Take a Photo Comic; It’ll Last Longer

Have you ever had a brain fart so big it hurts? I was looking through Daku’s post and thought I’d check the Chameleon Collective, because I like both web comics and lizards. I came across a strip by the name of The Sordid Affairs.

The Sordid Affairs is a twice-weekly strip put together from photos of various foods and condiments with dialogue added. I read through the archive at work and because I wasn’t able to completely focus I was blown away by the originality of this strip. I’m mean photos and food no one’s done that before. As I was walking home it hit me that not only are there a lot of other photo strips out there, there are a lot of photo strips that I enjoy and read on a regular basis.

So The Sordid Affairs has joined the ranks of Irregular Webcomic, Alien Loves Predator, A Softer World and Reprographic of photo strips that I regularly read. I was thinking about these strips. I’ve read complaints from people around the Web saying that such strips are cheating or aren’t really comics because photos are so much easier than drawing.

While I don’t feel comfortable enough with either medium to definitively compare the two, I would like to take on this opinion for a second. Good photography is different than just pushing a button. It really is an art form. There are all sorts of things you don’t think of like composition, light levels and leading the eye. At the paper I work at, we pay our photographers and our cartoonists the same amount per picture and they generally put the same amount of time into it.

Still a photo strip will generally not be recognized for the art on the same level that the more art heavy strips often are. All the ones I read are because I like the writing, not because I really like photos of oatmeal. My props go out to the creator for creating art on their terms. Keep up the good work.

The opinions of others should now be added. What do you think of photo strips? Clever, or cop out?


5 thoughts on “Take a Photo Comic; It’ll Last Longer

  1. There\’s no reason photo comics can\’t be art. I\’m willing to accept anything that someone calls their art as art. Whether or not it\’s GOOD art is a different matter.

    As far as quality goes, it all depends on how they use the photos. An illustrated comic gets a lot of credit for the effort put into the drawings, but someone who uses photos for their comics may apply a different skill set. In that case, perhaps there\’s greater scrutiny on the artists\’ choice of images, the juxtaposition of images, or how those images are used to tell the story.

    Understanding the expressive and conceptual qualities of imagess, drawn or found, is much more difficult than most people realize. I\’m sure there are many photo comic artists out there who don\’t use the language of images to their potential, but that\’s not a fault of the medium itself.

  2. Not everybody is talented enough to draw comics, and this is a nice alternative for them. Merging photography and comics could also have some really artistic applications. On a more mundane scale, I read a neat photo comic made with miniatures and My Little Ponies. Here it is, if you are interested: http://kimonos-house.livejournal.com

  3. Whoa… thanks so much, guys! Made my night!

    I really appreciate your kind words! Though, to Rachel Nabors, what you said is true, it\’s a little harsh. I used to have some hand drawn comics, but photos suited this project much more than illustration could have.

    I think that the photo comics that are done well usually have some art experience behind them, as I\’ve seen Bernie of aLp do guest art for other strips.

    Thanks again!

  4. When I got the idea to do Robot Chuck I had no idea there were photo comics. In fact, I thought I had made up the term. This is probably because all I ever read was Dilbert, Sheldon and Sinfest.

    I wanted to do a photo comic because I had all the story ideas but didnt have the time to drawn a daily strip. I tried and tried but knew the best I could do would be 2 or 3 times a week. And honestly, I thought it would be hard to get a following with such a slow update schedule for a gag-a-day kinda thing.

    But don\’t get me wrong! I freakin\’ love making Robot Chuck. It\’s a challenge everyday to take all of my novel and short story writing experience and condense storylines down to a few dozen words. Its not easy for me, anyway.

    The purpose of a comic, of any type in any medium, is to entertain. And that\’s all we photo-comic\’ers, like all other comic artists, are trying to do.

    Now I feel all warm and fuzzy. Awwwww…


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