Thursday, June 19, 2008

Popeye and the Freaking Cyclops

Ok, I feel the need to get petty for a brief moment: This strip (Throat Baby... Throat Baby?!) just bugs me.

First of all, Francis in the second panel? He looks like a cyclops. I know what's actually happening... but he looks like a cyclops.

Second, and I suspect this is just an effect of Scott's Cintiq still being new to him, but Cole's arm in the last panel is just weird. I know it's the proportion that's supposed to make it so big, but it's still gargantuan, and the line is too thick. It really stands out.

Third: Is this a joke that really needed to be told? I know it bookends the "Alien" reference, but, come on. Who didn't see it coming.

(I'm in a bad mood.)

Fourth, I'll say it again: I can't wait for a one-off strip that breaks us from the current storyline and starts us off on a new path. Technically, we're still connected to the wedding story, which started on April 12th. We've been through parental insanity, wedding preparation, the wedding, Skull's departure, the talking cat conundrum, and now the aftermath of said cat's freakout.

In all that has been a lot of good strips, even more great art, and it has been very worthwhile, overall.

But, and maybe it's just me, I'm desperate for a Bulldog and Cooch strip. And I hate Bulldog and Cooch.


Anonymous said...

What Scott Kurtz forgets is we're not all just fans, some of us are fellow cartoonists posting annoynmously to avoid reprisal from Scotts overzealous fans.

We're not taking shots at the guy because he's more popular than we'll ever be. We're just discussing and anaylizing the strip, seeing what Scott is doing right, what he's doing wrong and where we feel he could improve.

It's a real shame he won't be taking part in the community anymore. I think there's a lot of useful feedback and whether he takes it onboard or not, it's definitely worth reading atleast.

As for the suggestion of discussing other webcomics, I'm all for it. There's a lot of great webcomics at the moment and I'd enjoy reading what the others have to say.

Anonymous said...

Cole's arm is really messed up in that panel. I'm surprised Scott let that one go.

And yes I think Scott has deviated away from the recent story arc a bit too much. I was hoping things would be different with Francis and Marcy, perhaps being geeky teenagers they might suddenly feel awkward with each other after having sex.

Brent was really adamant about Skull not leaving him and yet he still goes off on his honeymoon and apart from Scratch going a little nuts, nothing much has been mentioned about it. Maybe they don't even care Skulls gone now.

As for the second Alien reference, I don't think it was needed. Maybe he should have use it yesterday instead of that cat ehad joke that some didn't get.

Jai said...

I'm sorta used to Cole's balloon arms and tend to let that stuff slide, but here's a recommended fix anyway.

Francis the cyclops... it's sort of too bad that he already went through the "suddenly, new art design!" process. Some of what I view as artistic flaws (Or just weak art) got fixed, but some remains (As opposed to Marcy, who got entirely new art and looks great). This is what happens when the new hotness (His hair) tries to mesh with the old and busted (His eye...glasses).

Jai said...

Aw, hell, I had more to say and have decided I might as well say it.

Cole's dialogue could be improved a lot in the second panel, because it lacks some necessary punctuation. It's a very unnatural flow for him to start choking/coughing at the tail end of the sentence without some sort of a pause in-between. With punctuation added, his speech should look more like:

"Easy for you to say, I'm always the one who ends up... HRRK!"

As far as the joke goes, it would probably work better to swap "Throat baby" and "Puss in face" around. Meaning the strips would go from the face-hugger joke with Scratch on Cole's head immediately to another Alien joke where Scratch has gone and Cole coughs up a hairball, and then we get a joke about Cole looking like shit. "Throat baby" (Ugh, I don't like to have to keep typing that) wouldn't take place in that cafeteria but in the office, of course. "Puss in face" could then have a couple panels of Cole's conversation with Francis (Wherein Francis would assure him he doesn't look as bad as he feels, and Cole wants to immediately get something to eat because he's been starved out by the cat), leading to the punchline of them being at the cafeteria where a waitress sees Cole and has an extreme reaction to his horrible cat-face.

Also, I would expect squinty eyes or squeezed-closed eyes from Cole in today's fourth panel.

Anonymous said...

If you ever watch Scott doing the strips on his usteam page, you'll notice how much copying and pasting he actually does.

It can't/shouldn't take him more than 3 hours to do a strip but then Scott is the King of procrastination.

The Founder said...

I didn't notice anything about the cyclops eye or the enlarged arm, to be honest (alhough Cole has looked a littole bit... wierd? For some time now, maybe five or six strips, I can't place why).

However this strip just grosses me out to be honest. I can apopreciate a good hairball gag (no pun intended :P) as much as anyone, but while you are eating? Why did Cole have to spit up a mouthful of sloppy salivated food as well? Eww.

Francis' eyes have been too "big" for some time now, especially considering the gradual artistic shift into a more "realism" style, but then I also can't stand how high his mouth has become, I much preferred him with the large, dipping lip, so maybe I'm just picking holes there.

All in all, I like this strip, it just grosses me out because he had to be in the middle of eating when it happened, why was that neccesary?


Is what people are saying here true? Did Kurtz finally give up on this place? Honestly I have been so dissappinted in him since I started coming here and watching his childish, angry overreactions and immature baiting. I'm a huge fan of him and his work, and I always thought he was much more respectable than that and his behavious really let me, and himself down.

So I've lost a lot of respect for him, andI don't think it's any great loss if he is not coming here anymore, if anything maybe it will give him time to clear his head and learn the difference between critique and personal attacks. Frankly I would rather not see him at all than I would watch him lower himself the way he has in the past.

I could go for a new story ark too.

The Founder

The Founder said...

*Brent's mouth

Appologies for the many glaring spelling errors, I'm slightly sleep depprived today. :P

The Founder

Kethry said...

I'm ready for a new story arch too, if for no other reason than this one has devolved into "fake medical condition" jokes, and now, into immature humor a bare step above fart jokes. Time to move on.

reader said...

On the one hand I too am looking forward to one-off strips again, but on the other I'm definitely cheering Kurtz on for sticking to his guns and finishing a story line which I imagine he's spent a fair amount of time creating.

