Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Nice! I'm totally being sarcastic right now.

One of the strengths of PVP is that characters are well-defined -- they've been around for a while, and the author has a decent sense of how to write for each of them. This does not come without some pitfalls, however, ones that should be easily avoided but often aren't.

In today's strip, we find Cole talking to Francis about Brent's upcoming wedding. Cole thinks there's a good chance that there won't be a wedding, due to shortcomings on Brent's part.

Ruh-roh. Brent has overheard. But how will Brent react? The totally predictable set up leads us to believe that Brent will not be happy to hear it. But the way the panel is drawn (and even lettered) implies almost no sense of sarcasm in Brent's delivery, leaving the reader up in the air.

The author is too close to his characters, and I'm guessing that he hears the script in his mind, as if spoken out loud, as he lays out his panels. The problem is he doesn't take into account the difficulty in projecting sarcasm using only the written word. Email is a perfect example of this -- we use emoticons in IM and email for just this purpose, but in a comic strip the art is supposed to do the job.

The depiction of both Brent and Cole in the last panel are so lacking in context, that we can do almost anything with the dialog in this panel, including give the line to Cole:

... or give Cole a new line:

This ambiguity can hurt an on-going story line by leaving the reader with a false impression of what happened in the previous strip. If readers aren't given a solid sense of Brent's reaction at the end of this strip, they will be confused when Brent preditably decides that perhaps Cole isn't the right man for the job. And makes the troll his best man. Until Cole redeems himself.

(Anyone want to take bets on whether this is the planned storyline?)


Scott said...

Who are you?

Fake Scott McCloud said...

I am Fake Scott McCloud.

Scott said...

You spend more time thinking about my strip than I do. I think that makes you my biggest fan.

I'm going to post to your site today.

Scott Duster said...

PErsonally, a huge fan of the strip would have realized that Brent hates Skull, and with Francis already appearing in the panel, Francis is the obvious choice for best man.

The fact is, sometimes you have to ride the cliche to do something different. PVP almost always succeeds in this aspect.

Ben said...

Seriously, how do you have this much time in life? Is Scott Kurtz such a pop icon that he deserves this level of analysis? No offense, Scott, you draw an entertaining strip, but this level of dissection is more appropriate for federal legislation than for a webcomic. Or maybe a bad U2 album.

J. R. said...

The fake Scott McCloud? You sir need to get some originality.

Phymns said...

Dude, instead of putting all this effort into hating something, you should pour it into creating something yourself. To create takes guts and yet, more to put the creation out to the public. It takes none to smash it down. Cause the creator, ultimately will not care. You're wasting time and effort. Go create something of your own, sir.

joe said...

no he doesn't need originality. he needs a life. stop living through other people. you might actually accomplish something more than dissecting a comic strip to the point where it's almost creepy.

Anonymous said...

Do you (fake scott mccloud) publish any webcomic ? I would like to see some of your observations about the shortcomings you see in PvP put into a creative effort of your own; perhaps for others to see how you would fare ?

Gary Clair said...

Ahh.. the critic.

Someone who produces nothing, but criticizes those who do.

Tis' the highest form of douchbaggary.

Jeremy Star said...

Just, wow. A whole blog based on something you don't like. Not a post, or a couple of rants, but an entire blog dedicated to a comic you don't like.

That's some dedicated dislike, right there. Or some complete stupidity. I can't decide which.

Wait, yes I can.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry that you feel you deserve more attention than Scott. Life can be unfair sometimes... it's just not in this case.

JediJohnson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I actually agree with you and most of your critiques of PvP fake scott mccloud. PvP doesn't seem to be as good as it used to be (if it ever was that good). I too, did not know whether or not he was using sarcasm in this strip. But the way you maintain a whole blog about it and discuss each strip in such detail seems a bit overdoing it and obsessive. Do you really have this much free time to badmouth this guy's comic?

Jw said...

I disagree with your assessment here. The expression on Brent's face does the job. Brent is always pretty deadpan, and the turn in his brow in this scene is a look almost always reserved for Skull, with whom Brent is continually annoyed. Upon first reading, I got this one. Cole looks surprised in a negative way, Francis looks oblivious, and Brent looks peeved. Works for me.

The Brent/Jade marriage story line is most appealing to long-time readers, I'm guessing— those people would be familiar with Brent's style of speaking. I'm not saying that you have to have read PvP for years to enjoy the strip today, but in this case, I'd say it helps.

From your other posts that I've looked through, it seems to me that you like a little less subtlety in your comic strip, and that you favor hyperbole. I'd say This is more offensive to The Real Scott McCloud than is is to Scott Kurtz.

