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Self Deprecation / Webcomics

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Their print comic, at least.note 
  • This Sluggy Freelance strip joked that a (fictional) wrongful hiring scandal had drastically hurt the strip's viewership. "Two people used to read Sluggy Freelance. Now only one does. In percentage terms, this is devastating for the comic."
  • In this strip of The Order of the Stick, one of the demon roaches says, "They'll let any old hack write a sourcebook these days" in reference to the strip's acid-breathing shark. The acidborn template, with the specific example of the acidborn shark, appears in the Dungeons & Dragons sourcebook Dungeonscape, co-written by OotS author Rich Burlew.
    • Which begs the question of whether Rich first dreamed up the acid-breathing shark for his webcomic, and included it in the sourcebook merely to lay the groundwork for his Take That Me...
    • Each print compilation of The Order of the Stick comics opens with a Foreword by one of the characters. Typically they spend the Foreword mocking the concept of the strip, the writing of the strip, the art style, and the reader's intellect for having wasted their money on an amateurish comic they could have read for free.
    • In Snips, Snails, and Dragon Tales, the Order is telling stories to one another. In Belkar's, the heroes die, which doesn't amuse the rest of the group:
      Elan: Belkar, I can't think of a single story where the protagonist dies.
      Roy: Ahem.
      Elan: Well, at least, not any that are worth the paper they are printed on.
  • Com'c has Block in regular conversation and conflict with the author, Krixwell, sometimes delivering jabs at the writing of the comics.
    • In the str'p where Krixwell is introduced, Block complains that Krixwell's simple answer left the str'p without a punchline, which ends up as the punchline:
      Block: And with that, this str'p is left without a punchline.
      Block: You're a terrible author, Krixwell.
  • Katie Teidrich notes that Self-Deprecation is the best way to get undying praise, any real artist's bane.
    • Josh Lesnick, in response, obliged by offering advice on how to improve her puppy-kicking technique.
  • Eskimo Bob did this with "Eskimo Sucks".
  • Something*Positive occasionally features Choo-Choo Bear "off-stage" to address the reader directly, declaring that his author is a lazy, talentless hack who can't get his act together.
    Choo-Choo Bear: Alas, dear readers, you know when you see me Randy is planning something "special." It'll be over quickly, I promise ... And if you hate it, don't worry. It's not like this will be the project Mr. "I swear I'll update Midnight Macabre" will actually finish."
    • In another strip, Milholland gives a nod to the Fourth Wall when PeeJee asks, "Why does everything around here revolve around sex?" and Davan, who's reading a book, mutters, "Bad writing." When glanced at in curiosity, he says, "I'm reading a John Grisham book, worst writing I've ever seen." Milholland also draws filler strips with himself in them, usually self-deprecating in some way. This version of his Author Avatar even has a razor blade with hands and feet as his muse, who constantly says/does whatever he can think of to make Milholland miserable or want to kill himself.
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    • And then there's this strip. Technically, Milholland did subvert a little of what the character predicted. A little.
  • Jayden and Crusader embodied this trope for much of its early stages. Later the self-deprecation slackened a little, but it's still there.
  • This Dominic Deegan strip has Mookie poking fun at his own inability to draw noticeably different faces.
  • Polk Out tends to rely on self-deprecating humor.
  • Girl Genius: Phil and Kaja Foglio's Hugo Award acceptance speech.
    • Also Phil's in-story avatar is a storyteller who renders anyone forced to listen to one of his stories comatose with boredom.
  • Al Schroeder did it twice in Mindmistress, making fun from his artwork.
  • See the title of this El Goonish Shive comic.
  • When Tang Ho needs someone to function as a Butt-Monkey, his first choice is generally his own Author Avatar.
  • Tom Siddell, the author of Gunnerkrigg Court. Not so much in the comic itself (Tom doesn't write himself into the comic and promises that he never will) but in talking with his fans: If you ask him about the art, he'll probably tell you that he thinks it's bad and that it used to be worse. If you ask him about the hollow-eyed cartoon self-portraits resembling male variant of Zimmy he uses as avatars, he'll tell you that they're more handsome than he is.
  • 8-Bit Theater: there's lampshading the metric buttloads of Filler, and then there's his footnoted clarification of a point about "most consistent work you've ever seen online."
    Terrible work is still consistent work.
    • Strip 1,000 was called "I can’t believe someone was asshole enough to make 1,000 sprite comics." Strip 1,001 was called "I can’t believe someone was asshole enough to make more than 1,000 sprite comics."
    • In another comic, Black Mage gives a Slight-Induced Rant about all the Anti Climaxes they've been through and finally says Screw This, I'm Outta Here!.
  • The author of Word Salad Humor Tragic Deaths is also the main character, and he dies almost Once an Episode
  • Homestuck pokes fun at its own Kudzu Plot here.
    GT: Boggle vacantly at these shenanigans.
    It begins to dawn on you that everything you just did may have been a colossal waste of time.
    • And then there's Hussie making fun of Vriska's Creator's Pet status by having his Author Avatar propose to her...only to get clocked in the face and turn up sobbing pathetically later on.