I remember all to well when he abruptly cut short the time travelling story in response to fans' grumbling. It didn't serve the story and it didn't serve those fans who were enjoying the storyline.

So Kurtz, should you read this, stick with it. Don't listen to me or others who long for one-offs. Before long we'd be posting we wished you'd do a storyline again.

Sage said...

eh i say let him finish, after all Brent and Jade still have to come back from Niagra and until that point you wont even get a Dukes of Hazard Jump :).

Plus hes sticking with a storyline which we complained about (PAINTBALL!!!!!) so let him finish.

Anonymous said...

Scott must have lost his buffer already. He was working on todays strip (Sight Seeing) last night.

I wonder if Brent is going to imagine Skull everywhere now or maybe he's already got a new client.

I like the backgrounds, makes me wish the strip was in colour.

Has Brent's ponytail always been so large and round? It's looking more girly than I remember.

Anonymous said...

"Throat Baby" was a pretty bad title, but "Sight Seeing" is a a decent one.

Get a real blog said...

I don't get the comment up above, why should Scott, or anyone else, subject themselves to criticism from 'fans' or fellow cartoonists when the there is NO monetary exchange. PVP is free, it costs us nothing but our time, so why do we feel it necessary to critique it?

paulsouthworth said...

Scott's always done that with Cole's arm. It's a stylistic choice, not a mistake. Sure, that correction might look more anatomically correct, but this ain't a life-drawing class. He's simplifying the elbow down to it's most basic form. It's not a real elbow, it's an ICON of an elbow. You know?

It's called cartoonin', YOU RUBES :)

paulsouthworth said...

Also: come on, man. Do you have to see both of Francis' eyes in every panel to know they're there? Dude's hair fell over his eyes for a second.. it's SHAGGY.

Somewhere in an alternate universe, Scott is making a concentrated effort to draw Francis' hair in the same position in every panel, and someone is complaining that it "doesn't move like real hair" and "OMG TEH KURTZ CUTZ AND PASTEZ WHAT A HACK".

For anyone who wonders why he removed this site from his bookmarks: nobody needs to see every inconsequential detail of their work scrutinized and torn to shreds every day. Discussions and critiques are one thing, but posts like this come off as petty and really reaching for daily content.

Ti Chan said...

I have to agree with everyone's comments about Throat Baby. Francis' new hair only makes us realize how awkward his glasses are. A lot like how Brent's father standing next to the PVP group in past comics was awkward. When you have SK's realistic art RIGHT NEXT to his cartoony art, it makes it look bad.

ALSO, I have noticed a lot of weirdly placed lines or those darker misplaced lines in his last few comics. And when paired up with Cole's turkey leg arm, it's just makes the art look worse.

As to Sight Seeing... Okay, here's a tangent. I used to be a Mngr of a Starbucks. Seeing the Maple Macchiato in this comic made me happy. I was never really a fan, as it was too sweet, but it was still cute to see.

Okay, back to the comic. I'm not sure if I am happy or disappointed to have Brent see Skull (if that really IS Skull.) I was really hoping to have a story arc between us losing Skull and us finding Skull, and the Skratch comics were NOT a story arc, just a continuation of losing Skull.

I would love to see the PVP gang hobble along without their big blue comrade for a while before we get him to return. There's so much SK could DO with the loss of Skull that he hasn't even tried yet.

Anonymous said...

Paul Southworth, it's always going to be artistic choice isn't it? We can't criticise the art because it's his style. If that's the case then I suppose we can only comment on the writing.

@get a real blog, just because something is free doesn't mean it's immune from criticism.

paulsouthworth said...

Oh, you can criticize the art until your tongue turns to strawberry jam, just do it properly. Don't identify something as a mistake that needs correcting when history shows that it's clearly a stylistic choice.

It's not always artistic choice; sometimes it's laziness or lack of skill. But sometimes it IS artistic choice! I also happen to disagree that the line is too thick. I think it's fine, but I also didn't think it was as intentional as the way he drew the arm, so I left it alone. Just because I think it looks good doesn't mean it's not a mistake or something that was otherwise overlooked.

See? I'm not sucking his dick ALL the time. Sometimes I take a bathroom break!

Fake Scott McCloud said...

... and sometimes I want to be a dick :)

I was in a bad mood and those things really bugged me. I did warn you it would be petty.

Sage said...
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Sage said...

Plus, unless you are living with your parents, you DO pay for the internet and are paying to view things, just as you would pay for cable television, as Im sure plenty of us have opinions in that medium.

PS I also bought PVP Xbox icon and themes so I super duper entitled :).

paulsouthworth said...

I like how everyone is addressing me by my full name here.

It makes me feel like a big man!

TheOriginalJes said...

I only had one problem with that strip. Francis' last line didn't come out smoothly.

As far as his arm goes, I think the heavier linework is looking good. It brings your attention to the parts of the scene that would be in motion, obscured by any background, or just need to be noticed. It also, in my opinion, gives the comic a cleaner, crispier feel.

Today's comic (Friday) I liked. It was a nice round-off to the Starbucks joke. We see the return of the infamous silhouette. And Jade's breasts look more fake each time their drawn (maybe she's pregnant already?).

Anonymous said...

Yep, I think we just like to be polite.

For those of you who aren't familiar with Paul Southworth. He's the creator of the successful webcomic

If you're interested in knowing more about the guy behind the colorful monsters you can hear him on the Blank Label Comic Podcast where he chatted with former BLC contributors Dave Kellet and Kris Straub.

Bill said...

Maybe they'll go back in time again and get Skull from that tavern.

Jai said...

"I like how everyone is addressing me by my full name here."

You don't have a middle name, huh? How else do you expect people to address you, anyway? The choices are pretty limited. You aren't the only "Paul" who comes here, your username IS your full name, using your intitials would fuck over the postscript system, and "Mr. Southworth" would be REALLY formal and I'm not sure why anyone would do that. Frankly, I'd be afraid you would use that damn "My father's name is 'Mr. _____'" joke. Ugh. I will resolve the issue you have by not addressing you by any name, and simply quoting you so that people know who I'm talking to. Happy?

