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Zachary Snyder

Zachary Snyder

I'm an engineering student who recently started 'Stupid Inventor' as a bi-weekly webcomic. It's based on my YouTube channel Stupid Inventions, where I build most of the crazy contraptions mentioned in the comic. ALL POSTS

Stupid Inventor - Entry Challenge

See Zachary Snyder's entry, read what the judges had to say, and see Zachary's reaction below.

Richard Thompson: "This looks too much like a college strip, which is not always a bad thing but here it just means it looks under-developed. Several of the gags have potential; holding the door, the drive-thru window. I like the idea of a science geek strip (which is why I love Monty), and I wish he did more with that side of it. I like the idiotic clanky robot in the final strip, but not so much the monkey. It just seems likely that the strip might devolve into snarky animals arguing about pop culture."

Michael Cavna: "The iconic style of art is bold and functional, if not overly distinctive. And the lettering -- which looks to be a standard computer font, awkward spacing/leading and all -- is clear but too crude. Ah, but the real laugh-out-loud gag here -- the 'Twilight'/'Twilight Zone' joke -- is deftly played and paced here. It's the kind of joke that makes me look twice for that spark of atypical talent -- and the kind that makes some cartoonists admit under their breath: 'Wish I'd thought-a that.'"

Amy Lago: "'Stupid Inventor' left me looking for more strips to read. It's the same feeling I get when I finish a good book. Although this concept owes much to early 'Dilbert,' there's room for growth."

"It is truly humbling to be one of the 10 finalists, let alone one of the final five! Thank you to everyone who voted for me. No matter who is chosen as "America's Next Great Cartoonist," this has truly been an amazing, one-of-a-kind experience! I want to also thank the judges for their keen insight, and I will try to take that advice into account as I continue to work on Stupid Inventor. My favorite user comment was the person who disliked my comic while fully admitting he didn't actually read any of them. To the people who actually read the strips and voted for me, I hope to live up to your expectations with my Sunday strip!"


By Zachary Snyder  |  June 14, 2010; 1:45 PM ET  | Category:  Amy Lago , Cartoonists' reactions , Entries , Michael Cavna , Richard Thompson
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Of all the finalists I enjoyed the humor in this strip the best. All of them made me laugh, especially the first strip. I swear I've had that exact conversation in my head. Really loved the Twilight Zone one also. They were all good. I think for me what sets this above the others is that this is a character I can relate to. Keep up the good work, Zachary!

Posted by: Chip_M | July 4, 2010 9:52 PM
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when strips first come out in newspapers they almost allways look bad drawing but in this strip u can see it has greatness to go far and most important kids will like it that little monkeys looks so funny great work zach

Posted by: whiteside595 | July 4, 2010 9:21 PM
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Second best-- liked the character and sidekick.

Posted by: mj64 | July 4, 2010 8:25 PM
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It's probably the most original idea but as far as the art goes it's amateur hour all the way. The horizon line in the 3rd strip is three points thicker than the rest for no reason and the drawing of him holding an ice pack to his head looks like the struggle of a lifetime. I would not draw characters I like the earth the satellite and the radio towers.
do more with that. That strip saved the set from total artistic meltdown.

Posted by: beanball1 | July 2, 2010 9:24 AM
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This entrant has a video on YouTube begging for votes--pathetic. This is the worst entry of the bunch and I certainly hope the Washington Post is sufficiently sophisticated to keep people from "gaming" the system to compensate for their lack of talent.

Posted by: franklloyd1 | July 1, 2010 8:25 PM
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Posted by: whiteside595 | July 1, 2010 7:28 PM
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all man i think stupid inventor will be great after it developes because who has though of a monkey as the side kick this is great

Posted by: whiteside595 | June 29, 2010 8:08 PM
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thought one of them was funny about the monkey asking if the experiment in the fridge, if it was just leftover dessert or an experiment, that was the only funny one i liked.

Posted by: mjgavaghan1 | June 25, 2010 1:26 PM
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thought one of them was funny about the monkey asking if the experiment in the fridge or if it was just leftover dessert, some funny stuff.

Posted by: mjgavaghan1 | June 25, 2010 1:24 PM
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Of the finalists that are left... I liked this one the best. The humor is good, even if the art is a bit... lacking. But, frankly, none of these contestants rise to a level that I can see having them around for years to come. No Farside, Calvin and Hobbes, Pearls Before Swine, Mutts, Liberty Meadows...

Posted by: JorgeGortex | June 24, 2010 12:22 PM
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You know... the point of the comics style it that the art tells the story, not that each panel is a masterpiece. This strip's art succeeds in propelling and telling the story well which is not always the case even with "pro" strips.

I have to say that first one with the door had me laughing out loud. Plus I like robots.

Posted by: mandrake | June 24, 2010 11:55 AM
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There's something about this style that endears the strips to me. I like it.

The Twilight strip is the best of these.

Posted by: JohninMpls | June 24, 2010 11:49 AM
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I'm voting for Stupid Inventor just to prove that you don't need to know how to draw or be funny to be in the comics section.

Posted by: cowboymctrashface | June 23, 2010 11:37 PM
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I thought the writing was clever and the pacing of the gags was nicely done, but the art took me right out of it.

Posted by: kalo_rama | June 23, 2010 11:24 AM
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it's my favorite so far, I have the door thing going on here at work, we have a lot of hallways and doors and this situation comes up all the time, so he got me right away. I love the little critter too. And the last one was very funny imo. Sometimes I dislike artwork enough to dump a strip (One Big Happy is one of them) but this one doesn't bother me.

Posted by: Harise | June 21, 2010 4:53 PM
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Since when is abysmal drawing skill considered a style? I mean seriously, in the first panel of the last comic the guy's hand is on backwards and his left arm is inexplicably twice as long as his right! That's not a style, that's just pathetic.

Even if the writing were any good, the aptly-described "rubber stamp" illustrations are inexcusable. This comic strip is a TP-dispensing toilet flusher, but please do not go back to the drawing board.

Posted by: pigmonkey | June 20, 2010 7:31 PM
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I couldn't get past the weird, rubber-stamp looking art to see if the comedy was worthwhile but I feel pretty safe in assuming the worst.

Posted by: comicsfan666 | June 16, 2010 3:23 PM
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I completely disagree--these strips were by far my favorites. Maybe they do owe a bit to the concept and/or type of humor of Dilbert, but guess what--that's what made Dilbert so hugely successful. I don't know about the "lettering" or art or whatever, but each of these strips made me laugh, and the characters seem really engaging. I was disappointed when I reached the end. Zach, if you don't make it through this round, please self-publish!!

Posted by: DCist0305 | June 16, 2010 3:15 PM
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As far as I'm concerned, the comic-strip-for-science-geeks slot is filled with XKCD. I feel like Mr. Snyder is trying to emulate that, but doing so poorly.

Posted by: Chasmosaur1 | June 16, 2010 11:54 AM
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Nope, not doing anything for me.
Nice style, but...

Posted by: InkSlingerz | June 16, 2010 11:41 AM
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Nice. Clean style, but not doing anything for me either.

Posted by: InkSlingerz | June 16, 2010 11:39 AM
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Another awkward guy strip. whoopee.

I'm with the gals in the Twilight Zone panel. See ya later.

Posted by: MsJS | June 16, 2010 10:16 AM
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