Maybe that's what you're going for, who knows. I can see the value of analyzing comic strips and giving critique, but I think your stretching the premise pretty thin here.

Anonymous said...

I'd say that the sarcasm in the final panel can be understood through context, as this is something that Brent would not have remarked positively on. However, a tweak in Brent's facial expression may get the point across a little better (easier said then done I'm sure).

James Zintel said...

So, Quiznos or Subway?

Anonymous said...

Jesus - who has this kind of time?

Kevin said...

I actually kind of respect what Fake Scott McCloud has to say. He's got an opinion and he's putting it out there. Whether I agree or disagree with what he as to say makes no difference. He's decided to be critical.

It doesn't matter if FSM doesn't create his own webcomic. No one is calling for Gene Shallit to make his own movie instead of critiquing. The vast majority of people aren't programming their own operating systems when they're complaining about Windows.

I respect what FSM has to say because his critiques are more than just, "Sucked!" or "Gay!"

Jim Cowling said...

Huh. Not only is PvP mediocre, but Kurtz has self-esteem issues. Kurtz, it is nearly impossible for an artist to respond to critics without looking like an ass. You don't have the chops to do so. Bow out.

And all of you PvP fanboys are doing nothing but putting a pathetic face on a community.

I read PvP every day. Sometimes it's great. Sometimes it stinks. Overall, it is mediocre. I came here from the PvP site to find criticism that is entirely fair and doesn't shuffle anywhere near the 'line' that Kurtz sees.

Suck it up, folks.

FSMC: I'd like to see you tackle, in more detail, the weaknesses of the Mary Worth/Rex Morgan serial style and how it applies to PvP, perhaps by taking an especialy weak storyline and a stronger storyline and analyzing their flows.

Gurren said...

Fake scott! it's ok to not like pvp, but then you go and do this, instead of deleting the bookmark and never going back to pvp you make a blog. You citicise it and take everything way to seriously.

Your blog will now be targated by the readers of pvp, the link may disapear from the real scott's blog, but it will forever circle the forums. When you are defeated seen logic and given up,deciding to get a life and stop looking at the site as you hate it, their will still be pvp fans comming on here and tebaging your blog's corpse like n00b on 20 cans of red bull.

Ghaz said...

I think the emotion comes across just fine in the shape of Brent's brow and mouth.

Rachard said...

Maybe we should make a website that criticizes the Fake Scott McCloud. Everytime he criticizes something, we in turn, analyze him down to his very last period. (pun intended)

Seriously, you read these comics for free. It doesn't cost you anything. Don't like it, don't read it. Use the extra time to get a life.

Sumdumguy said...

Huh. Interesting site - criticism has its role in art. For the record, it took me a little thought to realize that the "Nice!" was sarcastic. From the sound of Kurtz' comment I would have thought there was a lengthy critique of each strip.

That said, I have to wonder about the self-awareness of people who take the time to criticize someone for taking the time to criticize a web comic.

TwilightZone said...

Why? Could it be Kurtz's old jilted high school sweetheart? A fledgling cartoonist who was spurned by Kurtz? A mental case who randomly picked on a popular webcomic to boost his self-esteem issues? Is he actually the REAL SCOTT MCCLOUD! Could this all be Kurtz's elaborate plan to boost traffic to his site - Muua-ha-haha!

Anonymous said...

Wow. How very sad.

Gary Clair said...

I was wrong when I called you a "douchbag" earlier.

It's spelled "Douche Bag".. with an 'e' and it's two words.

PVP rules!!

Oh, and you don't have to call yourself the 'fake scott mccloud.'

You're not fooling anyone.

Scott McCloud is intelligent, insightful and articulate.

And you seem to be fighting off unconsciousness, insecurity and mental retardation.

Maybe you should call yourself the 'Opposite-Scott McCloud."

And instead of posting all your thoughts about PVP, and go through the trouble of re-captioning the jokes.. just write out "Me am not talented enough to make me own comic as good as PVP so me make fun of instead."

It's more direct and to the point Douche Bag! 2 words with an e.

Anonymous said...

C'mon guys, Scott Kurtz respects this dude's criticism, so let him vent his spleen. Anyone seen that website that picks apart For Better Or For Worse? Funny stuff!

Can we talk about the fact that Francis looks like some weird mutant insect-boy ever since his hair changed? (Check out today's "RePVP" to see the difference.)

Anonymous said...

Family Circus - Now that makes me sad!

Ninja Grrl said...

I'm half-tempted to start my own blog, "'PVP Makes Me Sad' Makes Me Sad," picking apart all of your [mediocre and generally uninteresting, in my opinion] posts and using them to illustrate points I want to make about bloggers.

But I have a feeling that doing so would be mediocre and uninteresting, and would also make me sad.

