Tuesday, June 10, 2008

They grow up so fast

So, it looks like Francis may be done taking lumps for getting his groove on.

(I'd like to know who gave Marcy her lumps. She got lumps too, right? Right? I mean, if we're going to be puritanical we're also going to be even-handed about it, right?)

(Sorry. Sorry.)

He seems rather unaffected as we're treated to a shopping trip that may lead to the ouster of the Big Skull Shirt.

Personally, I've always thought Francis' limited wardrobe was a missed opportunity for humor. No kid wears the same shirt everyday (ok, some kids would if they could, but now that he's older, maybe he can get a little more sophisticated?), and changing up his t-shirts could offer an extra level of commentary about the strip, or simple non-sequitur gags, or even make real-world references. (Pop culture jokes can work better if they aren't the main focus of the strip. I would LOL pretty hard if I saw him wearing a shirt that said RELAX.)

(You could compare them to Judah Friedlander's trucker caps in 30 Rock. Berke Breathed did that kind of stuff in old-school Bloom County with shirts and pictures hanging on walls and stuff.)


Tyzmafin said...

I just wanted to say I'm happy with the fact that we didn't have more than a single strip's worth of lecture from Cole. I'll agree his behaviour seemed in character, but I wasn't looking forward to more than a day's worth of yesterday's strip.

Anonymous said...

peanuts did it too. There was a strip from the first decade where the girls were all glad that charlie brown bought a new shirt because they were so sick of the old one with that corny crooked line. then he shows up with a big eating grin and the exact same shirt with the colors reversed.

you could also go back as far as the yellow kid, the original cartoon with the changing motto on a shirt.

Benton said...

Actually, I had a friend in college who wore a black T-shirt (with no logo) and jeans every day. (He didn't have just one; he had a closet full of them.) We got him a white T-shirt for Christmas one year and he wore it exactly once.

So it doesn't exactly ring false to me that Francis would wear the same thing every day.

Anonymous said...

John Allison does it with Scary Go Round all the time. In fact, he pays so much attention to the clothes that I'm convinced he must be gay.

The Wax Lion said...

And then there's Jeph Jacques, who gives his characters different shirts all the time and whichever ones get the best reactions in his forum get made into real-life t-shirts to sell on the site.

I always assumed Francis' shirt was the Punisher logo; but if he branches out, maybe Scott can start selling Francis-wear... :)

Anonymous said...

Let's not list every single strip that does the shirt thing. There are lots of them. I don't think it would really fit the PVP vibe, though.

Caren W. said...

Looking at the latest strip, has Cole always been this large? No wait, I think I'm looking at it wrong, his tie is hanging down.

I'm loving the new styles at the moment, but there's something that really bugs me. The faces are so detailed now, they're looking more realistic than cartoony.

The problem is we still have the cartoony, marionette hands. Take a look at panel 3 with Francis and Marcy. Do the hands suit the faces?

Something else I notice quite often is Scott using hand gestures that don't really fit with what the character is saying. For example: say Francis' line in panel 3 with your arm in the air. It just doesn't look or feel right. Maybe I'm looking into this too much because of my animation background. Acting out our characters and learning body language was very important for our work.

R.W.McGee said...

hands are tough, but I have to agree, Marcy's 'hand-washing' gesture in the third panel looks ridiculous because all her fingers are fused together. The Francis crooked arm motion is a pretty common gesture made my characters giving an explanation. I'm not sure why.

Anonymous said...

It's miming the act of offering something physical as you impart information. I've seen people do it.

Jai said...

I'm glad that Mr. Kurtz decided to drop the teen sex thing. He clearly didn't think it would be such a hot potato, and leaving it behind is the best choice.

I'm also glad that Francis got a new shirt at (Obviously, look at the window) Hot Topic. I really despised the old alien-looking skull design, so anything else is an improvement.

I agree that his wearing the same thing day in and day out was an opportunity for either subtle background humor or outright punchlines, but I honestly can't think of much background humor ever appearing in PVP (I'm drawing a total blank at the moment, in fact. Anyone?). It seems that, er, even getting a good punchline is something of an arduous task. Besides which, Francis is hardly alone in wearing the same clothes every damn day. Out of everyone, Miranda is probably the closest to having a wardrobe of any kind (But still pretty far off). Or Skull, but it's hard to count him because he's naked the rest of the time.

Speaking of background humor, I've noticed quite a lot more background art going into PVP's panels lately. I like it! The only problem is that there is really no distinction between background art and foreground art. You know, something that color or greyscale shading would help with. I think we're stuck with "skinny lines for things in the background", but it isn't very consistent since foreground things are mostly drawn the same way (Check out Cole's office in "Don't be silly, Lois". Speaking of, what on Earth is that stuff in front of Brent in the third panel?). Anyway, it's still a step in the right direction.

And Marcy's hands look really bad. I don't have a big problem with the whole mitten-hand aspect of PVP, but that pose they're in is not doing them any favors. I can see what he's going for with that pose (And missing) - the "clenched hands held up to your chest in empathy" thing. But the hands aren't really even touching each other, which is sort of the opposite of what they should be doing. And, by the by, Francis' pose in the same panel is absolutely fine. Used frequently in comics and real life alike.

Caren W. said...

Sure Francis' pose is used in real life, but I guess I'm just noticing it a lot in PvP. Not really a big concern as Scott is already breaking out by moving his characters around instead of rooting them side by side like the majority of webcomics. That's a pet peeve of mine.

KM said...

Something I haven't seen mentioned:
Not only did Francis replace his old skull t-shirt, but he's also now wearing a long sleeved shirt under the new t-shirt.

And Cole seems fond of rolling up his sleeves.

Or has this always been this way and I'm jut not very observant? :)

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