I’m a fan of the F-word. BIG fan. I love it almost as much as I love the S-word. I also like lewd and/or tasteless humor as well as horrific violence. Thankfully there is no shortage of any of these things in our beloved uncensored land of web-comics, but what about the people who don’t like bad language, naked parts, or bloody decapitations? And what about the little kids whose parents have blocked all of those things? The Internet has comics for them too.
I am of course referring to the family friendly comics of: Acorn Place, On the Rocks, Ugly Hill, and many more I have failed to mention here. Each of these comics show a certain restraint (that is lacking in many other comics of the internet) balanced with a healthy quality so that their strips are well done, entertaining, and far from edgy. Some creators (like those at Make Like a Tree Comics) have gone as far as rating their material visibly for the reader or the reader’s parent. Now of course I am not claiming that all of the internet’s comic creators should be as family friendly, or even that there should be a rating/warning posted on any of them, but there is something to be said for the creator’s who choose the safe ground as opposed to the edge.
I deeply believe that, “dirty words are the language of the ignorant”, but that certainly has never stopped me from screaming “MOTHER F*CKER” every time I stub my toe. Conversely, I believe Stephen King when he says: “If your character means ‘I gotta take a sh*t’ you shouldn’t make them say ‘Have a moment to defecate.’” But this doesn’t mean that we must be devoid of taste or restraint.
The scriptwriters of the old noir movies believed this (or were forced to believe it) thus they worked harder to make their scripts flow just as truthfully. In the movie “Casablanca” One character was grievously left by the love of his life only to see her again some years later on the arm of her husband in his own saloon. Also in the movie a police officer made business by trading beautiful women passports for sexual favors. During the course of these events not one dirty word was spoken, nor one bit of explicit action or dialogue shown, but it was at no cost to the characters or the story.
The comics I listed above (though wonderful reads) are by no means the masterpiece of “Casablanca”, but they have taken the same high road. That high road is certainly not easy, and for those of us who like our ignorant cuss words, it isn’t very attractive either, but to take it is a noble endeavor. Noble and deserving of our respect.
Hats off to you our Princes and Princesses of other web comic realm. Without you on the high road who would we ever look up to?