Not to mention meta-humor is a total cliché.


John Hinckley, Jr. said...

I feel bad that everyone here is giving Fake Scott McCloud too rough of a time. Clearly he is a well read and culturally in tune gentleman.

I just get this strange feeling that this is all his attempt to impress Jodie Foster. Trust me dude, I get it. I've been there.

Spork said...

You know what's hilarious about these fanboy comments? They're about the critic, and not about the critique. Typically fanboy douchebagger at its finest.

You need not be a chef to know a fly doesn't belong in your gazpacho. You needn't be a master barber to know when your hair cut stinks. Nor, does anyone need to create a web comic to capably and articulately point out the flaws in a mediocre web comic by a ranting whiny lunatic like Kurtz.

By the way, TFSM, when do you think Kurtz will ever learn to use his black character? Maybe at the same time Buckley learns to use his linux reclusive character?

Nah. Hell will probably host the ice escapades before either of those things happens.

Gurren said...

Why is this guy called fake scott mccloud when anti-mccloud sounds a lot better?

Rex Hondo said...

It's amusing how quickly Spork attacks Kurtz's character after lecturing the "PVP fanboys" about doing the same.

And, for the record, since nobody asked, I got the sarcasm right away. The frown on Brent's face was kind of a dead giveaway.

Anonymous said...

Aaaaw, I thinks someone needs a hug!

Dazed and Confused said...

So you don't like a comic that much you dedicate a blog to it. Now that is some seriously dedicated anger, I mean I have found some truly awful stuff trawling the web but i just avoid it.

I'm curious if you didn't/don't like Chinese food would you got out everyday try a new dish and the write a blog about how much you didn’t like it??

Still at least you have attracted attention to yourself. Like my mom always says if you can’t be popular, funny or talented then write a blog about something people like. That’s the way to make friends for life.

btw I quite like the web comic, but oddly found the print comic quite dull and lifeless. Maybe I'm as "special" as you.

The Wax Lion said...

Good points here, Fake Scott. I stopped reading PvP a while back, but I do check in on it now and again--and happened to catch the link today.

Folks, if this dude wants to pull apart each panel of PvP that's up to him; there's a guy I know who does the same thing with "For Better or For Worse," rips each and every strip to bits on his blog. There's a place for this kind of meta-criticism, so long as it's thoughtful, and he's doing it here on his blog--not over on Scott's PvP blog, so as far as I see there's no cause for anybody to get up all in his grill about it.

Well, except for Real Scott McCloud. :)

Anonymous said...

I've read all of PVP, most of it twice. I still think there are many great stories and jokes to be found. But they are not in the last half or 2007, but way back in the past, about when the art changes completely to nearly (francis hair) what it is now. THOSE were great.

So I hope we can read a fair critique here, no fanboys (except in the comments), and no blatant hate for hate's sake. I don't want to read "I hated todays comic". Ever. Give me a reason.

Anonymous said...

I use to read PVP every day, but it seems like the art has been sucking or lazy to me in the past year or so. Scott is really phoning it in, which this critic is pointing out a lot. I got the feeling Scott has too many other things going on and the strip has suffered because of all the other bells and whistles.

Anonymous said...

This all seems pretty fair. I read PvP from time to time, it's fine.

Clint said...

Recieving well-reasoned and well-articulated criticism is like getting a free seminar from someone.

I like to think you want PVP to improve (the opposite of love being indifference) and appreciate your effort.

There's a lot to be said for criticism that goes beyond the Beavis and Butthead level of "This rules" or "This sucks."

Chad said...

I disagree with the critique. Nice blog tho.

It's cool to have a stalking hobby.

earwax said...

"...I do not understand PVP's continued great success as the writing for the strip barely stands up to Garfield."

Well, you're clearly doing your best to be an asshole. I don't buy for a second that you prefer Garfield over PvP. And it's sad so many people are leaving comments that agree with your posts. Guys, stop adopting the opinions of anyone more well spoken than you. Learn to understand the intent of the writer. Or at least have the decency to form your own opinions.

I follow PvP because it's consistent, and unlike many other webcomics, it updates regularly. PvP isn't my favorite strip. Never has been, never will be. This isn't a real dilemma for me, because checking my favorite webcomics in the morning doesn't have to be a profound experience. Because they're comic strips. Not the intense mindfucks you imagine they should be. They have punchlines and amusing drawings. Get over yourself.

I'm guessing you're a cartoonist. The only reason I can think of for hiding your identity is that your work couldn't stand up to the same kind of criticism that you're dishing out.

chadkevinkeithnickleestevejohn said...

Good evening gentleblogs.
You guys need to stop all fighting, get with together, and collectively download bish?!

