Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Going Somewhere?

I think (I hope) I know what's going on.

SK might be giving us a series of Skull-in-other-comics vignettes -- first there was Skull in C&H, now Skull in Family Circus.

This, I can get behind. As good or bad as they are (the C&H ones were good, the recent FC ones are bad), once we're through them all (what's next -- Skull in Mary Worth? that would be awesome) they'll look a lot better in hindsight.


J said...

This is actually the first direct insertion with Skull into a different strip. The previous little shit wasn't really Calvin, but more of a homage to him (the last strip with the wagon being what pushed that idea home). And that worked, it worked very well. I think we all enjoyed watching Skull not be able to handle a kid that was so out of control, he managed to off himself.

And because of the death, maybe being placed in these Family Circus parodies are his punishment.

While humorous, I don't think directly parody-ing strips, like FC, is really funny. It's been done. I want something new. Scott could've made a new family, modeled them after the Circus family, and still made the strips he did. And it would have worked. Much better then these. I want more homage.

Anonymous said...

You like this? What's to like?

It's the same old tired parody of FC as it's ever been.

Anonymous said...

What FSM means when he says these strips will look better in hindsight is that today's strips will look brilliant compared to whatever crap is being drawn six months from now.

John said...

I really want to give SK the benefit of the doubt, but I wonder if he realizes just how borderline offensive these comics are. I haven't read FC in a long time, so maybe this isn't a huge stretch for the comic, but to me it just looks like he's painting all of Christianity with one large brush. If he's trying to satirize one type of Christianity - or perhaps something else? - he's doing a pretty poor job of explaining what that is, and what of Christianity he does like.

I just... don't get it.

R.W.McGee said...

Look, I'm not deeply in love with these recent comics (and the less said about the Avery Brooks post, the better)

But there DOES exist a vocal minority of Christians who espouse EXACTLY the beliefs that Kurtz is parodying in these comics. In this case, instead of getting pissed at Kurtz, maybe people should be angry that such a small group can create such a negative backlash towards said religion.

I think that would be more productive anyway.

The real problem, as I see it, is that Kurtz hasn't really built any credibility to deal with these sorts of issues. If he wants to make fun of a video game title, or take issue with CTRL ALT DELETE...at least he has a track record there. When he takes aim at religion, it seems pretty completely out of the blue.

My 2 cents on this strange direction he is going.

vaultkeeper said...

Then you haven't read his anti-religious rants from back in the day. This is definitely not out of the blue for him.

I didn't hate the comics but they certainly didn't make me laugh. I also find it incredibly ironic that he's parodying FC in such a negative way just after getting angry at a guy for drawing Skull getting skull humped by Red Skull.

47 said...

Dr. John.

If your humor isn't offensive to someone, then you're not doing it right. :}

I like these comics because they possess something that's rare in PvP: substance. Something is being said beyond the actions and words of the characters. It gives you something to think about.

Regarding this message, I'm thinking that the situation must end as horrifically/hilariously as with psudo-Calvin. I have a sick imagination, so here's my suggestion:

Kids try to exorcise Skull, resulting in their accidental deaths. When asked by news cameras in the following strip, the parents blame video games. The end. X-D

Anonymous said...

This is a Family Circus parody:


Anonymous said...

I'm sure I never used to think "I'll be glad when this 'segment' is over." as much as I do these days with PvP. And when the one-strip filler has been as bad as it has recently...

Sage said...

Yo peeps, no Im not dead.
These last two have just been very boring. Recapping: "Good Francis Huntinig", Light falls on Cole, Sad Scratch (slightly sad but not funny) and then two Family Circus parodies. Nothing has pushed the boundaries of funny or even controversial so there was no reason to even comment.

Did you ever seen the Family Guy episode where Peter goes to career counselor and he says something to the effect of "This is my last week, ive kinda checked out" Its the same for these strips as u can almost tell he was going to SDCC. And we're left with Peter's response of "well what do I do then?"

Really was anyone clamoring or is FC that big of a pop culture reference that it would spawn great comedy? Even Ding! (which i did enjoy) hasn't updated in 1-2 weeks. Scott's post about meeting Avery Brooks and Jonathan Fakes was more endearings than anything over the last month he's created and its just sad because after the wedding any momentum has ground to a halt

Jai said...

Oh, man. I love Kris Straub. That couldn't have happened to a more-deserving person.

J said...

I just saw the new strip(s). Foxtrot has entered the parody.

And I couldn't help myself.

I laughed.

I laughed loudly.

The funniest PvP has been in weeks, and no PvP cast member in sight.

Zack said...

I only like these because I absolutely despise Family Circus, and yes... NO BRENT NO COLE. Awesome. Other then that, yes, these have been done to death. Pearls Before Swine makes fun of FC on a daily basis. There was even a parody of family circus a couple years back where they replaced the words they were saying, was hilarious until Keane tried to sue the guy and the guy felt really bad. Anyways I'm all for making fun of religion(s), and to be honest it seems like SK is trying to get on the map by going after an established(terrible) comic. Which would seem like beating up the mentally handicapped kid at school. Too easy.

