There are subjectives, and then there are these. While you may believe a work fits here, and you might be right, people tend to have rather vocal, differing opinions about this subject. Please keep these off of the work's page.
Maybe the webcomic author/artist(s) were just having a bad day. How else to explain the lapse in quality of some of these web-based scenarios?
The entire final year of Red String is an endless series of these. The real life reason is that the author was pregnant for a second time, but unlike the first pregnancy where she simply took a maternity leave and resumed her comic work as usual when she was ready, this time she decided she needed to end the comic by the due date. What followed was a massive slide in art quality, characterization, and pacing as a whole. In order:
Fuuko's story arc about losing her mother? Swept to the side and given four pages randomly inserted into Chapter 51 without a single scene transition...and they had nothing to do with her grieving over her dead mom. The arc was just a repeat of "Fuuko comes out to one of her parents." Something we already knew she was okay with.
Reika ended Chapter 50 with what appeared to be the consummation of her arc with dating Eiji(quite literally!), where she claimed she trusted him completely. Next chapter, a cop-out pregnancy plotline suddenly has her freaking out, with no reason ever given, that she might be pregnant. After never doing anything like taking a pregnancy test to ensure she really is pregnant and nobody suggesting this as an option, she learns she isn't pregnant...and decides that this is a great reason to break up with Eiji. She tells him in person, then abandons him and cuts him off entirely for days. She reveals that she is afraid if she got pregnant ever, he'd resent her. So much for "trusting him completely" (or just not having sex until they were ready for children.) Eiji corners her at school and one quick repeat of Eiji declaring he loves her and she is fine with it and all is well despite her having been absolutely horrible to him. The story has Eiji acting as if it's all his fault. This is the final scene for both characters.
And then there is the festering boil of Makoto Yosue, who as the year progressed finally lost any pretense of being anything but a Creator's Pet - as the author even admitted he was her favorite character and she loved him for traits she never took the time to actually express in the comic itself. Instead, we got him dragging his girlfriend away from a rival to yell at her in public for being stupid to continue associating with him (she ends up apologizing to him), telling her to prioritize her relationship with him over any potential repercussions it has for her family, sneaking around behind her back to confront his rival and then declare said rivals' abusive homelife and suicide attempt as reasons why he is a pathetic loser compared to Makoto, using information gleaned from this conversation to try and one-up his rival without telling his girlfriend they ever met, and quitting his job to date her full-time simply by calling his parents and having them make the arrangements while still footing all of his bills. Despite being a horrible person by the final pages of the comic, this guy has literally everyone in the comic except the love rival constantly worshipping him and declaring that he's a kind, hard-working, self-sacrificing saint and Miharu of course declares at the end of the comic that she loves him forever and accepts his half-assed marriage proposal of "Well?" (later changed to "Not right now, but..."). Even though by this point, they'd only dated for four months and their entire relationship consisted of groping each other, sexting, and talking about how they liked looking at each other's butts.
And as for our main character? There's a reason the entry on Makoto is so long - because the comic treats our leading lady as not a protagonist that drives the storyline through her own choices and actions, but as simply an accessory to Makoto. Her only purpose in the comic is to be his girlfriend and anything that might prevent him from having her is quickly removed. Her final "dilemma" is false drama where the story pretends she is being forced to choose between her family's future and her new beau. In reality, it's a straight up Idiot Plot because her parents didn't disapprove of their relationship, they were just concerned that she wasn't serious and was going to break up with him and chase his family off from their restaurant. So Makoto quitting the restaurant and then immediately proposing marriage is even stupider because he didn't have to leave the restaurant at all now. Miharu takes no part in any of this discussion except to sulk and whine to her parents and her boyfriend. Makoto swoops in and solves all of her problems, leaving the only "choice" left for Miharu to surrender herself to his whims for life and have the story present this as a happy ending.
Finally, the original better half to the couple that was originally intended to be the focus of the series? Our buddy Kazuo? Gina didn't even plan to so much as write him an epilogue, intending to have his final scene being humiliated and tormented by the man that got everything handed to him by life and literally acted as though that made him a better human being. He wasn't even given an actual chance to say goodbye to Miharu. Gina slapped together a five page epilogue at literally the last possible minute as a consolation prize, in which Kazuo is shown getting the final brush off from Miharu, is now happy for some reason about it, and then moves to Paris and plans to marry a girl that's not given so much as a single line of dialog, a personality, or even a damn name. And just to flip one last final bird to the readership, all of Kazuo's character growth in freeing himself from his abusive father is undone in a single page when Kenta shows up on his ex-wife's doorstep, looks sad, and Kazuo immediately and unquestioningly forgives the man that literally beat him into submission to force him to break up with Miharu. And Kenta doesn't even apologize for that - he just says he "needs them".
A number of cast memembers still had storylines that never got resolved, thus serving to do nothing but waste a lot of time and contribute nothing to the series. The only way Gina intends for her readership to find out what happens to them is if her fans buy an as-of-yet undrawn final volume. Given the awful quality of Kazuo's epilogue, it's doubtful many will care anymore.
The art completely fell apart the closer the ending got. Characters began to become completely indistinguishable from each other, any attempt to put detail in the pages was dropped, the concept of drawing straight lines vanished, and characters lost anything resembling normal human anatomy (to the point that someone's body type would actually change from page to page). Looking at the comic's final pages and comparing them to even pages drawn ten years previously when the author was still young and largely untrained is night and day - just because it's obvious Gina, despite still being an amateur artist, used to actually care about making her art look good.
