Opinion: Tearing a strip off automated online cartoons

October 30, 2013 in Comment, General

Bitstrips @ Procartoonists.org

Bitstrips @ Procartoonists.org

The Procartoonists.org blog notes with interest the rise of Bitstrips, an app that allows anyone to make clip-art style cartoons featuring themselves.

Billed as “instant comics and cards starring you and your friends”, they are popular for Facebook e-cards and status updates.

We have seen this kind of automation of cartooning skills before. And now, as then, we believe it is a poor substitute for bespoke cartoons created by a professional cartoonist. The software may be clever but it does not produce hand-drawn, unique cartoons.

On the plus side, perhaps it is of little threat to professional cartooning, because as with previous fads the novelty appears to be wearing off quickly.

If you are interested in commissioning real cartoons by real cartoonists, take a look at the Procartoonists.org portfolios.

10 responses to Opinion: Tearing a strip off automated online cartoons

  1. Yes, we have seen it before, and yes, it may well fade away. The worrying thing is that the creators of these bland and outstandingly unfunny images don’t realise that there’s a whole bunch of professionals out there who could produce really good images which would have a much longer shelf life. ‘Course, they’d have to pay for them.

    This, and other examples of powerful people choosing to demonstrate their power and influence in such a weak, limp-wristed fashion reminds me of the legion of editors who obviously attended the same in-services courses which signally failed to show them the power of good cartooning.

  2. The fact is that such services are swifter to use than our own tailored sale and so for many customers (paid or free) this will be an attractive offer.

    See you in the forum for how to adapt our skills to the new world 😉
  3. Yes. Fast crap.

  4. There’s always been more crap in the world than good stuff.

    Pre-programmed technology can produce crap faster than humans. Also, our idea of crap may not be shared by the rest of humanity.

    btw – did you know there are now more handheld digital device subscriptions in regular use than there are brushes for teeth?


    So, it’s adapt or die out for the hand made traders in cartoons such as us.

  5. I absolutely agree that the rest of the community includes those who embrace crap vis a vis these pathetic apps and Love Is, BUT one of the reasons for being PCO’s has is to offer crapless  stuff – apps if need be  if a way can be found. Any one of us can produce images a thousand times better than these crass offerings.

    Point me towards an app person who promises to pay me via a contract and off I’d go, merrily apping.

  6. Yes, the search for a better way to do business for our members is part of what we are about.

  7. ……”the search for a better way to do business” Isn’t there an app for that ? Only joking Matt. Just listened to Mariella Cockup and guests getting their heads firmly up their backsides about graphic novels. One of the guests said that the good thing about graphic novels is that they strip away all the unnecessary descriptive writing. As in………..A Christmas Carol……………mean old geezer sees three Christmas ghosts. I scared shitless. Repents. The End.. “Pared down to the essentials” was the phrase used, I think. Trouble is with that mindset and the mindset of those who believe they’re so busy, busy, busy that they need Life to be pared down to the essentials – as in apps or 140 characters – is that they miss all the stuff which is happening peripherally. An area we make our livings out of. God, I’m on a friggin’ roll here…………………………

  8. Bill asked:

    ……”the search for a better way to do business” Isn’t there an app for that ?

    There are dozens Bill and so many are crap. 😉

    Any useful change for our trade can only come from the behaviours of the people doing business with us not from the technology, ‘appy or not.

  9. It’s digital clip art, stretching the word ‘art’ beyond acceptable parameters imo.

  10. Agreed, Pete and its embraced [and paid for] by companies which don’t know any better. PCO attempts to put better things before them. And its a long, keeping on type job. Public ignorance re good cartooning is huge, vis a vis the couple at Shrewsbury two years ago who quite innocently said, “I suppose you get all your pictures off the internet “

     The clip art we find so irritating – because its so poorly executed- would be shown up for what it is [crap]if it was to be seen alongside clip art WE produced.

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