Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Penultimate Panel Pause

I have to say, I like the new Marcie and Francis a lot. I don't care what anyone says, her neck looks graceful and works well with her head and body.

In fact, everybody in today's strip (Party On) looks great, especially Jade.

Two things bug me:

1. I do hope we've seen the last of the Penultimate Panel Pause. This is the second strip in a row we've seen it, and it's going to lose its impact if it's overused. I think its use can be justified in both situations, but two in a row is pushing it, especially if you imagine reading them in book form, without a day between them.

2. Cole's line in the third panel kind of stinks. The "1999" line is so played out, I expected it to be the lead-in for a punchline about how lame/old Cole is. Without a follow up, it just sits there being awkward. Maybe it would have been nice if it had been Francis' line, giving them a proper introduction instead of just suddenly being there.

13 comments:

Sage said...

Marcy's neck is moderately to severely thin, but she had that before her change, but her hoodie and hair hid that. Its not a complaint as I dont think she'll be wearing a bridesmaid dress around the office so that effect will likely be decreased.
But like I said Marcy looks very good artistically now.

Sam's neck is also thin, but I didn't notice until you but on a dress like that

crs said...

The thing is, that comment about how lame Cole is for having said that is what's missing from that penultimate panel. The new kids have struck Brent speechless at a time when he should be unable to resist the punchline.

You felt it, didn't you? Didn't that little internal stress of waiting for the other shoe to drop add to the humor of the pause for you?

R.W.McGee said...

I'm fine with the pause, I just think it would have been more effective if the final two panels had been switched around. Cole yells the lame 'party like it's '99' phrase, and everybody stares at him while Marcy and Francis walk up, and Francis says 'what up' Now the silence makes total sense, because everybody is torn between saying something to Cole and asking Marcy and Francis what the hell is going on.

The silence should actually be the punch, in this situation.

Lexington said...

I think you're missing the meta-joke in Cole's line. Maybe not, though.

Anonymous said...

Hopefully in regular clothes, Marcy will stop looking so ET-esque.

I have to agree that the pause doesn't work but not particularly because of over-use. Cole and Brent's reactions are too underplayed and so they come off looking distracted, bored, as if waiting for something to happen, rather than surprised.

birdman said...

It hasn't been updated in a while, but there is a blog dedicated entirely to the silent penultimate panel.

http://penultimate-panel.blogspot.com/

Coramia said...

I thought the pause was great, very well suited to today's strip. The awkward pause and then Francis struggling to break it in whatever way he can think of.

The 1999 line irked me as well.

Jason said...

I guess it helps being close to Kurtz age, because I don't see anything wrong with the "party like its 1999" line. I'm getting old...

Anonymous said...

The penultimate panel pause might have been more effective with the help of a silhouette.

Needs More Silouette said...

Yeah. I have a fever. And the only cure for it is a prescription for a little...

SILHOUETTE.

Anonymous said...

I put my pants on just like the rest of you - one leg at a time. Except I do it in silhouette. And then I make gold records.

TheOriginalJes said...

I think the Pen-Panel Pause kind of works here. For maximum effectiveness it would have required two back-to-back pause panels. One for Cole (to spotlight his aging lameness), and one where everyone turns their heads to Marcy and Francis (to show how they divert attention from Cole's aging lameness). But that also would have been even more confusing to some.

BTW, I think Francis just lost all of his new bravado points in today's (Friday's) strip.

Anonymous said...

Re: Friday's strip.

I like Cole's squinty-eyed suspicion in panel 2.

It looks like Marcy should have more of a reaction at the punchline, especially since she's the one who tried to cover it up.

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