Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Quirks of Time

As I see it there are at least two things wrong with today's strip:

1. The author tries to avoid the Mary Worth Syndrome by introducing a brand new fact in the first panel -- the small troll, Shecky, is in love.



Isn't that ducky. In the last panel of the previous strip we were told that he's here to spend Christmas with his fellow troll, saving us from the banality of the "who's taking the troll home for Christmas?" storyline. This new information renders the entire previous strip a total waste of time -- well, three out of four panels at least. The introduction of Shecky is the only event that has carried over.

2. In the third panel, two things happen: Shecky reveals the less-than-romantic nature of his infatuation, and the Brent character snatches something out of his hands.



What's wrong with this picture? The look on Shecky's face makes no sense given the continuity of the panel. Here's what happens:

Shecky holds up picture » He says "Heh. Loaded!" » Brent snatches the photo

The look on Shecky's face is obviously not reflecting his one line in the panel ("Heh. Loaded!"), so it must be reacting to Brent's actions. This is odd because Shecky is both on the left side of the panel (the first to be seen) and has the first line (the first to act chronologically), yet when you first approach the panel he is reacting to something that has yet to happen, either spatially or chronologically.

While time is obviously subjective in comics, the author hasn't left himself enough room in the panel to take liberties.

Fun Punchline Facts

Punchline exists? Yes.
Punchline rating: 2 out of 10 (penalty for overused "ugly tree" cliche)

10 comments:

Fake Nick Denton said...

I'm disappointed that your critique didn't include the obvious:

namely that the punchline of today's strip is unbelievably trite and completely unfunny

PVP == Mediocrity said...

You have inspired a new feature: The Punchline Rating Widget

Scott said...

This is the greatest website ever.

Vebman said...

You're right Kurtz, it is! Bookmarked

Anonymous said...

You know, I didn't even realize she was a Gorgon until she turned Brent to stone.

Anonymous said...

da bit after the fact, but-- aren't his lips pursed because he's in the middle of saying "loaded" as the picture is snatched away?

Anonymous said...

What is Mary Worth Syndrome? A Google search only returns this blog...

Anonymous said...

Most likely something made up to get more attention...

Anonymous said...

I think im going to make a blog about your blog and then maybe you can in turn make a blog about me making a blog about your blog! Gee that would shore be fun a-hyuck!!

Anonymous said...

"he is reacting to something that is yet happened"

This combination of words is unclear.

I'm not sure whether you were trying to say - "something that is yet to happen" or "something that has not yet happened"

I believe the snapshot was taken while Shecky was saying loaded and had not yet reacted to Brent snatching the photo.

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