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  #1  
Old 09-10-2012, 06:36 PM
Ponch8 Ponch8 is online now
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"Reply All" comic strip--what is this crap?

The Chicago Tribune recently added this comic strip to its comics page. I fail to detect a joke in any of the strips. In addition, as Comic Book Guy on The Simpsons would say, the penciling is sub-Ziggy. How does this travesty of a comic strip become nationally syndicated? It's like an even crappier version of "Cathy."

The good news: "Reply All" is a contender in what the Tribune calls the Comics Page Smackdown. It runs side-by-side with another comic strip for a few months. Then, when the period of a few months is over, there's an online vote. The strip that receives fewer votes gets eliminated and replaced by something else. The opponent is "Dogs of C Kennel." While it's not the best strip ever, it is pretty enjoyable, and it is about dogs. It also mentioned my favorite singer Ke$ha in the September 19, 2011 strip.

"Dogs of C Kennel" has already easily defeated "Barney & Clyde," which I thought was stupid, and then it crushed "Big Nate," a pretty good strip, by a 3-to-1 margin. I have a feeling that "Dogs of C Kennel" will win with at least 90% of the vote against "Reply All." I don't foresee anybody liking "Reply All" enough that they'd actually vote for it. Even better: once "Dogs of C Kennel" wins this round, it will become a permanent part of the comics page! A comic strip only has to win the smackdown thrice before it stays for good.
  #2  
Old 09-10-2012, 07:03 PM
Rubixcube Rubixcube is offline
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Reply All is almost in a tie with Family Circus as the worst newspaper strip I've ever had the displeasure to read. Honestly the other one isn't much better, certainly not funny, but at least my eyes weren't bleeding after looking at it. What the hell happened to newspaper comics anyway? I don't think I've so much as chuckled at the funny pages for a long time now.
  #3  
Old 09-10-2012, 07:15 PM
voltaire voltaire is offline
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There's this:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Link in OP
Cartoonist Donna A. Lewis, an attorney at Homeland Security, admits she "clearly needs an outlet for the stress of working in the nation's capital." Lewis taught herself to draw in law school (where doodling was the only escape from reality) and to write punch lines in the courtroom (no disrespect to judges, attorneys, plaintiffs or defendants intended).
  #4  
Old 09-10-2012, 07:22 PM
Gagundathar Gagundathar is offline
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OOOOkay.
Yes, now Reply All makes much more sense.
It still isn't funny, but at least I know it isn't a deliberate parody.
The one strip I read of Dogs of C Kennel was somewhat amusing.

And the quality of newspaper comics has declined.
I find quite a few really well done comics online now.
But, I'm sure y'all already know many yourselves.

Last edited by Gagundathar; 09-10-2012 at 07:22 PM.
  #5  
Old 09-10-2012, 07:27 PM
Lanzy Lanzy is offline
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99% of all comics fail in any way to be funny
  #6  
Old 09-10-2012, 07:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Rubixcube View Post
What the hell happened to newspaper comics anyway?
Like everything else about newspapers, the internet. Anyone who wants to break into cartooning today does it online, where they get complete creative control and retain sole ownership of their creations.
  #7  
Old 09-10-2012, 07:33 PM
maggenpye maggenpye is offline
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The first one gave me flashbacks to some of the more 'PC' offices I've worked in. It seems to be aiming for "Dilbert" or "The Office". In fact I had the same shuddering horror the first time I watched "The Office", which I grew to love (UK Version).

