Comics Creators

What is funny?


So I have what some consider a warped sense of humour. Sometimes my jokes are not appreciated (I think that even happened here once). Whenever I consider my humour I think about these commercials my wife and I would sometimes see on t.v., about work safety. People would get seriously injured, and I would literally laugh hysterically. My wife was disturbed by my reaction, but seriously, it was a commercial, if that happened in real life I would not have the same reaction.
Anyhow, I have been enjoying putting words in the mouths of existing characters, like Peanuts, and Calvin and Hobbes, but I’ve been wanting to do my own characters, and so yesterday that’s what I did. I’m curious, is this too much? I think it’s funny, the friends I’ve shown it to laugh, my mom said it was funny but I shouldn’t share it online, and Facebook removed it and said it didn’t meet their community standards.
I’d love some feedback from anyone here, good or bad. Should I sensor myself? My goal with this cartoon was to make an anti racist joke that would make someone laugh and consider how ridiculous racism really is. I really do value the opinions here, and if everyone says “woe woe woe way to far” I will seriously consider removing this cartoon completely from anywhere online, and thus possibly preserving my future as a respected cartoonist. Or I may just say fuck it, future smuture :rofl:.



I’ve always found that people who get offended by jokes usually attribute the same feelings they’ve had about about jokes made about them that have made them feel bad.

I am lucky enough to grow up in a country where we have a culture where you half to learn to take a joke made about you to gain respect from your peers. I love it, because it’s no holds barred and you get real close to people through banter like that - once you’ve exposed one another’s faults in a comedic way, there’s just common ground left and much more trust. There’s no point people saying things behind your back, for instance, if they can save stuff up and use it as ammunition so you have all those wires exposed instead of ever getting crossed. This should be the job of comedy, but all too often people take offense at things - often things that don’t concern them in the first place. Learning to take a joke should be a fundamental part of anyone’s life.

I have incredibly dark humour, I’ve met Jim in real life so he knows I can take seriously dark shit thrown my way, my close friends are the same and if anything it’s incredibly cathartic, especially when bad stuff happens. You’ll find soldiers and Paramedics and people who regularly see horrible things rely dark humour to make sense of events they become accustomed too.

I think you will get blowback, but if your comedy has depth enough to say something more than just cause outrage, it’s exactly the sort of thing we strive to have broad freedom of speech over. Comedy should have no boundaries as long as it is funny. So I guess the real trick is to make at least some people laugh. If no one at all laughs, it’s not comedy.



I find that the use of the N word in that cartoon turns me off and taints what is otherwise a humorous idea.



Thank you for taking the time to say that.

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I get it. I like it though because it’s so dumb. These kids have huge smiles on their faces and are just saying words their dads taught them, not really grasping the gravity of their words. When I hear Quinten Tarantino talk about a possible “dead nigger storage” sign on his front lawn in Pulp Fiction I cringe inside, but at the same time, he’s playing a part. If I used something less offensive I feel like it wouldn’t be true to this character, the son of a redneck white trash piece of shit, and would actually be less effective.



Just thought I’d share the follow up to that first toon here.



I quite like it. The use of the alien in that format helps the first cartoon seem funnier due to the repetition of him having the punchline. The character’s personalities are better understood so the joke plays better. There’s definitely good potential for humour in the concept, keep at it.



Thank you. I’m looking forward to drawing them drunk and stoned :rofl:

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Good stuff.

Just remember to be careful that if you use stuff like the N-word it better be damned funny and have a good point to make when you do!

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I totally agree. It’s not my goal to hurt anyone or make them feel like their being attacked. I actually have mixed race siblings whom I love dearly. True racism is absolutely not acceptable to me. That’s why I made an anti racist cartoon. I do plan on using more language that you would never find in your Sunday funnies, but that’s part of what makes working for myself so great. I may not make money, but I don’t have to water anything down for advertisers and sponsor and big corporations.

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So I just read this article where 2 cartoonists are apologizing for their work in the past two weeks. Here are the cartoons…


I agree these aren’t funny, but are offensive and/or inappropriate. Got me thinking what would I do if I was going to do a cartoon on this topic. Maybe Wilson-Raybould looking powerful in the background while she testifies, and Trudeau in the foreground whispering to someone that he “thought these people would take blankets with smallpox?” Is that any better? I think it’s funny, in a horrible kind of way. I might draw it out and see how it works. Obviously these types of cartoons are like walking a tightrope.



Simplified my idea, what do you guys think? (Did some more work on this this morning, if you saw my previous post, which I deleted)



Know what’s funny? Ronnie’s penis.

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I haven’t seen it, I’ll take your word for it :rofl:



It’s like an acorn that’s been left out in the sun.

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…to grow into an oak tree. :wink:



hahaha. I thought you might say it’s funny because it has a great stand up routine.



Being really funny in cartooning is surprisingly difficult. Even most professional cartoonists are only amusing. Bill Waterson, of course, was a master at another level.

Zoologists once studied chimpanzees to find out what made them laugh. Chimps actually laugh and find many of the same things funny that we human apes do. They would actually play pranks on each other. The simplest one is what every kid would do to his or her mother. Hide behind something and jump out at them.

The way the zoologists expressed it is that the laugh was a response to something they thought was scary, but turned out to be completely safe. That it begins as a shriek of terror and then, once the terror is revealed to be a prank, the tension is released as a laugh.

I think laughs work like that for us too, but our society is just a lot more complex. We’re building up anxious tension in our daily lives and need to release it, and laughing is one of the most enjoyable ways to do that. Which is why the comedy that makes us laugh the most is usually the most transgressive and has been since the days of Aristophanes. They take our family life, our reputations, our love lives, our politics and our jobs and essentially makes all the things that plague us with worry every day look ridiculous.

However, the challenge is that you really have to risk scaring people and falling flat on your face because essentially a comedian has to take a subject that people care about and then make fun of it. But it has to express some absurd truth about that topic that everyone can immediately relate to. It has to punch them in the face - which is why it’s called a “punch” line - before they can really think about it.

If they don’t take that risk, then they are just amusing.

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Wow, thanks for that awesome reply.