Friday, July 25, 2008

First of all, in case you have been living in a cave, I'd like to recommend you check out Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog. Well worth the price.

Second, I know we've been wishing for more gag strips to get us away from the heavy stories that drag on and on, but I just don't think anybody can win lately. After two crap-tacular one-offs, today's Scratch strip (which, I admit, isn't half bad on the heart-strings-tugging front) is hopefully the intro to the Return of Skull story. It would be happening sooner than I would have expected, but, please, I am losing faith. PVP is no longer making me sad because I no longer expect anything good.


Anonymous said...

The more time that passes the more I begin to think that Scott is trying, with all his might, to strongarm his way into syndication.

Which means he's pandering to all the same audiences that his idols have. He blathers on and on about the freedoms of webcomics, about how you can write what you want to write and still find an audience, but he continually does the exact opposite.

When are Penny Arcade going to call him out for his shit like they have before? Are they afraid of not being friends anymore? "Oh no, Scotty's angry!" Who gives a shit at this point? PA haven't changed. Their artwork has gotten better, the writing has gotten better, everything regarding that strip has been consistently improving for a couple of years now - and this is from a bona fide PA hater and once-upon-a-time PVP lover.

What's the deal, Kurtz?

Urethra Franklin said...

The quality of PVP definitely went down but I don't think he's trying to get into syndication. Not when he's making strips about panda rape.

47 said...

"Today's Scratch strip is hopefully the intro to the Return of Skull story."

Some of your favourite strips recently have involved Skull off on his own adventures. Why are you actively hoping that he'll return so soon? Do you believe his absence is hurting the comic?

(I think you may like Monday's comic when it's posted, btw)

R.W.McGee said...

I'm not even commenting on PvP until the strip shows some modicum of I will just agree that Dr. Horrible is indeed well worth picking up. Act 1 is a little slow, but act 2 is brilliant...especially one particular line...which you will know when you see it!

J said...

The return of Skull to the office posse would be bringing back the innocence of the strip. Skull is the only character who is not a sarcastic ass, and takes things at face value. Not that he alone is what made the old strips good, but without him I think we all realize what assholes the PvP crew really are.

Brent/Francis/Cole...really, do I even need to list what is wrong with them? Jade, besides this last strip and some minor face time during the crappy honeymoon, has pretty much not existed in the office (not even a one-liner about having to worry about Brent's 'other woman'). Marcy apparently isn't worth Scott's time besides nookie, the most attention she's been given is the sex arc (even then Francis took the brunt (and face time) of that story); nobody noticed that while Cole is all ass-fatherly to Francis about his college choices, he never glanced sideways about Marcy and her choices.

Skull was stupid, but it was in his character to be so. He needs to be brought back, or the cast needs to grow; without either, PvP is just a sitcom in reruns.

Anonymous said...

You know, today I checked out Menage a 3 and have concluded that TFSM's taste leaves a lot to be desired. It is only superior to PVP in that it has better art. The jokes are bland, and the whole thing seems to coast by on cutesy rubbish mixed with reglar sexual references.

Ti Chan said...

47, I think I know why he wants this to herald the beginning of Skull Returning.

Because that means that this comic wasn't ANOTHER cruddy, half-assed stand alone comic. Because if this WAS a cruddy, half-assed stand alone comic, then it says a lot for what SK is deeming funny and worthy of printing.

Which seems to be anything that fills the gap nowadays.

Limerickx said...

If everyone would like, I can explain the joke again, as I did with the last one (it seemed to help.)

Actually, I'll do it anyways, I recognize that people might be too shy to ask.

Scratch has been seen as a 'tough guy' sort of cat, look how cool! He doesn't need anyone or anything, even more so then normal cats!
The others in the office recognize this as well, noting that cats (Scratch in particular) aren't clingy.

But wait! He is clingy! You didn't see that coming!


That Dude said...

how dare you bash menage a 3 anonymous? it's got everything you could want! big boobs, gay sex, geeks who will probably get it on with actual live girls at some point, and even more boobs, boobs, boobs!

