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Smashing Magazine Comic Strip: Episode 1

A couple of weeks ago we celebrated Cartoons and Comic Strip Art1 and, to be honest, there was a good reason why we took some time to research on this topic. The truth is that we are pretty tired of the same kind of content appearing in the Web over and over and over again. During our winter break in December we came up with some new ideas, concepts, formats and projects that we will try to achieve with Smashing Magazine in 2009.

Discussing new formats for SM, we came up with the idea of creating a weekly cartoon that would cover recent developments in web design and in the Web in general. In December we stumbled across Paddy Donnelly2‘s blog, the home of a talented web designer and illustrator in Belfast, Northern Ireland and we’ve seen that Paddy is actually creating a comic strip on his blog. After a couple of e-mails we were pretty sure: we are going to have a regular comic strip, exclusively on Smashing Magazine and exclusively for Smashing Magazine readers.

In this post we present the first episodes of the new Smashing Magazine cartoon / comic strip. We are very excited about this new section in our magazine and we would love to hear your opinion about it! Please feel free to post your ideas, suggestions, remarks and critique in the comments to this post. Please also suggest story lines – e.g. what are the things that frustrate you most about the Web or web design? And, most importantly, have fun!

Footnotes Link

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The Smashing team loves high-quality content and cares about the little details. Through our online articles, Smashing Books, eBooks as well as Smashing Conferences, we are committed to stimulating creativity and strengthening the web design community’s creative forces.

  1. 1

    Genius: funny & a bit of social commentary, loving your work Smashing Man.

  2. 2

    Lol, awesome

  3. 3

    Brilliant, never expected one of these!

  4. 4

    hahah! it’s a good idea! i’m lookin’ foward to more of d comic!

  5. 5

    GeeKz ,, You smashing magazine are rocks the webs , What a fun!!!
    Really great post , luv it!!!
    Keep it UP

  6. 6

    Very good. Unfortunately you do have a spelling mistake in there though.

    “You’re phishing days are over…” should be “Your phishing days are over…”

    Sorry but always notice these things ;-)

    Best wishes,


  7. 7

    cool design

  8. 8

    I’m not sure about the general look. The blurry background doesn’t fit. It has to be 100% cartoon or 100% realistic. Not in between.

  9. 9


  10. 10

    Johnny Nothing

    January 16, 2009 10:35 am

    The pacing needs to be much faster. Look how much Garfield conveys in three frames.

  11. 11

    Thanks guys! It’s nice to see something different. Added a bit of a surprise to my daily RSS feeds.

  12. 12

    horizontal > vertical

  13. 13

    Really good, but it could be a little more funnier (of course, it’s already funny, but you could give more ;-)).
    Well done!

  14. 14

    I found this pretty good infact. Not what I had expected. Whilst reading the bubbles, I spoke out loud and made different voices for each character, then the idea came to mind, you should make something like this in video!

  15. 15

    I’m not sure about the general look. The blurry background doesn’t fit. It has to be 100% cartoon or 100% realistic. Not in between.

    Many comics today use the gaussian effect on the background, I personally think it works very well.

  16. 16

    Thanks everyone! It was good fun to make. :)

    What kind of storylines would you like to see covered in the comic in the future?

  17. 17

    Francisco Costa

    January 16, 2009 10:51 am

    COOL! :D

  18. 18

    @jason @robby Ignore those comments Smashing, keep pushing the envelope of comics on the web.
    Personally with the medium of a web-page I think vertical strips work very well to keep you from looking ahead.

  19. 19

    Am I the only one who didn’t really liked it?

  20. 20

    Naldz Graphics

    January 16, 2009 11:00 am

    lol this is cool=)cant wait for the next episode

  21. 21

    Cool episodes :) xD

  22. 22

    OOHH a new super hero has born.

    great idea guys Smashing Man will save us from all the Internet troubles.

  23. 23

    No, you are not alone.

  24. 24

    bad script, bad artwork, bad storyline… ¿what happen SM? A lot of talented designers and illustrators read this website, this is almost insulting.

  25. 25

    @essenmitsosse, @Jdub7 yep, not alone.

  26. 26

    I don’t like it. Non sense and not funny jokes.

  27. 27

    Doesn’t fit at all with the purpose of this site (IMO). Is there supposed to be a point?

  28. 28

    Cristiano Menger

    January 16, 2009 11:40 am

    I don’t like it. This strip stays in the middle of the funny and the serious…it’s a dangerous place to be. Choose a side.

  29. 29

    heyyy that guy looks like the Gordon’s fisherman.. now i wont eat fishsticks again.. lol

  30. 30

    Tomek Buszewski

    January 16, 2009 11:58 am

    Funnier, of course.
    Go Smashing Man!

  31. 31

    Hey, when did this site start featuring MFD?

  32. 32

    Pretty cool

  33. 33

    OMG ! OMG! You people gonna rock us !

  34. 34

    Michael SteelWolf

    January 16, 2009 12:07 pm

    At the risk of being too critical for a first attempt, I wasn’t really that impressed. Granted, many of the webcomics out right now have had years to perfect themselves, but from a site like Smashing Magazine that presents so much spectacular work, I was quite underwhelmed.

