Horrible: Comics

"It's like the absurdity of the '90s fucked the grittiness of the '80s and then they both doubled-teamed decency until...you know, I could go on here but then I'd be getting as graphically vile as this title itself."

Certain comic book storylines get written off as So Bad, It's Horrible, especially if the fans complain loud enough. Maybe the writers were having a bad day... or perhaps they failed an Author's Saving Throw. Nevertheless, these things have been condemned by a vocal portion of the fanbase.

In some cases, they're so bad that their creators refuse to acknowledge them, preferring to Retcon their mistakes out of existence. Those are the lucky ones.

Important Note: Merely being offensive in its subject matter is not enough to justify a work as So Bad It's Horrible. Hard as it is to imagine at times, there is a market for all types of deviancy (no matter how small a niche it is). It has to fail to appeal even to that niche to qualify as this.

Second Important Note: It is not a Horrible comic just because Linkara (who has reviewed most the ones listed) or any other Caustic Critic declared it so. There needs to be independent evidence to list it. (Though once it is listed, they can provide the detailed review.)

Examples (more-or-less in alphabetical order):

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    DC Comics 
  • The miniseries Amazons Attack was thrown together last-minute to cover delays in Wonder Woman, and was nothing more than Character Derailment for the entire Amazon people, turning them either into Straw Feminists or complete morons by way of Idiot Plot, with plot holes aplenty. The initial attack is because Wonder Woman was tortured; later, it's stated that they decided to do it because they hate men. The reason Wonder Woman was tortured was to learn the Amazon secret technology; later, the heroes figure out that the Amazons aren't behind a certain attack because it's high-tech. Wonder Woman herself is presented as absolutely helpless throughout; she confronts her clearly-brainwashed mother at least thrice without thinking to use her lasso, which has previously been shown in-canon as able to break brainwashing. The US Army is challenged by spears and bows and arrows an arrow pierces a cockpit at one point; Air Force One is chased down by women on flying horses. Also, unless you read the tie-ins, the characters who are Amazons (Wonder Woman and Donna Troy) or affiliated with the Amazons (Wonder Girl and Super Girl) barely appear for the first half of the series. Icing on the cake? Those tie-ins, where most of the big plot points happen, got left out of the trade paperback collection. It's obvious that the creators didn't research the characters' past or the history of the DCU Amazons at all. Oh, and the Amazons' secret weapon is bees. My God. To make matters worse, the entire series was a lead-in to Countdown... which is at least as reviled as Amazons Attack.
  • Justice League: Cry for Justice (nicknamed "Gay for Justice" by readers, thanks to some unfortunate lettering styles), a DC miniseries by James Robinson that featured Hal Jordan trying to create a proactive Justice League (because that always ends well). The series features gratuitous gore and violence, characters being dismembered, horrible writing and gross characterization, and everyone constantly shouting "For justice!" Put it this way when the author directly and explicitly apologizes to the fans over the quality of the work, twice, before the series has finished, then you know you're dealing with something awful. It was laughably "edgy", even killing off Lian Harper (a fan favorite child character) at the eleventh hour, which was just one among many senseless deaths that didn't advanced the storyline. Robinson got himself under all manner of fire for its release, despite the fact that he fought tooth-and-nail against the editors, who wanted much, much more in the pointless death and destruction departments. Not two years later, it and both of its follow-ups were retconned in full. Linkara, one of the more calm and level headed Channel Awesome personalities, broke character and growled with visceral rage during the murder of Lian Harper.
