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This is discussion archived from a time before the current discussion method was installed.

Drow Lord: How does 8-bit Theater suffer from this?? It's a sprite comic, not hand-drawn at all.

Turcano: Perhaps "suffer" isn't the right choice of words, but it's still pervasive, especially in contrast to the early strips, which featured pixellated backgrounds.
Rogue 7: Based on my patronage of Ctrl+Alt+Del, I was under the impression that Buckley does this more as a Homage or Shout-Out. For instance, when he picked up Warhammer 40K, he had Lucas reading a 40K book. That's not laziness, that's a shoutout to something the guy likes. I don't think it's a bad thing at all.

Turcano: He could draw them by hand if he wanted to, but he does it. Besides, it goes beyond posters and whatnot.

Rogue 7: What are you talking about? Have you seen the size of some of the things? Drawing something that small will either a. Take forever, messing up the update schedule, and/or b. Look really bad, and not get the message across. I looked through a group of comics from '07, and the only times he really uses these things that I could tell was when he was showing a screen playing Mass Effect, as the cover for an actual game, or other basic gameplay footage. He'll also use it for complex backgrounds, but I've rarely seen it as jarring at all. The man's no Fred Gallagher, we know that, but it's not something that strikes me as bad.
SteveMB: If it's a "common" shortcut, how come there's only one example?

Turcano: Most of the examples aren't notable; however, it's very common on free comic hosting sites.
Ununnilium: Personally, I don't really see this as a negative thing. Just a stylistic choice, as much as a Photo Comic is.

Turcano: It isn't automatically bad, but it does have negative connotations for the same reasons sprite comics do.

Ununnilium: The way the entry is written assumes that it's a complete negative.

Turcano: It's okay in small doses, but it really begins to wear thin when the creator comes to depend on it in lieu of manual drawing. Comics like, say, Penny Arcade do it occasionally, but I wouldn't consider those to be examples.

Ununnilium: ...well, okay, but what if I don't mind it, even as a regular thing? >>

Morgan Wick: BTW, Irregular Webcomic! uses photos as backgrounds a lot, but I don't think it detracts in any way. It's usually to add a sense of realism when something is set in a real city.

Ununnilium: Ah, very good de-negativizing.