    The script did a poor job of pulling me in at the beginning – especially in episode two, the first frame seems completely superfluous. The dialogue and overall movement of the strip feels slow – try seeing if you can combine more things in one frame. For example, you can use the speech bubble to set up the action in a single frame, rather than having separate frames for speech and action.

    As far as reflecting the rest of this incredible website, I have to say I nearly died when I saw the difference clouds lightning in Episode 1. That is the kind of technique I definitely did not expect to find here.

    It seems like you’re having fun working on these so I would definitely encourage you to keep at it. Look around at a few of the successful webcomics out there and see what kinds of techniques they use. Just like when we come here to get inspired by others’ successful choices, I think you could learn a lot from them.

    Thanks for sharing your work – I’m sure this is a tough crowd to please.

  35. 35

    Nice idea but poor execution. The comic needs to be funnier and wittier. And as someone else mentioned, horizontal strips are better than vertical strips. Artwork is fine.

  36. 36

    Sorry, but I don’t like the style at all… It’s poor and seems to be drawn by a 13 year old teen who just discovered photoshop.

  37. 37

    It should fight for w3c standards for all. And correct working on all standard compliant browsers.

  38. 38

    Totally love it, amazing stuff even though I’m sure it will be better and better from time to time.

  39. 39

    hh ! luved the Phisher idea!! :)
    cool strip !

  40. 40

    The “S” shield is trademarked and copyrighted.
    The design is virtually a direct knockoff.
    Smashing Man is no Superman.

  41. 41

    Well, don’t mean to be rude but seriously…
    the “drawing” sucks, the story is dumb…
    personally i do consider this post spam…
    maybe smashing man should fight it.
    On the other hand i do think it was a nice idea…
    but seriously either come up with a “slightly smarter” story, or improve the drawing to make up for it.

    Sorry to always be a little too honest… but considering all this sweet-talk, i think someone should ensure the standards of the comment section…

  42. 42

    I’m usually quick to read anything new from Smashing Magazine because it’s just so darn helpful. So I really hate to write this comment – sorry …

    I just don’t get the point or how this helps anyone. The storyline is lame at best and the design is sub-par. My thoughts would be to stick to what you do best rather than venturing into an attempt at humor (without great commentary in the process) through a comic strip. It seems like a distraction.

  43. 43

    I hope to see the episode where Smashing Man defeats Internet Explorer and banishes it to the other side of the galaxy.

    Great comic and great idea! Please continue!

  44. 44

    That was one shitty comic, I didnt expect this from sm.

  45. 45


  46. 46

    I’m sorry, but I don’t think this is appropriate for Smashing Magazine. The artwork and script need work. I was expecting a better sense of design and more relevant commentary. This appears to be targeted at tweens, not professional designers.

    Brad Colbow’s “The Brads” is a far better execution of what I think you were hoping to achieve.

    And that article on comics appeared to be poorly researched. At the very least, the section titles were misleading.

  47. 47

    This comic is an utter failure on Smashing Magazine’s part. It shows they don’t know what direction to go in providing new “content” to its viewers.

    Cut it out with the cutesy crap and spend your time writing the A+ articles your known for. This “content” shown above is complete crap. I never expected this of Smashing Magazine.

  48. 48

    I have to agree with whats been said before…
    …the story is not paced well, either make it faster (ie: someone mentioned Garfield, or Penny Arcade, etc) or make it more detailed and draw it out (ie: PvP, any superhero comic, etc.)
    ..the story is also fairly ridiculous. Really, the push of a web button is the best you could come up with for gaining super powers? and an amalgamation of the fish stick guy, the guy from ‘I know what you did last summer’ and a Lone Ranger mask is your villain? Really?
    …the art, while subjective, is not on par with the rest of the site. There is a plethora of talented (and established) web comic artists online – many of which deal with ‘geek’ and/or design culture. Perhaps try gleaning some insight from them.

    As for those who seem to want to simply kill this idea out right, perhaps if you gave the comic its own section/menu link and a separate RSS feed – one just for the comic, then those that dont want an attempt at humor in their day dont have to bother with it.

  49. 49

    wonderful, waiting for the next one

  50. 50

    I like the first episodes, but it really could be funnier. It need more original ideas. Go ahead Smashing Man!

    P.S. Sorry if my english is not perfect ;)

  51. 51

    I dont like the idea of a superhero at all. Not in this “serious” way. And the storyline is kinda not interesting :(
    Regarding the artwork. It could do better but i dont have any bigger issues with it. It could work.

  52. 52

    The sycophancy in here is simply out of control. It’s just plain weird. Are these real people?

  53. 53

    Dont. Do. That. Ever. Again!

    Dear Smashing Magazine, please stick to things you are good in. Detailed articles or so. Leave the jokes to someone else. Please!

  54. 54

    It read a bit like a dirty joke from my grandmother… fell a bit flat. While the idea is solid I think you need to dig deeper into the web and subject to get something truly funny, interesting and unique. Maybe look to web animation or animation in general for ideas… not just comics. Homestar Runner may be a place to start? Remember silence can be as funny or funnier than spelling things out.