The Consequences arc from The Wotch has been brutally criticized for its ineptitude. It's supposed to be about Anne dealing with the consequences of her past mistakes casting transformational magic. But all of these mistakes are dealt with swiftly (one in literally two panels), and there are no hard feelings...
The toughest case was supposed to be Ming. She was originally Mr. Sakura, a 40-year-old teacher; Anne had transformed him into a teenage animesque girl in a fit of pique, rewriting Ming's memory in the process. When Ming realizes who she used to be, thanks to the inconsistencies in "her past" being pointed out, she and Anne feel it's her duty to be switched back — but no one else wants her to. Finally, she meets her inner original self; he tells her that he was a failure in life, and so she needs to seize the second chance she's been given. She happily does, only taking the time to write a note in her original handwriting so that people stop searching for her old self... Going from realization to acceptance takes only a couple of hours. Even a few fans of the comic found this moment squickful — it borders on Mind Rape Is Love (platonic division).
While we're on the subject, Cheer!: the Unfortunate Implications with the premise are bad enough, but Jo consciously deciding to hide the truth from the others?
How she died was stupid enough. She was attacked by a purse snatcher. After fighting for about one panel, the purse snatcher pulled out a gun and shot her dead, all for a purse. Yes, this could happen in Real Life, but fiction is supposed to make more sense than that. And we only knew her for four strips before she was killed, and then not very well.
Ryan's mother finds out about her son turning into a girl. How does she react? She says she always wanted a girl and tells him to get a boyfriend (more or less).
It gets worse. She signed him up for Home Economics and got him babysitting gigs, which are stereotypical teenage girl things, without even informing him until they were confirmed. It's especially bad because she's not even subtle about the fact she's thrilled that her eldest son is now a daughter.
The whole Melna/Stonewater pseudo-post-rape-Stockholm-Syndrome sequence in Dominic Deegan: Oracle for Hire. The characters had reasons for acting as they did, but there are still some things that should not happen. The matter remains a touchy spot for the fandom.
Also this one, which implies that the whole reason Dominic goes on adventures and helps people is that he enjoys the strain, and if not for that, he wouldn't have bothered with any of it. This strip seemed to enrage the entire fandom of the strip; the next striprapidly backpedaled and reversed it. It's unknown whether the author planned this or if he was simply reacting to the strong hate for the strip.
Brian was the first character with any personality in Dominic Deegan for YEARS. The Keenspot forum adored him. Then it turned out that he was Rilian in a person suit. The fact that Brian is the real personality and Rilian's current self is the Jerkass Fašade, which means Rilian has a real and interesting personality, could reduce the Wall damage a bit — unless you take it as an appeasement, especially as it will color every subsequent interaction between that character and the protagonists (assuming Mookie brings it up again).
He did, and Rillian seems to be a much less caustic person now.
Well, the "how" is easy enough: This is a setting where teleportation magic is fairly commonplace. The "why," however, remains uncertain.
It's most likely because they recognize the connection between a restored Maltak and a weakened Callan. They don't want to see Callan restored to a powerful mage society, so they are willing to put aside their mutual hatred for each other to prevent Callan from screwing Maltak (and rest assured, they do all hate each other, because the natural state of affairs between people in the Deeganverse is arbitrary bigotry).
A relatively minor one, but when Melna does a double Offhand Backhand against two idiot guards. This is meant to look really cool, but when you think about it, it makes absolutely no goddamn sense. Ignoring how incredibly awkward such a move would be (you'd need the flexibility of Mr. Fantastic to pull that off), the two idiots would have had to run face-first into her fists. This is despite them wielding spears, which logically should have been pointed in front of them, meaning Melna should have been stabbed in the back long before their faces got within smacking distance.
The Beast's Villain Decay. It goes from this horrible and terrifying monstrosity to more and more of a joke. The worst part is its Evil Gloating repeatedly screwing it over. Okay, once or twice, that's pushing it, but four times in what, under an hour? It had its victim within its grasp, and because it wasted time gloating, someone else interceded and allowed it to escape. The worst bit? Dominic even lampshades it.
The Sluggy Freelance storyline "Oceans Unmoving", which took Bun-Bun and moved him to an entirely new setting:
where none of the other characters of the series were (making it All-Bun-Bun-And-New-People, All-The-Time), and
which used an entirely different cosmology that required strip after strip of Expo Speak to catch people up on.
which was overstretched, and came on the heels of the popular "That Which Redeems" story arc. And then he did it again a few months later with "Oceans Unmoving 2" because he had made the plotline so complicated that he couldn't finish it without breaking it up with actual Sluggy strips. So, on top of everything else, there was a huge gap between the first and second half and an overwhelming sense of dread as the second half approached.
Readers who weren't immediately turned away by the focus on Bun-Bun and who managed to get past the Expo Speak often enjoyed the storyline. The new characters were interesting once they got some Character Development; and if you understood the cosmology, then it was cool. But the initial period of throw-your-laptop-at-the-wall frustration still locks it solidly into this category.
The ridiculously named voodoo priestess in a following storyline was an eyeroller. Her revealing that you become a zombie by signing contracts with lots and lots of fine print (this during a drawn-out flashback, while back in real time one of the main characters' fates was hanging in the balance) was a huge wallbanger.
It gets worse. Turns out she wasn't in danger (it was an illusion caused by the priestess playing with the thermostat and the general discomfort that comes from getting bitten by very dirty teeth); when the priestess does try to kill her, she takes her down with some major telekinesis and goes home.