Are we joking??!!? I don't know, I don't understand sarcasm??!!!!!
Also, this scott guy is not funny either, he should bish his strip up so that relating to mr. Fake Bish McBish more so that together having happiness, will be.
<pylon>Does not attack.</pylon>

Anonymous said...

Fake Scott, you're just jealous you're not as talented or near successful as Scott Kurtz. It's okay. A blog will give you the impression that your famous and popular sometimes.

Anonymous said...

Scott, I will assume you read this.

My only criticism of the strip in question is that it seems pretty mean (like, out of character mean) for Cole to say something like that about his best friend.

That's all.

Anonymous said...

While structured well, your argument goes down the hole early, rendering the rest of it utterly irrelevant.

You can tell that Brent's upset; a mere look at his eyebrow tells you. It's subtle, but easily noticed.

mr-thehun said...

I think it's really cool of scott to have shown us all this without a call to arms. Critics exist, at least this guy is doing it with intelligence. If scott is able to generate this type of criticism I think it is a sure sign that PVP is going to be around for a loong time to come.

Good for Scott Kurtz, good for the fake scott mccloud if he is the fake scott mccloud.

Anonymous said...

i love the internet!

KingPlum said...

I love Pvp and I love Scott McCloud. And you, sir, are no Scott McCloud. 100 level English classes do not an insightful critic make. Stop practicing your new found attitude on . . . some random readers who are only even modestly interested in your writing because 1) it refers to something they already enjoy created by 2) the author who linked to your work. Nver mind. Don't worry about it. Keep riding the coat tails of the real Scotts.

On the other hand, I wonder:

Are you -- actually -- OLD MAN CARRUTHERS?! I mean -- Scott KURTZ?! Multiple Personality Disorder made manifest or just the nagging critic inside your head given voice? Is this the means by which your fans can assert themselves, their love, and, maybe, honest criticism without getting all wrapped up in the "fishing for complements" accusation?

Or is this Gabe and Tyco and Scott playing with their audiences? Something. There's a trick here -- its just a bit fishy. Somehow wven after years of trolling the internet I find it hard to believes that anyone could be this methodically petty. I obviously have no capacity to learn from my experiences. I guess the internet really does make you stupid.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

kay, as a sexually active female I would just like to say that you will probably never get a bit of pussy with that attitude. You are kind of acting like a 14 year old girl who has just started the rag and doesn't know how to deal with it.

Calm the fuck down and stop being such a bloody cunt fart.

Windier E. Megatons said...

You're welcome to your opinion, but... there is literally no way the sarcasm would not be clear in this strip unless you did not know what sarcasm was. Never read the strip before? Doesn't matter, you can tell from the dialogue that Cole is the best man and that, since he has disparaged Brent, Brent is being sarcastic when he lauds his own choice of best man. Maybe if you received a blow to the head between panel 3 and panel 4, you would be confused.

Anonymous said...

Wow . . . I think Scott was very generous to link to your blog from his page. I read your last two posts, and I can't take any more. Regarding your most recnet post: Brent's sarcasm was clear as day for me. If you missed it, I don't think we can take you seriously as a "critic." Regarding your previous post: how can you complain about how poorly written and derivative PvP is, only to turn around and complain that he doesn't follow the standard cartoon formula for a character eating something unpleasant?

If you had something valuable to add, I could understand an angry blog on a topic. If you were just rambling, but doing it with no ill-will, you might be funny. But your poorly-constructed criticisms, dripping with vitriol, make me ill (and please note: I'm not a big PvP fan . . . I read it because it is OK, and only takes a moment). I would say that you should rethink this blog, but I suspect that rethinking your overall philosophy on life might be more productive.

I'm sure you will ignore this post, and I'm sure you won't care when I say I won't be returning.

Sean said...

I am relieved that someone out there feels the same way about PvP as me. I'm actually a fan and I read it daily, but for the last year or so the quality of the comic's writing has declined significantly.
I always felt as if Scott's comic suffered due to his other endevaors taking up so much of his time. The comic seems to be more about drawn out story arcs planned out weeks in advance than actually delieverying the funny on a regular basis.
I will always be a regular PvP reader, if only because Scott is a nice guy (I stop by his booth every year at comic con too). I just wish he would go back to making funny comics instead of making half assed podcasts and videos that only a fraction of his fan base bothers with.

Borys Pomianek said...