  55. 55

    I won’t be reading any more of these. They seem rushed, with poor writing and amateur-quality artwork at best.

  56. 56

    It’s either make a comic series and do them right or don’t do one at all. If you’re going to continue this line of quality, then I strongly suggest you abandon the idea. Otherwise, get rid of these and start fresh with HUMOR, QUALITY and ORIGINALITY in mind.

  57. 57

    I must admit: This is pretty terrible. Self-indulgent and very poorly drawn.

  58. 58

    Firstly, you forgot to add another option to the poll – ‘Totally Lame’

    If a comic was the best thing you thought of during the winter break then you guys need to think a bit harder. I don’t see the point of the comic on a site like SM – it was a real yawn.

    Less time mucking around with fluff like this and more time delivering quality content!

  59. 59

    I prefer the regular posts, make another section for “smashing” comics… or just drop the whole comic topic as the previous posts about it haven’t been that great either

  60. 60

    Floris Fiedeldij Dop

    January 16, 2009 3:04 pm

    Stick to blogging .. it’s obviously what you guys do best.

  61. 61

    In this case, I’d stick to the great articles and galleries you folks create. But being willing to take risks and try new ideas is a great thing.

  62. 62

    I didn’t like this one bit. I agree with an earlier commenter who said it was like hearing a dirty joke from your grandmother…it’s just kind of embarrassing for all. If you are going to insist on pushing forward with this comic strip thing, you should check out MAKE magazine…they do a good job of combining quality illustration with their educational, how-to material in a way that doesn’t seem self-indulgent or condescending to readers.

  63. 63

    Good Stuff, Love it

  64. 64

    I like the idea of a SM comic. This comic does need some major tweaks though, to be more relatable to the average SM reader.

    It should definitely follow recent design developments. I’m not sure I like the super hero idea though. I liked the first episode, as it was actually funny and interesting. The second episode was completely unrelatable, and went completely off track. The Internet sucks because of all the bad design, and that should be the focus of this comic. The readers of SM are for the most part, designers. I’m not sure how many of us are interested in Internet security.

    I hope the next episode doesn’t have any hackers, phishers or any of that. But if the next episode was able to somehow bring in design related problems like compatibility, usability, etc…I think the comic will be a success. That is what I was thinking episode 2 was going to be about, since the internet sucked because of all the bad design.

    As far as artwork is concerned, it is perfect. It is a comic strip after all. Just get us a better storyline please!

  65. 65

    haha good stuff

  66. 66

    Sergio Ordoñez

    January 16, 2009 3:42 pm

    Cool idea, poor execution and script… I would think about hiring a true comic artist.

  67. 67

    I didn’t expect this kind of lame content here. Boring, rushed, amateurish, too geeky, and totally unnecessary.
    You dont need to come up with new stuff as long as you keep doing what you’re good at. So why don’t just stick to that?

  68. 68

    Agree Bigge,,, this maybe the start of the end of SM for me.

    /sigh but my mother always told me that if I didn’t have anything nice to say to not say anything at all…. So I think I will keep quiet from here on in.

  69. 69

    Comic deals with various aspects in life, not just web designing. So why not remix some famous CC Web Comics like XKCD? I believe using comics and cartoon characters as a part of web design can become a trend in web enhancement.

  70. 70

    Looks fuckin’ lame. First learn to draw properly before You publish something like this.

  71. 71

    I agree with the few sane people who actually spoke their mind. I almost thought that SM was hijacked and these were posted. They are very lame. Something I wouldn’t post on my “bad designed”, sorry state of a blog.
    Why do you need comics? And even if people running such a leading design blog feel that they need to go that direction, why can’t you add something to it instead of posting something as tasteless as this?
    Am I being harsh? Of course I am! I’m also a disappointed and an embarrassed reader. Good luck.

  72. 72

    “At the risk of being too critical for a first attempt, I wasn’t really that impressed. Granted, many of the webcomics out right now have had years to perfect themselves, but from a site like Smashing Magazine that presents so much spectacular work, I was quite underwhelmed.”

    Actually smashing does not have that much content of itself. Most is just lists of other peoples work.

    Having said that the lists are usually quite good and why I come here. This strip is garbage.

  73. 73

    I love comics and I love smashingmagazine, but don’t like this comics! don’t know why, maybe I little childish…

  74. 74

    Ryan Bollenbach

    January 16, 2009 7:20 pm

    Radical honesty:

    Cool idea that you want to have comics

    1.) illustrations are not bad but… considering this is a design-based site….. they’re… not bad and that’s the problem (whoever did them is cool though :P)

    2.) Not all that interesting.

    Put a dent in the universe with your next comic, it’s possible.


  75. 75

    I vote to discontinue the “comic strip”. I don’t find it on par with what I’ve seen on SM previously. I was hoping for something a little more tongue-in-cheek, or even along the lines of “make my logo bigger”. Hats off to you for posting it, and if you do continue with additional episodes, I’m with the several people who suggest posting it in its own section. Despite this, I do hope us negative commenters haven’t killed your spirit, and if you’re really into the comic strip, take a second look and push the concept a little farther, design and copy-wise.

