What Did I Learn?

weekly webcomic reviews by Delos

(this is a repost)

As you can see, Patches by Kelly Vivanco has its own look and feel. Along with the brown paper background and single line work, it has a very particular sort of humor.

In many comics, the humor is driven by the characters. They might have silly qualities or even a funny name. Patches has characters who don’t even know each others’ names or even what kind of creature they are. Some don’t even know what their gender is, according to a few of the comics I read. There are actually a number of named characters listed on the About page, all of whom have a distinct look. But this is not the kind of humor that Patches excels at.

Besides character humor, you also find situational humor in many comics. That’s when a character is in an uncomfortable position or suffering from consequences of previous events. Patches has a little of that humor as well.

A third kind of humor you might see in comics is that kind where you have things contrasted with each other that don’t make sense at first. The punchline is when you realize what the connection is. It is usually out of left field; totally unrelated to what is going on in the comic. This is where Patches shines.

I could relate one or two of them to you as an example, but that would rob you of the payoff. Once you’ve put the work in to understand the jokes, the punchlines are more enjoyable and they come easier. You value something more if you work for it a little bit.

Patches is fun. If you let your mind wander a bit, you can easily see how your mind could make these kinds of connections. It’s actually kind of astounding how many of these things the artist has managed to draw for our enjoyment since 2003.

What did I learn?

Explore different kinds of humor, but return to what you do best. Don’t be afraid to make the audience do a little work to appreciate your work. There’s room for all kinds of approaches to comics, so don’t be afraid to do something a little different like we see in Patches.

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