Monday, June 12, 2006

Here’s the latest Rockstar Weekend strip:

Here’s a comic script I wrote 3 months ago, appearing as it was the day I wrote it:

Chris: I’m telling you, alcohol lets a person really be themselves!
term: No, it doesn’t. If a person is who they naturally are without any foreign chemicals invading their body, then that’s who they are.
term: If they’re acting without any inhibitors, then that’s the person with inhibited inhibitors. It’s not really them naturally.
Chris: You stupid… shuddap.
term: Are you drunk right now?!
Chris: Ysno.

The two share nearly the exact same punchline. Of course, perhaps it’s a punchline that’s been shared with comics (or punchlines in general) from before, but all the same, the two are very similar (especially with the presence of an "s" in front of the Drunk's final word).

Am I claiming that Rockstar Weekend somehow delved into my Ideas.doc file and stole my idea? Certainly not. Rather, I’m pointing out that two people, entirely separated, can come up with nearly, if not exactly, the same idea.

Case and point: below is a Bizarro strip, which appeared in the Sunday funny pages September 2nd, 2001:

Here’s a strip from Marbles, dated March 27th, 2006:

Is five years long enough for the Bizarro strip to sink into the backs of the Marbles’ creators’ minds and allow them to subconsciously rip it off, or is this another case of unfortunate similarity? Certainly there are some who'd be quick to claim that Marbles is stealing Bizarro's ideas since the Bizarro strip inarguably appeared first, but I'm sure Marbles doesn't even know that Bizarro exists at all.

All the same, since I know about the Rockstar Weekend strip, I can't use that idea of mine. Not in its current form, anyway.


Blogger Max Radical said...

This is something I've thought about as well, the same idea independently generated in different places. The "Are you drunk?" punchline is a great example - the person who comes up with it didn't necessarily read the others, it's just a good but basic enough idea to crop up repeatedly.

That's why it can be important to add a second step to your idea generating process, the "Is this likely to have come up before?". We've all met people with a certain name, or found ourselves in a certain situation, and every single person who turns up makes the exact same joke without realising/thinking about the fact that it's the first thing anybody would say.

Another example: the "Fan service" strip where a comic promises fan service and then has an air conditioning serviceman in. I'm sure each came up with it by themselves, but after the tenth time you realise how common this effect is.

9:59 PM  
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