When one criticizes the critic it does not have to mean that he or she is a fanboy "defending" something.
Problem with this guy here is that his critique is extremely shallow. He writes many words but speak of very little.
The whole thing is so badly written that I could almost say that its Kris having fun with the nature of the internet.
This blog stand's compared to for instance demonbaby blog how some kids fast noodling on guitar stands to John Petruccis solos.
Even thou my main interest is jazz, I really like Dream Theather.
Even thou I don’t fit by force art or anything for that matter thru the hole that leads to my liking-space, I do like for instance demonbaby because while he might be doing just that sometimes, he does it in a way that makes me both laugh and want to scroll down to read it all.
If a kid would jump into my room and start to play some shit on an electric guitar but with a JP haircut I would think “shit that sucks”.
When I have read all the posts in this blog I thought exactly the same.
What makes me load the PVP page a few times a day is the fact that it nicely stimulates my brain. I like to read the blog post there, hear the podcast, read the strip.
Webcomics like PVP and CAD are in their base only empty shapes where the creators of them get inside and try to fit properly. Now I don’t read CAD and I do read PVP. That is mainly because with CAD I don’t like the artist, the shapes are nothing special and what is very apparent, the creator takes someone’s other shape, changes it a bit and then try to somehow fit into it, but he does not fit well.
With Kurtz and PVP I think that PVP fits around Kurtz rather than the other way around and I like that.
I don’t want to read the 5000 strip about some gamer problems, it was funny when I first saw stuff like that but pvp have moved forward.
What is important to note is that just like Miles Davis practically “created” some styles in jazz, Scott Kurtz practically invented some styles in webcomics and just like Miles he moved onwards.
It would be exceptionally not appealing for me if SK would try to be younger 20 years and go for the teens that want to see yokes about people getting drunk and about larra croft’s boobs.
The old PVP was awesome because it was a novelty then, the new PVP is awesome in a different way.
Just like while growing up your tastes in food changes.
That does not mean that your new tastes are the more “mature” ones, it just means that you both need something else and you already had enough of the old stuff.
Maybe I do miss something but all this blog and this “critique” is just some mumbo jumbo.
Its like someone would want to sell me lemon lime flavored water after I asked about mortgages, its irrelevant.


Anonymous said...

Grow Up and quit drinking your parents milk.

Jai said...

To answer the "Why don't you just stop reading PVP instead of putting actual effort into a blog that details how PVP could be better" crowd:

Why don't you guys just stop reading this blog instead of putting actual effort (Well, so I assume) into typing "douche" repeatedly? Well, that's somewhat rhetorical. It's obvious that many of you DID stop reading this blog, somewhere in-between "starting to read this blog" and "two minutes later". You guys are the equivalent of the guy on YouTube who cried about how mean people were being to Britney Spears. You guys are huge fans of Mr. Kurtz. That's fine. Nobody's asking you not to be. You'll make yourselves look better if you don't swarm a link Mr. Kurtz labels as "Constructive criticism" with insults, though. It's possible he was being snarky by posting the link on PVPonline.com, but I like the guy myself, and prefer to think more highly of him than that.

To answer the "Why do you use a dumb nickname and hide your identity, you must be hiding from something. Or maybe you're just no good at whatever it is you REALLY do" crowd:

Hello. Welcome to the internet. Practically ALL of you are using fake names, and a good number of you are not using ANY kind of name. You react as if the author has spent years of his life developing this blog and slaving away over details. Or, perhaps, you just feel that blogging is an excerise in futility. How much more apparent can you make it that you yourselves are unused to effort? You haven't taken the effort to read this blog. You haven't taken the effort to think any of this through. You haven't taken the effort to see that the author of this blog has some very helpful ideas that could improve PVPonline. You think this guy's being mean to Mr. Kurtz? Thank God you haven't managed to stumble upon someone who's TRYING to be mean, then, like "Your Webcomic is Bad and You Should Feel Bad".

This all seems like quite the uproar for some guy who's spent a little time pointing out some small stuff.

Omi said...

C'mon guys, Scott Kurtz respects this dude's criticism,

No he doesn't, if he did he wouldn't post this thing on his site. Scott isn't stupid, he knew all the fanboys woud come over here and defend him.
Why be the annoying petty guy who isn't capable of taking criticism when you can send your minions to get your point across.

The poster has a point, PvP isn't perfect, popularity is not a reference for quality.
Some of his criticism is accurate, others not so much.

I have been reading PvP for years now, and there have been a lot of moments where the comic failed to live up to my expactations story-wise.

bob said...

WOW an obsessed fanboy critique, they're like 1:1,324,786 of all comic readers! congratulations scott, you have approximately 1,324,786 viewers. (give or take 217,564). Whereas the fake scott mccloud has 600 profile views. I'm guessing only 20% of viewers actually look at his profile giving him 3,000 viewers. I reckon 95% of people who view pvp like it and only 50% of people who visit this site enjoy it. giving the fake scott mccloud a mere 1,500 viewers and scott 1,280,000 viewers (give or take 200,000)

Scott is clearly the winner

Notice: no statistics here are actually from real sources

Feiff said...