You are a silly git. You have responded to TFSM's problem with Cole's balloon arm pose and my "fix" as if they came in the same package. Since you are self-admittedly only here to suck SK's dick and take bathroom breaks, perhaps it was too hard to tell that I didn't actually have a problem with the balloon arm. I "let that stuff slide" precisely because it's more a choice of artistic design than an obvious flaw. And I'm "used to" it precisely because I've seen it before, which you pointed out as if it were something the combination of myself and TFSM had missed.

"Somewhere in an alternate universe, Scott is making a concentrated effort to draw Francis' hair in the same position in every panel, and someone is complaining that it "doesn't move like real hair" and "OMG TEH KURTZ CUTZ AND PASTEZ WHAT A HACK"."

Truly, you will go down in infamy as one of the world's most terrible apologists. Not only is the theoretical "doesn't move like real hair" complaint fairly stupid for this particular still-image context (Barring anything short of a "hanging upside-down" shot), just how many times have we ALREADY seen hair being drawn exactly the same way every time (Many times because of copying and pasting) and not yet made anything LIKE that kind of a complaint? Countless times, right? You aren't thinking your posts through very well, but I appreciate how you feel SK is under-represented here and needs some defense (Because he is and, sometimes, he does). Too bad you haven't gotten the hang of making valid, constructive contributions yet. I'll be honest, you really got off on the wrong foot when you left that "Hey guys, why not stop being so useless and just criticize all the REALLY TERRIBLE webcomics out there instead of PVP, oh btw not my comic plz thx" comment. It showed that you have absolutely no idea what this blog is about.

"It's not always artistic choice; sometimes it's laziness or lack of skill. But sometimes it IS artistic choice!"

Too true! The problem is you really can't argue that the fact that "he's always done it that way" means that it's always BEEN artistic choice, and not laziness or lack of skill. And yet you have argued that, as if precendent is equivalent to artistic choice. It CAN mean that, but there's no way for any of us to KNOW that.

paulsouthworth said...

Wow! That's a lot of words.

I guess I don't really have the time nor the "arguin' chops" to really get into it with you guys, but suffice to say that your first paragraph painstakingly deconstructing the silly joke I made about using my full name is exactly the kind of pedantic, humorless numbskullery that confounds me and drove Scott away.

But anyway! Rubes, the lot of you. Cheerio!

Moo said...

Aww come on, don't be like this guys. We're all here to talk about webcomics. I know Paul wasn't particularly friendly when he started posting on here, but he's a good man and was starting to realise that we're not all picky rubes trying to hurt Scott feelings.

Lets not make it personal and talk it out instead of arguing and resorting to name calling.

R.W.McGee said...

If Paul was here making good points I would agree with you moo, but he's just trolling the forum for a if people want to take shots I must /shrug.

My patience with the web-artists is quickly running low. Take actors in movies, as an example of somebody else who works in a creative profession and relies on their popularity to market themselves and their movies.

They have to deal with articles about their weight and appearance, paprazzi dogging their every move, et al.

Popular webcartoonists have to deal with occasional forum idiots...and the people on this website who are offering critiques on their work. It's really not that tough. We don't impact your personal life at all, so maybe just man up a little.

As a matter of fact, we function in relation to PvP in somewhat the same way Rotten Tomatoes functions regarding movies. (With far less popularity in both instances) Can you imagine movie producers or actors attacking Ebert and Siskel or local newspapers for giving their movies bad reviews? I suppose it might happen occasionally, but they would look like idiots.

The fact is, as I have said before, Kurtz is right to ignore us and just work on his strip...there is no real need for a dialogue between him and the people critiquing his work.

In terms of Paul, if he is here as a fan of PvP, I say fine. If he is here as some sort of gesture towards solidarity between webcomic artists being attacked by 'rubes' then I would say you are fighting a non-existant fight in the wrong place, and maybe you should just get back to work trying to make us laugh.

(Huh, I think I might be in a bad mood today too, TFSM...must be the weather.)

Sage said...
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Sage said...


Are we getting international posters because the breadth of my vocabulary for calling someone an idiot is expanding :).

Sage said...

Also Mr. Southworth (in the tone of Agent Smith) I like the Dr. Killinger icon you have on Scotts twitter follows. Go Team Venture!

Sage said...

I can understand if its artist choice, but we can also have an opinion that the arm looks bigger and weird we can express that. I do agree that it might not be a "mistake" but we can also say we don't like something as a consumer.

@ get a real blog
Ok this is getting ridiculous, again we have someone of the "why are you critiquing the strip because its a) just a webcomic or b) free" party.

Can I ask a serious question? Yes? then I will ask another one :)

What is the difference between going into an art gallery saddling up to a painting and giving your opinion from going to website seeing a comic then going somewhere to talk about it? Both are free, both are by artists, both can be interpreted, and both can be criticized.

Hell people with "normal" jobs can be criticized look at any yellowpages site for user reviews or ratemyprofessor and people give critiques outside of the artistic world too

Saying something cannot be critiqued because it is free is just plain wrong. It is the same as saying if you got free tickets to a movie, can you then not critique it, if you turn on the TV and see a movie can you not say that if it was good or bad, or if you went to the library and got a book to read that you can't say one way or another.

Scott doesn't have to listen to us at all its his creation, but we can still come here and talk about something we do enjoy, even if they are nitpicky :). Turn on political talk/sports talk radio if you want to hear some unneccesary and negative criticisms.

Sage said...

Yeah there is a lot of pollen in the air RW my allergies are killing me

*ah-chooo* *ah-choo* Kurtz would have gigantic marbles if he kept Skull away from the strip for 3-6 months and tell jokes without him. *Sneeze* Id be cool if he tried *sniffle* The comic today was solid.

The problem is everytime I sneeze I offer PVP opinions :)

Also to anyone offer opinion on the site, we all bitch at each other I believe me and RW got into it when he said i was an apologist (im not that far to that side :) ) and he's one of the best opinions on here, we're a community and sometimes we critique each other, don't take it personally (as it makes your blood pressure increase, trust me) :)

Randy said...

Here's another example of how insanely large Cole's forearms are. Check the second panel:

Methinks it's continuity.

Anonymous said...

You type too fucking much, sage.

