CUEK #523

Hey guys! Thank you all so much for your feedback and comments these last couple of days. You guys are seriously the best. It's been an absolute blast drawing Design Junkies, but it certainly is a significant departure from the old style of Cheer Up, Emo Kid strips. I'd love to see what you all think about it moving forward, so here's the million dollar question for you:


Which do you prefer -- the old style or the new style? Why not both, and just separate them? Let me know in the comments!

Episode Commentary


Also, I'm going to be in Calgary this weekend for Calgary Expo. I've scheduled as many comics as I could make, but I won't have anything ready for next week. I'm going to take the time to wait for poll results, write some more strips and build a buffer, and I'm aiming to resume updates on May 9th at the earliest. Sorry for the delay, and thanks for understanding!

If you wanna read Design Junkies from the beginning again, here's a quick link.

Comments (59)

  1. Comment Hidden

    I am SO happy you went back to your original design! That's the one I know and love ❤

  2. Comment Hidden

    I love the continuing story arc and the style of the art. I also enjoy your older style one off comments. Honestly if you could do a combination of both ie the Design Junkies thing say on alternating weeks? Or maybe just once a month. The boss is an awesome character and cameos could easily slip into your other comics.

  3. Comment Hidden

    I personally enjoy the older style better but I also like this new style too so It might be a better idea to use them both but separate them

  4. Comment Hidden

    In terms of art I think the comics art was strongest shortly before and shortly after the reboot. The style here just doesn't do it for me. The comics with the sketchy dark grey and white comics with the line shading felt very professional, it was nice to see some details too. The before the reboot, with the scarce use of colour and defined character details, clothes .etc definitely looked the best. The original design reminded me of actual common Emo art, like Pon and Zi and shit, which kind of made it feel like an actual parody of Emo shit. I think CheerUpEmoKid has kinda deviated from it's roots and moved into other areas of humor.

    Of course like many people said, one of the cool things about CUEK is that it has had various styles over the years. Changing it up can actually make it quite interesting.

    In terms of the story, attracting lots of viewers works best when you update often with lots of one hits (Like that shithole Explosm) but having a coherent plot keeps people engaged, encourages people to go back and catch up and to keep coming back to see what happens next. It's like junk food vs. healthy meals, most people like both.

    I'd place my vote on whatever you want to do, personally I prefer the two styles I mentioned and when it's got a coherent plot, broken up with one hits as a kind of interlude. Entirely up to you, I'm happy with whatever I get.

  5. Comment Hidden

    Hello! I like both but i prefer the old style. It has it unique way of expression. I read always your comic, keep going, Matias from Argentina

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  7. Comment Hidden

    Old style please. I got really confused as to who was talking and I dont know who that was that was with phil to say "Sorry you didnt get the job" so please take into consideration changing it back to the old style

  8. Comment Hidden

    I honestly prefer the old style. I do like the direction that this style is going in, but I still miss the old style. If you could separate them that would be awesome

  9. Comment Hidden

    I think the old style wins hands-down, but YMMV of course. Perhaps a return to the old gang, with occasional forays down paths like design Junkies as a break, and to keep Enzo from getting bored. Surely a cartoonist needs to stretch the creative synapses once in a while. Personally, I prefer the old drawing style, as well. It's more . . . distinctive. When you think of Peanuts or Calvin and Hobbes, it immediately brings a specific style to mind. Same here.

  10. Comment Hidden

    I don't really find the new one interesting at all.

    I like Phil. The other people are just filler in the new one. And as much as I like Phil, he is more a supporting role character than a leading man.

    I miss the old crew.

  11. Comment Hidden

    I prefer the old but the new is nice as well. So I guess my final answer is that if it's not going back to just old then at least a combination of both.

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  13. Comment Hidden

    Both would work together, just in different strips for the story content. That said, it could take away from the surprise by being able to tell a more serious one from a more cartoon-ish one. In the end, it is all up to you and thank you for continuing this for so long.

  14. Comment Hidden

    I like the new style, but I'd enjoy more of the old characters and such, along with complex and engaging sidelines that addressed complex issues, like the old ones.

  15. Comment Hidden

    Really enjoyed the new comic- but I loved the old one. I would read both if you wrote both, but I understand if you only have time for one. I'll read whatever you put out, and you should go with whichever you are more passionate about. That being said, I really hope you stick with Cheer Up Emo Kid.

  16. Comment Hidden

    I enjoy both styles. I would vote to keep both styles mainly because you can separate them as different character groups possibly. I'd hate to see you go back to just the old style as I'm sure you came up with the new style to challenge yourself and try something new. You should be able to evolve as an artist and try out new things. Keep the humor the same and I'll keep reading no matter what the art style you take on.

