Here’s an emotional scene of two characters hugging, from the latest Questionable Content.

Here’s one from Octopus Pie, snipped to better fit into Tumblr (they’re also smooching, but let’s ignore than for a second).

Here’s a hug from Gunnerkrigg Court, a comic with a lot of emotional hugging

Here’s some person’s deviant art I found when googling “Webcomic hug”

And here’s a Sandra and Woo, from the same Google Search

Here’s a homework question for you all: How is the Questionable Content hug different from the other four, and why am I bringing this up?

Lots of good answers! I should assign Homework more often

The one I had in mind was that the QC comic used sterile flat-angle mid shots for every panel, like a newspaper gag-a-day comic, even though it was trying to convey an emotional scene. Generally (and it’s certainly possible to overdo this!), emotional scenes should have appropriate angles

While a flat angle makes the whole scene, well, flat, and is best used for talking head comics, or when you actively want to remove emotion from a scene for some purpose (usually a joke)

pacnrun answered: it’s not as dynamic as the others; most of those examples have a sense of movement or fluidity to them. QC hug is pretty stiff and doesn’t really convey what type of emotions are being felt.


I’d like to point out the second-to-last panel of that Gunnerkrigg Court page. If you knew nothing of GK and saw just that panel, you could make some pretty good assumptions about what’s going on, even without the text balloon. Annie is unbalanced, and standing at a weird angle. If Kat were to move, Annie would fall down. Kat, meanwhile, is ramrod straight. Just from their positions, you know that Kat is *supporting* Annie emotionally, because she’s literally supporting her physically. The Zombiesmile comic is the similarly a “Comforting” hug.

Likewise, the Octopus Pie hug. Even if these girls weren’t kissing, this is very obviously a romantic hug.

Even Sandra and Woo, where the emotion of the hug is but a set-up for the punchline of Woo stealing the lollipop, the relationship between them is made clear (though the S&W is the weakest of the examples, since it’s a joke strip)

Sithar reblogged and added

>I am no artist but in the Questionable Content hug there is barely any overlap with the characters and their positions are very rigid. Meanwhile in every other hug the positions more dynamic and there is more overlap between the characters.

Here is a picture to illustrate me point.

Also the overlap creates a feeling of closeness and the positions feel more natural.

It’s a bit of overlap and a bit “Line of Action”, as well.

To be fair, now, the Red Robot lady doesn’t really want to be hugged, so this is a more difficult hug to “shoot” without breaking character.

But here’s the first Google Image Result for “comforting hug from behind”. It’s zoomed in, more intimate, focused on character expressions. Whereas the QC panel

Has all this space dedicated to some random-ass wall and Faye’s feet. It’s not zoomed out enough to emphasize loneliness (as is the GK final panel, and would be a perfectly cromulent choice here), it just means that the center of the panel is the back of Faye’s head.