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Strawman Has A Point / Webcomics

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  • On Living with Insanity, the creator bemoans how an unknown artist can’t make a living by making original content instead of drawing established characters, showing a woman ignoring the lead character pitching his original independent comedy comic and getting excited over an artist who drew Green Lantern, followed by a profitable crowd. The problem with this is that the cover of the independent comic is literally just a close-up of a pair of breasts. If you had never heard of a story before and your first impression of it was the creator at a convention proudly displaying his boob artwork, you'd most likely ignore him for the Green Lantern guy yourself.
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  • In Jay Naylor's comic Original Life, the small girl Angelica was created as a strawman into which Naylor stuffed everything he hated, from politics to spirituality to musical taste. She's also widely considered the most likeable and sympathetic character in the strip, since she seems to be one of the few characters that doesn't act like a complete Jerkass to everyone around her. For six months, she waged a campaign against the strip's Objectivist protagonists, and most reader reaction was rooting for her.
  • While Suzette from Precocious is typically set up as a hateful feminist extremist, she does make a valid point about gender roles in this strip, where she rants against the Double Standard present in most advertising.
  • Red String:
    • Near the end, Kazuo is made to appear jealous and desperate by pointing out that he's upset Miharu is dating Makoto because he's a terrible person. While we're meant to see Makoto as the good guy and Kazuo the needy jealous ex, Kazuo is exactly right - Kazuo voiced his opinion because Makoto was so petty and jealous that he grabbed Miharu by the wrist and dragged her away from Kazuo without telling him. On top of that, while we're supposed to be sympathizing with Makoto's relationship, it's hard to feel like Kazuo is crossing any boundaries when Makoto is literally dating Miharu because he never stopped cheating on his own fiance to aggressively pursue Miharu while she was still in love with and planning to marry Kazuo. And as we are supposed to be thinking Makoto is this great guy that Kazuo doesn't understand, Makoto is at that moment screaming at Miharu in public (though out of earshot of Kazuo) for being too stupid to understand what Kazuo "really" wants. The scene ends with Miharu apologizing to Makoto, seemingly proving Kazuo right about what a terrible boyfriend he is, though the story presents her apology as a romantic moment sealing them as a perfect couple.
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    • In Kazuo's final scene in the main storyline, he is again portrayed as a villain for angrily telling Makoto that he treated Miharu and her family's business like they were his property and he'd gotten his hands on both with no effort. Makoto angrily rebuffs that he "worked hard" to get what he wanted and that Miharu seems to "not care" that he "acts like an idiot." We are intended to take Makoto's side, but Kazuo is dead right - Makoto is literally dating Miharu entirely because Kazuo's father literally started beating him up to pressure him to end his engagement with Miharu. Makoto only has the restaurant because in spite of him not keeping up his end of the bargain and marrying Karen, his parents bought the restaurant anyway because the Ogawas inexplicably like him. On top of that, Makoto is clearly still treating Miharu like his property because he is presuming to speak for her and has, on this subject in particular, berated her into apologizing to him or blatantly ignored her. Furthermore, while Makoto is angrily telling Kazuo he's a "puppet of his parents", Kazuo points out that Makoto's had an easy life because his parents give him everything he wants. Makoto's dispute that he works hard is rather weak when his parents are constantly shown bending over backwards to get him whatever he wants, even if its extremely expensive or time-consuming. And how does the story end to prove that Makoto works hard? He calls his parents and arranges for them to let him quit his job so he can date Miharu full time. As the call is not shown, it appears that Makoto got no opposition whatsoever. Miharu is elated that he made all her choices for her. In the original script, it even read like they were literally letting him sponge off them without him ever planning to get another job. But no. We are really supposed to think Kazuo is being petty and jealous of the greatness that is Makoto, despite him once again being the only voice of sanity in the closing pages of the comic.
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    • Kazuo just racks these up. Even earlier in the comic, Miharu decided the way to magically solve his abusive homelife was to get Kikuko to pretend she was in love with him and willing to marry him, all to convince Kazuo to enter cooking contests. Miharu felt this would teach him he had a choice. When Kazuo finally realized the entire thing was her manipulating him, we're intended to feel that he's crossed a line and hurt Miharu by confronting both Kikuko and Miharu. Instead, especially given later events in the story, it's hard not to feel sorry for him - his father actually beats the crap out of him whenever he tries to assert himself, and now he's learned that Kikuko's warming up to him was all a lie. Not to mention, winning a cooking contest would not fix his homelife. Much later in the comic, after he's Driven to Suicide, Miharu finally admits to Makoto that her plan was stupid, but the story wants us to think she's being too hard on herself.
  • In Sonichu, several trolls are on trial for murdering a character. The trial is quickly derailed to have more to do about their respective webcomics, and one of the characters, stoned off his mind, complains about the author's lack of work ethic. There are several tirades about letting the author write as he wants, but the stoner was right. Not updating can be a serious detriment to the success of any franchise. Sadly, this was played dead serious (literally, as this was used as evidence for their executions), rather than lampshading the hell about the absurdity of it all.