  76. 76

    The strip is OK for a first effort, but there’s some definite work to be done both artistically and with the gag.

    Is there supposed to be a gag? Or is this a superhero parody? I wasn’t sure.

    As far as the art, I’m no designer, but if you’re gonna do a comic about how stuff looks like crap online, you’d better be knocking it out of the park in the art department.

    Good luck…

  77. 77

    Forget the content of the comic strip. The point here is, if you have read the post carefully:

    a weekly cartoon that would cover recent developments in web design and in the Web in general

  78. 78

    Improve the drawing skill, who is the artist anyway? It’s like done by unpro illustrator. The script is too straightforward, and it wasn’t cool, funny either.

  79. 79

    ahahahah thats really nice :) good work will love to see more as well

  80. 80



  81. 81

    January 16, 2009 11:38 pm

    good work love it..


  82. 82

    There are a bunch of fantastic and great artists here in the reply comments… quoting: crap online, strip is garbage, bad script, bad artwork, bad storyline, shitty comic, etc. Aw right! show the world your work typing your website addresses in your comments. Oh yeah! But it is easier to blabber well hidden in the depths of the internet.

  83. 83

    sorry 1st, but just because u can, doesn’t mean u should…

  84. 84

    Wow! I’m torn. I really love Smashing Magazine and I love the idea of having a comic. In fact, it’s just about time. I need to make that clear because what I’m about to say will make it seem otherwise.

    I think this idea was really badly executed! I see a lot of potential and will continue looking for new episodes, but I really think a lot more could have been done. In short, I am underwhelmed!

    First of all, this magazine is one of the best there is in its field on the Internet. This naturally translates to an audience expecting exceedingly and increasingly high standards to be met and maintained on every take. Reading this comic strip left me wondering how it managed to slip through the screening process. This is not to say anything about the creators. It’s all about the finished product.

    Here is my suggestion for how to tackle this problem. Smashing magazine is known for its lists of lists. Many really good designers have had their work featured and many more would love the opportunity. How about keeping with this theme of pooling ideas and invite readers to submit comic strips of their own using your characters? You can have a specific style guide outlining things like costumes, key physical attributes, etc, and have artists translate that to their own style. You can even have someone submit a script and other people translate it into the completed product. I personallty think it would be fun and interesting to see how different designers translate the idea.

    Alternatively, you could do as Sergio suggests and hire a professional. This is a tough crowd to please as you can see from the comments here. Just as you approach the field of web design with gusto and attention to even the minor details, so do writers and illustrators approach the concept of comic design. (By the way, Sergio KNOWS what he’s talking about. He is an AMAZING character designer.)

    As for the vertical vs. Horizontal debate, I think it comes down to personal taste. I am used to reading horizontal strips. However, I think this idea of making the strip vertical is rather interesting and works well with the page format and the space available. I support the idea of keeping it vertical. It may not be common practice but creativity is all about re-defining the paradigm.

    I also agree with Michael who said that the story is a bit too slow. There is too much of attempted “suspense” for a relatively small punch. This can be quite a useful tool in parody but only when executed well. Again, there are many things to be considered when designing a comic. Here are a few off the top of my head.

    1. The Character.

    There is a reason why they are referred to as “characters”. Question. What do you call a “character” without character? Make sure you create unique and easily identifiable features such as attire, posture, gestures, and probably most importantly, facial expressions. Look at the simple smilies you see online. They add character and personality to bare and simple text. Granted, they can be irritating and/or inappropriate in some situation but people tend to respond well to expressions of emotion.

    A bit of creativity is also key to character design. It is clear that this character was “inspired” by superman. However, it would arguably be better to create a new character even if you have to borrow ideas and elements from other super heroes. Remember, people will always compare you to the original and you will always fall short.

    In case you were going for the “parody” approach, make it such that he thinks he’s superman but he’s clearly not to everyone in his world. The little differences in themselves can be enough reason to quite literally ROTFL.

    Anatomy is REALLY important. Even Flubber can’t escape certain anatomical rules! Keep proper anatomy in mind even if your character is overly stylized.

    2. The Layout and composition.

    This is my personal opinion but I tend to think that if it looks good in black and white or before adding in the colour, it will (or can) look good once it is done. Closing my eyes to the colour in this story, I feel like the skeleton is not solid enough. A good foundation makes for a sturdy house. The same concept applies to all forms of design.

    In addition over-reliance on colour to make the impact, I feel like the “camera angles” employed here are very flat and boring. Imagine what it would be like to watch a movie shot on a stationary camera. Even if the story was a masterpiece, the final product would be lacklustre to say the very least. Look into things such as foreshortening if you are planning to go on with the superhero theme or just viewing the scene from different angles. I don’t really mind the background but I think there ought to be more happening in the foreground as well.

    3. The story

    I think short, sweet and simple works really well on the Internet. Funny is also well received. If you make the punch easy and clear, you will have more time to work on the quality. Again, if you are planning to do a parody or pay homage to comics and cartoons made in the sixties, let your whole style communicate it. A great source of funny punchlines about current issues is twitter. Remember to borrow ideas and not just plagiarize.

