Just the backgrounds from famous comics like Calvin and Hobbes and Peanuts.
Backgrounds=/= world building
If you’re comparing your comics to the comics such as Peanuts and Calvin and Hobbs or even the discussion of backgrounds and environment, how can you? Comics that have been running for years, daily. These comics have successfully created a world and environment that we can see whether it’s shown or not. A world that has spawned from years of development, not just with the scenery, but with well developed characters. If anything you’ve proven even more so how important world building is. I can mentally still Calvin walking with Hobbes walking in the snow. I can tell from the layout from the bottom panels that Calvin’s in a thought process over something Hobbes said. I can see from the last panel the joke coming together. In fact, I found the comic in question.
Whereas when he’s creating a new environment different from the usual settings he uses.
Look at how pulled in he’s has us in this new enviroment. Of course there’s going to be restrictions because of text but he does so well with “Calvin’s in space fighting aliens.” Then when he’s back in his world. The real world, a place where he’s already established and we’re well familiarized with, and again scenery helped this punchline.
Not only does the “lack of backgrounds” helps, but it makes the punchline a lot more clear and a lot more funny. There’s flow. No, not every comic panel needs a background. But every background needs the same development as your characters. There are main environments in Peanuts and Calvin and Hobbes, like Calvin’s living room, his bedroom, walking through the fields, the sidewalk or school. Same with Peanuts. There are iconic background such as the brick wall were Charlie Brown thinks about life, Snoopy’s doghouse, at school and so forth. These environments don’t change very often and a lot of times the setting helps set up the joke.
To Schulz and Watterson the backgrounds are also characters and help establish story telling.
Even Garfield has established this, and it’s not very hard considering 90% of Garfield’s comics take place at Jon’s house.
I don’t see that in Alex Ze Pirate and very little of it in SYAC. I’m not pulled into that world. It would be nice to see know information about where Alex is going, why do people think she’s looks a man, what type of world she lives in, the countries she’s visited and going to, how each one differs in culture, rules and laws and it being done with the characters AND scenery. Yes it’s a LOT of world building, but I’d expect that out of a comic about pirates traveling across the globe causing mischef. It shouldn’t be said in explanations and descriptions but in the comic itself. That way we can imagine the world that surrounds them. That we’re pulled in and we’re reading them. And for SYAC the setting changes very little, basically from con to home to con again. Even then, you travel to different cons, instead people meeting you, you go out and meet people. Build the world you characters live in even if it’s constantly changing. You can even use this as an advantage. Take a camera with you and take pictures of everything and everyone, go to an interesting museum to reference, make it fun for yourself.
I’m tired and this thing’s probably riddle with grammar errors, but it bothered me so it had to be said.