Comics Creators

Your Comic Book Pet Peeves.


I read the first issue of Spider-Gwen earlier. Aside from being generally a tad underwhelming (and not bothering to explain much to people who hadn’t read Edge of Spider-Verse), it contained one of my biggest pet peeves to be found in comics.

Can you spot it?

“Em Jay”.
Why? Seriously, why phonetically spell out MJ? Are they worried people aren’t going to realise it’s a set of initials? Do they think people don’t know how to pronounce the letters M and J? The same issue uses “I.D.” and “D.A.”, so what makes “MJ” so special? It’s weird and oddly aggravating.

What are your pet peeves in comic books?


I bet you get annoyed when Star Wars books call the droids Artoo and Threepio too.


The usage of the phrase “We haven’t begun to fight yet”. This is usually delivered when some superhero is suckerpunched and is lying in a corner, looking defiant…it always sounds so incongruous. It is such a hacky line of dialogue. Does anyone talk like that?


I really don’t like those gatefold centre spread advert pamphlets Marvel have in their books from time to time. They’re even more annoying when their inserted on top of a double page spread and throw you off the story’s flow.


Namechecking. I hate namechecking.

Whether it’s clumsily crowbarred into a conversation (usually in the middle of a battle!)…

or even worse, the dreaded self-namecheck…

…it’s the dumbest contrivance for character identification and just shows off how poor the art is since the characters aren’t instantly identifiable (and how weak the writing is because the dialogue is so unbelievable).


This is a problem that will immediately make me stop reading.
It’s why i have difficulty with a lot of older stuff.

I also hate it when a character decribes what they are doing as they are doing it, or even a caption doing the same. Just write a book instead mate.

My biggest hate is when an artist is incapable of telling a story or if i can’t tell what is going on because of the art. Basically not doing the job they are paid to do. If you want to make pretty pictures first, storytelling second then go do covers.


I always talk like that when I’ve been suckerpunched by a supervillain. Don’t you? :open_mouth:


I take it all back :smile:


The other thing I always do is start to think something and yell the last words of the thought out loud. Like this:

(Thought) “He thinks I’m down for the count but I’m just luring him closer so I can–”
(Speech) “DO THIS!!!

That’s a perfectly normal way to act in a fight. Isn’t it? :worried:


Yes, that’s a weird one. It’s amazing that villains never stop to ask the hero what he’s on about.


I think a big one for me is when there’s a mismatch between the swiftness of an action being shown in a panel, and the amount of dialogue included in that panel.

Take something like this:

The long back-and-forth robs the panel of the feeling that it’s a split-second shot capturing Batman as he swings past Green Lantern, with the extended conversation instead making it feel like the two are hanging awkwardly in mid-air.

(That isn’t the worst offender, just the first example I could think of and find.)

It’s why I always enjoy the staccato multi-panel banter that Morrison puts in his superhero comics. Stuff like the two middle panels of this page:

It emphasises the swiftness of the action, rather than undermining it.

(I’m sure I remember Dave Gibbons saying that one of the few changes to the Watchmen script that he suggested was a panel during an action scene that he felt had too much dialogue for the length of time it would take to complete the action depicted. He said Moore came back and managed to reword it to say the same thing in about half as many words.)


Comic fans complaining about comic books. Ugh! :wink:


I hate when they call each other Code Names. In the real world, I feel like it would be a default to just use last names or first names, not constantly call each other Hawkeye, Storm, Havok, etc…


The majority of sound effects aren’t needed. Watchmen obviously did well without them, using visual cues to indicate when for example the kettle in the background had reached boiling.

I don’t think they need to be barred altogether, but instead saved for when they’re telling you something you can’t otherwise already know.

Movement off panel, or an unexpected texture (a seemingly human character being punched, met with a “CLANNG” to indicate they’re in fact a robot instead, for example).

I long ago developed the habit of not even reading them, I barely notice them but the big ones often obscure way too much of the pencil//ink artwork, and for no good reason. It’s an explosion - we know what that sounds like. It’s a punch to the face - we know what that sounds like. It’s a gunshot - we know what that sounds like. Cut it out.

The other one would be characters illustrated with closed mouths when speaking - Hitch is or was a regular “offender”. Maybe it doesn’t bother others as much, but it’s really distracting for me.


I’ve just realised that the line of dialogue I mentioned is on the cover of Fantastic Four issue 1…Can I withdraw my challenge please? :wink:

No offense was meant to either Stan or Jack.


People complaining about other people complaining are so cool! :sunglasses:


That’s funny because I absolutely hate it when comics don’t have the sound effects. It always leaves the profuct feeling unfinished. It’s the worst thing about Warren Ellis comics (apart from the ones that are horrendously decompressed).
I can’t get into an action scene as much without them, it’s like watching them on mute.
Sometimes they go overboard and cover a panel (usually in Marvel comics), but there are plenty of artists who integrate them really well.
I don’t ever want to read a Star Wars comic without them. Oh wait, isn’t that Marvel have been doing with their comics? I knew there was a reason why the lightsaber battles didn’t have much weight to them.


But we don’t get sound effects for everything - a fist fight in the rain, there isn’t a “drip” for every raindrop hitting the characters or the ground, or “sploosh” for every footstep in a puddle - so why the need for a “smack” where blows are struck?


Visceral effect.

Of course, you don’t need them nowadays because you can have literal viscera.


I’d much rather see all of that Coipel art than a massive “Splortch!” over the top.