    I really think the idea of a comic is a really good one and you ought to pursue it. However, considering the quality of this site, you will need to step up your game. Sorry for rambling on. I’m looking forward to the next edition.

  85. 85

    The good guy is white and the bad guy is … black !!!

  86. 86

    If Smashing is to “Save the Internet” it should start by itself by getting rid of this 12-year old nonsense. Now, please provide me a button to save myself from ever having to see this crap again.

    In perspective, this is a free site so all who do not like it have to do is not look at it. Please provide that “feature”.

  87. 87

    Cool, I love it

  88. 88

    @ferdy: I’m with you. This looks like something done by a 12 year old. Didn’t liked it at all.

  89. 89


  90. 90

    Comment #29 says it all.
    “Ok” idea but bad execution (not necessariliy in regard of drawing skills).

  91. 91

    Hmm, it’s not that bad, but it’s not the kind of I really like. Especially the character – does the guy have to be a superhero? Maybe it would be more fun if he would be another type of outsider, who has to learn something for himself? While a superhero mostly knows everything better, a guy who is just stumbling into different situations and challenges in his technical life compared with his social environment would be much more interesting, I guess.
    Look at Garfield, Calvin & Hobbes, even Gary Larson or the more related comic in c’t (german computer magazine).
    So: better short and really funny, than long and lengthy.

    k.i.s.s. ;)

  92. 92

    lol , Nice

  93. 93

    well… everything is already said. Please don’t do it again, don’t force me to filter SM RSS feed.

    This … thing … is so lame, and it has zero reason at all to exists here.

    Please remove this utter crap stuff. Thanks.

  94. 94

    Why are people ass kissing…. this was not funny and the graphics were kind of crap tbh… although i like the idea of you doing comics, i still think they should be funnier and graphically better….. then Id throw in the odd “lol” or “lmao” that people have so far.

  95. 95


    its not great, but also noy bad… personnally I would of expected a more well rounded style, this was a litle shabby and rushed looking. I do not think it is a bad idea, just needs some development :o)

    Maybe you should have looked at you comic book article more closely as the work in there was far far classier. Please do not however give up as it may well develop nicely in time.

    Keep trying Sm you are really very good at what you do and are allowed to try things from time to time.



  96. 96

    sorry but I think it’s really stupid.
    XKCD comics are clever, nerd and funny instead

  97. 97

    It’s awful! Crap graphics, crap text, crap idea… What in the world were you thinking?!

    I read more than 20 comics per week. I could find more 50 if I wanted. Every single one of them is better than that. Heck, even I can do better!

    Next time your children ask to help you on your site, just say no.

  98. 98

    Ara Pehlivanian

    January 17, 2009 6:11 am

    He’s got to take down Comic Sans man, and then maybe his sidekick Papyrus boy.

  99. 99


  100. 100

    totally lame. no offence, but rather stick to what you guys know.

  101. 101

    Vitaly Friedman & Sven Lennartz

    January 17, 2009 7:16 am

    Thank you, we are paying attention.

  102. 102

    “smashing man”??? really? I say start over, not very good at all. This seems aimed at 12 year olds.

  103. 103

    man, i really expected better than this out of smashing magazine. i would have excused it if the artwork was passable.

  104. 104

    Welcome to the internet. You’ve been courageous enough to put your work out for everyone to see. I for one have severe issues with putting my stuff online for the world to see. I applaud that courage.

    Here’s my honest opinion.

    1st strip: OK-ish, although the “origin” could be a bit more involved. Then again, I understand that you have limited space. There are some serious issues with the artist’s understanding of human anatomy. The pacing seems a bit off and the idea of another superman knockoff doesn’t really appeal.

    2nd strip: No. The script is boring. The pacing doesn’t work. The art isn’t consistent. The action scene doesn’t work at all.

    All in all there are, in my opinion, 2 main issues with having this comic on Smashing Magazine:
    1) All in all i think that this comic’s artist and/or writer isn’t yet ready for a gig as big as this.

    2) As said before in this thread by several of the commenters: The quality of either the writing or the art is not on par with what the audience expects of Smashing Magazine.

    All in all, even though I appreciate the balls it takes to put this up, I feel it doesn’t live up to Smashing’s standards.

    PS: If you really want to see what happens if you push a comic on an audience that doesn’t want or appreciates it, please look up what happened to “Mandatory Fun Day” (The “MFD” that Commenter #32. “Kristoffer” referred to) on “The Daily WTF“. The comment threads are hilarious.

  105. 105

    January 17, 2009 9:19 am

    Badly drawn, no story (which would be ok if it at least was funny, but it wasn’t), why bother? Smashing Magazine wants to get rid of all the bad design by releasing crappy comic strips? Come on

  106. 106

    Poorly drawn and not very funny. HEY, you guys stole my idea!
    Seriously though, i think my comics are worse:

  107. 107

    Time for something original on the web? I know, a webcomic! Brilliant. Something so original, it already has a well established portmanteau that we’re apparently too out of touch to even know…

  108. 108

    It could be a lot more funnier! Smashing hero can be more fun more Neo like ;-).