  17. Comment Hidden

    i much prefer the old style, at most like you say split them.

    that "shading style" in the new comics just.. dunno... doesn't work for me feels like i'm seeing a rough unfinished sketch

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  20. Comment Hidden

    Am i the only one noticing the double "Did you" in Enzo description under the comic? :v Also i really love this style more than the previous. Seems more elegant and sh1t

  21. Comment Hidden

    Okay, the short of it is: both styles have their own uniqueness, but personally I prefer the old.

    The long of it is The old style has a charm to it that made the comic easier to digest in both its serious moments, and its outrageous moments. The new style feels a lot more personalized and serious, which in my opinion takes away from the cartoonish nature of the comic, turning the tides from a very silly and cartoony comic that dealt with some serious issues, and dark humor, to a semi-serious looking comic that goes into some weird cartoony antics. I feel like it works well with the structured short arcs like this one, but how it feels with more balls-to-the-wall jokes may be iffy.

    Plus I kinda liked having samey looking models. It gave the feeling like everyone is kind of the same, but slightly little different.

  22. Comment Hidden

    The new style is fun, but what about the old characters?

  23. Comment Hidden

    The new style is great! I especially like the continuing story.

  24. Comment Hidden

    What I'd personally recommend is doing a mix of both. I'm not sure if you're familiar with Ctrl+Alt+Del, although you probably are. Tim does a series strip for a time (Similar to how Design Junkies is), then when he's on a pause for that does his normal jokey comics. It's a pretty good blend and I think a similar method of production could work for you. Do a story-line for a bit, do some normal/older stuff, then do another story-line.

    Of course what I'd most highly recommend is just doing what feels comfortable. Don't let it stress you out too much and keep it fun for yourself.

  25. Comment Hidden

    Man, I'd hate to step on your creativity, so if your heart tells you to go one way then do it. Don't cater to the fans, express what you feel.
    I think a fair alternative would be use different styles for different story lines.
    Any decision you make I will still love the comic

  26. Comment Hidden

    I love that this is a part of your greater universe. "Yoga Instructor" really needed some fleshing out and the occasional inside baseball strip like Design Junkies, Truth (FREE), or Responsive Webcomic really helps flesh things out and bring your life into the comic.

    Having said that, there's a reason why I'm subscribed to you and not Dilbert. If the comic turns into "Phil Clark: Office Hijinks" full-time I can't see staying subscribed.

    If you're worried about the limitations of one style or another, don't be. Do what's best for the story. Sometimes that means tons of attention to detail and shading, sometimes that means tiny, colorful stick figures. Some comics change styles so drastically page-to-page that it's hard to follow who the characters are. (Homestuck.) Bill Waterson would spend hours drawing a simple visual gag, but maybe only a few minutes on a strip with good dialogue. (Calvin & Hobbes 10th anniversary book p. 32)

    What I'm saying is, they're not two different things. Do them both, inline, as the mood strikes you. Both will be better for it.

  27. Comment Hidden

    We're I given the final choice... I'd honestly say both. Each way has its own charm, and shifts the focus in subtle ways. If you need to settle on one style, I'd say the one that works best for the story you want to tell. That said, I'd love it if you find a way to incorporate both, ala Sinfest.

  28. Comment Hidden

    Love the new comic's dilbert-ish vibe but also kinda miss old CUEK antics especially frank and zeke XD

  29. Comment Hidden
    Some Random Guy

    I really liked this new series, with a consistent story arc and all that. Some of the older story arcs, like the catfish one, continue to be my favourites of your comics. That being said, your one-offs are also hilarious. Personally, I'd most like an alternation, but honestly Enzo, it doesn't matter what you make, I'll still read it.

  30. Comment Hidden

    I agree do a split

  31. Comment Hidden

    Which style makes you happier, Enzo? It's your work, not ours. If you're happy, that's all that really matters, and people WILL enjoy your work if you are enjoying it.

  32. Comment Hidden

    I really enjoyed the design of your original style, it's part of what got me hooked onto the comics. But I've also really enjoyed what you've done artistically with the new style as well. I think it's really nice to see an evolution of an artists style within their comics, so I say go for keeping the new style!

  33. Comment Hidden

    It still looks great enzo, i find the best is when the artist just does what they feel comfortable with. That being said, most of us are going to say just do what you feel like

  34. Comment Hidden

    BOTH. Both are great.

  35. Comment Hidden
    Daniel Reynolds

    Absolutely do both. It really shows your range of ability, and there's no reason you can't do both. This was absolutely captivating from beginning to end, really enjoyable man.

  36. Comment Hidden

    I liked it, I wouldn't be opposed to seeing more of it

  37. Comment Hidden

    Work on both. I've always liked this character, but I like the other ones too. Old style and new style are both appealing to me.

  38. Comment Hidden

    I've really enjoyed the recent comics, and if you wanted to keep drawing in this style I'd be very happy. If you wanted to go back to more what you've done in the past I'd be very happy too. I'm here for your humor, really, and I've been here a long time.