Hmmm... I can't say that I agree with the all the negative things you say about PvP-comic, but you do have some minor points here and there though. Making an entire blog about it though, that is somewhat over the top. Heh... Scott is probably right, you are perhaps his biggest fan.

Anonymous said...

I call shenanigans.

No one can be this pathetic.

The Fake John K. said...

It's true that PvP, like countless other strips, relies heavily on reduced character designs which transport emotional states mostly through the reader's effort to read a reaction into them. Considering that a daily schedule is hard to uphold, it's a valid "tool" to lighten the cartoonist's work - and, let's make this clear, none that's superior to graphic subtlety. Insofar this bit of criticism is "valid".

However, and this is where the criticism of the criticism starts, accusing a single cartoon panel of being potentially ambiguous or unclear is neither very original nor is it, as mentioned above, something plaguing PvP exclusively.
No matter the degree of graphic subtlety, or lack thereof, every drawing can be reduced to mere lines, or an accumulation of positive and negative spaces forming a motif. It is always up to the observer to interpret the information.

The way in which this entry in particular presents its criticism strongly reminds me of the way John Kricfalusi (Ren & Stimpy, Ripping Friends) rants about animated cartoons, not the way Scott McCloud theorizes about comics. The differences are, however, that Kricfalusi is an animation artist himself who doesn't hesitate to show how he thinks things should be done, and that he doesn't focus on one kind of animated cartoon exclusively. Bottom line: if the cranial effort behind these PvP-related rants was evenly distributed to all the Ziggies and Garfields in the world, this blog might actually hold up longer and maybe even develop into a varied and constructive look on an art form.

Adam Prentis said...

A very level-headed and detailed criticism. So long as you don't fall into ranting, I'm saying thumbs up to a) an excercise in comics criticism b) an analysis of one of the popular webcomics and c) a refreshing kick in eyes for Scott and the readers, that is always needed from time to time.

Scott said...

(Another scott).

You realize, of course, that the sarcasm is evident in the context of the situation.

Why would Brent think he DID pick the right best man after overhearing this insult Cole levied upon his best friend?

Ash said...

I happen to like Mr. Kurtz' strip, have for years. I think the best thing we can do for this "Fake" guy is to give him what he wants... The SlashDot Effect!

The Von Urrich said...

Your dialogue needs work. Scott's is much better.

Scott Hamilton said...

I think that the first word "Nice!" which is used in the current language by most expresses the sarcasm just fine.

I respect another's opinion but am perplexed as to why you're focusing so much attention on analyzing PVP only.

Anonymous said...

what most of the people who are defending this blog don't understand is that it's not the actual criticism that's mind boggling here. it's the fact that that's ALL THERE IS ON THIS BLOG. clearly there's some sort of personal issue this person has against the strip which goes beyond just criticism. it's clearly some sort of grudge that this so called "fake scott mccloud" is just using to get attention. it's sad, really.

Anonymous said...

69 days until we see the truth?

kaba said...

All this criticism and no one really bothers to ask AGAIN: What in the world is the "Mary Worth Syndrome"???

lol you are all funny said...

You suggest he has no life, yet you've all taken the time to read his blog. Pot, meet Kettle.

James said...

I love the last panel! I was wondering if I could gank it for an icon.

"Dude! Sarcasm requires effort!"


Anonymous said...

I think the problem here is you've crossed from critiquing his comic, into wanting to write it yourself.

If you can draw, make your own comic, if you can't, learn.

I think you are missing the point of life here.

walruss said...

Guys, I almost hate to add to the posts, but somebody at least has to TRY to stop the madness. I guarantee that when this guy sees the 75 posts that you made, his first thought will not be "OH NO! PEOPLE THINK I'M DUMB!"

More likely it will be "cool, 75 hits."

I'm not sure what Scott was thinking posting to this site either, but then again, I don't personally know the guy.

Just a thought though... if a guy who writes critiques of webcomics has no life, what does that make somebody who writes critiques of somebody who writes critiques of webcomics. Then again, here I am writing a critique about people writing a critique about some guy writing a critique about a webcomic... my head hurts.

Anonymous said...

to "lol are all funny"

the argument about people commenting here having no life either is ridiculous. this guy's spent hours critiquing scott's strip. it takes me 5 minutes to skim through this blog, and an extra 30 seconds to make this post.

to think that i have no life for replying to this? that's just idiotic on your part

and yeah, this fake scott mccloud clearly has no life.

Bardy said...

