My Top 5 Pet Peeves In Comics

There are 5 things in comics that drive me nuts!

There are 5 things in comics that drive me absolutely nuts!

Comics is a wonderfully diverse medium and there is no one right way of doing it. But I have a few things I find just plain wrong!

1: Word balloons that come directly out of people’s mouths.

I’ve noticed this a lot in independent comics. It looks like someone is blowing smoke or bubble gum, and that really ruins the reading experience for me.

2:  That hair.

A couple of loose strands of hair is generally a good idea. But for the slicked back hair to stay slicked, it’s probably a lot longer than the lock in front here. Did the hairstylist make a blunder? What? It doesn’t make sense. Yet I see this hair in A LOT of comics.

3: Talking during a fight.

Come on, really? I’ve never been in a fight, but I’m pretty sure I would be focused on not getting killed rather than what my next snappy comeback line would be. Long and clever dialogue during a fight scene is unbeliavable and takes the danger out of the scene.

4: Balloon shaped breasts.

How many women do you know who have breast that are completely circular? Not only is it anatomically incorrect, is also gives me the impression the artist is a 12-year old boy who is afraid to even Google for reference. I’m SURE there are pictures of real breasts out there.

5: Evil, evil, evil-doers.

I happen to believe people do things for a reason. Going up against the law or a team of superheroes takes a lot of nerve and effort. I don’t believe anybody would risk their lives doing evil, unless they had a clear motive – however faulty and twisted that motive may be! – or no other option. At least try to come of with a reasoning behind the bad guy’s evil plans to take over the world.

But hey, these are just my personal pet peeves. What are yours?

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8 Responses to “My Top 5 Pet Peeves In Comics”

  1. Myrjam October 13, 2014 at 6:38 pm #

    I agree with all of them. I personally always get annoyed from seeing those balloon-shaped breasts, most of the time in tiny tops. To me, it’s not only unrealistic in shape, it also always gets me that the women in some comics tend to have an average F-cup, which does not reflect reality at all.

    • Palle Schmidt October 15, 2014 at 1:21 pm #

      A certain level of cartooning is all right I guess. What annoys me is the tropes and the laziness in depiction 🙂

  2. Mike October 27, 2014 at 8:45 pm #

    I hate seeing super heroine’s fighting in high heels. (That goes for comic book movies as well).

    And I hate anytime someone (usually the bad guy) says “Did you really think….?”
    EX: “Did you really think you could win?”
    Always strikes me as unnecessary and extraneous.
    Like what’s the hero going to say? “No. I really didn’t think I could win.”

  3. John Edingfield II October 27, 2014 at 10:14 pm #

    All great and I agree.
    I think hair (#2) is a problem for a lot of people (me included). It always looks like an afterthought.
    Drawing women also is an issue – there is a tendancy to sexualize women in an over simplistic way – which is why there are a lot of “pin-up” artists out there. I have a main character I am working on and I want to make her more realistic as a young girl – using references here is the key.

    • Palle Schmidt October 28, 2014 at 8:57 pm #

      There are many ways hair, maybe even drawing it all as one shape with no rendering. THIS way just seems sloppy to me, like you copy a kliche of a kliche without even bothering to think for a second how hair works!

      At least understand the basic physics. Short hair tends to stand up, long hair tends to hang and can be slicked back.

      Is it important? Maybe not. Does it drive me nuts? Yes. Because it’s LAZY!

  4. Tess November 2, 2015 at 6:34 pm #

    Sound effects. THUD! WHACK! WOOSH. Superfluous. Distracting. If you want a character to move a heavy box & set it down, illustrate that through gesture. Don’t *say* it. With many good movies, the scene works just as well without sound. That’s how you know there’s a talented fellow directing it.

    Along the same line, generic wording. So often there are scenes where, say, a demon kills someone. & the other characters who just witnessed it were like ‘Oh no! That demon just took Fred out!’ You just spent 3 pages showing the death. We get it. Now your main characters look dumb because they’re pointing out the obvious.

    Women in impractical clothing.

    Incoherent/inconsistent camera angles.

    Main character CAN’T DIE. So there’s no suspense. Boring. One of the reasons I look down on superhero movies.


    Top 5 enjoyments, to balance it out!:


    ~ Dialect. I grew up reading Redwall, which gave me a healthy appreciation for it. You have a character from BAAH-stun? Well, she needs that accent & those word choices. Even if there’s dialogue where we can’t see her, we’ll know it’s her. (no need for different fonts for each character!)

    I have a character who is Jewish on his dad’s side & Native American on his mom’s. His accent differentiates him & shows the influences of his life & loved ones. You can’t just strip that away & have everyone speak the same.

    Even a mute character who is typing or writing will have signs of where they are from!

    Word choice tells so much about a character…

    ~ Flow. So satisfying, so beautiful.

    ~ Things the reader can use/emulate. Good conduct, or life tips. Maybe he’s into poetry & shares a few lines of If by Kipling. You have a mouthpiece to communicate. Might as well say something worthwhile. Help people. I appreciate Zenpencils for this. Or maybe your character’s an artist & you can pick up tips from his surroundings, I dunno.

    ~ Humble characters.

    ~ Non generic storyline. Quit the zombie shit. There are MILLIONS of creatures in THOUSANDS of cultures & all we care about is one monster race. Every zombie thing I’ve seen follows the same formula. I’d be ashamed to write for or draw for something like that. Also, vampires & super heros.

    Kelpies, Evaki Bakairi, Oiwa, redcaps, sewing spiders– there are so many out there. Don’t just draw/write, BE CREATIVE ABOUT IT. You’ll get more respect.

    • Palle Schmidt November 23, 2015 at 3:55 pm #

      That’s a great list! Like that you also include enjoyments / to do. Good stuff!

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