Anonymous said...

Dear Big Man Paul"PaulSouthworth"Southworth,

You are wrong.

Sorry, thats all there is. Its called bad "line weight" on the elbow. I know because i struggle with it all the time too, its a very imperfect science in cartooning.

Simply, the thickness of the line around his elbow should vary. it should get thinner towards his wrist. it certainly shouldnt be 3 times as thick as his stomach line, even if it is more in the foreground. You seem to have a pretty good handle on line weight, so its cute that youre defending scott on this one, when you do not make the same mistake.

Heres a nice rambling blog post by that old coot, John K, about line quality. you know, to back me up being a big old genital to Paul SOUTHworth.

Anonymous said...

link posted in anotherpost, because I am lame.

Sunny said...

Oh dear, I don't think Paul will be back again after this. :( what went wrong?

R.W.McGee said...

Alright, the Paul'Paulsouthworth'Southworth title is seconded and passed, lol!

@Sage, heh, thanks man. And I should apologize and retract that 'apologist' label. I was being an extra large asshat that day, and you have proven to be balanced, fair and insightful in your opinions regarding Scott's work and this community.

On that note, I should add that I'm sort of surprised and impressed that this blog has created an honest to god community. I thought in the beginning it would peter out...and then when Scott linked it I thought it would attract too many people and become a mess...but aside from the occasional anonymous asshat, the maturity and continuity level here has been impressive.

You should start charging TFSM ;)

Anonymous said...

Is Paul Southworth still here? I wanted to point out a typo in his strip the other day.

Anonymous said...

That wasn't a typo. It was an artistic choice, rube!

Anonymous said...


Sage said...

anonymus after randy
Actually Jai had the longest post of the thread.

Plus all the posts were just re-posts of other things that had type, cut past fix the wrong thing then post again. thats where all the "deleted by author" posts came from.

Yeah we've all had those asshat days but you along with people like Jai, Caren W, theoriginaljes, along with others (including the actual artists Paul and Scott) actually have discussions which is refreshing for the internet. The telling thing is even when I don't have an opinion on a strip i come here to see what you guys say.

But i have to complain, don't give TFSM any ideas he may raise the price 1000%!

Ti Chan said...

First off, I was tempted to say something to Paul"paulsouthworth"Southworth in earlier post, but realized early on that he's posting mostly to rile up insults out of us. And we should really treat him as a unruly child. If you respond to his negative attention getting behavior, it just causes him to make MORE negative behavior. It's best to just ignore him altogether.

Anywho, in response to sages' comment about SK having the marbles to make a joke without Skull...

As much as I REALLY want Scott to let Skull be gone for a while, I worry that if he makes jokes without some kind of naive/stupid funny man, it's going to fall back on another char's role to BE that person. And right now, it's looking like Francis. And truth is, I just DON'T want the personality of one of the PVP crew to change to make up for the missing Skull.

Anonymous said...

I don't get the bad reaction to Paul Southworth. Does a writing style interlaced with a little bit of humour really irk so many people? Or is it just the fact that he is disagreeing with the common wisdom? Jai's post especially came across as a bit of a Kurtzian hissy fit, mainly because of the first paragraph which referred to an obvious joke and took it seriously.

Anonymous said...

While I agree that sometimes this blog crosses the line into nitpicking purely for the fun of it, I also find it very interesting to read. In fact, I actually read PvP more regularly because of it. I look forward to the comic now rather than checking it out of habit, due mostly to gleefully checking this blog right after. Is it the same human condition that keeps us creating curiousity traffic and the like? Perhaps. What I don't understand, however, is when Paul and Scott come in here and hurl around random insults as if these people here are idiots. As a creator of a popular ANYTHING, there will be people who disect your work. If there wasn't, the next gen just behind you would make the same thing with the same problems. Also when you are a public figure that people admire/emulate/love/love to hate/etc.. it can be very damaging in a few ways to err into jerk-like territory, even if other's are being unsavory. It hurts people's opinions of you, therefore in many cases hurting their feelings on your work. (I for one can't watch Tom Cruise movies without feeling icky just on the basis that I know he's an asstastic loon.)
I like reading this blog, but I hate seeing Mr. Southworth come in here needlessly trolling because I like Ugly Hill.. and I feel people especially lately are being very civil and constructive. I wince when he or Kurtz treat the people in here like they're lower beings.

Sage said...


It is very creepy seeing Tom Cruise laugh in any of his films now because recently its turned into an evil villain laugh.

Its funny how some people take criticism. When Scott said "go out and create something" I compared it to when a professional athlete saying "you never played the sport at this level" People who are popular sometimes can't take criticism and thats a fallback position. Even though I can't run a 4.4 40 yard dash I can tell when a player is dogging it on a play or critique him for dropping passes all day, the same goes for a good amount of artists who think because we can't do we can't see. I admit to the highest of heavens (even past TFSM :) ) that this site does devolve sometimes and gets nitpicky but we are nowhere near bad.

I also find it funny that one of the longest threads on the PVP discussion page is "Aaaand .. . who called it" discussing CAD's miscarriage storyline. In that thread Scott took shots and Buckley for the most part but even admitted that a strip or two was funny/good (yes i know we went over the CAD thing ad naseum). It is curious that a man engages on somes more on the negative scale (not bashing Buckley wholely, but close) and throws his hand up because of the "bad parts" of this site.

Its plane and simple, some people can give but not take (please no Sigfried and Roy jokes)

Sage said...

@ TI Chan
I do agree, but as in pro wrestling (yes I know how very high brow of me) when one of the top guys goes out or takes a break the writers SHOULD try to take some of the younger guys and give them a run to see if they can carry the ball. Skull is a great character and giving people a little break will make his return more appreciable and even give the characters some development

Also, as in pro wrestling, if the younger guys can't carry the ball, you bring the top guy back faster :).

Sage said...

Plus I didn't even know who Paul "Paulsouthworth" Southworth was as I don't read Ugly Hill. Taking the post at what it was worth without knowing the author i thought it was someone "flailing" on the side of Kurtz's work. Meh, such is life

Jai said...

