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Liz Mosely: So, what exactly is it that I do as a comic character?

Greg: Well, let's see... You'll play video games, drink as much soda as you want, comment on whatever you feel like, go wherever you want, and do as you please.

Liz Mosely: Holy cow! There's absolutely no downside to this job!

Greg: Well, there is the limited hand mobility, but you'll get used to that.

Strictly speaking, any outright avoidance of the Lazy Artist to actually draw a particular thing. This is usually self-admitted and if it carries an apologetic tone, the implication is that trying to draw a difficult scene element would result making the work uglier. Extremely common with amateur artists. Can get extremely glaring with something the audience is expecting to see; hands, in particular, are often seen to be very difficult to draw. And they are. A hand is a mess of overlapping and foreshortened digits, odd wrinkles, and tendons poking out in the strangest of places - plus, while there are only so many different positions that, say, arms or ears or eyes can assume, hands can be found in an almost infinite variety of poses holding an infinite number of things. And considering people tend to naturally focus on hands, one minor mistake can ruin an entire picture. There are entire sections in art libraries and entire university courses devoted only to hands.

Do not confuse with playing pocket billiards.

Examples of Hands in Pockets include:

Anime and Manga

  • Kubo Tite's apparent aversion to backgrounds, especially when you compare later chapters to the first ones, has become somewhat memetic.

 Kubo Tite: Backgrounds can tell you where a character is, but I don't think it's that important. I don't want to draw a background if the focus is on the character.

  • A much more minor example: Ken Akamatsu has stated that the reason that Chachamaru is in her loli form for a good chunk of Negima's magic world arc is because it's easier to draw than her adult form.
  • Similarly, in Wish angels and demons shrunk to chibi forms during the night or day respectively, or when sprinkled with a certain potion was at least in part a work-saving measure for the chief artist.
  • Odd example: Pokémon has no qualms about drawing characters' hands filling the screen, but except for a handful of early episodes, fingernails are rarely seen.

Comic Books

  • The infamous Rob Liefeld, among other anatomical habits, keeps characters' feet obscured or off panel.
    • And when they are on the panel, they're always standing on their tip toes, sometimes always for no apparent reason. He either refuses to or can't draw feet in a normal standing position.
      • And then there was at least one occasion where the characters didn't have any feet, their legs just ended in flared stumps. Which would have been just fine if the rest wasn't in Rob's normal "I actually think this is what real people look like" style.
      • Hence, the ever infamous Worst 40 Liefieldisms.
  • Gotlib is making fun of this trope in one of his comics about cartoonists: a (fictional) comic book panel drawn by a "cheating" artist is supposed to show the exciting and terrible battle of Waterloo... but most of the panel is occupied by a big cannon and a pile of cannonballs.

Live-Action TV

  • On Wings, Casey reveals that she can only draw people as caricatures, and always draws skis on them because she can't draw feet. Video

Newspaper Comics

  • Scott Adams has admitted that he likes putting hats on Dogbert because he finds the top of Dogbert's head hard to draw. He also saves time by "drawing only the feet of dead people". He also only draws the lens-end of TV cameras because he doesn't know what they look like from behind.
  • Referenced in one Peanuts strip where Charlie Brown commented on a picture of a man drawn by Linus:

 Charlie Brown: "I note that you drew him with his hands behind his back. This is because you, yourself, have feelings of insecurity."

Linus: "No. I did that because I, myself, can't draw hands!"


Video Games

Web Comics

  • Real Life Comics (of which a fair amount is a so-called Cut and Paste Comic) avoids hands, and the author does a few Lampshade Hangings about the characters' habit of keeping hands in their pockets.
  • Occasionally cited as a reason why Funny Animal comics are popular with amateur artists. The Uncanny Valley is less defined than in people, so it's much easier to get away with not actually drawing different facial expressions.
  • Questionable Content rarely shows its characters' feet (mostly just because of the composition of the shots). One poster featuring full-length views of several main characters was captioned "proof that I can, in fact, draw feet".
  • Subverted in this Sam and Fuzzy strip.
  • Done only by Naomi, for the sake of a joke in The Last Days of Foxhound, she gets called out by Grey Fox/Cyborg Ninja for doing this. She cites the cold for this habit.
  • chainsawsuit: "I like this guy's art, but you can tell he hates drawing hands and feet." The superhero in the comic has his hands obscured by a lamp, a chandelier, a pelican, newspaper, and a roof. And even the pelican's feet are obscured.
  • Kaja and Phil Foglio, of Girl Genius fame, seem to avoid drawing Von Pinn's legs and feet. When you see a full picture of her, you understand that these are hard and time-consuming to draw.
  • Strewth! shows you how it's done.

Real Life

  • The founder of the Museum of Bad Art has noted this as one of the common features of paintings in its collection. One example is Sunday on the Pot with George, where, although the artist painted George's hands, he extended George's legs in order to avoid having to paint his feet.
  • The reason why so many images of Napoleon or George Washington tucking in their hands inside their coats was because of this. Most painters, even the best ones, had difficulty drawing hands of a realistic size and ask their subjects to tuck in their hands.
  • It is known that Francisco Goya charged extra for every single hand he had to paint.
    • Many other portrait artists charged their clients extra for the inclusion of a hand, which explains why Napoleon is often depicted with his had tucked into his jacket.