Stylistic Choices vs. Accessability:

Total posts: [5]
1 MrAHR22nd Feb 2011 03:11:25 AM from ಠ_ಠ , Relationship Status: A cockroach, nothing can kill it.
Ahr river
When is does 'it's the style' become a detriment to the story?

For instance, art-wise, Goblins: Life through their eyes is VERY stylistic and has a specific design to them.

At the same time, it gets criticized a lot for that stylized design, due to it causing narm and making every girl's back in a deep curve. I have argued this myself, and despite greatly enjoying the webcomic, I do think that here is where style does not serve as an excuse.

Then you have something like Order Of The Stick, which is simplistic stick figures, but don't tell one of the fans that the art is bad. They will argue this point. As would I.

Then you get stuff like Homestuck, which rattles off personality traits, likes, dislikes and what else have you in a basic list format, which might be seen as a horrible breakage of 'show don't tell,' but I have seen many people defend it as 'part of the style.'

So, obviously, thanks to subjectivity we can never have one strict line, but how much exemption from criticism should 'style' be allowed? Should it be critized regardless? Is it more important to conform to standards and use tried and true methods that are understandable, or try something new and edgy that might be rough around the edges, if not outright a mess?
2 storyyeller22nd Feb 2011 06:30:51 AM from Appleloosa , Relationship Status: RelationshipOutOfBoundsException: 1
More like giant cherries
Darn. From the title, I thought this was going to be about poorly designed websites.
Life is simple: it has no nontrivial normal subgroups.
3 BobbyG22nd Feb 2011 10:58:43 AM from the Silvery Tay
vigilantly taxonomish
I think it depends on the apparent intent and the resulting effect. It's obvious that the characters in The Order of the Stick and Homestuck are not meant to be anatomically accurate; OotS in particular uses a consistently simplistic style that doesn't really resemble human beings at all. They are nevertheless expressive and serve to make the characters look distinctive and funny, rather than badly drawn.

Goblins uses what looks like an attempt at a slightly more traditional cartoon art style, which is probably why the anatomical inaccuracies get criticised.

As for the Homestuck character introductions, those are justified, I think, by the fact that the story is set up like a game rather than a traditional narrative. The descriptions aren't telling us who they are, they're telling us who we are now.
4 Pykrete22nd Feb 2011 11:04:03 AM from Viridian Forest
I get the feeling the occasional Narm in Goblins is at least half intentional given its tendencies toward Sliding Scale of Comedy and Horror. Given my usual tastes tend to be toward things that can comfortably bounce around on that, I don't really mind the stylistic choice and feel like it fits what Thunt is trying to do.

That said, he does tend to get a little Liefeldy when drawing women. Although in at least one case, even that was on purpose.

I think stylistic art is one of those things that you can only really call it a problem when it starts being a problem. Personally I'd place that at around the same traits you would — when it starts interfering with the tone the author is trying to hit — but I think our variance in when that boundary is hit is (among decent artists at least) more significant than what boundaries we're looking for.

edited 22nd Feb '11 11:07:46 AM by Pykrete

5 MrAHR22nd Feb 2011 05:34:31 PM from ಠ_ಠ , Relationship Status: A cockroach, nothing can kill it.
Ahr river
@Bobby G: But that's just it, homestuck wise. When I read those character lists, I HATED them. They contributed nothing to the plot, they told instead of showed and seemed like lazy writing, and I still felt that way regardless of whether it fit the 'computer game' theme or not.

So in this case, does style make up for it?
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Total posts: 5