From PvP: Francis and Marcy's relationship from the time she joined the magazine up until the Relationship Upgrade. Marcy frequently has only minimal emotional investment in the relationship, every so often pondering ending things until Francis does something big to impress her again. She's positively eager to find excuses to compete with Francis and show that she's better than him at everything. She's tried at least once to spark his jealousy, and yet she gets jealous if he even glances sideways at another woman. Sure, Francis is generally the biggest Jerk Ass of the cast, but he carries their relationship almost entirely on his own. It's not even that Marcy herself is a bad character; it's just that their relationship is often unpleasantly one-sided.
Cole's almighty flipout after Francis and Marcy did the deed definitely qualifies. Okay, so they were only eighteen AFTER it happened, but he is still most certainly neither of their fathers and it's not his place to tell them what's right or wrong about what they did. And you'd think, given his attitude, that he'd be inclined to praise Rob's foresight in having condoms at all rather than include him in the flipout.
Mild Author's Saving Throw at the end, with Robbie having enough of Cole's bitching and throwing the lot of them out.
Well since it seems their parents weren't there, Cole would have been the one responsible for them, so getting angry at teens having sex on his watch isn't exactly uncalled for.
Except that he wasn't mad they had sex "on his watch", he was just mad about it period.
Cole might have been justified, but Brent and Jade piled on right along side him.
But since they're at Robbie's mansion, shouldn't it be "on Robbie's watch."
Also, the reveal that Marcy and Francis broke up not because of any incident, but because Francis read an error message of a text as a breakup letter from Marcy. It has been months since this happened. He has the message still on his phone, so we can imagine he's read it more than once. That Francis of all people would not recognize the message ("Could not deliver message. Network not responding.") for exactly what it was not only makes him seem like an utter idiot.
Scott's handling of some of his plotlines is a little underwhelming. Several of them (for example the "Robbie's Brewing Company" arc, or one where a game company attempts to bribe the PVP staff) give a lot of buildup only to suddenly end on a disappointing raspberry noise and an anticlimax.
Lilah announcing her pregnancy and intention to marry Ethan in Ctrl+Alt+Del was already unexpected enough to cause a major outcry, not only from the comic's fans, but also from the entire online webcomics community. It occurred again only a few months later, when Lilah underwent a Convenient Miscarriage, which was a dumb enough move to cause even dedicated fans of the comic to stop reading altogether.
The comic dumped the entirety of Ethan and Lucas' relationship problems on their partners. Lucas and Kate had an open relationship, and it was just as much Lucas's fault as Kate's that she decided to make use of the "open" part. Instead, Kate is the one getting chewed out and forced to "apologize" and be "forgiven" even as other characters pointed this logic out to him. Then there's Lilah, who, on top of following an increasingly bizarre series of character derailments ("My boyfriend cheated on me? Well gee, why don't I run off to Italy with the last boyfriend who I broke up with because he cheated on me?"), ended up taking the entire blame for being too hard on Ethan...even though many of her complaints about his Anti-Sue nature made sense to the readers. In the end, the only thing Ethan got knocked for was not communicating. Oh, and right after all this relationship turmoil...they got married. Hello, Fridge Logic!
Ctrl Alt Del had Wall Bangers even before the miscarriage. For instance:
Lucas asks some religious strawmen why the Gods of Video Gaming can't be real and the strawmen are utterly confounded. It's a valid point but to think that the clergy don't have an argument for it is preposterous.
Let's talk more about this. The group of strawmen are mostly clergy — Priests, monks, Rabbis, etc. They are usually Actual Pacifists. And they want to beat the hell out of Ethan.
There are few people in the world who would not want to beat the hell out of Ethan after interacting with him for more than ten seconds.
And now the damn strip has ended on a massive Wall Banger. Ethan gets stuck in a Bad Future his future self created and is forced to sacrifice himself to fix all of time. The original ending was simply the white panel as Ethan is obliterated. Fan demand forced Buckley to write an actual epilog where Ethan's friends and family grieved for him and showed how they moved on with their lives. The strip was intended to be a way to cut ties with the old comic and at some point do a more serious reboot, but the severe Cerebus Syndrome and Mood Whiplash of the finale essentially turned off the rest of his fanbase.
One particular wallbanger was the plot where Lucas and Lilah try to get Ethan to be able to manage his addiction to EverQuest. First of all, addictions are recognized as something that can generally only be "managed" by cutting oneself off from the substance in question. Second of all, even if this were not the case, the reason Ethan can't play EQ isn't just because he gets too into it—it's because he dropped out of school and tried to sell Lucas so that he could keep playing it. One wonders how they could even consider subjecting themselves to the risk of this happening again.
Chugworth Academy had just returned from a long hiatus and had only sporadic updates. Then the artist, David Cheung, drew a comic showing Jade Raymond (noted attractive producer of Assassin's Creed) as a Brainless Beauty giving head and being in the middle of bukkake with nerds. Then the artist whined on his deviantART journal about how dA was so unfair for deleting the picture when the deletion was enforcing the rules he agreed to to join the site. He said he was parodying gamers' attitude towards Miss Raymond, but he was clearly a little wide of the mark. More than a few feminist bloggers and, as it came out, Raymond's co-workers, did not take kindly to the implication that Raymond was implied to be so stupid as to be incapable of saying the word "creative" and noted that the comic said more about the artist's misogyny. In a completely unrelated development, Chugworth has lost most of its readers since that incident.