    • Rise of Arsenal is a odd example to cover because it may very well be a Poe, but it's hard to tell. The story begins in Final Crisis, after the protagonist loses his aforementioned daughter Lian in the attack on Star City. Green Arrow's former sidekick Roy Harper, who was the subject of an acclaimed drug awareness plotline in the seventies (when he was known as "Speedy"), fell off the wagon after losing his arm. Harper, currently known as Arsenal, began a rampant pill addiction to cope with the phantom pains of his missing limb. All well and good, but Roy decides to take a walk on the wild side by indulging in mild S&M, whipping his late daughter's mother with an extension cord, coping with erectile dysfunction nanite poisoning, hallucinating that his daughter is alive and carrying her around town without realizing it's actually a moldy dead cat, and Batman playing some sweet chin music on Roy (the highlight of the book), but not before Roy brutally tortures and kills a man tangentially responsible for Star City. Anyway, it got cosmic retconned the following year, this time in New 52. Now Roy never lost his arm and his daughter Lian didn't die because who's Lian?
  • DC Comics' weekly series Countdown to Final Crisis, by most accounts. Bad Writing, bad art, bad characterization, three different names (it started as Countdown, then Countdown to Final Crisis, and the final issue was titled DC Universe Zero), three alternate Earths destroyed to prop up villains fans don't like, tie-in mini-series that explain key plot points that are equally horrible, and an ending that completely contradicted the events that it was created to build up. Shortly after 52 was finished, Dan Didio asked Grant Morrison to give some of his (work in progress) scripts of the first several issues of Final Crisis; other than that, it was pretty much controlled by Didio. It also pulled away advertising from the infinitely better Sinestro Corps War story that was going on at the same time. The whole thing was declared Canon Discontinuity the minute it was finished, but it still didn't erase the horrible taste it left in readers' mouths. It was so bad that the intended final issue, DC Universe #0, written by Grant Morrison and Geoff Johns, essentially replaced Countdown as the real lead-up to Final Crisis (the only thing that was acknowledged from Countdown was Darkseid's death, fall, and reincarnation into a human body as seen in Seven Soldiers). It was built up to be the spine of the DCU, but quickly became the appendix.
    • Of all the spinoff miniseries, Countdown: Arena was easily the worst. The plot (Monarch kidnaps a bunch of Elseworlds characters and then makes them fight to the death so he can recruit the winners) is a threadbare mess, but it could have been saved by the coolness inherent in Let's You and Him Fight. This... doesn't happen. Mediocre art, severe pacing issues, Character Derailment all round (especially for poor Captain Atom, whose Face-Heel Turn still makes absolutely no sense), a depressing tone, a near-total irrelevance to Countdown itself, and the fight results being decided by fan vote mean that Arena somehow manages to make three Batmen fighting each other boring and unpleasant. That it features characters from actual good Elseworlds comics getting brutally murdered is just the cherry on this shit sundae. Comics Alliance named it one of the worst comics of the decade.
  • DC Challenge was an interesting concept a 12-issue miniseries in which teams of people who normally did not work together would take turns doing stories which could not prominently feature characters they normally worked on, each issue setting up a cliffhanger that the next team would have to solve in the next issue. Unfortunately, Round Robin stories are hard enough to manage as fanwork. Doing this professionally would've been difficult, so it wasn't. This quickly degenerated into a confusing mess. By the end, major plot threads had been dropped completely and nobody was quite sure what was going on not even the editors at DC.
  • Devin Grayson's run on Nightwing, particularly her attempt to re-enact the plot of Born Again on the least suitable character in the entire DCU. The sheer number of characters that would need to be retconned from the DCU (assuming they didn't detach Dick Grayson completely from it) should have kept this from passing the concept phase, but that's just one issue; other gems from this include the rape scene courtesy of Tarantula — which she tried to defend as being "nonconsensual" rather than rape — and Richard's inexplicable Face-Heel Turn and poorly-explained alliance with Deathstroke, the result of a failed attempt to manufacture a "hero from the ashes" storyline (Infinite Crisis got in the way) by pointlessly giving Nightwing hell.
    • Bruce Jones' run of Nightwing, which followed Grayson's, made her run look like Shakespeare. Nightwing became a male model who slept with his boss, and she just happened to have superpowers. Then Jason Todd showed up and started fighting Dick on a model runway; and then Jason Todd was turned into a tentacle monster.