  109. 109

    i voted ‘it’s perfect!’ because of the art work first and storyline second.

  110. 110

    Andrei Gonzales

    January 17, 2009 11:45 am


    A lot of people here have their heads so far up their asses it’s hilarious.

    This is smashing mag. They post stuff. Sometimes good and useful, sometimes crap and useless.

    What did you people expect? The equivalent of a “The London Royal College of Art Weekly”?

  111. 111

    I was impressed with how completely pathetic it was… did you even try, or get a 8 year old from Digg to write the story for you? Here was the meeting:

    “Hey, I got an idea, lets have a superhero… and phishing is bad right? We can have a guy who phishes, but looks like a fisherman… damn I am clever with the puns. Then throw a twitter bird in there because I use twitter. PERFECT!”

  112. 112

    I’m hoping whoever did this wasn’t an intern cause his ars3 will be gone next week…. or actually, I am hoping he is gone next week…

    I could do better and I couldn’t draw a peanut!

  113. 113

    It´s a good idea to explore the comic strip format… but this is WRONG
    I don´t like the script, the drawings, the style.. but still a good idea

    Maybe you can try many possibilities and let us vote the best… ¿Some contest to find a good artist maybe?

    PD: 1st episode reminds me of Freakazoid… What a great caroon!

  114. 114

    Stick to your day job, SM. :/

  115. 115

    Ehm…I kinda hate it.

  116. 116

    Honestly, I would have definetly expected something better than this from SM, about style and contents. It looks poor and kidd-ish.

    Anyway, I still in love you guys :)

  117. 117

    seriously?? one of the worst webcomic’s ive read… looks like its drawn and written by a 12 year-old with no humor… way below your standards!

  118. 118

    Why did you put everything that is need it here on the options? you realized what it needs after you made it?

  119. 119

    Wow, you people are cruel. It’s one thing not to enjoy the comic and express your opinion, but that’s no reason to be outright abusive. Since this is Smashing Magazine I’m assuming that many of you are creative individuals and sometime creativity works and sometimes it doesn’t. Show a little respect.

  120. 120


    What a waste of bandwidth! :P

  121. 121

    I really love SM. However, the comic strip is not funny, and the drawings are not well executed. I can draw better than that. The comic strip idea is good, and I know you can do it better, so I’ll be waiting.
    Maybe what dislikes us all is the superhero character with its fancy outfit. It’s simply something we can’t relate to, and because of this lack of connection with the character, we dislike it.
    The idea of a superhero with an S in its chest is not so appropriate nowadays. Keep in mind that Superman quickly lose its fans due to its “boy-scout” feeling, due to its “i’m only good”, while the Marvel characters, with a complex inner psychology, were much more appreciated. In fact, maybe I’m wrong, but I think that the only superheros from DC that are widely accepted are Batman, due to its dual personality, Green Lantern Hal Jordan and Green Lantern Kyle Rainer, due to the human nature of them, feeling greed, selfish love (Jordan, that’s for you), anguish and dispair (Kyle, u there?). Superman was more like a parent, a father, “do this, do that, be good, don’t be evil”. Marvel guys were more like a friend (Spidey, Wolverine). Let alone the success of The Darkness and its franchise.
    All that was only to said that I can’t relate to a superhero that decides by himself that everything is a mess and he’s the one that will save the internet. We are not like that, we can be generous, gentle, but we (freelancers, studio employed, graphic design students) need also to look after our work. Our work that sometimes overwhelms us. Our work that is our passion. Our families depend on that work. Our customers trusts our work. What SM does better is providing tools/inspiration for our work. Don’t know, maybe you could start there. How do you think smashingmagazine people work? what issues they have to overcome each day? accounts, breakfast, supplies, “oh, I’m late for that meeting!!”, “dude, I can’t go out for a beer, gotta finish this brief”, “- honey, dinner’s ready! turn off the computer! – just one second, I’m right there!”. I think that kind of things would connect a bit more the readers with the comic strip.
    I will be waiting for the comic strip, bring it on!

  122. 122

    Dr. Girlfriend

    January 17, 2009 11:37 pm

    I don’t know what’s worse: the sycophantic ass-kissing or the mean-spirited, snarky pile-on in these comments. Thank you to the few sensible people who actually offered insightful critiques so it wasn’t a total waste of time reading this post.

    My (bank bailout adjusted) 2 cents: I don’t come to Smashing Magazine to read comics, but if you feel the need to put them here, please make the “humor” appropriate to your audience. Mark (comment 65) rightly pointed out that internet security issues, hackers, and phishers aren’t very humorous or relate-able subjects to this blog’s audience of creatives. Instead, perhaps you can draw your subject matter from the real-life issues that plague us like cheap clients who want us to work on spec, clueless bosses, pain-in-the-ass co-workers, etc.

    I like the way Paddy drew un-Smashing Man in the first two frames; he looks like the perfect sad sack kind of guy who’s honest and hard-working, but something bad always happens to him, i.e. his slimy associate steals his best ideas or he works through his vacation to please an important client who changes her mind and wants to start from scratch right after he finishes the project… you get the idea. Go with Clark Kent rather than Superman and you might have something.