Just as bad: One comic consists of two panels of one of the characters declaring to the readers that there will not be nudity in the comic. Two wall bangers in one:
Cheung seems mortally offended that anyone would think he would include nudity. History lesson: David Cheung used to be known as "Scribblekid", a fairly popular Internet-based artist. What did he draw? Pornography. And several CA character designs come straight from his porn work. Even though Cheung seems to view this as an Old Shame, he comes off as far too surprised that people would expect nudity in CA given his history.
Penny and Aggie hit this with the ludicrous nature of the "Dinner for Six" plotline. It stretched out far longer than it should have to make room for more "comical misunderstandings" than humanly possible, required previously smart characters' IQs to drop low enough to make these "comical misunderstandings" possible, and sidetracked more than once so that people could suffer through more physical slapstick - in particular, the worthless sidetrack of both Penny and Karen's subplots so they could go shopping and waste two weeks doing it! And once it ended, many fans realized that "Nick finds out Charisma is a bitch who hates her son, and he breaks up with her" was the only Character Development that came out of it. A teased plotline of "Penny thinks her father is having an affair" was dropped, eventually to be "outed" and downplayed and ignored, further making Penny look like a moron.
The filler strip "Minjung" falls into this as well. Penny And Aggie filler strips, until then, had focused on developing the characters while giving the main artist a break. The author's only explanation for this comic was that it would, someday, tie into the Penny and Aggie storyline because it was still about teenagers. About a month was spent following two completely unrelated characters in South Korea that have no connection to the plot of the main comic or the characters in it. This killed all the tension from the cliffhanger of the previous storyline.
That cliffhanger didn't even happen until an entire month was spent inside Penny's head while she imagined a bunch of her future selves deciding whether she should go with Rich. It turned into a Shaggy Dog Story when Penny disregarded everything and left with Rich anyway.
A student was expelled from school because he wouldn't be able to afford tuition...for the following year. The school expelled him from school during a term he was already paid up for because they divined that he would not be able to afford the next one; either they know more about his finances that they ought to, or they are going way overboard on their tuition increases.
A character made a YouTube video dramatization accusing a fellow student of being a lesbian rapist. Then they post high-quality movie posters around school advertising "Invasion of the Snatch Snatchers" to further demonize her. This is right up there with Lilah's miscarriage for offensive story arcs, even considering that Penny and Aggie was never a gag a day strip.
So, the administration has expelled someone for failing to pay for a term that hasn't yet happened. They also lecture students about fighting in the halls. But they had no reaction at all to the advertising of one of their students being raped on-campus. They don't even appear in the storyline. The police aren't called, and the person accused of the rape is allowed to walk the halls freely without even so much as a guidance counselor pulling her aside (let alone talk of suspensions, expulsions, or even professional investigations). Again, there were posters on the school walls advertising the rape! Adults Are Useless? Try Adults Don't Exist when the plot would be ruined by their logical intervention.
After Penny and Aggie cause Karen's plans to come crashing down, Aggie insists that they have to help her because of the possibility of "death or juvie". Aggie's way of doing this? Lecturing Karen about how she's never known loss and completely missed the message that she and Penny were attempting to teach (it got lost in the rivalry/competition that led them to make over Karen in the first place). Forumgoers insisted that Aggie had to have a plan, that there was no way in hell she would be stupid enough to use a self-righteous rant as a method of talking someone who hated her guts down. Then came the next update, in which Aggie was still trying to lecture Karen even though Karen had her pinned down, was screaming at her, and was ready to beat the shit out of her. It turns out Aggie is that stupid.
It's premature to celebrate their victory when all they did was ruin a party; they haven't addressed the rest of the things she did (hello, lesbian rape? Eating disorders?). But Aggie's all set to forgive her anyway; since everyone pooped their pants at her party, that means forgiveness time.
The ending of Bob and George if you don't believe it falls under Rule of Funny. After a large build-up to a battle with Bob, the entirety of the arc turned out to be a five dollar bet between the Author and Helmut to see if George would be willing to kill Bob this time. But that wasn't nearly as strange as revealing the entire comic was just a way for Bob and George's mother to toughen George up and make sure Bob would know George was willing to kill him if necessary.
Better Days: Fisk asspulling a grenade. Which he then set off inside a building. After murdering several people. All with no consequences.
This is the exact sequence of events that happens after Fisk learns where Persia's being held: Fisk kills two "mobsters" by shooting them while using a third one as a body shield; he defenestrates a poor schmuck who, for all we know, could have been just paying to have sex with Persia and unconnected to the mobsters; then he uses the asspulled grenade to blow up part of a house and kills at least two other mobsters in the process; he is then shown calling a hospital while he watches Persia eat. Then he's shown driving her back to Virginia from California. There are no consequences for his actions: no mention is made of law enforcement investigating the scene, no other members of the "mob" try to retaliate — nothing. There's a reason that a Hatedom for Naylor exists, and this is one of the biggest examples.
The fact that he joins it at all is a wallbanger. The organization is itself, basically an American-based terrorist group. Then there's the fact that it's revealed that Fisk's father died working for them, which Fisk accepts without batting an eye, when he had accepted the fact that his father had died in Vietnam as his defining character trait his entire life.
Naylor dedicated an entire chapter of Better Days to two people who embarrassed him on a furry site by telling him to quit being a jackass. For 'dedicated', read 'he made them into genuinely unpleasant strawman characters in a frenzied Take That'.