  • Superman at Earth's End is a truly failed attempt to make Superman fit in The Dark Age of Comic Books. From turning the Man of Steel into a gun-toting, incoherent, moronic Santa Claus lookalike, to the overall stupidity of the plot (the main villains are clones of Hitler such a plot could be effective in a comic that didn't take itself seriously, but here it comes across as lazy).

  • The Avengers #200, the issue that had Ms. Marvel Put on a Bus, is an Idiot Plot filled with Unfortunate Implications concerning its plot. It involves the sudden, inexplicable three day pregnancy of Ms. Marvel, which the other Avengers treat as is if were a regular pregnancy, ignorant of the abnormalities of the situation and the trauma it would bring to the woman. After the birth of the baby, and giving it access to their tools, it is revealed to the Avengers that it is actually an extradimensional being named Marcus that brought Ms. Marvel to Limbo for an instant and forcibly impregnated her so that he may escape the dimension. While this is supposed to portray Marcus as a victim of his environment as all the Avengers except Hawkeye sympathize with him, it doesn't change the fact that he raped someone for his own benefit. To add insult to the character of Ms. Marvel, she also sympathizes with him and decides to leave with him to limbo after his machine was destroyed. She didn't return to comics for a year until Avengers Annual #10, the issue where Ms. Marvel loses her powers and memories to Rogue. Jim Shooter, one of the writers of the issue, regrets having been involved in it. Linkara also took a look at it, and has gone so far to say it is the worst comic he's ever reviewed that was not Holy Terror.
  • The Crossing, an insane Avengers Bat Family Crossover supposedly about Kang trying to take over the world. The plot makes no sense and is so convoluted that it's hard to tell where it begins. It also features the Face-Heel Turn and death of Tony Stark and his replacement by his alternate dimension younger counterpart, "Teen Tony". Eventually, in Avengers Forever, Kurt Busiek said that pretty much everyone involved was a Space Phantom and it was a plot by Immortus, pretending to be Kang (his younger self), to troll the Avengers so that they didn't leave Earth for a while.
  • Marville, written by Bill Jemas, was created on a bet between him and Peter David to see who could write a better selling comic. The problem here is that at the time he worked for Marvel, Jemas was an editor. And boy, does it show. The book is filled with terrible jokes that feel like they were stolen from a rejected Seltzer and Friedberg script, ham-fisted political commentary, characters from the mainline Marvel universe showing up just to act out of character and do unfunny things, heaping piles of Critical Research Failure and countless plotholes, and tons of mean-spirited digs at DC and Peter David while Marvel got off scot-free. Eventually, this fell in favor of what read like a Chick Tract... as adapted la Shoggoth on the Roof by a schizophrenic primary-schooler. For instance, Wolverine evolved from an otter (it's apparently an oblique, and rather unflattering, reference to a scrapped backstory for the character) and, through some reason or another, either becomes immortal or gets a long line of Identical Grandsons (the comic can't pick one). In the same issue, Jesus Christ is called "the first superhero"note . The last two issues were a recap of the series and a guide on how to submit scripts to a now-defunct comic line. Bonus points: the third issue had no speech bubbles, with the text written script-style along the sides of the panels, often covering up the artwork. Also, the Contemptible Cover art featuring a red-haired woman (who appeared nowhere in the comic) in various states of undress when Jemas was certain he'd lose the bet (he did), with the last issues moving these to variants and using Wolverine-themed covers. Unsurprisingly, Linkara said 'Bring out the Gimp' and trashed it, as did an entertaining blog series titled "The Marville Horror".
    • Possibly the most disturbing part of the entire comic is centered around how Bill Jemas not only thinks, but BELIEVES everything he's written in the comic (Issue 6 flat out says the entire miniseries' purpose was to "explore the origin and meaning of life"), meaning that he genuinely believes that Masonic duckbilled dinosaurs existed, evolution is either a farce or was a blueprint laid out by God (the comic can't seem to decide), environmentalists are pussies, and perhaps most incredulously, Peter David is a worse writer than he is. Not only did this loon major in history, but he was also the vice president of Marvel at the time of the series' making (which was also a time of financial difficulty, mind you), making the resulting product all the more baffling to think about.
