Show Within A Show: Web Comics
Examples of type 1 (characters involved in production)
- Dont Look It Sucks features Star Dork a fictional Sci-Fi series enjoyed by some of the comic's cast.
- Last Res0rt features the reality show of the same name, crossing Survivor with Battle Royale and inadvertently setting up a plot that resembles Professional Wrestling moreso than anything else.
- Dan and Mab's Furry Adventures has Wildy writing a novel about a spy named Janus Bond stopping Mad Scientist Dr. Jyrras's evil plans.
- Housepets! sometimes diverts to The Adventures of Spot, a comic by Peanut on a superhero dog. Not to be confused with another comic.
- Homestuck features several. The most prominent is Sweet Bro and Hella Jeff, a Stylistic Suck parody of Two Gamers on a Couch webcomics ostensibly made by Dave Strider; most of the cast often quote it to each other, and segments of it sometimes show up in the narration as part of Homestuck's love of the Meaningful Echo. The three previous MS Paint Adventures series also exist, both as comics and as videogames, as well as a fictional fourth adventure about the Midnight Crew. In the Midnight Crew universe, which is really in the far future of the troll universe, Homestuck exists on mspaintadventures. Also present are Squiddles!, a Tastes Like Diabetes television series which is actually mankind's subconscious representation of certain Eldritch Abominations; Game Bro, a Straw Critic gaming magazine; Grand Snack Fuckyeah, a thoroughly broken skateboarding game/Product Placement bonanza; and Complacency of the Learned, a wizard story Rose is writing and appears in the post-Scratch Earth as a series.
- Much of the early plots of DDG centred on the afterlife gameshow You Bet and Zip's (reluctant) employment as Ms. Fanservice.
- Gunnerkrigg Court:
- The interlude City Face is implied by The Rant and the Shout Box (which portray the City Face characters as Animated Actors) to be a fictional film. Its only connection to the Gunnerverse (apart from Word Of God saying that City Face is canon) is that the actors include Zimmy and Gamma.
- Dr Disaster's Virtual Training Simulations have a stronger connection to the plot as they are played by the students of Gunnerkrigg Court.
- In the beginning, Ansem Retort was mostly focused on its status as a webcomic about a reality show filled with jerkasses and cloudcuckoolanders who were all addicted to at least 3 illegal drugs each. Cerebus Syndrome has kicked in a bit as the series goes on and things get more serious (well, as serious as that freak show gets, anyway), but they still bring up things like ratings, and in fact often let events occur because they wouldn't have a plot for the next season otherwise.
- Nip and Tuck has "Purloined Letters Productions", a shoestring B-movie/direct-to-video company that has, to date, produced such epic hits as Man on the Border, Rebel Cry, 10,000 Ninjas, Gravedigger, and Scurvy Dogs: The Curse of Blackbeard's Treasure.
- A Tale Of Fiction features "Bison and the Boar Boys", a comic with no bearing at all to the main plot (as of yet) and no connection to the characters, but which can nevertheless be accessed from one of the characters' laptops ("dragbook"). Also available on the dragbook is an in-universe blog called "I Am Not Fiction". Only Bison and the Boar Boys is regularly updated as of now, although I Am Not Fiction is likely to soon follow suit.
- 1/0 had "Max's World", a short comic created by Max to illustrate to Marcus what a comic strip is. Since the strip itself (1/0) is about metaphysical issues and the nature of reality, the comic strip characters creating a comic strip may also be an example of Recursive Reality. "Max's World" doesn't last long, though, since the 1/0 characters get jealous of the girlfriend Max drew for his main character and squash him with an anvil in the next panel.
- Plus EV has "The Degenerate." Stylistic Suck included.
- Zombie Ranch is not only the name of the comic but the name of the in-universe Reality TV Show being filmed about the characters' lives. The comic occasionally cuts between the "live" recordings and what seem to be more produced segments being aired sometime in the future.
- In Sinfest, Satan produced the Bible III.