    Back in high school I read through Questionable Content starting from the very first strip. At the time Jeph was only on 1600 strips or so, but still the amount that his drawing ability evolved over the course of the comic was staggering. There's a kind of meta story hidden there; you don't only get the story he wrote, you get a kind of window into the author too. I think that that is something you see in a lot of webcomics, especially ones that have been around for ages.

    So PLEASE, Enzo: KEEP EVOLVING. Don't keep doing it one way just because it's the way you've done it for years, or because it's what you think we want. Do it YOUR way. That's the ONLY way for this to be the best that it can be. This comic is your art first and foremost, isn't it?

    When you made that short series about your dog, that was the impression I got; that it was personal. And by the way, I adore that comic. It's probably my favorite thing that you've ever posted.

    Just keep on being awesome Enzo. That's all we want.

    • Comment Hidden

      You don't only get the story he wrote, you get a kind of window into the author too.

      I thought that for a while too about artists and their works, then I played "The Beginner's Guide" and I'm not so sure anymore.
      (Well I am biased, but I think every artist should play or at least watch that game.)

  39. Comment Hidden

    The "new style" is just "different" to me, not "new" at feels like you wanted to experiment, which you did and which I did not mind at all. You could expreminet and you could make it worse but you didn't, but it's not better, it's not worse, it's just different.

    I may be nitpicking but.... you use color there and there, but there was no color in the "new" style of yours. Different shapes and expressions but still a gray color's almost imposible to improve if you keep everything else same with your high level of artistic style. Also when I go over the whole Design Junkies story again, it feels like you still have not stabilized this "new" style....but the takeaway migh also be that you already make great comic and whatever you see as "improvement" may be too difficult for us anon plebs of the internet 🙂

    You are asking what we think of it moving forward, but I'm certain this is not forward, but completely a different direction...and I can't tell whether it's the right direction if you ask me.

  40. Comment Hidden

    I really like both! I like it when you change things up every once in a while, keeps me interested!

  41. Comment Hidden

    I like both of them a lot but I liked the lack of noses in the old style but I like the shading and stuff in the new style. Just combine those aspects and you're good

  42. Comment Hidden

    I liked your old, clean style a lot. But you started a great developement into something new here that I also like. And seeing how the comics improved drastically over a few issues already I say: Keep going! Don't step back just because it is comfortable, keep up with the new developement.

  43. Comment Hidden

    I think it's one style. The Enzo Style. If you feel nostalgia and want to draw the old style, go for it. If you feel inspired and want to draw new, go for it. Want to try everyone as a square or stick figure and let everyone guess who is who, bangarang. I can't speak for everyone (though a lot would agree), but I'd love your art styles and no matter what way you draw, the comic will be amazing.

  44. Comment Hidden

    Depends on what your goal is. If your goal is catharsis, then do what makes you happy and let the audience sort themselves out. If your goal is to get eyeyballs, I'd wager the comics without running characters would broaden your audience faster since standalone comics can, well, stand alone. If your goal is to push yourself and improve upon your own talent, then do whichever of the two you find more challenging and uncomfortable, and then build upon that over time (google 'purposeful practics Freakenomics' to get more elaboration on that).

  45. Comment Hidden

    I love both styles equally, don't make me choose, you monster!

  46. Comment Hidden

    I love the new style ... but I loved the old style too. I CAN'T DECIDE!! THIS IS TOO MUCH PRESSURE!!! Seriously, though, you are a talented artist -- your art is amazing and I think it's cool that you're experimenting with new styles. At the end of the day it comes down to whether YOU like the new style, and if it inspires you more. Keep up the good work either way!

    • Comment Hidden

      I think it's one style. The Enzo Style. If you feel nostalgia and want to draw the old style, go for it. If you feel inspired and want to draw new, go for it. Want to try everyone as a square or stick figure and let everyone guess who is who, bangarang. I can't speak for everyone (though a lot would agree), but I'd love your art styles and no matter what way you draw, the comic will be amazing.

  47. Comment Hidden

    The new comics are great, but losing the old style would be a shame. So. Yeah. Both.

  48. Comment Hidden

    Good work on both's hard to decide! I like this new style a lot though, so if it's working for you, keep it going.

  49. Comment Hidden

    Oh hey, the profiles work now!

  50. Comment Hidden

    Really diggin' the new stuff. But giving up one the original comic would leave a big hole.
    So... BOTH is the answer!

  51. Comment Hidden

    The view results link renders the last comic before this one in a frame instead of the results 😀

  52. Comment Hidden

    Just a heads up - your "view results" part of your survey isn't working for me - on a mac trying both chrome and safari

    I am enjoying both comic styles though 🙂 I'm now thinking my vote might not have been counted...