  • The Spider-Man storyline One More Day is perhaps the most infamous case of Executive Meddling since The Clone Saga (which was merely a waste of time, and not a slow-motion midlife crisis which rendered thirty years of reading comics a waste of time).
    • Decades of continuity and characterization were blinked out of existence because Joe Quesada, Marvel's editor-in-chief at the time, hated the more modern aspects of Spidey's character. (Interestingly, the Clone Saga was conceived for a similar reason, proving that Marvel never learns anything from its mistakes.) J. Michael Straczynski, the writer for this storyline, hated every minute of it and tried hard to get himself disassociated with it. It goes like this—Spider Man's aunt May takes a bullet and is about to die. Somehow, nobody in the Marvel Universe can do anything to change that. So, in a move wholly detached from reality and maturity, he makes a Deal with the Devil to save Aunt May's life (against her wishes, by the way)... in exchange for his marriage and much of his relationship with Mary-Jane being erased from history. It was contrived to the point of stupidity, worse in that Quesada claimed that having them just plain divorce would make the audience feel cheated. More likely, Joe no longer recognized the Spider-Man from his youth and wanted to return to a simpler time.
    • It acted as a massive Reset Button on the Spider-Books as a whole, retconning not just Peter and MJ's marriage (which might have been tolerable), but Spidey's public unmasking during the Civil War arc (which they expressly stated would not be undone). This is the kind of shameless revisionism Marvel fans (rightly) mock DC Comics for: rebooting the entire universe each time a new movie is announced.
    • It should probably be noted that the reason Straczynski objected to the story to the degree that he did was not actually due to the story's quality and more to do with the fact that his original proposal for it (which would have had Peter help Harry Osborn through his drug problems) had been turned down, a proposal that would've jettisoned three and a half decades of continuity (as opposed to the two that that final product did away with). Whether this would've been better or worse than what we got is debatable, and that three and a half decades would've included nearly every infamously-awful Spider-Man story ever told, such as The Clone Saga and Sins Past, which remained in-continuity in no matter how disgusted writers/readers were with the results.
  • Jeph Loeb's The Ultimates 3 is accused of having exceptionally-poor writing and Flanderization en masse. Many critics argue that Loeb doesn't seem to have bothered reading any of the other books in the Ultimate Universe or familiarizing himself with their characters, and has merely made the characters caricatures of their counterparts in Earth-616 regardless of whether this is appropriate. It was loaded with Plot Holes, WallBangers, and stupid, stupid writing mistakes.
    • And then there's Ultimatum. A sickening capstone to a once-promising line of comics, a capitulation by Marvel Comics that they could give two craps about X-Men any more, an incoherent clusterfuck which confirms every negative stereotype about crossovers, filled to bursting with meaningless and cruel deaths for no apparent purpose other than to "wipe the slate clean", leaden dialogue, and bad artwork.
  • Kirkman's run on Ultimate X-Men ended with him retconning almost every major change he had made. Still, sadly, not enough to wipe the long, dragging "Magician" arc from readers' memories. Kurt Wagner going batshit from his time in the Weapon X program could've been done as Character Development; coupled with his sudden off-the-wall homophobia and super-creepy Annie Wilkes-like behavior towards Dazzler, it just wound up being the final Wall Banger.

    Other Comics 
  • The artist of Minimum Security (see below) collaborated with another author to make As the World Burns, a graphic novel starring the characters from Minimum Security, who rant about how terrible modern society is. The graphic novel ends with a speech about how humans should destroy everything and go back to being hunter-gatherers. Even if you do agree with their views, the artwork is still atrocious — everything is drawn with all the skill of a second-grader, humans look like either grotesque caricatures or creepy baby dolls, and animals look like furry blobs that only vaguely resemble what they're supposed to.
  • Chronos Carnival, a story featuring a travelling carnival in space, is widely considered to be the worst-written strip ever run in Two Thousand AD. Its embittered Handicapped Badass protagonist raised a few Unfortunate Implications that were only gotten away with because the artist who drew it was handicapped himself.
