Give some examples of comics that contain tropes. Include links and discuss if the trope was used successfully or not. Use a variety of comics, such as those that utilize tropes purposefully and those that are doing so unconsciously (or seem to be,) as well as those in which the storytelling is strengthened or weakened by the tropes, in spite of the tropes, or in absence of the tropes.
I'm going to dive in with a simple one, the webcomic "Too Much Information" www.tmi-comic.com Trope - protagonist, Ace, is a young man forced to make his way in the world. - used successfully because is important to the plot, without a lot of lamenting over the hardships of the situation. It is nearly lost in the humor that his mother threw him out because she did not approve of his gaming strategy in a first person shooter. This is even revisited later on in the comic when he explains to his mother that what she though was him 'camping' was him being away from the computer because she had asked him for a snack. (yes mother and son were playing against each other)
Trope - Ace cannot stay out of trouble - less successful because it starts to become cliche, but not a total fail because the comic is centered on him, and on how he deals with trouble.
Trope - shoulder angel and devil team - successful because the angel and devil team become characters of substance and help move the plot along, and not just symbols of inner conflict. Ace even has some interactions (and intercourse) with them.
Summary: After defeating the ultimate evil in junior high, three magic-girls go public. They become national celebrities fighting off reincarnations, allies, and 'I've leveled up and want a rematch' mid-bosses. However, after a few years, they win. No more monsters, no more publicity/money.
Thoughts: A good twist that helps with a character's backstory. I think it strengthens the comic
Summary: The seer and his assistance mount a rescue mission because of a terrible vision. However, they forgot to feed/put out the cat. This is a classic trope. The reason it works is because it happens in real life so much. I've locked my I.D. badge in the dorm-room, made an emergency grocery run without my wallet. Also, anyone who's owned a cat will also enjoy the 'I have pets, not nice things,' cliche.
Thoughts: The joke lightens the serious mood. While funny it kills the tension. A good laugh, but that's all. Trope - Not so dangerous biker bar. Used in Wapsi Square
Thoughts: Old, old joke that's all in the delivery. It could have broken the comic, but it worked. It helped show emotions depth of Monica's and her friends' relationship. Later needed to allow 'believablity' of reactions later in the plot.
Grade: Nostalgia points for when Wapsi Square wasn't all magic all the time
A more meta look at superheroics, and questions the morality of society through the lens of a former superhero. Obviously looks at morality, deconstructing the 'black and white morality' viewpoint, and emphasising a more 'grey and grey morality' ideology. Various characters have a 'tragic backstory', used to add depth to and invoke sympathy for characters, without over-doing to the point of evoking a reaction befitting 'narm'. Deconstructs the superhero genre in general, especially given the state of the superhero group the protagonist formerly belonged to (which is, pretty much disbanded). Overall, they handle the use of tropes effectively to explore a message about morality and society, albeit likely the use of tropes is not entirely intentional.
A comic that started rather light-hearted, Nimona received critical acclaim for its handling of plot and the wonderful depth it gave to characters. We have the large, mysterious organisation that may or may not be at the hearts of various conspiracies, we have 'villains with a heart of gold', we see that 'good is not nice', and the truthfulness of Nimona's 'tragic backstory' comes into question. Without intentional use of tropes, "Nimona" executed a series of well-prepared surprises and characters with a storyline that utilised, amongst others 'Chekhov's gun' in a very effective manner.
Questionable Content (questionablecontent.net)
A slice-of-life comic about a group of friends. That's really all that can be easily summed up about it. Then you go in deeper, and it involves many, many, MANY tropes it has invoked in the ten or so years it's been running. These include holiday specials, 'protagonist of another story', subversions of various tropes and so on so forth. However, it seems unlikely that these were intentional; rather, just the byproduct of the author's sense of humour. Regardless, the tropes are well-executed.
Menage a 3 (And Spin-offs) (ma3comic.com)
A comedic slice-of-life comic about the sexual misadventures of the characters. Title references the sexual position menage a trois, which surprisingly refers to how the three characters live together. Looks at tropes such as 'closeted gay man', 'camp gay', and various other sexual stereotypes. Also veers into 'harem' sometimes, for comedic purposes. Heavy doses of the 'rule of funny' and 'beleaguered protagonist'. Also include 'yandere' and 'foe-yay' characters. MA3 and associated comics successfully manipulate tropes to draw as much comedic potential out of the situation as possible.
Battle Dog (battle-dog.tumblr.com)
An over-the-top fighting comic, "Battle Dog" parodies many modern-day fantasy and anime tropes, including the uses of time-travel, 'heel-face turn' and others. This includes the use of multiple, clearly defined 'hero's journey', a transformation sequence, metatextual references and also 'play within a play'. There are way too many to possibly list. Essentially, the premise of Battle Dog is to references tropes in a tongue-in-cheek manner whilst making a comic. They succeeded.
NOTE 1: The lack of comprehensive links is the fact that going and archive-binging multiple comics for references is not my idea of fun. NOTE 2: The reason for the lack of badly used tropes says less about the state of webcomics than my taste in them
SuperHero Alias: The Baron.
Powers: Teleport objects and entities through shadows.