troperville

tools

toys

SubpagesMain

main index

Narrative

Genre

Media

Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
random
Creator Career Self Deprecation
The author wants to portray their character as a loser, but doesn't want to offend people in any particular occupation. So they make the character's occupation their own. This allows for a lot of Self-Deprecating Humor, which is probably the whole point. It also means that the parody will be much better informed than one from someone who knows less about the profession - being on the inside means they include anecdotes and details that other scientists or teachers or priests or whatever will find greater recognition and (hopefully) humour in.

Bonus Points if the loser cartoonist can't draw, the writer has an obviously Mary-Sue version of him/herself, or some other type of Stylistic Suck. These characters may also be prone to extreme Writer's Block, which can justify the times that they aren't working/don't have a job.

This must be where a character's career is the same as the author of the work. A hack novelist main character in a novel would be an example, but a hack novelist in an animated show or a cartoonist in a novel would not be.

Compare Acceptable Targets, Take That Me, Write What You Know and especially Writers Suck.

Examples

Anime & Manga
  • The two protagonists in Bakuman。 start off not so much as losers but as utterly normal high schoolers. Mashiro's uncle, who is dead when the story starts, fits this trope a lot more.
  • The main lead of Takamagahara is so bad at creating manga that it makes people who read it physically ill.
  • One of the main characters (Harima) of School Rumble is an amateur manga artist whose work was onced featured in a weekly magazine a la Shonen Jump. His manga is... satisfactory, but people prefer his classmate Karasuma's comic which is also published on said magazine.

Comics
  • Jon Arbuckle, Garfield's owner. Over time, the loser aspect completely overshadowed the fact that he even had a job. In fact, the only times Jon was mentioned as being a cartoonist were in the first strip, these two strips that began the Christmas 1984 Story Arc, and this 2010 Sunday Strip.
  • Stephen Pastis, the cartoonist responsible for Pearls Before Swine, sometimes inserts himself into the strip as a 40-year old smoking loser cartoonist who often gets abused by the other characters, especially Rat. See this strip for an example.
    • Usually this is after a bad pun it took a whole Sunday strip to set up. One had Rat not liking a poster of Mia Hamm or a two-tone green Texas A&M flag. Why? "Because I Do Not Like Green Aggs and Hamm!" he screams in exasperation.
    • He also does some Creator Former Career Self-Deprecation, as he started the cartoon after he quit his job as a lawyer. Yes, there are evil lawyer jokes.
  • Darby Connley was portrayed as an extreme one of these in thesethree strips of his own Get Fuzzy.
  • A great many Franco-Belgian Comics portray comic authors and artists as wretched slaves toiling away to produce art under the iron rule of a heartless, evil editor obsessed with productivity.
  • Alan Moore's run on Supreme includes the character of Billy Friday, not just a comic book writer but specifically an egotistical English writer of American superhero comics with a penchant for Darker and Edgier revamps of old characters.

Film
  • In Allegro Non Troppo, all of the animation is supposedly being made by one lowly cartoonist shackled to his desk.

Literature
  • Kurt Vonnegut Jr. repeatedly uses the character Kilgore Trout, a failed sci-fi writer, in his novels as an Author Avatar of the self deprecating variety, though Vonnegut has admitted that Trout is also influenced by Theodore Sturgeon.
  • Repairman Jack: The character P. Frank Winslow, who is an Author Avatar to the author, named F. Paul Wilson. He, as well as authors in general, is described as "needy". His whole character is basically here for this purpose.
  • Isaac Asimov loved this trope; the "George and Azazel" stories almost always start with George dismissing his writer friend's career. (And said writer is Asimov himself.)
  • One of the protagonists in horror writer Brian McNaughton's The Throne of Bones is an eccentric horror writer who pokes fun at his own profession.

Live-Action TV
  • An extreme example on 30 Rock::Jack directly parodies Alec Baldwin's career. An approximate quotation:
    "And it doesn't matter if you do movies about important things like sick puppies and the Holocaust... the moment you go on TV, nobody will ever take you seriously again."
    • There's also Liz Lemon, who is basically Tina Fey but with a crappy love life and no respect from her peers. The other writers in the show are depicted as frat boys with the maturity of 12-year-olds.
  • On Supernatural, Chuck Shirley, pen name "Carver Edlund" after directors and producers of the show, is a loser prophet and a writer. Then again, the last episode of the fifth season implies that he could actually be God, so...
  • Seinfeld did this a bit, both belittling Jerry's stand-up act and writing for a sitcom. Another take on "Seinfeld Is Unfunny" here.
    • Curb Your Enthusiasm does the same for Larry David's career, with the added bonus that Larry says that it his character is very similar to his real life, just that he is slightly less awkward in social situations.
      • In overlap, Jason Alexander said he could not get a good handle on his Seinfeld character, George, until he realized that Larry David had been subconsciously mocking himself.

Webcomics
  • Gary, the main character from Ménage à 3, is portrayed like this. However, this isn't his main job, but a side talent. His actual job gets minimal importance, while his drawing is supposed to be a loser attribute. It just so happens that several potential love interests find it an endearing or useful talent.
  • Zach Wiener of Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal likes to portray himself as this.
  • Kaitlyn Hu of newspaper-style Precocious is an aspiring daily cartoonist, which more often than not only comes up to make jokes about what a bad idea it is.

Web Original

Western Animation
  • In The Simpsons, the creator of The Itchy & Scratchy Show is betrayed and turned into a bum, though a Jerk with a Heart of Gold, eventually. The guy who does the ripping off, Roger Myers Jr., although extremely successful, is shown to be amoral, cruel to his employees (insulting them and sacking them on a whim) and utterly uninterested in the quality of the series as long as ratings and profits are high. The writers are all from Ivy League universities, which gives them attitudes of superiority but are often idle about their work. Other famous "artists" are near universally egotists or hacks, such as Krusty.
  • Andy from Mission Hill is another example. There was even an episode dedicated to the fact that Andy was broke, couldn't get any of his cartoons published, couldn't even get anyone to understand his cartoons, and was working a dead-end job that barely even put food on the table.


*Cough* Snark *Cough*Insult TropesDamned By A Fools Praise
Creator BreakdownCreator Standpoint IndexCreator In-Joke
Crazy-PreparedComedy TropesCringe Comedy

random
TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from thestaff@tvtropes.org.
Privacy Policy
21561
33