  • The Valiant Comics-Image Comics crossover Death Mate helped destroy Valiant Comics and was one the contributing factors that led to The Great Comics Crash of 1996. The writing was horrible, the art Liefeldian, the concept was flawed, and Image released its contributions years late.
  • The original Family Guy comics from Devil's Due Publishing. Nothing good can happen when you take a show that mostly derives its humor from delivery, timing, and voice acting and adapt it into a medium that can use none of that. There is zero attempt to make this in any way comic-like. The panels are just rows of boxes, composed into a vaguely comic-like simulacrum. A joke or conversation will start in the third-to-last panel on one page and end halfway into the next. Everything looks stiff, like someone just took a screen cap of the show. The comic is almost always at 3/4 view, and the artwork is full of blatant copying and pasting - facial expressions, poses, and even entire panels are copied wholesale. The book only lasted three issues, and all three were collected into a TPB lovingly named "The Family Guy Big Book of Crap." Really says something about what the people who worked on it thought of it.
  • Frank Miller's Holy Terror is an unapologetically racist tract against Islamic terrorism starring a pair of Batman and Catwoman expies. Miller defended it by comparing it to the anti-fascist cartoons printed in World War II, willfully ignorant about the bigoted and quasi-white supremacist overtones of those wartime cartoons. (The book was actually, in fact, supposed to be a Batman comic at first, but then turned into a standalone comic halfway through.) The writing itself is a mess, there's very little characterization and it takes half the book just to get past the first event. Furthermore, the book treats all Muslims as terrorists-in-making, misrepresents even basic facts about terrorism and seems to treat the brutal treatment and torture of Islamic people as tough love. Linkara reviewed it as the subject of his 300th episode, and the beatdown he gave it was certainly worthy of an anniversary. However, he would later up the ante by calling it the worst comic he's ever read (quite a statement) and morally repugnant. This, along with All-Star Batman & Robin, the Boy Wonder (which is on the opposite end of the spectrum), marked the beginning of the end of Frankie's glorious and grisly career, though ironically ASBAR is more readable than most of the works listed here.
  • Incarnate is a comic written and "drawn" by Gene Simmons' son Nick. "Drawn" is written in quotation marks because he allegedly traced and copied most of the art from various popular manga (including Bleach, Hellsing, Death Note, One Piece, and Deadman Wonderland, as well as various DeviantArt pages). Most of the dialogue is broken and fragmented, and the story is completely incoherent. Once the plagiarism accusations were made known, Simmons' publisher ceased distribution of the comic due to a legal challenge from Shueisha, the publisher of most of Simmons' source material.
  • Malibu Comics' Street Fighter: The art was low-end 90s quality. The writing made the games themselves look deep and nuanced. And both of those pale in comparison to the butchering of most of the heroes' personalities: Ryu is turned into a stoic Straw Misogynist, Chun-Li is his bitter-ex and Ken is an American chunkhead. After Sagat and Balrog murdered Ken in the second issuenote , Capcom themselves stepped in and pulled the plug on the series. It thus ended with just three issues published. The comic is considered the nadir of Street Fighter adaptations (Yes, that includes the American cartoon, the Van Damme/Raul Julia movie and The Legend Of Chun Li.)
  • The My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic comics... from Germany note . An absolute no-effort trainwreck—sanctioned by Hasbro itself. The artwork was copy/pasted from merchandise boxes, with minimal photoshop to make the characters' actions fit the scene. The stories are some of the most inane the entire franchise has seen. Characterization is uniform, stock, and unlikable.