"Suffice to say that your first paragraph painstakingly deconstructing the silly joke I made about using my full name is exactly the kind of pedantic, humorless numbskullery that confounds me and drove Scott away."

Well, that was the way I chose to express "your silly joke was stupid, why did you bother" and "taking a lame joke seriously is funny". Nothing doing, eh? I guess I can't yet agree that I'm a humorless numbskull, but it's pretty clear that you were confounded (And have been confounded all along by this blog). I don't know why I expected my coupling of some really bone-dry humor and (What I hope was) logic to sway you.

Jai said...

Sight Seeing - A sign in the first panel's background says "Niagra" Falls. Common mistake, but it still should be "Niagara". And I can't make out the second sign in that panel (No, this part is not criticsm. If you think it is then you're off your rocker and should sit back down on it), and the curiosity is killing me (Slowly and softly). Something"land"? Anyone else know or care to guess?

Brent's tongue can touch his eyeball, I bet. That would definitely bump "flipping your eyelids inside-out" to second place on the "grossest abilities" list.

SK did a good job with foreground and background clutter, making the Niagara location look as busy and commercial as it is in real life. And if the strip were colored, I bet it would also look as garish as it does in real life.

Brent's sunglasses have an oddly-thin line depicting their frame in the final panel. I've only managed to catch the "Watch SK draw" show once (Far fewer times than I wish I'd caught it), so I'm really curious as to how such a thin line could have happened there in the drawing process. Anyone have any ideas? Is it just something that looks fine at the size SK draws at and the truth is only revealed when it's been shrunk down to internet-size?

An anonymous already said it, but I'm also wondering if this is a case of mistaken identity (The solid silhouette would suggest that) or if it's actually Skull (Which I also believe would mean Skull's already working on a new assignment - but then it would be pretty heartless to try and get Skull away from some kid that needs him, so that angle sounds like more fuel for the drama-fire that, honestly, maybe the drama-fire doesn't need right now. The restoring equilibrium of some one-off strips would not be a bad choice at this point, as TFSM has indicated). That parenthetical aside was really too long, where did I learn to write?

Anonymous said...

The difference between FSM/this website taking Scott to task and Scott taking Tim Buckley to ask is that Scott actually creates his own comics.

He's a part of the process he's critiquing in others. It gives him a leg to stand on.

He's also not critiquing Tim Anonymously

R.W.McGee said...

Which actually means his criticism has less merit, since they are competitors.

It's why Movie critics give reviews of movies, instead of other directors, studios, and actors...why reviews video-games instead of Sierra Entertainment or Bethesda.

What part of this is hard to understand?

Anonymous said...

Dear anonymous fanboi:

You do realize that by your logic, only artists would be allowed to praise each others work? I mean, how can you give any critique (positive OR negative) if you aren't part of the process?

Seriously, next time try a little independent thought before you start parroting the same tired old excuses.

Anonymous said...

You're one to talk, posting annoynmously yourself.

You're also way off because I have a webcomic of my own, as do a few others. The reason why I post annoynmously is because I know what Scotts fans are like. I don't really want to receive death threats just because I enjoy this community and critiquing Scotts work.

There's a big difference between our relationship with Scott and his relationship with Tim Buckley. Although we are fans of PvP, we are not a fan club.

Sage said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sage said...

My question is how do u decide the winner in a fight between anonymus posters. I want to support one guy, but I don't want to give the other the time of day :).

Being part of the process is not the reason you can critique something. Or else you have to be a sports star politican holy man that produces movies and TV shows while drawing, writing, and taking pictures on the side to be someone who "qualifies" as person who offer opinion on things that we all have opinions on.

We are by no means esxperts but we see things and offer solutions from what we know If we just pointed out things and didn't offer fixes, well we're just being negative to be negative.

Finally, is there anything funnier than recieving a death threat from a webcomic supporter? I imagine this wasn't the captain of the football team in HS or some right wing militia man, as they typically have more things on their plate :).

Ti Chan said...

I won't comment anymore on one's right to have and state opinions on thing like webcomics, sports and movies. That conversation is a dead horse, and I feel no need to beat it into glue.

So, I'd like to add something to Jai's thin line comment. SK seems to be having a really hard time with consistent line width. He's likely to either make them far too think, or too thin. He has a new tablet, so that should excuse him SOME, but he also has eyes, and should correct these mistakes just so it looks better.

On another note. I just realized what FSM named this entry. Something about "Popeye and the Freaking Cyclops" sent me into fits.

Anonymous said...

Was that Paul Southworth guy making a racist remark or something? That's a shame, I was enjoying his webcomic.

Jai said...

What? No, "rube" is basically an old-fashioned word for "hick" (I.e., an uncultured redneck). It's not a racist term, although it does only really work if you use it to insult someone of the human race.

Jim Cowling said...

Oh, right. Ugly Hill. That's that irredeemably awful strip with a readership in the low dozens.

Sage said...

I heard the word git with Pirates of the Carribean: Dead man's chest and i chucled as it reminded me of here.

British Slang. a foolish or contemptible person.

An unsophisticated country person.

I remember hearing rube in a bugs bunney cartoon, kinda old fashioned. I can't wait to be called a scallywag and a maroon. :)

So tommarow we'll get back to talking about PVP? We'll see if our boy blue is aobut to return.

TheOriginalJes said...

@ sage

I didn't say git. I'm too lazy to scroll through it all to find out who it was. But, it definitely wasn't me.

I try not to be so crass and pointless, for the benefit of everyone else here.

Sage said...

No it was jai, im not complaining it was a newer word that i rarely heard then I heard it in a blockbuster film.

I don't remember accusing you of it jes :).

Jai said...

Well, at least no one's been called a "bumpkin" or a "fop" yet.

Mistaken Identity: On the positive side, there is not one mitten-hand in sight. The first panel is nice and dramatic-looking, and it's nice to see Skull again at the end (Even though he hasn't been gone very long). It's a solid strip that hinges on a subtle inaccuracy that just feels wrong to me.

