Author Topic: Designing the P.S.I. World (Part 1: The World)  (Read 20410 times)

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harkovast

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Re: Designing the P.S.I. World (Part 1: The World)
« Reply #15 on: January 11, 2010, 04:44:09 pm »
The other problem with crossovers is that they rely on the person reading being familair with who the crossover characters are.
For example- on the site "that guy with the glasses" they do lots of funny reviews of things. But sometimes they do crossovers with other reviewers. While this sounds great in theory, the main problem is that a lot of the time they cross over with someone I dont watch, so the joke is completely lost on me. Even if I go check who the guy is, thats basically just making me explain the joke so its not funny anymore.

Especially in niche area like webcomics, you cant gurarantee that everyone will have a knowledge of other comics that you include...or worse yet they might not like the other comic you are borrowing from (Jack is dumb....there, I said it!)

I just cant figure why it wouldn't be better to make a new character to fill that role, and make something unique people can care about rare then a pale reflection of an existing work.

fesworks

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Re: Designing the P.S.I. World (Part 1: The World)
« Reply #16 on: January 13, 2010, 07:24:04 pm »
I dunno if the cameos would really be a legal nightmare... at worst you'd need explicit permission from every cameo's creator to include the character in the print comic.

For legal reasons, technically, you need expressed, written and signed permission... with stipulations of use and any sort of compensation sited, if any, etc.

In small scale, this is usually not an issue. Still, it's something that could get me in legal trouble, especially when I have a few cameoed characters that actually have roles.

fesworks

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Re: Designing the P.S.I. World (Part 1: The World)
« Reply #17 on: January 13, 2010, 07:53:39 pm »
The other problem with crossovers is that they rely on the person reading being familair with who the crossover characters are.
For example- on the site "that guy with the glasses" they do lots of funny reviews of things. But sometimes they do crossovers with other reviewers. While this sounds great in theory, the main problem is that a lot of the time they cross over with someone I dont watch, so the joke is completely lost on me. Even if I go check who the guy is, thats basically just making me explain the joke so its not funny anymore.

You are thinking about it too much.

Sometimes, just KNOWING that it's a crossover is enough. Like in the case of those reviewer crossovers, You may think "Who's that guy?" But really, that's not important. What's important is what they are reviewing.

In other cases, like comics, you don't even have to know it's a crossover.... so some character you don't know comes in.... you don;t need to know everything about every character. could be as simple as a passer-by character... which is something, for the MOSt part, I try to do in PSI. Many of the characters that op up as cameos from other comics (especially recently), are like that.

When Toh (that ninja cat) comes in and steals the pendant, you really don't need to know who that is... just that they stole something, and the guys got to get it back. Sure, it may HELP if you know about the other comic, but I tried writting it in a way that things were just happening all around them.

Same with the ghosts in the graveyard. They were ghosts. there were some references to their respective comic storylines, but really were not that big of a deal to go into and explain.

When the Crossover Wars were starting during that battle in the graveyard... well, I cheated and broke the fourth wall, etc. However, from the crossover wars, even without knowing Scale's, Jenny's, or Gertrude and Brunhilda's comics, NOW in the comic, you are least know they are from other worlds. All that the reader needs to know/remember are the past experiences and interactions they had in the comic... not necessarily anything else they are doing, or have done... however, this may seem like a "cheat", but they are already explained enough WITHIN PSI's storyline, that I could bring them back with no trouble.

Most of this relies on my ability to storytell as well. A goal of mine is to keep making cameos and crossovers that meld into the story. If I don't go into who a character is, the audience doesn't need to know any more than what I present.... I just need to make sure I present that character enough when I introduce them.

AKA not bring in a character and assume the audience knows them, and in turn, utilize the character in a way that baffles the audience.

This last part is a flaw for many comic makers... A good example of this would be if I had Jenny Everywhere come in towards the beginning of the comic... Shift in, Grab Fes and Ernst for toast, and then just shift out, and going out it as though it was normal.

Granted, sometimes random comics can work like that... or a joke could be made at the expense of the characters or scene (which in turn gives the scene and/or cameoed character some basis for existing, etc).

I'd like to think, that for the MOST part, that I behave with the cameo characters and crossovers I do... meaning, that I *really* don't think that any of them "require" the reader to know who they are. They are merely there, and do stuff, as though I made up a new character anyway (except all the background work has already been done for me :P )

Of course, feel free to pick something specifically and I can try to explain myself or admit fault ;) :P

Especially in niche area like webcomics, you cant gurarantee that everyone will have a knowledge of other comics that you include...or worse yet they might not like the other comic you are borrowing from (Jack is dumb....there, I said it!)

