|Friday, April 7th, 2000||#7|
|The Beginning of the Story||I'm shrinking, shrinking...|
The way I see it, there are two main types of comic strips: gag-a-days like Garfield and plot-based ones like Calvin and Hobbes. Of the two, I vastly prefer the plot-based ones, though they both have their benefits and drawbacks.
The big problem I have with gag-a-days, or serials as I think they're called, is that after a while they start recycling the same jokes over and over. I mean, how many times can Garfield squish a spider or hate Mondays or eat lasagna? How long before it's just not funny anymore? The benefit of this kind of comic is that even though the jokes are stale, you don't really need to know anything about the comic to get the joke. Anyone can pick up the newspaper, read the comic, and maybe get a chuckle out of it. For obvious reasons then, these kinds of comics are best suited for the newspaper.
The plot-based comics, on the other hand, have much more appeal for me. When comics present an on-going storyline, the reader is allowed to follow the characters, watch them grow and change as they have adventures and experiences. The humor can be greatly enhanced using references from earlier in the series. Unfortunately, this kind of comic requires that the reader be somewhat familiar with the characters and the story for almost anything to make sense, which can be next to impossible with a newspaper syndicated comic strip. But this format is perfect for an online comic, whose entire archives are usually easily accessible and available online.
The biggest drawback to plot-based comics, though, is that once the archive has reached a certain size, it becomes that much more difficult for a new reader to catch up or an old reader to remember enough of the plot to keep up. At what point is it just not worth the effort to keep reading? If you've haven't had time to read a comic in a few months, it may be more likely that you'll just stop reading the comci rather than take the time to catch up.
As for my comic, by this point I had already realized that it might be a long time before the hand-drawn stuff was ready, so rather than having to keep coming up with one-shot gags, I decided to shift the comic into a storyline. In this case, it was a story I'd been thinking about at the time: What happened before the first Megaman game? Why did Dr. Wily turn evil? Why did Proto Man leave and not return until the third game?
I decided to take what information I had gathered from the internet and tell my own version of the story. The comic above was the first step.
By the way, the whole origin story thing has been done a number of times in various subcomics and fancomics, but in my opinion, the best version is DisgruntledFerret's MS Paint Masterpieces.
The original version of this comic is located here. The sprite from the second panel is from The Wily Wars on Sega Genesis and the sprite in the third panel is from The Best of Mega Man on GameGear.
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