Isn't it weird that a topiary would be mistaken for Skull? The shape is fine (Despite not being in the shape of the silhouette we saw in the previous strip), chalk that up to imagination. However, bushes are distinctly green and Skull is vibrantly blue. I'd say that SK's decision to not color PVP anymore is finally working FOR him here, but I can already think of black-and-white jokes that rely on the viewers' knowledge of what colors things should be to work (For instance, there's one about a red flag in Charlie Chaplin's "Modern Times" movie). Using the black-and-white medium as an excuse to forget what color things are is just sort of saddening.

Maybe later we'll find out that it's actually the middle of the night in this strip, or Brent is color-blind or something (And I will totally eat crow if that's already been established long ago).

Ti Chan said...

Jai, while there are no mittens hands in site, the malformation that is Brent's hand in panel 3 is almost worse. I keep staring and staring and thinking, "What was SK using as REFERENCE for that hand? A Muppet's?"

It's all wrong. I'm not going to complain about the sudden lose of any bone structure. The weird rogue pinky is enough. It really looks like he drew a camel's foot, then tacked on the pinky of an after thought.

It's really, REALLY killing me. It may be called nitpicking, but it's these kinds of things that I will obsess over until it's the only think I notice in the comic...

Jai said...

Yes, well, I didn't want to commend SK for drawing individual fingers and then rip on him for those fingers looking bad in the same breath - not if he did it in the first place to try not doing the mitten-hand thing. Plus, hands are tricky and I know how bad I am at drawing a good-looking hand in a hurry.

Still. You're not at all wrong; those bottom two fingers are very much at odds with the top two.

Sage said...

Not a finger!

Anonymous said...


...It's not me, it's my _characters_ that are always using GAY as an insult... *sigh*

Jai said...

I guarantee that the connection between the "gay" insult and Skull being "in the closet" never occured to SK.

Regardless, what do we have? Still no mitten-hands (And better, heh, fingering), highly detailed backgrounds (Except for the blank white void of panel three), and the first look at what Skull's "day job" has supposedly been for the past twenty (Or whatever) years. Well, I don't see why this kid would faze him if Francis and Brent's combined negativity never did. I guess the plan is for Skull to hang out with this brat until he gets married, huh?

Why is Skull coming in through the closet, anyway? That's monster territory (Heavily popularized via Monsters, Inc.), which is not a category that a mythical creature and imaginary friend like Skull would seem to fall under. Something's bugging me about Skull's line in the final panel, too - it seems like the "..." shouldn't be there. Or it should be "The best of times", or something.

davidT.C. said...

I like that Skull still isn't back with the PVP crew, but I don't enjoy this "Aw dang what a crappy sitch" storyline. I feel like it would be better if more time was spent away from Skull, because the seriousness of him leaving is kind of negated if we just go right back to him.

paulsouthworth said...

Dang, are you guys still talking about me all these posts later? I'm gonna go call my Mom. I matter!

Can I quote you, Mr. Jim Cowling? I think an endorsement from an esteemed, well-known critic such as yourself would go a long way towards convincing all two dozen of my readers to buy my books! If you agree, please reply with a bitchy, passive-aggressive comment that demeans us both.

Thanks in advance!

Anonymous said...

Have you noticed that the kid in today's comic looks almost exactly like Froggo from the WB show Hysteria!?

TheOriginalJes said...

@ jai

"- it seems like the "..." shouldn't be there. Or it should be "The best of times", or something."

I get what you're saying here, but I have to disagree. Short of script style stage directions, it's kind of difficult to convey a characters exasperation in speech. I think that's what SK attempted, and acheived, here. I saw the last line as Skull talking to himself (sarcastically) under his breath.

As far as "Introductions" goes, I agree that Monsters, Inc. kind of stole the trademark on the monster-in-the-closet bit. But, they didn't invent it, so I'd have to give it to SK for this one. Especially since the gay joke wouldn't quite work with Skull hiding under the bed.

I wonder if this is Skull's permanent assignment, or if he has to interview with a number of prospective children first?

I'm not complaining here. Yes, this kid is annoying me, already. But, that may be part of the fun. I'm curious for more...

Sage said...

Ha I like the dig at a 2 day old comment after we didn't mention Mr. Southworth (whom I had no idea who he was) for 2 days. I also feel sorry because my last reference was 14 hours after Paul's last one so i guess im more relevant. "Mom get the meatloaf! Fuck!"

I still like the Dr. Killinger icon on twitter though, see people aren't all bad or all good.

With the 6/24/08 strip I can see where people might tire of the gay reference again, but it wasn't said in Francis' tone (GAAAAY!) and if you listen on xbox at all this is generally the kid i imagine seeing.

I also loved how Skull broke out of his "lovable lout" personality with this strip. With Brent he likely would have played it off, since he was good friends with him. With this kid calling him gay 5 seconds into their relationship, with whom he had a blank and optimistic slate with, Skulls grumbling, whether under his breathe or clearly spoken made me chuckle.

Sage said...


Hey could you put up a new post to comment on im feeling the weight of 77 posts and seraching through for everyone :).

Ignore me if you are on vacation or something more serious (namely anything in real life) is going on.

Sage said...

Sorry last post of the night. Monsters Inc. stole from Family Guy, EVIL MONKEY!

Sage said...

Ok, well notice that its been a few hours since my last post :).

The only complaint about busy day is where is skull in panel 3? He's following around this trouble making kid and when hes about to send a old lady down the stairs he's not there. Thankfully the easy fix is Skull's head peering around the corner with a horrified look as the lady is about to take a tumble.

Ti Chan said...

I like today's comic as a whole. I enjoyed the joke, the double panel layout and the buildup. I don't really have any complaints about anything.

At PS, I think we're done insulting you right now. Simply put, it's not worth the effort. You're just trying to wrangle a reaction out of everyone, and what's the point.

But thanks for making me smile. (I keep having to delete snarky comments. My bitch switch wants on, and I must refuse, else just start the pandora's box of angry pointless comments again.)

hnm said...

Alas, Sage, your request for a new journal has been denied. Perhaps if we all entreat together?

This strip amused me wholeheartedly. That kid needs a good ol' fashion whuppin'. Clearly Scott's gotten across what he wanted with that snot-nosed little brat, since if he wasn't fictional I'd have more than half a mind to take him over my knee myself until he couldn't sit down for a few hours.