I just cant figure why it wouldn't be better to make a new character to fill that role, and make something unique people can care about rare then a pale reflection of an existing work.

Remember that PSI was originally designed, specifically, to have cameos and crossovers. And was really just going to be my little hobby comic.... and it still is. However, these days, I'm trying to improve myself more, and write the stories better intertwining with the comic...

... however... and this might be a slight spoiler... a coming arc will kinda put it to the challenge. However, with what happens, it all relates to the story of PSI in some way.

PSI is already well established as a cameo and crossover type of comic... so future cameos and crossovers can be excused for the most part.

If I have the characters go to another webcomic, I will design it so that they are actually dimensionally traveling, so that things stay correctly defined in each world. Will the reader need to know what world it is? No. What about the characters they meet? Not really. They will be introduced like any new, unknown character. (unless I'm making non-cannon side strips for quick jokes).

You mentioned Jack... well, when I had to pick a reaper, I *did* want to use Jack, because I think it's cool :P And it goes in line with some of the stuff I was trying to do back then, for world defining.

HOWEVER, when you see Jack in PSI... the audience doesn't need to know who specifically he is... just that he's the reaper... and it works. You go on to ask "why not just make your own character?" ... well... I WANTED a cameo of Jack in it :P Also, the PSI world was mostly not really designed back then anyway... I wasn't really planning a whole lot. And I especially wasn't planning a "profession" type of comic. I wasn't trying to make something marketable. I was just having fun, and doing what I wanted. Which is a viable reason, and will fight to defend it (for myself and others), regardless of how stupid others may find it (ah, good 'ol freedom of speech and exprerssion).

Now, when I am thinking about redefining... or DEFINING rather... the world of PSI: If there's a rewrite (like for print), cameos and crossovers are ousted. Some existing characters (and some new characters) will fill in cameoed roles.

But yeah, you bring up good points. And if written properly, the reader doesn't need to be lost, when there's a cameo or crossover.

But sometimes, people don't care and are doing comics for themselves, others that also read those other comics, other cameo and crossover lovers, etc....

OH, and feel free to bring up examples if you will. Especially with new ones that come ;) :P


Celtic Minstrel

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Re: Designing the P.S.I. World (Part 1: The World)
« Reply #18 on: January 14, 2010, 04:32:22 am »
I agree that, in general, it's not necessary to know the identity of a cameo — if you don't know who they are, then they simply seem like one of the "extras", ie characters who appear once (often in the background, or in a crowd) and are never seen again. Even without cameos, such characters exist.

fesworks

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Re: Designing the P.S.I. World (Part 1: The World)
« Reply #19 on: January 14, 2010, 07:16:03 pm »
I agree that, in general, it's not necessary to know the identity of a cameo — if you don't know who they are, then they simply seem like one of the "extras", ie characters who appear once (often in the background, or in a crowd) and are never seen again. Even without cameos, such characters exist.

Why can't one do the same for a character that has some sort of role?

Dahla and Rachel don't really have much to do (thus far) in the comic, and they could have easily been cameos. Same for Becky too. Granted their roles have been less involved than other cameos.

I guess the most recent Role'd Cameo would be Suzy, Toh, and Toshubi (since Brunhilda and Gertrude had already been pre-established, i don't count them). Certainly it's complex, but... wait, actually, that was a crossover... Still, for PSI, the reader is really supposed to know just as much as the main trio know... I *try* to avoid making assumptions that the reader may also know of the characters moreso. I mean, these two characters, it's apparent that they are rivals. During the crossover, you do get a sense of their characters. Does it overall add to the story of PSI?

Not entirely. But their storylines interwined enough that they became directly involved with the chaos going around (Zombies at the mall), and how Fes and Ernst had to deal with things. It also resulted in a couple of PSI story defining moments, such as a good portion of the Nemi/Bodil thing. It's where my muse was stronger than my desire to stick to the plan. The fields of character development and plot were too ripe to not harvest.

Could I have had that whole mess without the crossover/cameos? Well, Gertrude and Brunhilda HAD to be in it. Toh and Toshubi didn't have to, and I could have made other characters to cause a conflict... but hey, my comic is specifically designed to do cameos and crossovers :P

I hope I don't sound like I'm "trying to convince myself", but honestly, it's me sticking to what created PSI originally for, and PSI is my comic to have just fun with, experiment, while improving overall. Hopefully taking what I learn for other independent comic projects.

I do accept all criticism, though, as long as it's obviously not trolling for hits and just to be a dick for entertainment value.