webcomics for sale and other wares such as shirts and other stuff. So I guess, some artists thought that this kind of format seems to be very successful, why not try it for themselves and maybe attract a fraction of the existing audience. Aside from that, with the gaining popularity of video games, retro video games, hipstereqsue visuals, chiptune music, pixelated art, and all of that sort, recent webcomics tend to use a mix of these themes for their work. Even if there are already existing webcomic for that subject matter. I’m not going to point out which these webcomics are, I bet you can find them on the internet in less than an hour.

I’m not saying they’re only in it for the money or attention. I’m a big fan of a few of them and find their comics very entertaining. Working in comics is a tough job. It’s tougher if you’re a freelancer. And drawing and making stories is a very tough job. It’s worse if you’re trying to make funny, clever, and smart stories. I mean, I can’t even finish my own project. So getting some cash is always good.

I’m just saying that the pioneering guys built their reputation for being very different and telling a story unlike any other at that time. It might be flattering to see clones of your work out there, but it still carries some a bit of “flavor” from the original creator. This phase might pass over time, as proven by comicbook artists. If you’re just starting out, I guess it’s okay to clone or live in someone else’s shadow. But eventually, you need to start making a name on your own, using your own style, or brand of storytelling. Besides, there will come a time where people will get fed up with all these video game webcomics, and will just end up reading the ONE they started with. Or daily dairies about cats disturbing your sleep, and more cats. Or dogs, or other pets. Or people looking like animals.

Anyways, I do hope new artists can go away from the bandwagon and try to create  new and interesting stuff for people to enjoy. I’ve heard this a lot of times, but “Being different is your ticket to to success.” (Also, being fast too.)

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