Although I do agree, where's Skull when that old lady is about to take a tumble?

Anonymous said...

Maybe Skull should be assigned to his parents, since they're obviously too incompetent to raise a child.

paulsouthworth said...

Ti Chan, that is a filthy lie! I would never.. yeah, okay. You got me.

You guys are just so CUTE.

Sage said...


Thanks Paul

Sage said...


Looks like FSM is on vacation, damn him for having a personal life! :)

Yeah that kid is one of those kids you want to pick up take to the parents and go "Here, these require PARENTING!"

Anonymous said...

3 days without a new thread :( If only someone else could login to his account and take over while he's away on vacation.

Till then I'll save my comments on the strip.

paulsouthworth said...

You don't have to make "cute" into an acronym to make it a compliment, silly.

Or are you just too SMART to be adorable?

Sage said...

Well if you keep shouting words at us (capitalizing) them I will :)


Sage said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sage said...

I expect more from Dr. Killinger. He helped to bring back the Monarch and Dr. Venture after all. :)

Maybe it was that dusty fan.

paulsouthworth said...

Requests a


Sage said...

Agitator who prefers


davidt.c. said..., the rectal thermometer bit was a nice touch.

Maybe the reason Skull's absent from panel 3 is he's lagging behind. I figure chasing this little brat all over the place must wear him out sum'thin' fierce.

paulsouthworth said...

For a second there I thought you were calling me a snooty alligator.

Nobody calls me a snooty alligator.

Sage said...

Made me chuckle on that one Paul, i mean Mr. Southworth, i mean paulsouthworth :)

TheOriginalJes said...

Maybe Skull's absence in panel 3 is to imply that the old lady got hurt. After all, Skull is only one troll.

TheOriginalJes said...

Does anyone else think that panel 4 looks like the boy is about to stab the frog with a cherry stem or something equally wierd?

Sage said...


He was going to blow it up with a cherry bomb

Michelle said...

Paul I have a few questions for you if you have a spare moment.

UglyHill has been going for 3 years now, when can we expect a book? I also do a webcomic in color and I have to admit that I'm worried about getting it printed.

The cost for color printing is a lot more than I realised. I seriously considered changing my comic to greyscale and selling the book in b&w. Is this something you've considered or do you have enough fans to stick to color?

Although it'll save me money I still feel like I'm cheating my readers with an inferior product.

paulsouthworth said...

I'm working on trying to get a book printed right now, actually. It's very difficult getting a good price for color, but I may have found a solution.

The solution is to go back in time and do my comic strip and black and white.

Seriously though, I am workin' on it :)

Sage said...

What about Kinkos? I kid

My real question, who do you look at in the webcomic, print comic, and comic book (if you read those) industries as the best artists. Also, for you which is harder the art or the story/comedy?

paulsouthworth said...

Huh. Well, in webcomics I find inspiration in Kurtz and Mike Krahulik's work, but those are the obvious answers. James Kochalka's art is deceptively simple, like Schulz's. I also admire Wes Molebash's linework and character design.

I don't read many comic books, but I tend to gravitate toward to more cartoony styles over realism (shocker).

And I think the writing and drawing are equally difficult for me, but I do think that writing is more important than drawing when it comes to making a good comic strip, so I tend to futz with it a little more. The art is definitely more time consuming.

Sage said...

Cool, Ill check out the names other than Krahulik as I hadn't heard of them before (forgive me as I have a narrow webcomic range.) So what your saying is that you are not a big fan of alex ross?
Im got some good information out of someone in the biz (i always wanted to say that(.
Wow was that too civil of an exchange Paul, I can go back to insulting you if you want. Might bring back a level of comfort :)

Sage said...

I mean we can insult each other to get back to normal :)

Anonymous said...

No I prefer it when everyone is nice and we're talking about what really matters, webcomics.

Excuse me while I get back to listening to webcomics weekly.

Sage said...

Well both sides had a hand in the skirmish before, but thankfully cooler heads and acronyms led to a kinder discourse.

R.W.McGee said...

Can we not insult each other AND speak politely about webcomics at the same time? I feel we have that versatile range here.

Also, 105 comments is testing my scrolling finger.

I have created an 'overflow thread' for Scott's latest update "Busy Day"
over on

and people should feel free to post your thoughts there until TFSM comes back, if you want. I will try to do my best to update when he is on hiatus.

Sage said...

I was kidding about returning to insulting each other. I liked the nice discourse we had and look forward to mroe appearnances by Paul, Mr. Southworth, paulsouthworth

Jim Cowling said...

Hey, look, another onion-skinned artiste. God knows we could use a few more of them.

And remember, Chuckles, when you're making your book, you can use both ends of the crayon.

paulsouthworth said...

Skewered... by... rapier wit.

I'm... finished.


paulsouthworth said...

No wait, I'm fine. The wit was actually pretty dull after all.

Dull and tiresome!

Sage said...

Um how was he onion skinned? We had an acronym war after all, and he showed us all he wasnt an alligator. Pretty funny when it comes down to it

paulsouthworth said...

It would explain why my wife cries when I get undressed.

Sage said...

yeah that wouldnt be a pretty sight.

and the smell . . .

TheOriginalJes said...

as far as the scrolling thing, R.W., I suggest ctrl+End.

sage - thanks.

Thursday's strip...I'm really beginning to hate this kid. Would it be a bad thing if Skull just ate him? He did it in the middle ages. Pleeaaasse?!

Zuda Comics - Sponsors of UGLY HILL said...

Okay Kurtz, what did you do with FSM? With no update things are looking bad for this community, which means Paul Southworth will win and I can't let that happen.

On the other hand we could just make an 'uglyhill makes me sad' blog.

Todays comic is funny, but I notice that all four panels are almost identical. Infact they may even be the same image repeated four times with a few alterations to give the impression that they are all different.

You aren't fooling me Paul Southworth and you almost got away with too if it wasn't for this pesky kid.

Anonymous said...

"On the other hand we could just make an 'uglyhill makes me sad' blog."

I'm sure Paul is already on that. He looks desperate for the attention.

paulsouthworth said...

Nope, just bored at work. Nice try, though! You almost made me cry.

