Friday, April 11, 2008

It's all muscle memory, baby

Another good strip (The Scorpion and the Frog). I love the look on Scratch's face in panel 3, it matches the manic intensity of the moment, and the joke even works.

A couple things distracted me though:

1. I don't understand what's happening with Scratch's leg in panel 3. It looks like it's vibrating, foreshadowing claws coming out in panel 4 -- which they did, but with little fanfare. I would have expected some motion lines on the claws in panel four, accompanied by a "knives out" sound effect. ("sshhiiNGG!!")

2. Why do the claws look like that? Is it because they're turned toward the camera, so the points fall within the silhouette? They ought to be drawn so we can see their sharpy goodness, especially since they are the whole impetus for the joke.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think it's better that the claws came out with little fanfare. The reader isn't likely to miss what's happening, and the joke relies on Scratch imagining that his claws are much more fearsome than they really are.

Steven said...

Whatever happened to the little blue nubbins he had on his claws, I wonder?

Anonymous said...

A sound effect would have been awkward if you ask me. It'd have really needed to come before the 'RUN' as it'd be an afterthought below it and let the wind out of the gag. But, it wouldn't really fit in front, either.

Anonymous said...

Only after reading this post did I realize that the claws had come out. My first impression was actually that Scratch was lifting his leg to "mark his territory" a-la-canine, perhaps making homage back to the one guest strip.

Didn't make much sense to me, as I don't think cats really do the leg thing, and "running" would've been a little over-selling it. Makes more sense now, and is funnier for it, but I'm with TFSM in that it would've been nice to show off the claws a little more.

Scribbl said...

I got the impression that part of the joke (and the part that worked for me) was that Scratch's claws were...quite pitiful. Tiny little things.

I think that the thing here is not so much that Scratch IS a terrifying Tiger descendant as that he think he is. So he's scared of his "huge tiger claws" when in fact he has... toenails.

Lauren said...

How about the fact that he is lifting up his back leg? I have never once seen my cats do this. They attack with their *front* paws. Sometimes roll over and attack from below with all four. But never just the back.

Anonymous said...

I think what you think is a leg in the first panel is actually his tail...

David said...

Fake SMC, I really hope that you agree with me when I say that today's (Last Chance) is *adorable*.

Jai said...

In The Scorpion and the frog, it is pretty weird for the hind leg to be the one poised for attack . . . but Scratch has always been a pretty weird cat, I guess. Honestly, I think the third panel would be a head-scratcher if it was one of the front legs "behaving on its own instincts" instead. We can, however, easily tell that something silly and unusual is going on since it's a hind leg. Unfortunately, I find I agree that the toenail nubbins just "being there" for the last panel doesn't make for a sharp delivery. Hyuck, hyuck.

You are Cordially Invited isn't very funny. Hmph. Just kidding, though - it's quite classy-looking, in a "Brent's desk" kind of way. Can't quite tell what's up in the left-hand corner. Anyone?

Lauren said...

No, dude, I was talking about the last two panels. You know, the back leg that has the claws pop out at the end?

zgeycp said...

Last Chance is pretty wonderful.

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