After entering a steady relationship with Tommy, Lucy confesses that she feels a bit trapped and wants to try to live a little more before settling down. Fair enough. What's irritating is that what she wants is to sleep around with other guys. Even though she fell for Tommy because he was a nice guy who was dating a slutty girl who cheated on him, and her entire appeal to him was based on the fact that she was a nice girl who respected him and was faithful.
The misogynistic undertones, especially at the beginning of the series. In particular, the Straw Feminist teacher saying that boys have to have their viewpoints "tempered" so that "women aren't defined solely by their backsides" and Sheila implying to Fisk that "feminist bitches" don't think it's important for men to be strong come across as the author being rather bitter. What, he really thinks women push down masculinity to make themselves stronger?
The chapter where Fisk asks if The Vietnam War was worth it. After a huge wall Wall of Text, the person Fisk is talking to concludes three things: (1) A country having a system of government another country doesn't like (Communism) is a legitimate reason to attempt to destroy that country. (2) The war was a moral victory for America, and (3) that yes, the war was "worth it." A big, poorly researched, Author Filibuster.
Before that, there was the overlong holiday plot in which they discussed the Coming of the Second Eton and pretty much all funny stopped cold for a few months. At least Willis learned something from it; the above plotline remembered to keep telling jokes.
Fans refer to Second Eton as "The Forbidden Arc" and are to never mention it EVER AGAIN (ever). This was even Lampshaded in a recent strip.
Ralph E Hayes's inserting pages of unrelated Fourth Wall breaking political and theological ranting into Tales of the Questor, the only one of his comics which hadn't (until then) demonstrated any Anvilicious politics or real-world religion. It was eventually moved to its own spot when Hayes got his own website combining all of his series, thankfully, but... yikes. No other webcomic has ever featured such a blatant and out-of-place Author Filibuster.
In Goblin Hollow, Ben says that Beltane's Wiccan faith of being invalid because "that grab-bag of gods you 'worship' are some of the bloodiest in history" and they practiced human sacrifice. Because lording religious superiority over others is totally okay, regardless of whether yours has an equally bloody history which includes attempts to annihilate the religion you're claiming moral superiority over and its practitioners. Christianity does have an explanation for why the Christian God no longer requires (new) sacrifices of blood — it's related to the Eucharist and the event it symbolizes — but between this part not always being clearly explained (if it's even explicable) and Christians getting bloodthirsty in His name on their own, that isn't gonna be much comfort to any Wiccans reading.
Somewhat justified for those following the strip since its Under The Lemon Tree days. In that earlier incarnation, Beltane was established as "not so much Wiccan as 'grab-bag pagan'", with a personal theology that bears no real resemblance to Dianic or Gardnerian Wicca, Asatru, or indeed any recognized pagan religion. (If you asked Beltane about the Book of Shadows, she'd ask you who wrote it.) This is reinforced in Goblin Hollow when it turns out that Beltane's coven is nothing more than a bunch of bored women who want something more interesting than Tupperware parties. In short, she may wear a pentacle and occasionally say "Blessed Be", but in-strip she's about as Wiccan as Jerry Falwell.
We also have the storyline where Penny gives an epicShut Up, Hannibal! to a slicked-back Jerry Falwell-type preacher who'd all but called her out as an out-of-control delinquent. What should've been a Crowning Moment of Awesome for Penny becomes a Dethroning Moment of Suck for Lily: she demands that Penny apologize on the spot for "making a scene" in church (to the church's regular reverend, not the asshat.) When Penny says (in so many words) "F* ck that", she gets a slap ("for swearing") and a grounding (for making a scene). Apparently, RH Junior saw making a scene in church as horrific. He perhaps did not expect the readership to respond to Lily's actions with "What the hell?"
This progressed to actually addressing the issues in-comic. Lily spent an entire strip second-guessing her actions (accompanied by Morty's observation that she and Ben were going to say the same things about the "preacher", just in private — okay, "behind his back" — rather than in a public shouting match), while Penny delivered a brief What The Hell Audience (using Ben as a proxy) to the idea that she'd think they actually endorsed the "your teenagers are dangerous" policies of the visiting "pastor".
The subsequent explanation for Penny's anger was that her best friend killed herself while dealing with depression, and a radio preacher basically said it was her own damn fault and that she was bound for hell for it. HayesBen had a ham-fisted rebuttal: instead of saying "Some people believe that. Neither I nor my church do," he said "You were told a wicked lie."
The woman is a sobbing, hysterical mess who believes her friend is undergoing nightmarish torture for the rest of eternity. An authority figure deciding *not* to suggest that that might just be the case is the farthest thing from a wall banger.
For those unfamiliar with Fundamentalist Christian lingo (at least in the USA), Ben's statement is much stronger than it sounds. He's not just saying that the radio preacher was a liar, he was implying that the belief suicides go to Hell was an actual Deceit of Satan. Since many real denominations and non-denominations believe that suicides automatically go to hell, we have officially entered slippery ground.
There's the way the Aiden storyline played out. The first few strips with him appeared interesting; after that, things went bad in a hurry with stupid plot turn after stupid plot turn, culminating in a nonsensical phantom thing that the story has never tried to explain. Thankfully, neither he nor his girlfriend has appeared since it wrapped up two books ago.
The supernatural stuff was taking a back seat to the genderbending shojo stuff. This was an attempt to return to it. It didn't work well.