Reply All is harder to like, but I do recognise those people and I'm sure I've heard those words coming out of Very Serious Managers. Funny in that I don't work at those place anymore and that makes me smile.
  #8  
Old 09-10-2012, 08:16 PM
RealityChuck RealityChuck is online now
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Not all that good. It's in the vein of the Onion -- say something silly in a deadpan voice -- but doesn't bother to say anything silly. Plus the characters -- the key to a great comic strip -- are thinner than the paper they're printed on.
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  #9  
Old 09-10-2012, 08:24 PM
Chronos Chronos is online now
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Good lord, that art is painful to look at, and I say that as a fan of XKCD.
  #10  
Old 09-10-2012, 08:25 PM
cmkeller cmkeller is online now
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Good grief, that's bad.
  #11  
Old 09-10-2012, 08:26 PM
gazpacho gazpacho is offline
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Too bad about Dogs of C Kennel besting Big Nate. Big Nate is a much better comic. Reply All is drawn to poorly for me to bother reading it.
  #12  
Old 09-10-2012, 11:20 PM
Beware of Doug Beware of Doug is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maggenpye View Post
Reply All is harder to like, but I do recognise those people and I'm sure I've heard those words coming out of Very Serious Managers. Funny in that I don't work at those place anymore and that makes me smile.
We're about to the point where simple Schadenfreude passes for priceless wit. So you may be onto something.
  #13  
Old 09-10-2012, 11:30 PM
Happy Lendervedder Happy Lendervedder is online now
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I actually feel bad for the woman who writes it, as well as her friends and family.
  #14  
Old 09-11-2012, 12:19 AM
astro astro is offline
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Wow ... that ls a steaming pile of awfulness.
  #15  
Old 09-11-2012, 12:37 AM
Purd Werfect Purd Werfect is offline
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Neither of the comics in the OP deserve to appear anywhere beyond a school paper at best. Siskel was prescient at leaving the Trib when he did.
  #16  
Old 09-11-2012, 12:44 AM
GuanoLad GuanoLad is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
Good lord, that art is painful to look at, and I say that as a fan of XKCD.
XKCD is genius level art. The amount of expression and character he can portray in simple stick figures with no faces is an incredible level of artistic talent.
  #17  
Old 09-11-2012, 01:25 AM
digs digs is offline
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Wow ... that ls a steaming pile of awfulness.
Must...swiffer...brain...

Last edited by digs; 09-11-2012 at 01:26 AM.
  #18  
Old 09-11-2012, 01:32 AM
Jophiel Jophiel is offline
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That comic is aggressively ugly. I can't believe some editor said "Yeah, let's go with this one".
  #19  
Old 09-11-2012, 03:03 AM
Zebra Zebra is offline
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Is she drawing that with WinPaint from Windows 3.2?


I hope ability to be a comic strip author and ability to do Homeland Security are inversely proportional.
  #20  
Old 09-11-2012, 04:40 AM
Slade Slade is offline
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There's a world of difference between a cartoonist who deliberately adopts a very simple drawing style and one who simply cannot draw. Editors seem to have lost the confidence and judgement to distinguish between these two categories.
  #21  
Old 09-11-2012, 04:54 AM
Hogfather65 Hogfather65 is offline
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99% of all comics fail in any way to be funny
Not that many - well not in Scotland - Hagar the Horrible can be good.
  #22  
Old 09-11-2012, 07:55 AM
cmkeller cmkeller is online now
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Jophiel:

Quote:
That comic is aggressively ugly. I can't believe some editor said "Yeah, let's go with this one".
While I agree with you, I should mention that professional editors may actually have a better eye for potential than those of us just looking at the current product. Early Doonesbury strips were no prettier than this, but if someone didn't look beyond the awful art and publish it, we'd have lost out on a strip that turned out great.
  #23  
Old 09-11-2012, 08:22 AM
CalMeacham CalMeacham is offline
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They tried running this in the Boston Globe a while back. It has mercifully vanished.
  #24  
Old 09-11-2012, 09:23 AM
Grumman Grumman is offline
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Originally Posted by cmkeller View Post
While I agree with you, I should mention that professional editors may actually have a better eye for potential than those of us just looking at the current product. Early Doonesbury strips were no prettier than this, but if someone didn't look beyond the awful art and publish it, we'd have lost out on a strip that turned out great.
The difference is that Doonesbury did have potential. this is the first Doonesbury, and within a week they had this one.
  #25  
Old 09-11-2012, 10:03 AM
Jophiel Jophiel is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmkeller View Post
While I agree with you, I should mention that professional editors may actually have a better eye for potential than those of us just looking at the current product. Early Doonesbury strips were no prettier than this, but if someone didn't look beyond the awful art and publish it, we'd have lost out on a strip that turned out great.
I haven't read early Doonesbury but I'm guessing that the writing quality was a bit better than in Reply All. I realize that I joined the thoughts together but my disbelief was base don the entire package not just the atrocious artwork.
  #26  
Old 09-11-2012, 10:08 AM
RealityChuck RealityChuck is online now
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The early Doonesbury (Trudeau's Bull Tales -- Grumman's links are reruns of that) may have been weak on art, but they were big on writing. Bull Tales worked as a strip at a pro level, even though it was in a college newspaper. Trudeau's editors figured the writing would carry the issues with the art.
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  #27  
Old 09-11-2012, 10:21 AM
bup bup is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GuanoLad View Post
XKCD is genius level art. The amount of expression and character he can portray in simple stick figures with no faces is an incredible level of artistic talent.
I like XKCD, but 'genius level art' is not even hyperbole; XKCD's art is on a different function altogether.

