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Author Guest Spot
Authors of webcomics are fond of, whenever they want to address the reader more directly, inserting themselves right into the strip. Often they use an exaggerated, partially fictionalised version of themselves, especially if they "appear" frequently.

A sillier and less Fourth Wall-threatening version of this trope is the Author Avatar.


Examples:

  • When Pete Abrams of Sluggy Freelance addresses his audience personally, he draws himself as a faceless, supernaturally glowing, godlike being (possibly as a parody of the depictions of God in certain Jack Chick tracts).
  • Schlock Mercenary features it best when a character dies and goes to meet his maker.
  • Illiad of User Friendly usually turns up in his thirty-second "nag strips", politely begging for donations, with a paper bag over his head.
  • Amber Williams of Dan and Mab's Furry Adventures often appears outside the context of the comic to lampshade events happening within the strip, such as here.
    • She'll also pop up at random to answer questions from readers in strip format.
  • Randy Milholand often addresses the audience directly in Something Positive, though he never interacts with his other characters, appearing with his jerkass muse Rippy the Razor in "Life With Rippy" strips.
  • In El Goonish Shive, Dan Shive has a special "meddling squirrel" avatar character (who is known to change his own gender (and that of other people!) at whim) for when he addresses the readers directly.
  • The 'real life' Anne Onymous and Robin Ericson of The Wotch had to create separate avatar characters whose appearances were distinct from the characters of the same names in the series when they had a reason to address the audience.
    • And Anne's gets lampshaded that it's just the character with a beret.
  • The two male leads of Megatokyo, Piro and Largo, were named after the nicknames the creators were using at the time. Whenever Fred Gallagher speaks to the readers in a DPD or OSE, he does so using the image of the "Piro" character as his avatar, sometimes with rectangular glasses for distinctiveness. At the end of most chapters, his wife, Sarah ("Seraphim") does this with her avatar character as well.
  • Erin Lindsey often does strips like this in her comic Venus Envy.
  • The author of Stickman and Cube occasionally appears in disembodied voice form, usually to reveal whatever new tack he's trying to milk more money and pageviews out of the readers. The two title characters are usually quite unimpressed.
  • Shivian of Oh My Gods! speaks occasionally with his characters, but only as speech bubbles. The characters also often reference his (lack of) social life.
  • Erik Schoeneck, author of Loserz. For example, here.
  • So does the author of Sabrina Online.
  • Ian McDonald, of Bruno the Bandit, occasionally appears in the strip as a very, very muscular Deus ex Machina.
  • Girl Genius artist and co-writer Phil Foglio makes a few guest appearances, including the very first page. As does Kaja Foglio, his wife and co-writer.
  • Jennie Breeden of The Devil's Panties occasionally appears alongside her comic persona.
  • One of the themes in Irregular Webcomic! is called "Me", starring creator David Morgan-Mar, although he stated that the character is not him and does not necessarily represent his opinions. Gets particularly bizarre when he dies and interacts with the characters from his webcomics, as a live action person among Lego figure Deaths.
    • It's even weirder as his murderer is himself from the future.
      • It gets weirder. When he chooses not to murder himself when he time-travels to the past, he causes a Time Paradox that ended up destroying multiple realities from nearly all the themes except the "espionage" theme.
  • Brain Clevanger has inserted himself into 8-Bit Theater with a sprite that looks a bit like Megaman except in a pants and T-Shirt, but never in the canonical setting.
  • It took a while for Mat Sherer to appear in Badly Drawn Kitties, but he finally did, proving he's not a transexual or something.
  • David Willis has been seen a couple times in Shortpacked!, once getting in a fight with Ethan over an Edit War on the Transformers Wiki.
  • Mark Shallow a.k.a. Webrunner occasionally inserted himself into Adventurers! but never interacted with the characters.
  • Tim Buckley of Ctrl+Alt+Del.
    • He's also had Mohammad Haque, creator of Applegeeks and friend of his, appear in his comic.
  • Not a webcomic, but Grant Morrison did this to top off twenty-six mindscrewriffic issues of Animal Man.
  • Bob and George took this to a logical extreme, with several plots hanging on the manipulations of the Author (a purple Mega Man recolour).
  • In the newspaper comic strip Pearls Before Swine, cartoonist Stephan Pastis shows up as himself from time to time.
    • On one occasion, he collaborated with Darby Conley, cartoonist of Get Fuzzy, for a brief arc in which Conley saved himself considerable work by pasting clippings of his own characters over the main characters of each day's Pearls Before Swine, and painted Conley as an apathetic jerk who was more interested in the extra free time he got from ripping off Pastis' hard work. You guessed it, Conley (and Pastis!) appeared in Get Fuzzy, as Steven tried to get Darby to go back to doing his own work.
  • Greg Dean of Real Life Comics regularly interacts with his characters as a Voice Of God style speech-bubble-from-above. The characters are shown completely self-aware of their status as comic characters during these exchanges, and frequently abuse and berate him for the ridiculous scenarios he puts them through.
    • This is made more interesting by the fact that the main character is himself a fictionalized version of Dean. Combined with the fact that the "voice of Author" is sometimes himself somewhat fictionalized, this creates a dizzying spectrum of fiction and metafiction.
    • He will also appear in the strip, manifesting as comic-Greg, but wearing brown instead of blue.
  • in Triquetra Cats whenever the author(s) need to address the audience they show up in a stylized (and sometimes anthropomorphized version of their appearance speaking in fonts made from their own handwriting.
  • Chip Dunham's newspaper strip Overboard has frequent appearances by the cartoonist (kept anonymous but presumably based on Dunham himself), who occupies an office marked "Overboard, Inc." aboard the pirate ship that serves as the comic's setting.
  • My Cage: Ed Porker and Melissa DeHaresus appear in the "Meet Your Maker" story.
  • The Perpetual Aquarium has the author occasionally appear as a ball of light to talk to the audience or the characters directly. There are also occasional parenthetical comments which reference something outside the comic, usually a specific fan or event, of which the characters would not have any reason to be aware.
  • Jhonen Vasquez has inserted himself into Johnny the Homicidal Maniac and Squee, each time with liberal Take Thats against some of his fanbase, especially those who compare him to Johnny C.
  • Opey The Warhead has Zac Crockett insert a self-depreciating version of himself at the end of every Opey the Warhead chapter.
  • Lora Innes of The Dreamer sometimes inserts herself and friends/family into the background.
  • In Scott McCloud's Understanding Comics, Scott McCloud is the narrator and delivers most of the dialogue. Essentially justified, since that's the point.
  • Andrew Hussie has appeared several times in Homestuck to deliver explicitly-fourth-wall-breaking Recap Episodes and other occasional side gags, and near Act 5.2's conclusion embarked on a sidequest to wrest back control over telling the story from Doc Scratch.
  • Daniel Clowes did this with a visit to "Planet Eightball." His characters live there, treating Clowes as a Hollywood agent, trying to get him to draw them into more comics.
  • Carefree Shadow appears occasionally in his comic Laser Feet as a bearded man who has the ability to turn his feet into lasers.
  • The artist of Ears for Elves draws herself, in the style of the comic, when making announcements, doing Q&A pages, and sometimes in filler strips. She also drew Archmage (the site maintainer) in the Halloween cosplay filler, which he wasn't impressed by.


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