The way Ash and Missi's relationship turned out. They start going out. Missi keeps pushing to take it a step further, and Ash is reluctant. When s/he finally does give in and makes out with her, s/he freaks out and runs to Emily. There are a number of good, dramatic ways this could have gone, from Ash feeling uncomfortable getting into a physical relationship in his female body to Ash still holding a torch for Emily. The reason Ash uses for wanting to break up with Missi? Missi is being the "male" of the relationship by being more assertive.That just sounded... sexist.
Ash seems to think of "male" and "female" as a dichotomy—you can be all male or all female, but you can't be in-between or be "male" in some ways and "female" in other ways. "Female," incidentally, involves being submissive and obedient to a degree that most people would find stifling. Take this as purely Ash's philosophy, and it explains the situation quite well. Take this as what the writer believes, and it makes things worse.
The author makes occasional references to transmen and clearly intends Ash's condition to be a fantastic equivalent, perhaps so the audience can learn important lessons about tolerance. The problem is, the author doesn't know how transpeople think. Despite occasional nods toward Ash being disgusted by hir new body, s/he has no problem wearing feminine clothing; for transpeople, it's about as comfortable as straight guys trying to pass as women. And the whole thing reeks of standard transformation-fetish tropes. Eyeballing one's new sexy female form in the mirror? Check! The obligatory post-transformation boob grope? Check? Gradual acceptance that living as a woman is better (and sexy! so sexy!)? Check! There's nothing wrong with writing a transformation-fetish comic, and this one is far better-done than some. But there's no excuse for leveraging someone else's real tragedy to squeeze extra drama into reasonably well-done Fetish Fuel.
... When was the last time you read the comic? Ash only ever wears feminine clothing when he's forced/guilted into it (Three times so far and he bitched through all of them) and absolutely hates anything that makes him realise he's becoming a different person, to the point where we get a Wall Banger in the form of Ash telling his old rival to piss off and then having a breakdown because he didn't challenge the guy to a race or throw a punch. Also, despite the fact that we're shown his life is better, it's clear Ash doesn't consider it that way.
The "Tarvek has a deadly disease" arc of Girl Genius, mainly because it suffered severeArc Fatigue. The procedure to cure him was delayed for increasingly contrived reasons. They need Gil to help cure Tarvek? Oh wait, first they have to deal with an insane scientist and his battle mech; then Von Pinn shows up, prompting Agatha to go into a homicidal rage because Von Pinn had killed her parental figures that one time. Anyway, once that's settled, Gil joins the group, and they go to cure Tarvek. Oh wait, the disease is much worse then we originally thought, and the only way to cure it is incredibly risky. They decide to do it anyway. Oh wait, the machinery the group has is insufficient, and so they have to go to one of the more lethal areas of the Castle to get better equipment. Oh WAIT, it turns out Tarvek's disease is contagious! Now Agatha's been infected, meaning she has to go through the risky procedure too. Oh WAIT, now the Castle has chosen this exact moment to go completely insane. Agatha is forced to "kill" it so they can move on. Oh WAIT, it turns out the Castle was the lid on a Sealed Evil in a Can. GAAAAAAAH!
Earlier in the Castle Heterodyne story, Zola demands the prisoners chase Agatha into a dangerous section of the castle. When they refuse, she shoots one of them. This can only work if the entire group of hardened killers decide they're more scared of one girl with a gun than of the castle. Since Zola doesn't die there and then, apparently they are.
She introduced herself as the Heterodyne heir in Castle Heterodyne; if they believed her, then they might have subconsciously organized themselves as her subordinates, just as the Mad Social Scientist explained to Agatha later. Shooting that one guy might have been needed to cement her status, as she is dealing with a bunch of sociopaths and possible Sparks and has yet to give the reader any explicit indication of having the Spark herself.
Kevin & Kell's storyline featuring Lindesfarne's wedding devolved into a trainwreck. It's the wedding of Lindesfarne and Fenton. They've been dating since high school - and outside Comic Book Time, stories about them as a couple have been written for most of the strip's 15 years on the web. So naturally, the anticipation for their nuptials was quite high. Then the storyline took a strange turn - it completely ignored Lindesfarne and Fenton! Yes, that's right. A storyline featuring the nuptials of two main characters that people have been anticipating for years is instead focusing on a storyline about Fenton's mother, revealed to be a vampire bat, and the prejudice she receives. Okay, let's count the problems.
Fenton's mother was introduced in this storyline. We're sidetracking a major storyline for two main characters to talk about a supporting character we just met.
Up until this storyline, vampire bats have never been mentioned. We're supposed to believe that the prejudice against them is so strong that at least 100 of Lindesfarne's wedding guests refuse to attend the wedding. This is in a strip in which Kevin and Kell are a rabbit and a wolf respectively, had prejudice against their unconventional relationship from the get-go, and still had no problem getting their families and friends to attend their wedding even though there was a risk of half the guests being eaten.
Fenton somehow never noticed his mom was a vampire bat? Especially when he says his mother never ate with the family?!
How did everyone find out at once? A single strip declares that the secret cannot be kept any longer because of the digital society - simply because Lindesfarne asked. But Lindesfarne's own past remains a secret from general society, and the past of Danielle is secret, too. Why is this different?
Lindesfarne's wedding features her getting up on a soapbox and preaching about the values of her guests standing up against bigotry. She's doing it for a character the readers don't know and against a prejudice we never knew about before this arc. We should be seeing a wedding here.
A tree branch conveniently falls on Dr. Caduceus as he arrives at the wedding. He needs to have his fluids drained immediately (no broken bones?!). Oh by the way, did you know a big town like Domain has only one doctor? Naturally, the only person we're told can do this is the vampire bat. Yes, draining fluids from a massive internal injury is exactly the same as draining blood from a neck.