  • Antarctic Press' Robotech Sentinels: Rubicon was an effort by AP at continuing the long-running Sentinels comic that was cancelled when they acquired the Robotech license (and this was after Ben Dunn had said that AP would not continue the Sentinels comic, a Take That aimed at both the fans and the former creative team). The result had nothing to do with anything that had come before (or after); it instead consisted of a largely incoherent story filled with unidentifiable characters and a plot that was largely incomprehensible (the most coherent part consisted of a White Light in space destroying random ships accompanied by an "EEEE" sound effect). The artwork was terrible; the half-arsed computer toning effects vanished after the first issue, and two pages of the second issue consisted of raw pencils. The series was canned after two issues of a planned seven without resolving anything; many fans considered it a mercy killing.
  • The sleazy French spy-action series SAS is already bad; it's like James Bond without the humor. But the Comic Book Adaptation tops itself, with Osama bin Laden being presented as a Worthy Opponent. Sure, the author probably wanted a Take That against France-bashing post 9/11, but surely there were less stupid ways of doing it.
  • Transformers fans disagree on just about everything, often violently. But nobody has managed to find a fan who would dispute listing these works:
    • The Beast Within is poorly drawn, incoherent, badly written, and completely independent of any known canon. Not even Hasbro acknowledges it. Special mention goes to the Beast, a Dinobots combiner. Fans had been pondering what one would look like for years—the fact that this was its canon appearance came off as a slap in the face.
    • Continuum, a typo-riddled, poorly-organized "definitive chronology" of IDW's Transformers stories up to the present, is jam-packed with erroneous facts, skipped-over plotlines, and events out of chronological order... and it gets even more sickening when you realize it was written by one of IDW's two Transformers editors. It was meant to let people know their official stand on TF continuity, but it was absolutely useless as a resource. Its writer, Andy Schmidt, while he regrets the book, was never allowed to forget it.
    • The Beast Wars Sourcebook is also pretty infamous. Terrible layout and ordering, wildly varying art quality (with Frank Milkovich's take on Silverbolt being especially infamous), boring writing that reads more like a plot summary of the Beast Wars cartoon than a description of the character and purges any non-Waspinator related humor, strange and arbitrary changes to the personality of the Japanese characters, and a whole lot of typos and other editing errors. Even more disappointing, considering that the Generation 1 and Armada sourcebooks from the otherwise reviled Dreamwave era are generally considered to be excellent.
    • "Heart of Darkness", which takes place during The Transformers IDW's run. The writing ended up being pretty bad with forced dialogue and a rather vague Random Events Plot (with a bunch of continuity errors to boot), which was pretty stunning given that acclaimed Warhammer 40,000 writer Dan Abnett was a cowriter for it. Normally it would've just been So Okay, It's Average, but the art proved to absolutely abysmal and dragged the comic down further into this. To this day it's regarded as the single worst entry in the IDW G1 continuity and fans try as hard as possible to ignore it, aside from some minor World Building elements that James Roberts and John Barber later built off of.
  • The Unfunnies by Mark Millar. You know something is wrong when the ads tell you to "leave good taste at the door". The comic tries for Refuge in Audacity but fails to be funny and thus misses the refuge, becoming little more than a social experiment in depravity (like most of Millar's works, come to think of it). The main villain is a child-murdering Karma Houdini who ironically has more depth than any of the cartoon characters. In addition to injecting pedophilia and bloodshed into Hanna-Barbera, the comic attempts to mix real life photography and a cartoony style to get a Roger Rabbit Effect, thereby ruining that movie for everyone also.
    • Just in case you need any more convincing, Mark Millar's wife herself read about six pages and tossed the book at his head. He probably made it up to her with a 1-carat blood diamond paid for by the proceeds of his gorn factory.
  • Behind the already bad but copied-enough-that-no-one-cares-anymore Rob Liefeld-esque art of the Warrior mini-series lies unheard-of levels of walls and Walls of Text that contain bad grammar and made-up words used to explain "destrucity", a philosophy of former WWE wrestler Ultimate Warrior, which makes no sense to anyone in the world except him. Oh, and then there was the Christmas special consisting entirely of pinups, several of which have violent and disturbing imagery. Spoony and Linkara teamed up to review the series.