Anonymous said...

Horses for courses, I guess. The punchline to the comic parody strip is... another comic parody. Oh.

Full-marks to FSM for predicting the emergence of another comic strip parody. That said, if you're stood on a train track, the sound of a train horn blaring out and down the track you see a light getting closer as the ground begins to shake, chances are it's not a yacht heading your way.

I have to admit - storylines/arc throw me. Sometimes I find it hard to tell if the last panel of a strip isn't funny because it's not supposed to be (and is just there to move the story along) or whether it's simply *not funny*.

Shork said...

So to sum up these comments:

"I don't get it because I'm a Christian. But I'm not homophobic, so I don't know why this is supposed to be about me."

"Wah! It's another storyline! Let's go back to one-offs!"

(Next week, the complaint will be about another one-off, saying Kurtz doesn't have the dedication to "character development" and "arcs.")

"I wish he'd do this same exact strip, but give the characters different *names*. You know, an homage."

And my favorite:

"My name isn't on this web site, but let me tell you what I think about a week's worth of strips."

hnm said...

I'm with J on this one. I lawled. I was expecting (and looking forward to) other comics showing up, but not within the SAME comic, nor commenting on one another. But then again, I'm an absolute crossover-whore and I can't get enough of them, so I may be a little biased.

Sage said...

Now Foxtrot I do like, too bad Amend had to go to Sundays only :)

Anonymous said...

I have to say, I love the current one. Great joke with "EXCOSCISSORS" and then the scissors in the next strip.

I've really laughed. Great one! Go Kurtz!

Anonymous said...

"Wah! It's another storyline! Let's go back to one-offs!"

(Next week, the complaint will be about another one-off, saying Kurtz doesn't have the dedication to "character development" and "arcs.")"

Remember folks, your opinion is invalid unless everyone shares it. There is absolutely no possibility that two people might have differing preferences - one liking arcs and one liking one-offs. No possibility that one week one person might mention their dislike of one-offs while the next week the other person mentions their dislike of arcs. No, it couldn't happen like that - it's clearly a single hive mind being fickle as that obviously makes more sense...


Jai said...



Anonymous said...



He means to say that we're gonna assimilate you.

Sage said...

Yes we wanted one-offs, but these one-offs weren't good, so whats the other options? a) keep bashing your head against unfunny one-offs b) try to return to story driven content c) read Ding! (ha) d) read a wholly different comic.

When we asks for some one-offs to break up the story we should have added the word "good" to that sorry our bad.

J said...

I don't think we want one-off strips, or story arc strips.

We just want good strips.

vaultkeeper said...

I don't think we want one-off strips, or story arc strips.

We just want good strips.


Jai said...

Well, I liked these Troll Circus strips more than those one-offs that preceded it. The one with Scratch was halfway decent, but it covered old territory (We already know that Scratch was reduced to a blubbering mess upon learning that Skull was gone - man, remembering that brings back all the negative feelings about that strip. That strip was fucking awful. In that respect, I guess, it was NICE to see it done in the laidback way of "Absence Makes The Heart Grow Fonder"). I'm getting sidetracked.

The nasty kid wasn't very obviously meant to be a Calvin stand-in until that last strip with him. I'm guessing that's roughly the time that these other comic tie-in strips occured to SK. The idea is ok, although it does feel strange given SK's raging desire to be in newspapers (Maybe he no longer feels that way?).

The execution is lacking, particularly because of that amazingly old "Christians fly into blind rages at the sight of Harry Potter books" reference. The rest of it seems like a decent dig at Family Circus, and how their bland "cuteness" can be easily interpreted as creepy and ignorant (I know, not a novel concept). But then we got this most recent one, that brings in Fox Trot but -more importantly - doesn't have any kind of punchline (Unless you count the literal continuation of the previous day's "exorscissors" joke). It's not like we need Jason to point out what those kids are up to, so what on Earth is supposed to be funny, here?

Jai said...

Whoops, could have kept going. Family Troll - Part Two is also weak in that the two "panels" contradict each other. In the first, Skull is being used as a scapegoat. But in the next, the kids want to get rid of him (Which, as an aside, would be funnier if they wanted to exorcise the Not Me ghost, or Granddad's ghost). I suppose it's possible that Skull IS responsible for the (And the joke is so terrible, I hate having to type this reference out) Harry Potter book's presence, in which case the kids are as offended as their dad. But that would completely nullify the "Not Me" joke . . . ? Unless the dad can't see Skull! Oh, man, I should have thought of that before. If the dad can't see Skull, then that's funny and Skull IS exactly like their Not Me ghost. Damn it, I wish that SK bothered to make that little detail clear (If it's true).

Anonymous said...