  123. 123

    C’mon SM. Who needs this?

  124. 124

    I agree with Jason. The background should fit the design and color of the characters. The background doesn’t seem to fit. But I like the idea of creating a comic strip for SM. Way to go for all these great concepts you guys are coming up with to make this blog even more exciting and fun to read! :D

  125. 125

    the idea should about recent issue of the internet, maybe a community and web issue will be funny :D

  126. 126

    I do agree that it’s not that good, although im a big fan of smashing magazine,
    But i really don’t think that phishing can affect the design industry.. totally uncool.

  127. 127

    It’s better than Mandatory Fun Day, but it aint great…

  128. 128

    I like it – what blog has it’s own comic strip? ;)

  129. 129

    It isn’t funny, it isn’t drawn good.
    Sorry, but I don’t like it

  130. 130

    Discontinue, please. As many people have already said, stick with what you’re good at.

  131. 131

    Outline thickness should not vary. I get you’re trying to save yourself some work by throwing this together in Illustrator or something, but cutting corners does not win you friends.

    The whole thing smacks of being quite juvenile – the wit is camp, the drawings are the bare minimum of detail, and the layout is poorly thought out.

    Like someone else said, good idea, poorly executed.

  132. 132

    It ain’t no XKCD. Please drop the feature, never to be seen again.

    I love Smashing Magazine, please don’t dilute it with this mediocre comic.

  133. 133

    Hi SM,
    This is a design magazine and because of that designers expect a lot more from you. This comic strip is not very convincing in the design and content factors. Consider this a constructive criticism- I do hope you can improve these since almost all of the posts here were very helpful to us designers.

  134. 134

    this really sucks.. i can’t believe how lame it is.

    nice concept, but it’s just not funny. I usually come to this site to get info and inspiration, not to kill time!

    and the fact you are asking us readers what we want to happen in the series, is so whorish. If you don’t have any ideas for a fictional comic why make one?

  135. 135


  136. 136

    HELP!!! HELP!!!
    Please Smashing Man safe us from IE 6!!!

  137. 137

    @Mike #140

    Ditto, save us from IE6 Smashing Man!

  138. 138

    Nice :) Looking forward to the next episode!

  139. 139

    SM comics sounds a little strange to me :)

  140. 140

    I think the idea of having a comic is good…

    I also think those that really like it are either die-hard SM fans and are clouded by loyalty or they’re just lame-o. Someone had the idea of including the community. There could be a running story where a general storyline is outlined, we submit, you filter and maybe let us choose or you just choose the best one then from there the next part of the story is added… and together we can make an awesome comic with a different style every week.

    Im sure you guys are having alot of fun with this and shouldn’t stop. Why not make the char a designer who has to deal with extreme clients all day? Or there is no main char! One recurring char is designer who looses his mind, and becomes a failing villain? How to spot a noob? good idea, bad idea…? ok second thought you cant use any of those…

    I think this comic was made after the idea of making a comic and not after a good idea for a comic. Try again, you show us SM.

  141. 141

    Nice idea. I’m looking forward to coming strips.

  142. 142

    I love what you guys are doing. Can’t wait for the next episode. Keep rolling SM!!!

  143. 143

    lame. get some independent cartoonists to do this for you.

  144. 144


  145. 145

    hm, I love smashing mag, but I really don’t need this …

  146. 146

    Good idea. Bad execution.

    I don’t like posting critiscm without elaborating, so here goes:

    Script: A bit too one-dimensional in it’s execution for my liking, the funniest cartoons make you think. This is a good concept but holding the readers hand like this is just patronizing and kills the joke.

    Art: Again a bit too simplistic, like many people said the backgrounds don’t fit and add to the amateurish feel. A complete lack of perspective (see frame 3) doesn’t help either.

    Layout: I think this is probably the strongest element here. Although I do prefer horizontal sequential art (!), there are some interesting ideas and the close ups would work if the art/backgrounds were better.

    However, posting comments is one thing, writing and drawing your own comic another. So kudos for that.

  147. 147

    “Help me” I plea, “I don’t understand your ways and your means, you smashing young man…”

    Collective Soul’s Smashing Young Man.

    (which is btw something that should be added to Rockband)

  148. 148

    This is surprisingly bad given the quality of a lot of the sites on display here on a regular basis. The artwork is crude and childish, the background Photoshop effects are tacky and the humour is non-existent.

    Keep the web comic idea, but get someone who can appeal to the adults that read your site with sharp jokes highlighting the countless bizarre anomalies of web development. Easier said than done.

  149. 149

    What, no Mixx?

  150. 150

    Well forgetting everything everyone else has said above it would have been nice to at least get a thanks for pointing out the typo ;-)

  151. 151

    I like it, the phisherman part made me chuckle

  152. 152

    Take a look at the awesome FreelanceSwitch comics series, they really hit the spot !

  153. 153


  154. 154

    Holy gawd, that’s horrible! Not funny. Not well-drawn. Abysmal. There’s nothing that could save it.