  • In Sticky Dilly Buns, Ruby is presented as something of a Sour Prude who will be happier when she gets a boyfriend. However, when she tells other cast members that not everything is about sex and that it's possible to be happy as a "self-actualizing ugly stepsister", it's perhaps easier to side with her than the writers intended.
  • This Subnormality comic was probably intended as a massive Take That! to professional sports, but it ruins it by making Brian the Brain seem like a whiny elitist and the other two characters intelligent guys who just enjoy turning him off and relaxing every now and then. "Take a break from intellectualism every now and then" is probably a better moral than "Watching sports will make you an idiot misogynistic racist homophobic criminal". It's just as easy to take the comic as intentionally arguing the former moral, rather than the latter. Rowntree himself commented that it could be interpreted either way, and the comic is meant to point out the "cognitive dissonance regarding hockey in particular".
  • When Sinfest switched over to introduce the Sisterhood arc (the Sisterhood being a team of straw feminists lead by the strip's Creator's Pet), the male characters were increasingly shown surrounded by fembots programmed to be everything the customer could desire. This is shown as a bad thing, and indeed the men are regularly forced to confront how their actions victimize the fembots. However... the behavior of the female characters is such that the males can be considered justified in preferring to pay for the company of companions who don't treat them as the enemy. Interestingly enough, the single pairing of nonbot male and female (Criminy and Fuschia) are also the only ones who fail to even acknowledge the concept of a gender war or the Matrix-ish "Patriarchy."
  • Wondermark
    • This comic is meant to be a humorous illustration of an annoying internet habit, now known as "Sea Lioning."note  Many people, including The Other Wiki's Jimmy Wales, have pointed out that the humans insulted all sea lions everywhere, in public, and that the sea lion had every right to call them out on it, only becoming a villain when invading the other person's home, which isn't really equivalent to criticizing publicly-posted remarks on Twitter.
    • A later strip portrays someone who complains about having to worry about other people's feelings when speaking as a self-centered jerk. It's actually quite likely both parties in the sea lion strip were supposed to be wrong, and many people missed it, which the second strip was intended to correct.
  • Politically Incorrect Man sees three pairs of people, each consisting of one "PC" and one "un-PC" character, having a disagreement about a sensitive political topicnote . Each time, the eponymous "superhero" flies in and carries the "un-PC" character's point to an exaggerated, strawman extreme, then flies away. Finally, another "superhero" named "Mx. Respect for Others" flies in and gives what is intended to be a "The Reason You Suck" Speech. Their tactics, however, are Not So Different from Politically Incorrect Man's: They fly in, make vague and general pronouncements only tangentially related to the point at hand, and then fly away; the only real difference is that, as an Author Avatar, they are given more space to expound on their point. It's hard to imagine that any of the three pairs of characters' (who, unlike the superheroes, were at least conversing politely and respectfully with one another) conflicts were actually resolved, and it's hard to imagine anyone's opinion being changed. Hence, to a reader who comes into the comic already inclined to agree with Politically Incorrect Man's worldview, the strawman has a point, whereas to a reader who comes into the comic already inclined to agree with Mx. Respect For Others, they're merely preaching to the choir.
  • The premise of Customer Service Wolf is the challenges of customer service set in a World of Funny Animals. That is, animals act unreasonable to a Customer Service Wolf who eats the customer at the end. However, one of those unreasonable customers was a rabbit that is outraged that... the business lets the wolf eat the customers. Even taking into account the fact that they live in a world where animals eat other animals, the business is expecting animals (especially predator animals) to engage in business with those same animals, too. The customers tend to be prey animals (especially wolves' prey); they would justifiably be uncomfortable with the idea of getting so close with a wolf, even if the wolf is just at work. Besides, you would reasonably expect the the worker to engage safely and respectfully with you, regardless of species. While the Customer Service Wolf lunges only at the Unsatisfiable Customer (and sometimes does not even go that far), even one incidence of the wolf eating the customer would be explosive in this delicate environment. Other customers, who would be minding their own business before they notice the prey screaming (or dead), would likely not be aware of what provoked the wolf; they would suspect that the wolf attacked the customer out of hunger, being a predator, or no reason at all. Even if they did know, the prey would rather just bail in fear of provoking the predator and maybe even warn other prey of "the business that lets the staff eat the customers". Even if the prey did understand that the Customer Service Wolf only eats Unsatisfiable Customers, the prey would still warn others about the condition, risking a panic. Even if the Customer Service Wolf made the customers keep quiet, other prey would notice the animal not wanting to go to that particular business and notice what is wrong. Already, prey animals may have noticed that some prey animals that go to the business never return. In all ways, prey would stop patronizing the business in question (making the business go bankrupt)... or worse. There is also the simpler fact that, if you eat all of your customers, you end up with no customers, which means no profits, which also means a bankrupt business. Not helping matters is that the rabbit that raised this point got arguably the worst retribution of the whole comic series.
  • A comic by sweetbeans99 has a supermarket employee expressing joy over famous YouTuber PewDiePie's home being burglarized. Another supermarket employee asks her how would she like it if she herself was robbed, to which the other employee sarcastically retorts how they will be great friends. Immediately after the comic was posted, people took the side of the employee calling her out, and even made comics and fanart about the New Guy.

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