    Artists, Writers, Editors, etc 
  • Just about any writer for Marvel or DC has some fans, but you'll have a very hard time finding any for Chuck Austen during his runs on Uncanny X-Men and The Avengers. He was responsible for the infamous "fake Rapture via disintegrating communion wafers" plot. He also wrote a "tribute to Romeo & Juliet" that ended with "Juliet" dying but "Romeo" living, included rednecks in robot suits, and included a midair public sex scene. You might, however, be able to get away with saying he made Polaris more interesting, so at least that's something.
    • Upon being inexplicably hired by DC immediately thereafter (presumably dodging villagers armed with Torches and Pitchforks on the way across Manhattan), Austen gave an interview where he made very unflattering comments about Lois Lane. His opinions of her influenced the Superman books he wrote, too. This didn't win him any fans; he didn't last long, and the changes he made were ignored or retconned.
    • His work in Avengers depicted Wasp having an affair with Hawkeye due to the time Hank Pym slapped his wife. This actually contradicted a few decades worth of stories involving the mental trauma causing Hank to lash out, the implication that Hank was always abusive (something other writers have been guilty of as well), the fact that Hawkeye has always been good friends with Hank and even refused to date Wasp while they were divorced, and that Hank and Wasp have reconciled in recent years and were happily remarried.
  • Greg Land's recent "art", which mainly consists of tracing off porn, magazine covers, and even his own artwork. Note that we're talking about his mainstream work for Marvel here, not anything advertised as porn. The worst part of it is that some people have looked up his pre-trace art and found that it was fairly good. Land was a legitimate up-and-coming artist at DC Comics with good runs on both Birds of Prey and Nightwing, but it all went to hell when he got to Marvel. In one of the Wizard drawing books, he explains the use of reference in drawing comics. Thing is, he showed reasonable ways to do it (using a picture of an ice skater for a drawing of a girl flying), and the comic drawings were different enough from the references for it to be considered his drawing. Now, he simply traces his reference pictures, and in later drawing books, he flat-out traces. You can see some of this here. And yet, the man still gets work to this day.

    Newspaper Comics 
  • Between Friends is best described as a Lifetime Movie of the Week in comic strip form, but without humor, intentional or accidental. It brings Wall Bangers by the truckloads whenever it tries to be serious. Nobody with a Y chromosome escapes unscathed unless they're Viggo Mortensen or a reasonable facsimile thereof. All the "empowered" women are depicted as insecure Does This Make Me Look Fat? types who both agonize over buying the low-fat double-whipped frappuccino and pound back the cheesecake like there's no tomorrow; they don't fare well either.
  • Reply All doesn't even have the saving grace of a passable artist it looks like a 5th-Grader's MS Paint webcomic. Pupils are seen well outside the actual eye, characters' hairstyles make them seem balding, blatant copy-pasting makes the characters appear superimposed upon the backgrounds. Even the jokes are so flatly delivered they become hard to identify. Honestly, do the editors even care?
  • Shadows, which ran in The Sun, has a poor script and even poorer CG artwork. It also blatantly panders on the current vampire trend. Strangely, it replaced Striker, a much better strip that had run for years. Fortunately, it got cancelled in early 2013 and Striker was brought back.
  • Working It Out is a comic so violently unfunny that it might accidentally get a pity laugh out of the reader. Most of the "jokes" consist of really, really, really BAD puns, boring, unfunny office "humor" everyone's heard a million times before, and things that seem like they're supposed to be jokes, but aren't. One example is a comic where the boss character is playing with his cell phone with the caption informing us that he likes to fire employees through text messages (and this "joke" was used twice).
    • Moreover, it doesn't realize which comics to reprint are relevant. A Myspace reference in 2007 is reprinted in 2012. Really?