I hate you Jai, for finding things that I never thought of.

If he did want to make it clear, Kurtz could have easily put "Not Me" printed on Skull's stomach, just like in the actual comic. That would have be awesome. But since the last line "Not Me" is usually left for under the circle, and Kurtz's last line was "He made us do it", I think the point was just to have the kids blame Skull for bringing in a 'forbidden' book and not make what would have made a good reference/in joke.

Just to point out, the joke with Foxtrot was twofold:
a) the FC kids have apparently turned homicidal (possible awesomeness), and
b) in the PvP-newspaper strip-verse, comic strips live as neighbors, or at least close to each other.
The concept is no different then when Blondie had it's 75th anniversary, and all the other strips were invited to the party.

And I think this makes it wish fulfillment for Kurtz, in that his strip exists in the same universe as 'real' comicstrips, allowing for the crossover.

Anonymous said...

Poor, dilluded Kurtz.

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

That is a funny strip as it plays off of Family Circus' trademark dotted line well and is a good rendering of whatever part of the world skull is in (even Snoopy is there)

I like this strip compared to the others because it is a more over parody/satire of FC instead of "mocking the overt Christian overtone and all out preaching of syndicated comic strips" as Scott posted on one of his threads. I, along with alot of people, don't really care or notice whatever overtones are in those strips so trying to make fun of it falls flat or worse. Give your audience something overt in referencinig other works or you'll get the response (you hate christians!!!) you get because no one knows what the hell you are referencing.

J said...

We have a movie quote from noted geek, Jason, ironic use of the dotted line, and some subtle use of background.

Huh. Okay, I'll roll with this. *crosses fingers* Here's hoping.

Anonymous said...

That is like saying people shouldn't get mad at racists because there DOES exists a minority of blacks who are poor and have no jobs and love watermelon and fried chicken.
I don't like that many christians act that way (narrow-minded, not racist. Well, yeah, racist too, but you know what I mean) but it doesn't mean I should applaud those who group me with them.

Anonymous said...

particularly because of that amazingly old "Christians fly into blind rages at the sight of "...Harry Potter books" reference."

"...Harry Potter book's presence, in which case the kids are as offended as their dad."

There's a dumb ass in my office who STILL won't let his kids read the books, or watch the movies. Those dipshits still exist, and are still annoyingly vocal about it, Jai.

Chrysee said...


Who is grouping you with them? I see a couple strips implying one family is a little crazy. The caption doesn't read "this is supposed to be you" or "hurhur all christians are like this" I don't see how criticizing one Christian's behavior means you're assuming they're all like that? Maybe if I were religious I'd be hypersensitive too

Randy said...

Today's comic (7/31/08: Faily Troll Pat 4) is the first installment of this mini-filler-series that I actually liked.

Actually... I love it! I actually laughed out loud. It was beautiful parody of the FC "winding pathways" comics that come out every other week.

This comic actually makes me feel like SC has a plan for this storyline, and proves he has a great, satirical eye for parodies.

Anonymous said...

Not being a FC reader, the dotted line means nothing to me but I accept that there's probably people who have seen FC who find it hilarious. One question, why does it break/skip on the grass between the vehicle and the hedge?

Having it drawn under the teepee is a little confusing. Is it supposed to be a direct line between where Skull started from and where he currently is (and therefore would pass under things as it sweeps across to follow his position) or is it supposed to be an indication of the path he's travelled (which makes clipping the edge of the teepee like that seem weird).

Ti Chan said...

I really like today's strip, actually. It's nice to see him actually mocking FC without jabbing angrily at Christians while he's doing it.

I didn't like yesterday's, so much, though. First off, why the hell is the FoxTrot kid stalking his neighbors? Really, how many children do YOU KNOW that keep tabs on the other kids in the neighborhood with binoculars. It seems really strange.

And second... How the hell does he recognize Skull as a troll? I mean, let's admit it, if we weren't EXPLAINED what troll was, he would just be a nameless monster. I wouldn't pick him out as a troll, even if prompted.

Skeeter said...

Ha! This one actually made me laugh.

The other ones annoyed me, mainly because they weren't funny, but partly because he was attempting to parody the preachiness of FC, which seems to me like the pot calling the kettle black. Haven't we been complaining about the overt preachiness of PvP over the last while?

Anonymous said...

Haha.. I hated the last two strips (not because of anything Christian, they just sucked), but this one is hilarious.

Not only does he portray Jason perfectly, the joke is somehow fantastic.

Thumbs up.

It's weird how strips can go from shit to awesome in a day.

Anonymous said...

Despite recent weaknesses in the plot lately, the last strip is great.

"They'll never think to come this way," is absolute gold.

R.W.McGee said...

Yeah, the terminator line at the beginning, and the clever FC parody finally made today's strip a winner.

Chet said...

And second... How the hell does he recognize Skull as a troll?

Because he reads PvP online. That's been established in FoxTrot continuity.

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