    Stop. Now. Please.

  155. 155

    Ok this is the thing, it’s not funny or interesing.

    If you continue with the superhero idea, think a little bit, does villains run into batman arms? i don’t think so… SM should have made some detective work before finding phishing guy. plus where did he find it in the first place? the comic started in someone’s room, then magically jumps to the park where they causally meet?.

    Read a little bit “the order of the stick” to see what it means to do an action comic(and in their case actually funny).

  156. 156

    Christopher Murphy

    January 20, 2009 5:11 pm

    It depresses me to read the all too easy groundswell of negativity in the frequent and (largely) anonymous comments to this post.

    I’m all for a little healthy criticism, but I do feel that those who are all too eager to throw in their opinion might want to flag up their own work for criticism. As you read the comments I’d suggest you follow some of the links to those that are posting them (that is where they’ve had the courage to leave the links). There seems to be a high correlation between those who are quick to criticize and those who are themselves posting some pretty sub-par work themselves.

    I know the designer in question, he is one of my soon-to-be-former students. His heart is 110% in the right place and I’ve seen a great deal of his past (and current) work which is well executed and knocks the socks off this. Give it a little time and I’ve no doubt Paddy will deliver the goods.

    I can see where Paddy’s coming from. He’s passionate and he’s working hard to build a network of connections around the web. He’s interviewed a host of internet stars and, along the way, had some heads up from a host of people you’d envy: Tim O’Reilly, Guy Kawasaki, Paul Boag…

    As someone who’s taught Paddy I can safely say the following: He’s passionate about web design, he’s passionate about standards and he’s actually out there doing something (which is more than can be said of most whining on the sidelines).

    Yes, Paddy’s young. Yes, Paddy’s headstrong. Yes, Paddy’s prepared to throw himself at a challenge. Yes – and this is the important part – Paddy’s prepared to take all of this on board and get cracking on improving the Smashing Magazine Comic Strip. But, and I know it’s awful to start a sentence with the word ‘but’, Paddy is actually doing something.

    As someone who is knee deep in student assessments I know all too well that everyone is entitled to their opinion. One thing I have learned, however, from years of practice (and teaching) is the following: It’s fine to be critical, but be prepared to back it up with a little show and tell.

    I’m only too happy to put my own work on the line should you wish to see it. Drop me a line at chris [at] mcmxc [dot] org and I’ll happily give you some URLs, exchange some thoughts and pick up the conversation. Robust criticism is extremely important (did I say I’m assessing our students?), but you have to be prepared to stand over your criticism and – here’s the important part – be prepared to put your own work up for criticism.

  157. 157

    Stupid and freaky (person) style…

  158. 158

    sorry, but respectfully… this thing really sucks.. awfull design and drawing

  159. 159

    Most of the trash talkers can’t design a blank box.

  160. 160

    Love it! but not the blurry background.

  161. 161

    cool comic…
    go on please….
    i want more… ;)

  162. 162
  163. 163

    I love the fact that Smashing Magazine is some what of a free service, and provide quality articles, although when they decide to go out and do something difference for a laugh, we give out! The internet is over run with too many critics and not enough creators. Smashing Magazine decided to do something, the lengthy comments are somewhat worth reading. You want DC (or whatever floats your boat) comics go read DC comics, you want some light hearted fun then stick around.

    Shame on those who just give a few short words.

  164. 164

    Pedro Alberto

    January 24, 2009 6:03 am

    Fun and with a nice concept. Awesome!

  165. 165

    It’s almost as if the people who were involved in this Comic Strip project haven’t actually ever been involved in any design project. Graphics are totally underpar, and the story is just lame. There are so many jokes and stories waiting to happen in the graphic design world that it is just a shame to see you waste the opportunity in something like this. Everything is all wrong. Smashing man? Really?

    If you forget everything else just remember this. Show your next comic to a 12 year old before posting it online and I assure you, you will get all the feedback you need before you get bashed online. How did you dare publish this to a specialized audience when it is awful even for the most regular internet user?

    Everybody makes mistakes. Let’s just click on “select all”+”delete” and go back to the sketchboard. And next time, be sure to run your work through a few people before exposing it to the experts.

  166. 166

    cool, please clean up the internet….

  167. 167

    Not bad, not bad at all. Awaiting further episodes of this as well, The first two aren’t bad for first timers. Keep rocking! :D

  168. 168

    Correction… ‘Not to be continued’

  169. 169

    Every person here is dumber for having read this.
    Disappointed :/
    Expected sooooooo much more from SM

  170. 170

    Spongbob Squarepants

    January 13, 2010 4:15 am

    I really think its not that funny. But i think Squidward will love that comic strip. I love Sandy don’t tell anyone and i think Patrick (my bestfriend) is gay no offense


    Love, Spongebob Squarepants

  171. 171

    gotoAndPlay (ed)

    January 25, 2010 10:41 am

    wow…that was bad. It’s just too literial…

  172. 172

    WOW! this is bad…
    can see why it was the “Biggest failure for 2009”

  173. 173

    I’m glad this went away. So stupid.


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