This is common with K&K. There are more contrived coincidences than "Animals Eat Food" jokes, and that's saying something. Other examples include the tree "just happening to be moved" in "just the right location" to survive due to the soil just happening to be happily fertilized, Kell just happening to get hurt just in time for her sister to show up, etc... You can usually tell when you'll be tempted to throw your laptop at the wall: the panels will be extra big.
Rudy conveniently took a cell phone image of Fenton's mother saving Caduceus via sucking out spinal fluid. Now the instant prejudice is replaced with instant respect. Prejudice doesn't work that way.
And then soon after, she was fired from her job for being a vampire bat anyway, so that rendered it pointless anyway. Note there were no objections to her being hired at Herdthinners even though supposedly vampire bat prejudice is so strong that she can't hold a steady job (of course, this was really done so Desdemona could become Kell's new co-worker.)
Thisxkcd comic. A bizarre, unwanted interjection of Real Human Anatomy into the stick-figure world of the comic, bereft of an actual joke, with an awkward and forced set-up. Also, it got readers in trouble at their workplaces because of its nature. Neither the breast drawing (the one that wasn't censored) nor the second drawing are safe for work. (Not every dirty picture is sexual.) Implications of pornography behind text blocks fell flat.
That said, it's exactly the kind of "bad surprises" that had begun spreading on Wikipedia's health pages at the time: Unsafe photographs without prior warnings. Hence a suitable subject for commentary. NSFW is unfortunate.
Try "HDTV", where the author insults anyone who's ever gotten excited over entertainment technology while missing the point of High-Definition. For a bonus, he misses the point of film speeds in the Alt Text.
Can't be bothered with an actual joke? Blatantly rip offRepo Man! Come on, Randall... Worse yet, that film was mocking a design trend popular at the time, and yet the author appears to believe he's genuinely come up with something new and original.
John Campbell often aborts arcs on a whim. If he gets tired of a storyline, he will stop writing it. This is exemplified in his "notebook phase" after his art show, where he adapted sequential art into a notebook format. He views pictures for sad children as very author-centric, and if he is fed up with something, he will stop. In a way, this prevents Arc Fatigue, but he does it even if the reader base is on board with the idea, which can upset some people. The real wall banger is why Campbell either fails to recognize that, or is intentionally rejecting his reader base, both of which can seriously alienate it.
The Foxfire Chronicles started out as a interesting, if cliche, take on the whole people-turned-animals story. Establishing itself as a near-future sci-fi, the author took a bizarre turn by introducing more and more fantasy elements until he just turned the entire series into a full out fantasy, stopped using most of the established heroes and villains because the male lead was the new magical Jesus Christ on a different world.
Penny Arcade had a comic strip about the Game Boy Advance SP, with a boy having purchased it and then realizing that the headphone jack costs extra. The punchline actually compared the extra price to child molestation. As if that wasn't galling enough, please bear in mind that the peripheral they are complaining about was just a headphone jack. Not only was it completely unnecessary to play any of the GBA games, but it only cost $4.99 brand new. Paying an extra five bucks for something you don't need is like being molested?! Readers reacted accordingly to this, and thankfully Gabe and Tycho soon got the message and pulled the comic from their archives.
In the same vein, several people took offense to a strip about a character in World of Warcraft that refused to save a slave who was raped by dickwolves. The whole thing would have passed fairly quickly, had Gabe and Tycho not responded in a manner that was considered less than sensitive while denying that they condoned rape. Or sold a Dickwolves shirt. To say the matter blew up in their faces would be an understatement. The entire thing escalated to the point where both supporters and critics were sending real world death threats to the creators and people who had spoken out against the strip (such as activist Courtney Stanton, who kept a detailed record of them). One critic even said it would be "funny" if someone raped Mike's wife, and Mike and Jerry were accused of siccing their fanbase on their critics when they hadn't done any such thing, and of being rape apologists when they explicitly denied condoning rape in the very strip following the one in question. In the end, the Dickwolves shirts were removed from the store, the creators apologized, but the strip remains in the archives.
Dragon Ball Multiverse had an alternate universe Bojack murder Universe 16 Pan in their fight. Later on, Universe 16 Bra was to fight against Zangya who was Bojack's girlfriend. Universe 16 Vegetto takes her aside and tells her that if she kills or even hurts Zangya in their fight, he'd pull her from the tournament as she needs to control her anger after nearly killing him when they fought Broly. Their fight starts and Bra IMMEDIATELY flips her lid, goes Super Saiyan and murders Zangya in one punch. After Zangya is announced dead, Bra tells Vegetto she did her best and he agrees. Apparently to Vegetto, murdering your opponent in one hit is adequately controlling your anger if you didn't want to kill them. One more reason Bra is the author's personal Jerk Sue.
The limiters placed on the older Saiyans of Universe 18 (Goku and Vegeta) are based on age. The French novel implied that Vegeta is a little stronger than Goku without including his Super Saiyan3 form. How could Vegeta be stronger than (or on par with) Goku (with the limiters considered) if Goku started off stronger than Vegeta and HE'S AT LEAST TEN YEARS YOUNGER THAN HIM?
