As any long-time reader of Tangents knows, I don’t particularly like it when cartoonists use Copy-and-Paste artwork. Part of this lies with the fact that it is through practice and repetition that artists improve their artistic talents; by using CaP, webcartoonists ultimately cheat both themselves and their readers. That’s not to say that CaP doesn’t have a place in artwork when used in moderation (and primarily for background elements or patterns). At first glimpse the artwork in today’s Questionable Content looks to be CaP (and to be honest, Jeph Jacques utilizes Copy-and-Paste frequently for his background art).
But looking closer there are subtle differences in each panel; each of the five characters moves slightly in each panel, with different body postures and facial expressions culminating in the final strip. Any hack can utilize CaP to save time. It is only the best of artists who can draw the same panel four times (with perhaps the basic shapes copied before being expanded upon) and make it appear like Copy-and-Paste when in fact each panel is something new. My hat’s off to Jacques, for pulling the wool over my eyes, and masterfully creating the illusion of stillness while retaining movement and life for each panel.