    Political Cartoons 
  • The works of Brazilian artist Carlos Latuff could aptly illustrate the entry for Anvilicious when the term enters the dictionary, but that trope still doesn't go halfway in describing his cartoons. While one's position on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is their prerogative, Latuff's art is incredibly overt, and VERY biased. It's one thing to criticize and ridicule the policies of Israel and USA, but it's another to portray the USA and Israel entirely demonized (and literally everything controversial they've ever done) and attributed Mideast policy to pointless evil for the sake of pointless evil (not even realpolitik, lingering Cold War sentiment or monopolization of energy reserves! Just Xenomorphs in three-piece suits!) Virtually everyone who opposes them is made out to be a hero, from communists on the left to Islamic fundamentalists on the right. (Also would it really hurt for him to at least show some Israelis and Americans who support peace and oppose violent wars?) Not to mention the gratuitous amounts of violent and sexual imagery used to reinforce his "points", and his nadir: his participation in/shameless promotion of a contest held by Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that called on artists to write cartoons about the Holocaust in rebuttal of the infamous Danish cartoon that pictured the prophet Mohammed, arguably making him an accessory to several murders. But that's a free speech debate for another time; suffice to say it wasn't a career-booster so it gets a mention here.
    • He's also quick to jump on the boat when there is any kind of tragedy in the Middle East, but whenever there's a tragedy in the West, he still regards it as the result of flaws in the country, and his art sometimes seem so simple that it's like he's doing it because he has to. He's also said to be incredibly rude, deleting any comment on his art that doesn't agree with him exactly, including, presumably, people who try to be voices of reason offering constructive criticism. Which is a shame, as he has drawn some surprisingly heartwarming cartoons advocating peace in the Middle East or at the very least showing individual Israelis in positive light. It certainly doesn't help that some of his depictions are completely inaccurate.
  • Counterthink is a ridiculous mix of PETA and Scientology's most paranoid fantasies. Topics include why spending money on drugs, rather than herbal placebos, is bad; "doctors are incompetent, egotistical butchers"; "technologies are dangerous"; and "chemical additives, including Fluoride, are evil."
  • The Leftersons! is a political themed comic in the vein of Mallard Fillmore. It somehow manages to be both more Anvilicious and less funny than its inspiration. The creator of the comic doesn't seem to understand American Liberalism, and so the strip fails at satire. The characters have no personality to speak of. The art is unbelievably boring; many panels, and even layouts for entire strips, are reused again and again with random background color changes.
    • An example of its failure: the son of this Straw Character family is named Stalin and wears a Darwin-fish shirt, and his hair is done in a random-ass Totally Radical 1980s punk style, which shows you how up to date the author is.
    • The wife is named Imelda because, you know, Imelda Marcos was evil and therefore... she was a liberal! Haha!!!
  • ... and speaking of, many consider the reactions to the political strips of Mallard Fillmore a textbook example of Confirmation Bias. The problem with that idea is that much of those with similar views (conservatives, especially older ones) don't find the strip funny, either. Those on the opposite side of the political spectrum tend to find the comic blatantly insulting, which is probably the point. Non-political readers just find it joke-free. Check any comics board with a newspaper section and note how many posts on "The Duck" contain the phrase "I'm a conservative, but...". The comic itself would probably be relegated to right-wing websites and newsletters were it not used as a "counter-balance" for the liberal viewpoints presented in Doonesbury. It tends to substitute talk radio talking points for punchlines, forgets to do its research, and it frequently repeats the same "joke" over several strips from slightly different angles. It overuses Straw Liberals, many of whom are in the regular cast. This is made all the sadder because Bruce Tinsley's occasional non-political strips can be genuinely funny and do show a flair for observational humor. Unfortunately, those strips make up less than 10% of the strip's output. Discussing Mallard Fillmore on The Comics Curmudgeon is now an automatic banning offense.
    • It may be redundant to mention, but Mallard Fillmore also has horribly ugly art which often consists only of the duck's head shoved into a corner by a Wall of Text. And if it's not that, you'll often see Mallard splayed out in front of the television with his (thankfully undetailed) crotch on full display.
  • Minimum Security is filled with terrible artwork and straw men representing people the artist disagrees with meaning people who eat meat, vote Republican, drive cars, buy things, wear clothes, exist, etc. The artist has since sold out, trying more conventional humor and failing at it. You can still read the old strips online.