- In Faux Pas, Myrtle, Shipper on Deck, retells Tarzan with Randy as the ape-fox and Cindy as the intrepid archeologist.
- In Arthur, King of Time and Space, Arthur and Merlin both have webcomics (Merlin's is later taken over by Nimue). Arthur's is a Life Embellished strip called The Thing of Shapes to Come and Merlin's is about aliens and called The Land of Whant. There was a crossover, in which the aliens came to Earth and befriended Arthur.
- In Kevin & Kell, Rudy creates two webcomics. The first is about human versions of himself and Fiona called Rhondo and Viola and the second is about a sheep and called Mad About Ewe.
- Minor Skin Horse character Leo has his own webcomic about Two Gamers on a Couch Who Are Lions called AsLAN. Under the influence of his writing partner H.T. it goes on to suffer from galloping Cerebus Syndrome and become blatant propaganda for the extreme wing of the transgenic rights movement.
- Billy Thatcher of Morph E is the star of a reality TV show named Pawnography. The show is presently on hiatus due to its star being kidnapped by a flirtatious young mage with blonde curls and an affinity for chess playing reality TV show stars. One of the characters is only aware of Thatcher and his show due an in-universe 4Chan meme using sound-bytes from the show.
- Knights of Buena Vista is a Campaign Comic (covering mainly Disney Animated Canon films), but instead of playing with an existing tabletop game, they use a fictional one called "FantasiaLand", which is more Fairy Tale based than High Fantasy.
Examples of type 2 (characters are fans)
- Okay, little bit of an odd example. Ansem Retort is a webcomic about a reality show. Darth Maul, one of the cast members, likes to watch said show. Yes, this includes watching himself watch the show.
Darth Maul: That's some paradoxical shit right there!
- As The Sneef Boils in Buck Godot: Zap Gun for Hire.
- In Cucumber Quest: The TV Show Punisher Pumice. Little is shown about it, but we know that Almond is a fangirl. Almond also says in a Q&A that she learned sword fighting by watching TV, "especially from Punisher Pumice" .
- In the webcomic El Goonish Shive, some characters are fans of the Lucky Bunny Bounty Show (which was canceled after only 22 episodes).
- Girly features Action Up The Butt, which is what happens when you take the concept of Highlander (where killing someone gives you their power), make all the characters 19th century authors (with Sir Walter Scott as the main character), then give them all guns. It was cancelled after the second season.
Mark Twain: So, you've heard those rumours about me, have you?
Sir Walter Scott: I... I didn't want to believe them... but...
Mark Twain: That's always been your problem, Sir Walter Scott. You never wanted to believe anything. And now, there will be rumours about you. Specifically, your death. And they will NOT be exaggerated!
- In Heart Core, it is shown that Ame is really into the cartoon show called Royal Jelly Complex. Most of it has to do with that she is easily distracted by video entertainment.
- My Life At War: Vulture is a fan of a show about a mercenary mecha pilot called The Southpaw.
- Questionable Content: Marigold and Hannelore are fans of the manga/anime Magical Love Gentleman.
- Selkie has The Adventures of Sue and Kathryn, characters from one of the author's previous comics. They are a ten-year-old zombie and wraith, respectively.
- Kitten Kaboodle: Space Ranger in The Suburban Jungle.
- Devious Gingers on BBC 42 is James' favorite show in Roommates.
- Blood Grudge in Princess Chroma, of which the main character, a preteen Magical Girl, is an avid fan.
- In Dumbing of Age, Walky and Dorothy are both fans of the cartoon "Dexter the Head Alien and the Monkey Master". Both the Head Alien and Monkey Master are characters of another comic by the same author. Carla is a fan of the Ultra Car cartoon, Ultra Car's gynoid chassis in Shortpacked! being the genesis of Carla.
Examples of type 3 (SWAS is plot point)
- In ShiftyLook's Wonder Momo: Battle Idol webcomic, when the original Wonder Momo, who is Momoko's mother explains the past to Momoko.