Goddamn Liz from Cool Cat Studio. All the way through the comic's final chapter she acts like a manipulative, self-absorbed asshole. Your lovers see in you what they want to see after you deliberately project an image of a mysterious sexy woman so you can emotionally protect yourself? Dump them without a second thought because they don't know the 'real you'. You know the woman you're dating has a husband in Iraq? Fuck it, not your problem. Your friend's boyfriend has a temporary Freak Out when he sees his newly born child has a 'condition'? Tell him you plan to use your friend's desperation to get into a relationship with her because she's close enough to the person you really want. The woman you love is having a rough patch with her de facto partner? Sleep with her! But when the story finally comes to a close, does Liz ever get any sort of come-uppance for the way she's been acting? Oh sure, just a great tearful send-off where she lovingly parts with her friends and finally starts coming emotionally close to a lover. Just what she deserves, right? *WHAM*
While 'Ménage Ó 3' is otherwise a really enjoyable read, one particular moment comes to mind. After Gary performs the Swirly-Go-Round on Yuki, Yuki cockteases Gary by saying he deserves to experience what she felt "a thousand times over" while teasingly moving closer to Gary,then going to bed after saying "Someday. Well, g'night!", and the next day, she's constantly asking Gary for more swirls, one of them in the middle of a restaurant. But that was to be expected, since it is still in-character for Yuki and gives more room for Character Development. The problem is that a few arcs before that, Yuki was trying to get over her sexual frustrations and her phobias so her relationship with Gary can work out. So, after all the character development she went through, Yuki doesn't even give Gary a kiss, or even a hug, something to show Gary her appreciation afterwards. All that Character Development Yuki went through and all of Gary's efforts to make their relationship work end up, as viewed by a good portion of the readers, in an unhealthy relationship where Gary seems to be nothing more than a sex toy that's taken for granted. And lastly, that turn of events happened after two strips' worth of readers rejoicing, so we also have a Yank the Dog's Chain moment with a bad timing, not only for the readers that were expecting a huge development to Gary and Yuki, but for Gary as well.
El Goonish Shive: What Ellen and Grace got away with in Raven's class is worthy of a head to the wall, not least because it Flanderized both of their characters into extreme unlikeability. Grace goes from "cutely naive" to "obnoxiously needy," practically going into a panic at the thought that she and Ellen will no longer have identical schedules. This is especially annoying because 1) she just turned 18, yet is acting like a toddler and 2) this isn't a matter of walking into a den of monsters and facing death (which Grace has, in fact, done), it's high school, and she shouldn't need Ellen to hold her hand 24/7. For Ellen's part, she's not standing up for a friend who's being picked on, she's talking back to a teacher who's trying to help her friend not fail the class. Anyone else who showed that level of disrespect for a teacher - and in front of the principal, no less! - would have ended up with a detention at the very least, yet Ellen gets off completely Scot-free.
Most of Dan's reveals were reasonably well pulled off. A major exception to those is Dan's Retcon of Carol the reporter being Sarah's sister. The only hint that Carol was even possibly related to Sarah (let alone her sister) was a single line of dialogue revealing her last name in a strip only 7 strips previous to the reveal. In real time this was 18 days previously; hardly any time at all you consider that Dan introduced the character almost two real time years previously. Dan is usually better at planning his reveals in advance; he even used Carol's dialogue in her very first appearance to foreshadow the boar storyline. This retcon smacks of an Ass Pull; the minimal foreshadowing it had just barely saves it from being a true Ass Pull. The worst part of this retcon is probably its ham-fisted delivery. Dan stuck an editor's note in place of a panel of art which crudely lampshaded the lack of any suitable Audience Surrogate present in the story at that point to be surprised by this reveal then followed up with a shoehorned contrived flashback panel which Dan himself admits only exists to fill a Plot Hole caused by the retcon. It is difficult to imagine a worse way of to have performed this retcon. What makes this retcon so sub-par is the fact that Dan has lampshaded a retcon before with considerably more success. He presented that retcon near the beginning of the Hammerchlorians storyline through in-character dialogue and the use of a characters as Audience Surrogates in a way that was largely accepted by his fans. However, this retcon was widely panned by the fans.
In Vampire Cheerleaders, after the merge with Paranormal Mystery Squad, Leonard gets dethralled by the PMS girls, thus setting up the battle between the protagonists of both comics. The first problem is that Lori gets pissed at Leonard because he told PMS about the Vampire Cheerleaders being Vampires, when the only reason they found out was because Leonard got thralled, when there was absolutely no need to, since he was cool with keeping their secret. Major Villain Ball handling here. And a bit after that scene, when Heather gets questioned about what's going on and Leonard corners her and urges her to tell them about how Lori turned her into a vampire against her will...and Heather says she had a choice, that she chose to be this way...when at no point in the comic is shown that. She was attacked by Lori's coven, lost consciousness and woke up already a vampire. How is that a choice? Many took it as an attempt at a Retcon to garner more sympathy for the Vampire Cheerleaders, when for most readers, they're FAR beyond getting any. Needless to say, the a good deal of readers was not pleased.
The "Breaking Up" arc in Bittersweet Candy Bowl. In the last chapter, Mike and Lucy seemed like they were starting to reconcile, and everyone was happy. Then Lucy hospitalizes herself in a suicide attempt out of nowhere. No build up, no motive, just into the fridge. Even worse? This was how the comic was originally going to end. A blatant case of a Sudden Downer Ending being shoehorned in at the last minute purely for the sake of having one. Not to mention how selfish it makes Lucy appear to be. She has a loving family, a bunch of supportive friends, and close ties with animals that are practically her children, and she was willing to throw it all away just because Mike was in love with another woman.