As someone who frequently reads webcomics (my favourites are , , , and Penny Arcade), I must say that PvP does have the weakest writing of any of the popular ones that I've encountered. It really is around the level of Garfield sometimes.

However, that being said, I still get a chuckle now and then. I get a chuckle from Garfield now and then. Sure, it's usually subpar, but if it has moments that make you laugh, it's worth it, right?

My point is...I see your idea with this blog, but PvP isn't really a worthy target to pick apart. It's not awful. It's not even that bad. It's just mediocre is all, which, as everyone from Oasis to Jim Davis knows, is not really a crime.

Bardy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Sarcasim not only requires effort, but context.

I'm hardly a fan of PvP, but I don't hate it either. There are story arcs to it, and any reader can go back and start on one, and read through. If they don't want to do that, then the probably aren't going to enjoy the strip.

Taking a line out of context from the rest of the strip makes it ambiguous.

But please continue. Searching for minute details to deride in someone elses work is the sign of a brilliant mind.

Can you follow that, or should I put the above comment in some sort of sarcastic lettering.

Lee Cherolis said...

Fan Boys VS Haters, and there can be no winner. I have only myself to blame for reading every comment.

Does FSM have no life? The blog is still pretty new, started in December, and blogs don't take a lot to start these days. Some of these reactions might have weight if this guys been doing this for years. He could be doing all this on his lunch break.

It's a little sad to see the point of the critiquing exercise missed by so many, including the Critic himself. Critiquing is best when it's an open dialog. Why isn't the Critic responding to comments? Why aren't people discussing the strip, rather than attacking each other?

This guy isn't wrong in his opinions of PVP, while it would be nice to see his motivations explained. How can we know for sure if his posts are in earnest or created for the sole purpose of upsetting the PVP fanbase?

If Kurtz is serious about taking this guys criticisms to heart, it shows a real willingness to conquer his own self-admitted complacency in his work. I hope he didn't just say so while sending his readers to take the critic down.

As for FSM, if you're intentions are honorable, and they need to be so to lend credibility to this exercise, you wouldn't have taken so many opportunities to incite these attacks. The name of your blog, the screen name, the aggressive put downs of the work...
All of these point to you asking for a flame war.

Good luck with your blog, I might visit again, because controversy is interesting, but I'm much more likely to continue regularly following all things Kurtz.

See? I'm a PVP Fan Boy and we're not all horrible.

The Shark said...

I totally understood this panel on my first reading. Scott was detailed enough to include Brent's furrowed eyebrow in his profile, which gives us the expression on his face, which in turn lets us understand the sarcasm in his words.

I do agree with a lot of your other critiques in other posts, but not this one.

L-Dude said...

I agree with you wholeheartedly, man. I two have somehow fallen into PVP and read it for years, but I thought that I was the only one who found it mediocre. It's like the pap I read when I've read all the webcomics I like - the filler that keeps me going.

pvp tolerator said...

THANK YOU for being the voice of reason in this insane world that gives PVP so much attention. I read it every day, and for no other reason than the other strips out there are either written even worse, have no artistic value of note, or don't come out often enough to be interesting. PVP is like the bad sitcom that you're just used to watching, and since you know the characters and (predictable) plot lines, you just keep watching it, rather than try out a new sitcom for a few weeks (or months). Far preferable is scary go round, which keeps a consistent (weekday) schedule, has MUCH better writing, and British humour, which garners extra points.

In any case, thank you for this blog, I'll be coming back often.

Chris said...

FSM, your blog is fascinating and excellent criticism. It's great that Scott Kurtz takes it seriously, but it's a shame he couldn't do so quietly, instead of inadvertently setting his fans on you like rabid dogs.

John said...

The others say "analysis".. well i say pure stupidity :P Worse even... philosophy...

If your friend says your a irresponsible looser, and ur not going to marry the girl you love...

i mean.. you just CANT be sarcastic about that :P Bren overreacted but he thought the right way...

Thats what makes PVP better than the daily newspaper Garfield strip, the Characters Evolve, their like real people, Just like a Sitcom...

Ehh... well you suck... you cant even figure out a decent nick...

k.. Bye.. ;P

cheesesoda said...

People seem to like embracing relativism. Just because you don't like the comic doesn't mean that you just have to completely ignore it. It's this kind of attitude that makes people complacent and we become ignorant to things around us.

The funny thing is most of these people while want to support the idea that you should ignore something you don't like instead of making it known that you don't like it... are fucking hypocrites. They're bitching at you for posting your opinion when they're doing the same. Hypocrisy is so fun!

Now, I certainly don't think that there's really anything to be gained by writing a blog about one webcomic and what's wrong with it. I don't think I could ever agree with half of your assumptions, but just as I'm doing by commenting you, you have every right to post as you are. Everybody else just needs to shut up and take their own advice and just leave it alone.