    • From the newsposts:
    I will be attending ECCC in Seattle this weekend. If you would like to come see your favorite cartoonist ever, this could be your chance. And if you go there and find your favorite cartoonist is unavailable, you can always come see me instead. I will console you. This kind of humor is known by professionals as "self deprecation" and as you can see I'm quite good at it.
  • Living With Insanity has a few of these. One has to wonder if David Herbert really does think he's a talentless hack who lucked out with a great artist.
    • After reading his blog posts, it seems he really does. He praises his collaborators and insults himself often.
  • Much of The Way of the Metagamer, particularly during its self-MSTing.
  • The Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal voteys often engage in this; a common theme is to depict a naked Zach ironically praising the joke or subject matter of the main comic.
    "Ha! Any use of "decontextualised" is funny!"
    • Another common one is to have Zach's girlfriend/wife/family looking angrily over his shoulder while he's drawing and maybe commenting. One time she likes the strip a lot — and Zach calls her weird.
    • When he went back and did voteys for the first few years of strips ten or more years later, a large number of them ended up as variations of "I don't get it" and "Who Writes This Crap?!" Once, in reference to the previous point, we have older Zach looking over young Zach's shoulder angrily.
    • There are also several voteys talking about how comics suck.
  • When PvP wins an Eisner award, Penny Arcade takes some time off from making fun of Scott Kurtz to make fun of themselves.
  • Dork Tower creator John Kovalic sometimes couples this with Breaking the Fourth Wall to poke fun at himself.
    Ken: "Let's admit it, Kovalic's about as organized as a wet mound of marmots."
  • In the webcomic Jack, Artie Sullivan dislikes an author for being too gory when he's not being too preachy. The author is (who else?) David Hopkins.
  • LDS cartoonist Howard Tayler pokes fun of his own religion, with a joke about Mormons being teetotal in this strip from Schlock Mercenary. Early strips also contain jabs at the initial poor quality of the artwork.
    Kevyn: Look at it this way, guys. If you have an infinite number of monkeys banging on an infinite number of hypernet terminals, for an infinite amount of time, eventually you'll crank out all the great works of Howard Tayler.
    Narrator: Note: This can actually be done with three monkeys in fifteen minutes.
  • Doc Nickel, of The Whiteboard fame, takes a swing at himself in this April Fools' Day strip, on the subject of Only Six Facesnote .
  • Questionable Content creator Jeph Jacques introduced the character of Yelling Bird into the comic, whose sole purpose is to berate him when he is unable to get the comic up on time for various reasons. Yelling Bird doesn't stop there, though.
    • In this regular comic, Angus is reading Butts LOL: The Jeph Jacques Story.
  • A slightly more subtle version in Spinnerette. Protagonist Super Heroine Heather admits to hating manga style comics. Odd considering the general art style of the comic.
  • During chapter 58 of Welcome to the Convenience Store one character is showing off short (yet true) stories that have happened. At the end the manager says that the artist/writer was just being incredibly lazy.
  • In Sinfest, one character reads Sinfest. Criminy's anthropomorphic feminism book reacts badly. Also a regular staple for whenever the Author Avatar character shows up.
    Drone: Sinfest: Juvenile Humor. Lowbrow. Trashy. Cultural relevance: Low.
  • VG Cats has at times mocked the creator's habit of Schedule Slip. Even his Author Avatar, Pantsman, turns out to be a lazy freeloader with a weakness for vodka.
  • David Morgan-Mar, author of Irregular Webcomic!, periodically mocks his own drawing skills and penchant for awful, awful puns. He even once convinced Jane Goodall to pretend to slap him for how he portrayed her LEGO alter-ego. (Well, actually, he asked her to pretend to punch him - she convinced him a monkey-slap would be more in-character for her!)
  • Dragon Ball Multiverse: Raditz makes a comment about Dabura "being affected by such a simple technique." The technique in question: the Makankousappo.
  • Basic Instructions: How to Utilize Research to Maximize Chances for Success
    Ric: I searched for a field of endeavor that anyone, regardless of their lack of skill, talent or taste has a chance of success. I chose webcomics.
    Scott: Of course.
  • Mark Shallow of Adventurers! took a potshot at his older artwork towards the end. In a flashback during a conversation between Khrima and Cody, he briefly reverted to the old art style. Then had Khrima insult it.
    Khrima: Hey! My head was not that square, and I believe you had fingers.
  • Ozy and Millie creator Dana Simpson also does some songwriting. One strip had the lyrics to one of her songs appear, and Felicia mocked the heavy use of overly emotional metaphors.
  • Chapter 4 of Apricot Cookie(s)! starts with a barrage of this as Apricot and Starlet are discussing the comic book that the latter created:
    • The comic reads left-to-right, the opposite direction of what would be expected, which Apricot describes as "dumb and confusing".
    • After Starlet decides that it's too late to change the reading direction, Apricot suggests making it into "a funny meta-joke in a later chapter"—which is what Louistrations just did—and Starlet dismisses the idea in order to not be seen as a "smartass".
    • Then Starlet rails on anyone who would make their comic in full color, shown above.
  • Several comics of The Petri Dish have the characters calling the cartoonist lazy.
  • A Simple Thinking About Blood Type portrays Type O as being the most prone to misfortune, and often receives brunt of Type AB's Brutal Honesty and snide remarks. The author/cartoonist is a Type O himself and has admitted that the character is based on himself.


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