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"If you can't draw, never fear, just steal some graphics from your favorite video game. And add yet another unlicensed pixel comic to the overcrowded, overstunk landfill of web comics."

A sprite comic is a comic, most usually a webcomic, that uses sprites from video games for the majority of its visual work. A "sprite", in computer graphics, is a 2D object that moves around; the characters and enemies in video games, especially earlier ones, are good examples of these. The comic is not about pixies, more often than not.

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An artist chooses to use sprite art in their comic for various reasons. Sometimes, the "artist" has no drawing skill but still has the desire to make a comic. In other cases, the artist's skills lie in manipulation or creation of their own sprites. In still other cases, the artist wishes to achieve a distinct look. In other cases, the artist attempts to replicate the look used in the original work, in the case of a fancomic.

Sprite comics that use ripped sprites have a reputation for being poor quality in terms of writing, humour and visuals; as they're easy to create, those with the least skill often gravitate toward them. However, there are many notable exceptions, enough to justify giving a newly discovered sprite comic the benefit of the doubt.

Was very prevalent in the years between 2000 and 2007. But recently it seems to have gone through a decline, as more people seem to be aware of the negative thoughts associated with sprite comics, as well as many of the most influential sprite comics ending their runs. Another major issue (which many of the most prominent creators have pointed out when warning people off from making them) is that it's difficult to make money off of one if you're successful - you generally can't sell physical volumes or anything of that nature due to copyright issues.

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A sprite comic is distinct from a Pixel Art Comic in that the majority of the visuals are sprites. Also not to be confused with the comic Sprite by Donald Rooum.

See also Machinomics.


Examples:

  • The majority of the BZPower comics forum are these. Though rather than using video game ripped sprites, they use sprites created by artists in a different forum. It's so prolific that it's developed into its own subculture, and the amount of good ones possibly exceeds 10%, due to BZPower's decreasing and maturing userbase.
  • One of the earliest notable sprite comics was Bob and George, which played a big role in the genre becoming popular in the first place. Ironically, the sprite comic started as filler for a hand-drawn comic that never got off the ground. Instead, the author used the sprite comic to tell the sometimes comical, sometimes dramatic tale of two super-powered siblings trapped in the universe of the Mega Man games.
  • Dave Anez also hosts a number of sprite comics on the Bob and George site. Two particularly notable ones would be:
  • 8-Bit Theater is a fractured Sadist Show retelling of the first Final Fantasy game for the NES. The "heroes" of our tale are Fighter McWarrior (a naive nimrod obsessed with swords), Black Mage Evilwizardington (a Heroic Comedic Sociopath, though calling someone who was briefly King of Hell "heroic" is stretching the term to the breaking point), Thief Prince Elf of Clan Khee'bler (an elf with a fondness for exploiting the stupidity of those around him with convoluted, fine-print laden contracts, enforced by his crack teams of Lawyer Ninjas), White Mage (the resident Only Sane Woman, who also plays the Deadpan Snarker when Black Mage isn't available) and Red Mage Statscowski (the Munchkin personified, complete with stat-fudging, rules-lawyering, and needlessly complicated plans thwarted by either circumstance, or blissful ignorance of his own stupidity). Quite possibly the single most successful sprite comic ever made, as it served as the launchpad for Brian Clevinger's general creative career and inspired countless imitators.
  • Life of Wily: One of many that tried to Follow the Leader after Bob and George, though it tried its best to find its own voice.
  • Captain SNES: The Game Masta: A version of Captain N: The Game Master set in 2001, starring a new "champion" as he tries to figure out a way to save Videoland from being shot to hell. For Mature audiences only.

Alternative Title(s): Sprite Comics

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