It's not good. At best, it's a limitation that has driven Randall's creativity.

On-topic: "Reply to All" is bad in every respect.
  #28  
Old 09-11-2012, 10:58 AM
BetsQ BetsQ is offline
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I can't say that I enjoy Reply All, but it doesn't irritate me as much as some of the other strips. I usually read it, whereas I skip a bunch of other comics. I should note that although I really don't pay any attention to the pictures in comic strips, even I've noticed that the Reply All drawings are not good.

I do like Barney & Clyde and Big Nate.
  #29  
Old 09-11-2012, 11:04 AM
control-z control-z is online now
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The gags in both are both horrible, but at least the Dogs of C Kennel has decent art. Sort of Jim Davis-esque.
  #30  
Old 09-11-2012, 11:40 AM
kenobi 65 kenobi 65 is online now
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The Trib has been running other strips versus "Dogs of C Kennel" for at least a year, and I sincerely wish something could beat out the lame dogs. IMO, the humor is something written by a 12-year-old comics fan in 1974, after staying up all night reading "B.C.". I rarely, if ever, find it even moderately amusing or entertaining.

That said, "Reply All" is really sad, and it'd seem that the dogs will live to fight another battle.
  #31  
Old 09-11-2012, 11:59 AM
Lobohan Lobohan is offline
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I'd like to say that I actually draw as part of my job, and the Reply All author has as no hard-earned ability or natural talent. I'm fairly certain that anyone in this thread could produce something similar even if you've never drawn before. The Doonesbury first comic is orders of magnitude better than what she produces. Look at the linework and the understanding of form. It's not as finished as the modern stuff, but if you've tried cartoon art, you know that you don't just come up with the style he has on your first attempt.

And XKCD is well drawn for what it is, but the genius is in the writing.
  #32  
Old 09-11-2012, 12:36 PM
President Johnny Gentle President Johnny Gentle is offline
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Is she drawing that with WinPaint from Windows 3.2?
That's the impression I got too. It looks like she's gotten hold of some unpublished Cathy scripts and used Paint to draw them.
  #33  
Old 09-11-2012, 01:08 PM
gallows fodder gallows fodder is offline
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Jesus, this is shamefully awful. How on earth does this woman have a career? At the very best, her strips are just scraping by with the tiniest smidgen of a humor particle (random example), usually devoid of anything resembling humor, and sometimes completely incoherent.

And in no way can that be considered "teaching yourself how to draw."
  #34  
Old 09-11-2012, 01:31 PM
Ashley Pomeroy Ashley Pomeroy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Miller View Post
Like everything else about newspapers, the internet.
I remember an essay by Bill Watterson, in one of the Calvin & Hobbes collections, in which he dated the decline of newspaper comics much earlier; probably television had a lot to do with it, as newspapers ceased to be the dominant mass medium. Can't find the essay but there's a similar lament here.

As for the strip, it's one of those things where I can understand what the author was getting at, and I can see how they failed. As for the art, compare it with this - or this, from 1931. But the rise of the 10" tablet might well revive the art; I can imagine people paying a small sum for Little Nemo on their iPad.

In which case the paltry three-panel functionally-illustrated strip might end up being killed off by tablets, in favour of the richly-drawn stories of yore. Wouldn't that be good?
  #35  
Old 09-11-2012, 03:38 PM
gazpacho gazpacho is offline
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Ashely Pomeroy.

When I was at comic con this year I got the second full sized little Nemo book. The pages are the size of the Newspaper it was originally printed on. about 2' by 3'. I was talking with the people that published the book. The do have an ipad app for little nemo. I have not personally looked at it on ipad. They also publish a similar full sized book with Gasoline alley.

http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/littl...408483081?mt=8
  #36  
Old 09-11-2012, 03:50 PM
typoink typoink is offline
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Wow, that comic really is shockingly dull. It almost seems like it would be difficult to be that bland AND ugly at the same time.

It reminds me of the worst student strips in my college paper -- MS Paint art, no sense of layout, and dialogue in service of really weak jokes.
  #37  
Old 09-11-2012, 04:24 PM
Diceman Diceman is offline
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I normally think of myself as having zero artistic talent, but I'm sure I could draw better than the hack that draws "Reply All". It's just embarassing that this is accepted as a legitimate comic strip.
  #38  
Old 09-11-2012, 06:05 PM
Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor is offline
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Crap art.
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  #39  
Old 09-11-2012, 06:40 PM
The Hamster King The Hamster King is offline
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Wow, that's a shockingly awful comic. It's depressing to think it's actually running in real newspapers.