Whitelion606 said...

Just seems like your trying to piggyback of Scott's work with your critics, perhaps people would view your work better if you reviewed a number of webcomics or linked some of your own work(?).It would make it less obvious that your just doing this for the shock value of 'sticking it to the man'.

Johnny Mastronardi said...

Oh, come on people. Criticism is good and even necessary for art. Stop being fanboys. If there are things that could be improved upon in PVP, let the man speak. Just because you enjoy the strip doesn't mean its flawless. Personally, I find many of the criticisms accurate, even though I still read and enjoy PVP.

Anonymous said...

I hope this doesn't get lost in the morass of immaturity, but here it goes:
I've been reading PvP for years, I've enjoyed the humor and the characters. I've most enjoyed his attempts at bringing a more serious attitude to his otherwise slapstick characters. I feel that over time, I've come to know these characters fairly well. You said that perhaps the artist has grown too close to his own characters. I don't know about him, but I sure have. I can't honestly think of a reaction the character Brent would have had there other than hurt outrage, expressed typically through sarcasm. Sure he (Mr. Kurtz) may have left it ambiguous for newer or less frequent readers, but in time, when his intended atmosphere becomes more obvious, this strip will be an example of the behavior of his characters. It'll be more obvious to people who read this storyline what the likely meaning is the next time a slightly ambiguous panel comes along. The readers understanding of the characters will grow overall.
At least, that's what I think.

Rachel said...

I had the same problem with this strip. Scott is currently obsessed with drawing his characters from behind to achieve a more three dimensional look but in this case it really hurt the story. I know the characters well enough to guess correctly how it is meant but it doesn't read well.

5h4rp13 said...

"kay, as a sexually active female I would just like to say that you will probably never get a bit of pussy with that attitude. You are kind of acting like a 14 year old girl who has just started the rag and doesn't know how to deal with it.

Calm the fuck down and stop being such a bloody cunt fart."

I might just say, that if that actually IS a female, it's not. No female would be that fucking stupid.

As for the blog, I never really thought about it before, but you brought up some cogent points. The 'Kahn' reference was sorta badly put in there, and the end of the Santa arc was pointless.

The rest of you, shame on yourselves. fucking SHAME!

Francis Ray Ottoman said...

Man! I wasted all this time reading this blog when I could have been playing with my XBOX 360!

I have but one word for this blog:


Anonymous said...

xI agree with a lot of what is being said by FSM. I mean, I LIKE PVP and log in nearly every day. But it just hasn't been very good for a long, long time.

Could be that Scott is phoning it in because he has other projects going, could be because he has run out of good ideas, could be that I've just outgrown comic strips.

In any case, I have to say that FSM is showing a whole lot more class here than the fans of PVP. Scott, take this more seriously than your fanbase. Someone has taken the time to give a good organized critique of your work and has given solid reason why he is critiquing it. Take it to heart and improve your strip, lest you be left with ONLY the fanboy base that is showing no class.

Spork said...

Rex, it's obvious that your grasp of sarcasm is about as strong as Kurtz's.

Rox said...

I must say that those of you wasting time flaming have less of a life than you accuse FSMC of having.

I'd call his analysis more of a hobby than an obsession. That being said, it takes a lot of guts to post his thoughts like this. Same with Scott K, for those of you that haven't published anything it takes a lot of nerve to step past that boundary of "maybe it's not good enough" and "what if no one likes it."

I can't say that PVP is my favorite comic, but it is a regular stop along with 3 others. While it may have slid down from it's original material, so what? The characters have grown and changed. There's a line between Mary Worth and Garfield, to me, PVP skirts it.

Kudos, FSMC. :)

Sumdumguy said...

I guess my thing is that sarcasm is just a bit of an under-reaction, it rings hollow. Your oldest, best friend who you've asked to be best man has just expressed a total lack of confidence in you, and all you have to say is "nice?"

That's what you say when someone drops their lunch tray, not when they stab you in the back.

Anonymous said...

I'm guessing Fake Scott is Gabe, or possibbly Tycho, having some fun. Things have been too quiet on the PA v. PvP front lately, and a fancy lad could get bored...

The Fake Ms. McCloud said...

I actually don't tend to read comment threads that closely, usually because they're usually pretty repetitive. I actually failed to scan this one until today.

I'm only pointing this out so that it's known that I did not, in fact, intend to rip off someone else's idea. Honest to God. And I'm really glad to see I wasn't the only one with this inclination, either. Precious little seriously pisses me off online anymore, but somehow this blog just makes me want to smack someone.

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