Did I mention that the character with huge boobs is under suspicion of being a man in drag? Ooh hoo hoo!!!

Dave said...

This is the first comic this week that has made me feel any sort of emotion. It's not really "funny" - it's not really supposed to be, it's just kinda sweet.

As I read over Calvin & Hobbes, I notice that not all of their strips are funny, but they _all_ have something endearing about them - some sort of cleverness, cuteness, or something that makes you feel something. There is one strip that entirely consists of Calvin tickling Hobbes' belly - not a great joke, but the art makes it a sweet moment.

Similarly, Penny Arcade's "Paint the Line" arc did not really contain many blatant jokes. An 80's action movie about Ping Pong is not inherently funny. But every strip made me really feel the melodrama and intended cheesiness, and that's what made it good.

Even if we look at PhDcomics, a similar comic in that it's an office-based comic with some fantasy elements, it's endearing just from the high level of emotion the characters have. Pick pretty much any comic and you'll see a huge variety of facial expressions from each character.

Scott Kurtz doesn't seem to be able to consistently make us feel something with his strips: the characters seem to lack emotion (almost seems like he uses copy & paste) and in general I'm just not moved to any emotion by most of them.

Anonymous said...

wow....he follows this blogs advice and criticism....and you think the comic now have yourselves to thank.

"Why won't he listen to us meh meh meh, we know better, meh meh meh"

Damn princesses

R.W.McGee said...

If you can point to one instance of Kurtz following this blogs advice or criticism, I'd love to hear it.

Julia said...

Hey, anon, if those one-off strips were Kurtz following the advice given here, I think he needs to learn what a gag strip actually is. Cuz those weren't it.

Anonymous said...

"If you can point to one instance of Kurtz following this blogs advice or criticism, I'd love to hear it."

What, don't you remember SK's 'experiment' back in March where he messed up the strip trying to prove FSM's advice was no good (and merely ended up proving that the advice wasn't intended for all situations, obviously, and the SK is really quite a petty individual)?

No idea what advice anon-12:27 thinks SK is following this time, though.

Anonymous said...

"An 80's action movie about Ping Pong is not inherently funny."

It's about as inherently funny a concept as anything can be.

Anonymous said...

Ok, who suggested that Scott should start doing shitty, unfunny comics? Come on now, fess up!

47 said...

Anyone happen to catch the drunken news post before it was taken down? X-D

I won't repost it here to respect his wishes, though the full text can be found through Google Reader's archive of the RSS feed, if you're really curious.

Anonymous said...

Scotts deleted blog post...

I’ll admit…I’m drunk as hell.

Words can not express the magic I’ve experienced this evening. I feel an overwhelming desire to thank no one in particular. Perhaps this is why people find God. If for no other reason, than to have an appropriate target for such arrows of complete joy and sorrow.

Luckily for me, this evening, every arrow in my quiver is joyous.

Thanks so much to everyone involved. And my most sincerest apologies to those confused by this post.

Know that just by visiting this page, and patronizing this art (if you can even call it art) you help provide for us an experience we can only hope to pay forward.

Written in a half-drunken stupor.
1:31 am Pacific time.
In the year of our lord 2008.
San Diego California

(sorry 47 but I love it when drunk people start posting on the internet heh)

Anonymous said...

"(sorry 47 but I love it when drunk people start posting on the internet heh)"

Anonymous said...

Bah. Forgot to actually type my reply (*slap*).

Anyhoo, I'm at a bit of a loss to tell why he bothered to remove it. Doesn't seem to have his foot in his mouth for the post and he's made much more reputation-curdling outbursts while sober than seen here in that post.

Dave said...

Ha! The Family Troll stuff is brilliant. Totally unexpected. Nice to see a change in art style and format too, even if it's just for a parody.

Anonymous said...

You think it's brilliant? The only thing worse than Family Circus is FC parodies. They're always the same. Insert vulgar/adult/racist/mildly-to-extremely offensive/bizarre stuff into the same lame format, and you still wind up with lame.

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