Zoidberg: "Your comic is bad and you should feel bad!"
  #40  
Old 09-11-2012, 08:53 PM
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The current one got a chuckle, which is more than I can say for most of the other comics, which are all really old jokes. At least this one is creative. And it doesn't seem to fit what you guys are saying. The joke is not people saying sarcastic stuff.

The one before it seems like Dilbert. As for the comic style, that's pretty common in web comics--it's clearly intentionally bad. In fact, if it wasn't originally a web comic, or intentionally based on one, I'd be really surprised.

I mean, a lot of you like Home Movies or similar Cartoon Network animation, right?
  #41  
Old 09-11-2012, 09:17 PM
Jophiel Jophiel is offline
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There's a line between charmingly bad (Hyperbole & a Half, Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal, Cyanide & Happiness) and just plain shitty. This comic isn't on the good side of that line.
  #42  
Old 09-11-2012, 09:20 PM
Chronos Chronos is online now
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Quote:
As for the comic style, that's pretty common in web comics--it's clearly intentionally bad. In fact, if it wasn't originally a web comic, or intentionally based on one, I'd be really surprised.

I mean, a lot of you like Home Movies or similar Cartoon Network animation, right?
You seem to be confusing "simple" with "bad". XKCD has simple art: Just a few lines to define a person. But the lines all go where Munroe wants them, and they effectively convey the emotions and personalities of the people depicted, so it's nonetheless good art. Similarly for, say, South Park.

But that's not what this art is. The artwork in Reply All isn't simple-- The characters have eyelashes, for crying out loud, and five-fingered hands, both of which are extremely rare for comic strips. But even with all that detail, the artist still fails to convey any emotion or personality, and it looks like she just can't control the pen (or more likely, mouse). Thus, this art is bad.
  #43  
Old 09-11-2012, 10:02 PM
Lobot Lobot is online now
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My first thought was "MS Paint" as well. Christ, that strip is bad: unfunny with the most amateurish art possible.

How does someone that bad manage to get published???
  #44  
Old 09-11-2012, 10:08 PM
Grumman Grumman is offline
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How does someone that bad manage to get published???
She's a lawyer at the DHS. The editor was probably given the choice: publish this crap or never fly again.
  #45  
Old 09-12-2012, 07:06 PM
lavenderviolet lavenderviolet is offline
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Never heard of this strip before this post. On her website http://www.replyallcomic.com/ she comes across as a likeable enough person to me in the blog posts. I just don't really think that comics are the right medium for her style of writing/humor.
There are also some examples at the bottom of the main page of her male artist friend's "bootified" drawings of her characters. I have to say that I think the guy's take on the comic art is better even though as a straight gal I am not into cheesecake drawings.
  #46  
Old 09-12-2012, 07:41 PM
Justin_Bailey Justin_Bailey is offline
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You seem to be confusing "simple" with "bad". XKCD has simple art: Just a few lines to define a person. But the lines all go where Munroe wants them, and they effectively convey the emotions and personalities of the people depicted, so it's nonetheless good art.
The first time I saw sex depicted in XKCD (this one, to be exact), I was astounded that the stick figures depicted exactly what Munroe wanted them to and that they actually played into the joke of the strip.

Reply All wishes it were that funny and well drawn.
  #47  
Old 09-12-2012, 09:22 PM
Colophon Colophon is offline
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Up to now I thought the comic in the Metro called Buckles was bad (a dog, seemingly from Canada, with no discernable sense of humour). But Reply All is truly dreadful.
  #48  
Old 09-13-2012, 02:53 AM
Isamu Isamu is offline
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If she did it for her own personal enjoyment, well, fine. OK.

But she accidentally hit the "Reply All" button and now everyone has to suffer. She must be so embarrassed.

Last edited by Isamu; 09-13-2012 at 02:53 AM.
  #49  
Old 12-06-2012, 10:22 AM
Ponch8 Ponch8 is online now
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UPDATE
The voting started a couple days ago, and runs through December 17. Dogs of C Kennel is beating Reply All 94% to 6%!
  #50  
Old 12-06-2012, 12:00 PM
lawoot lawoot is offline
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Originally Posted by kenobi 65 View Post
The Trib has been running other strips versus "Dogs of C Kennel" for at least a year, and I sincerely wish something could beat out the lame dogs. IMO, the humor is something written by a 12-year-old comics fan in 1974, after staying up all night reading "B.C.". I rarely, if ever, find it even moderately amusing or entertaining.
Interesting insight, since apparently it's drawn by the same guy that currently draws B.C.
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