USING THE “VOICE”

I have one rule for things like Cemetery Street, Stixite.com or the posts here.

Funny first.

(1) Funny, like many things is relative.  You might not be laughing at a joke, but the INTENT was to write a funny more than it was to write a pointed message.

I will take on current affairs and maybe even throw in the odd bit of social commentary, but the rule I have is that it must be funny first.  If it's not funny, the the strip or comic or piece of writing will probably be put aside.(1)

I have broken that once on Cemetery Street with this strip.

It was something I felt important, hit a personal nerve for me and I clearly labeled it as being one readers could skip if they wanted.

But this idea as a whole is one that I wrestle with.

(2) Actually I think there is a NEED.

I enjoy satire and parody.  I think there is a place(2) for them.  But hitting that balance is key.  I know I've hit some subjects in the past and lost readers because even within the "fantastic" confines of the comic or premise, it was deemed too "real" and the readers seemed to prefer to keep their real life and their fantasy reading clearly apart.

I'm gonna keep this one short and throw it open to you guys.  What do you think?  

Should I stick with the funny and leave the real world somewhere else?

Should I go beyond just nonsense and use the forum I have, such as it is, to address things that I feel warrant it?

Does having something that brings in regular readers, a platform of sorts, demand that I do use it in a responsible manner?

(3) Opening it up, I know there's a chance we'll have some conflicting opinions.  Please lets all stay respectful and polite.  I'll try if you will.

Should I just shut-up and make with the funny?

Lemme know your thoughts.(3)

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13 Comments.

  1. One Man’s Junk…. | Cemetery Street webcomic - pingback on April 9, 2012 at 12:05 am
  2. In the end, it's your comic, your blog. You can't force funny just like you can't force seriousness. Life deals with both so why not let it come and go as it wants? The people you want attracted to your workings will stick with it and thats more important than playing to the masses. Ratehr wishy washy answer wasn't it? Sorry

  3. I had absolutely no problem with you injecting a bit of reality into the funny.  I believe that some issues are worth straying away from the norm to highlight, as you did with the hoodie issue. (RIP Trayvon).  You nailed it, some readers will want to keep their reality and fantasy apart so the twain never meet, but I heartily respect you for highlighting things that you feel so passionately about, that you use the comic to bring to the fore.  So on this matter, you have my vote for straying from the funny when the need arises. For that you shall never lose my support, only gain more of my respect.

  4. Your header on my Yahoo page has been saying "Substitutes forBroccoli on a Three Day Diet" for several days now, and today it actually took me to a whole different site! You've been hacked, my friend. I hope that I'm not the first to point this out, and that you're taking steps.
    In other news, I agree with Isis. You've alway had a certain amount of social commentary in the strip, and I love it.

    • I have my web guru looking at the issue you flagged as I type this.  Of course, I don't really like broccoli…. but if someone is calling me fat…. by my own website…. that is just not gonna be allowed to stand!

      Thanks for the other comments.  This is probably all about putting more of myself and my opinions into things and that is always a little more nervy.

    • I've looked into this and I'm not seeing any issues with the site. I also went and added the RSS feed into myYahoo to see if the issue was there somewhere and that appears to be working normally. Can you give me more details? Is anyone else out there seeing a problem?

      • I don't know what to tell you. I removed the RSS feed and then installed it again, and now it does link to Cemetery Street, but the feed on myYahoo still says "Substitutes forBroccoli on a Three Day Diet". I'm using Firefox, if that means anything. Maybe it's a glitch in my browser?

         

  5. I'm generally a fan of serious discussion/satire/parody/ponting out the word-for-word ridiculousness of the real world. If you're afraid of losing readers, point these things out in an organic way, should the storyline provide an avenue, but don't just go writing a storyline just to get a crack in. And if you want to skip a strip for a day to discuss something serious that you have very strong feelings for, I think the way you handled it with the Cemetery Street strip was very well-done. I just wish more readers would understand that the creators' funny might suffer if real-world topics seeping in isn't allowed.

    • I'm not entirely sure how I will handle things.

      I think you CAN make with JUST the funny and ignore the real world.  But I kinda do that with Luci Phurr's Imps.  There are something I can't, or won't do over there…. which was part of why I started Cemetery Street.

      My inclination is to drop back to my golden rule and possibly look at getting the serious stuff on here…. if I feel the urge.

      Of course, the general reaction I am getting here is that some satire, parody etc. that might be a little closer to the craziness of the real world will fly just fine on Cemetery Street.  So I guess the next big arc gets a green light.

      BWAH HA HA HA HA HAR!

  6. Dale, I firmly believe that humor is rooted in reality. The ability to take real life and show it in new and surprising ways is the essence of humor (satire, parody, and magic, too). To think that fantasy is devoid of reality is to miss the point of fantasy in general. Fantasy lets us play with dangerous ideas and situations, real or imaginary, in a safe way. I also think real life has moments where fantasy creeps in. I think that when you find these moments where they cross you have every right to point it out if you so wish. Some people may wish to live in a la-la land but permanent dillusion is not an optimal way to exist.
    I enjoy the comic strips. Do with them what you wish, it doesn't seem like you are going wrong with them. Just please continue to share them.

    • Thanks for the input, Tbehartoo.

      Since no one has come out and emphatically said, "NO!  DON'T DO IT YOU FOOL!  YOU'LL DOOM US ALL!" I'm gonna jump in with both feet.

      (And you'd be amazed how many times I actually do have people shout "NO!  DON'T DO IT YOU FOOL!  YOU'LL DOOM US ALL!" at me.)

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