Actually, I will cop to that accusation! I very, very rarely do it, but in this case I wanted the two characters to be in the same position and shown at the same angle in each panel, because I thought it matched the pace of the joke. And when you're actually trying to make something look cut and pasted, I feel there's really no reason not to go ahead and do it. I did try to make each panel slightly different so it wouldn't be too monotonous (in fact I just noticed that I didn't color one of Gooseberry's ears in the third panel... dammit).

Good catch!

Sage said...

Meh, since Paul is here I let him defend his own work, as when you have a conversation you generally don't change position.

For PVP Scott is doing a good job witht his arc. While he did bring Skull back to the strip I m glad he is being kept away from the PVP crew. I like seeing his personality outside of his normal Brent, Cole, Francis, etc. interations. I just hope the punchline of the arc (what he does to or with this kid) is worth it because he is making this kid into a very hatable sociopath. :)

Plus that is one scary pitbull he drew

Anonymous said...


today's comic with the kid and the cat is SO FREAKING SAD. i started crying.

i foster kittens and work in an animal shelter, and i know first-hand the horrible things people do to animals.

this is not too far off to what happens to a lot of 'free kittens'.

i didnt like the kid ever, but now i literally want him to ... be erased forever.

most abusers start off hurting animals. this kid obviously hurts people and animals, but it still hurts my heart to see even an imitation of this.

i have cats missing ears and eyes and living terrified from being abused. i dont really like seeing it in comic form.

skull better put the beat-down on this freaking kid.

Anonymous said...

"i didnt like the kid ever, but now i literally want him to ... be erased forever."

Yeah, I don't think you'll have to wait long for that. I'm thinking the kid bites it tomorrow. With Kurtz new Mon-Fri schedule it seems like he prefers putting an end to arcs (or in this case, arc within the arc) at the end of the week, and the increasing ruthlessness of the kid would suggest he's gonna end up dead.

Although I doubt Skull will be the cause of it.

Reader said...


Okay... so, with people having mentioned on plenty of occasions that they'd like to discuss comics other than just PvP, and with FSM being absent the last few days, I've gone ahead and registered a domain and started a forum:

For now it's pretty bare bones, but functional. Only a few subforums, and the default style.

If it takes off and people start posting there regularly, I'm thinking we can add lots of subforums covering many other webcomics.

I'm also thinking FSM could be the moderator of the PvP forum, should he want to.

So, whatcha folks say? Good idea, or am I wasting my time?

Jim Cowling said...

I'm sure Paul is already on that. He looks desperate for the attention.

Since so few people read his comic and yet he keeps doing it, I'm not so sure. Then again, it's been said that stupidity is repeating the same process and expecting a different result.

The odds are pretty strong that this isn't the first time that he's come into a forum about one of his interests -- whether cartooning, taxidermy or child porn, I don't know and can only guess -- and laid down a big, fat dookie, proudly shouting "ta-da!" , waiting for the applause and then getting upset when it isn't forthcoming.

One can play the victim if one has the skills to back it up, whether rhetorical, comedic, social or otherwise. Chuckles here has none of the above. Further, he is predictably unoriginal, falling back on the old standbys of "nuh-uh", "yes...not!" and "I know you are but what am I". Plus veiled threats, false exits and disingenuous self-deprecation that was so on cue that I could have set my watch by it.

Given how unoriginal this clown college dropout is, I've got ten bucks that says that his strip steals gags or outright plagiarizes the work of proper cartoonists. I'd go look if his odious scribblings didn't make me nauseous. But I've got a real job, so maybe I'll hire someone to do it for me.

In any case, there's no point in an "Ugly Hill Makes me sad" forum. It'd have one user: Captain Talentless and a bunch of sockpuppets.

paulsouthworth said...

Absolutely adorable.

Jim Cowling said...

Mea culpa, anonymous; I forgot to mention the predictably content-free responses, usually only a few words long, which, while dismissive and arrogant on the surface ("You're so cute!", etc.), speak volumes about his life as an emotional cripple. He isn't just a stereotype -- he's an archetype:

He fits the profile precisely for Narcisisstic Personality Disorder, a relatively common ailment among failed artists:

(Via wikipedia)

A pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration, and lack of empathy, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five (or more) of the following[1]:

1. has a grandiose sense of self-importance
2. is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love
3. believes that he or she is "special" and unique
4. requires excessive admiration
5. has a sense of entitlement
6. is interpersonally exploitative
7. lacks empathy
8. is often envious of others or believes others are envious of him or her
9. shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes

I count at least 7 in evidence, and odds-on he's got the other two. Always for the best not to engage such people directly; don't feed their disease. Besides, if someone has one Cluster B disorder, they might have more than one, like Antisocial Personality Disorder, or what we commonly call sociopathy. They usually kill themselves eventually, anyway. Best not to provoke them into potentially killing someone else.

Anonymous said...

Gawd, the snark in here is pallable. If Mr Southworth acts sort of rudely in here, it reflects on him and is his business. As for Mr Cowling, you are arguably contributing the kind of material that makes me want to get off the internet and set my laptop on fire. Receive people with some grace, regardless how they're acting. Paul is being cheeky, but you're being outright mean and making wild accusations that for the sake of meanness. This isn't 4chan.

Jim Cowling said...

I don't think my accusations are wild, actually. The evidence is strong that he's mentally ill. My sympathies to his kid, who will have to deal with it every day.

Anonymous said...

Wow. I can't believe anyone needs to say this, but kids are off-limits, shithead.

What an asshole.

Anonymous said...

What's making me sad is the current plot line. It was clear from the beginning that Kurtz wanted us to hate the kid, to make us want Skull back where he "belonged." Like everyone else, I reacted to Kevin with loathing at first. But then I started thinking, one of the main reasons kids act out with violence and cruelty is when they themselves experience it with a bad home life.

I was still appalled by Kevin's actions, but I began to think, surely this kid probably needs someone like Skull around a lot more than any of the PVP gang do.

Of course, it's easier to just kill the kid off and not deal with any deeper issues, like maybe there IS some good Skull should be doing instead of making coffee in an office, and maybe there ARE some kids who really do desperately need his help.

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