Referencing Real Things|
Posted Oct 22, 2013 - 13:03:44
So a recent story line in UnCONventional
involved a group of Homestuck cosplayers. This did present me with a particular challenge: even though I see hordes of Homestuck cosplayers at every con I go to these days, I don't actually follow Homestuck. While I know generally what the most popular characters look like, I'm not actually sure what the characters look like exactly. This meant... I had to do research.
In the end I think it turned out well, as I created stick figure interpretations of cosplays which are interpretations of a different simplified art style. The very use of this joke though leads me with a problem.
I've instantly dated the strip.
See, I normally avoid commenting on actual
properties and characters. I use fake voice actors, reference fictional webcomics and just overall attempt to create analogs whenever possible. The reasoning is simple - things that are popular now aren't likely to remain popular. I didn't always take this policy, which is why you'll see moments like this back in the (much more poorly drawn) first chapter of the comic:
I made a few cheap "L" jokes back in the first year, and they don't age well. We no longer face an epidemic of people dressed as L entering cosplay contests and wandering the halls. I want UnCONventional to be timeless, and I ruined that effect by making the direct reference to a property which is no longer as popular as it once was.
I admittedly made another jab at L cosplayers in the third year too, but it's loss of popularity was also part of the joke as well (at least from my point of view).
You'll notice in that scene that Veronica was wearing a cosplay from "Wage Project" - a fictional anime series that I usually place in too.
But I couldn't do that in the case with Homestuck. I mean, seriously, a horde of gray teenagers is a unique phenomenon, and I can't imagine any fake thing I made up not just being an obvious rip off anyway.
So I had to use actual Homestuck.