Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Is Cole a Muppet?

I liked today's strip (Welcome Back) -- It's a refreshing dose of gaming humor.

I've decided to stop feeling bad about nitpicking -- some commenters are down on it, and I was questioning what I would and wouldn't let myself write about. But fuck that noise. If something bugs me, I'm saying it:

Cole's mouth in the first panel is just weird. That reverse 3/4 view rarely works out for him.

32 comments:

pablo cruise said...

That's funny. I think it looks pretty much exactly like Cole would look from a reverse 3/4 view.

You may not like it, but the drawing is technically spot-on.

Zack said...

I've decided I really hate Cole. Maybe that's good character development. Maybe he's just that annoying.

vaultkeeper said...

Is Cole in their house still from the divorce storyline? Did they go straight to the office?

Anonymous said...

What, exactly, is the point of nitpicking? Especially when you lack the skills or knowledge to speak intelligently about how to correct said problem? Cite examples from other comics that do a better job, reference other occasions where Cole has appeared in a similar pose and analyze them. There's nothing worse than a reviewer who does nothing but poke holes for the sake of poking them, or because they have nothing else to say.

WHY don't you like it? It "looks weird" is so weak and lazy. Imagine if Roger Ebert said he didn't like "Underdog" because it "was fucked up" or "That dog's ears really bug me. The End."

If you can't spend more than five minutes thinking about this stuff, then why bother? You're wasting everyone's time.

Kyle said...

"It looks weird" is a perfectly valid reason to criticize a character's appearance in a comic strip. Unless the character is supposed to look "weird" for some reason, they should not.

AnonyMouse said...

Does it really matter if he drew Cole's 3/4 mouth differently? You'd just find something else to complain about.

Anonymous said...

Kyle, "it looks weird" is a weak, lazy, pointless exercise in criticism for criticism's sake. Why does it look weird? Weird in comparison to what? How could it have been done better? Etc, etc. It is incomplete. D+, see me after class.

Criticism exists to make art better by forcing the artist to look at his/her own work through the eyes of its intended audience. "It looks weird" does absolutely nothing for anyone, other than to inflate FSM's ego another few inches by extending his tenuous piggyback on Kurtz's hard work for one more day.

If you're going to critique someone's work, don't insult them by taking less time to do it than it takes to velcro your Spider-Man shoes in the morning.

Make a fucking effort.

Anonymous said...

i agree, the reverse 3/4 view of cole in the first panel is weird. however, the reverse 3/4 view of brent is something that i really like! i think that maybe cole's design just needs to be tweaked a little bit; everyone else has been redesigned, it seems like, and cole looks the same as he always has (not counting when kurtz redesigned everyone in 1999).

i also really like how jade is drawn here. she looked a little off the last time we saw her (http://www.pvponline.com/2008/06/23/mistaken-identity/) but that was probably because of the angle at which she was drawn. we're probably just unused to seeing the characters from different angles, and so it does 'look weird' to us. it's good that kurtz is trying to draw his characters from different angles, but then again there is nothing wrong with keeping them in the same view like 90% of the time (The Venture Bros. does this, for example.)

birdman said...

Anon @ 1:37

He did explain why it looked weird - in that view, Cole looks like a Muppet. Just because you had to refer back to the headline (which you should have read first) doesn't mean theFSM didn't include the reasoning.

And to throw in my 2¢, usually when viewed from a reverse ¾ view like that, their mouth isn't actually visible (or very little of it is).

R.W.McGee said...

The real issue is less the perspective, and more that he extended the mouth too far upward. Assuming that the curved area in Cole's hair (or the area where it intercepts the glasses) represents Cole's ear...the mouth is almost touching his ear.

Now, smile...you will find your mouth and ear are still quite a distance apart. What is missing is the cheek.

Anyway, I didn't even notice it until other people brought it up, and it didn't impact the strip for me...but that is why it looks strange I believe.

Anonymous said...

Completely unrelated to today's comic specifically- has anyone else noticed that on the "New Readers" page (where the character profiles are now located), Scratch Fury's title is listed as "DeSTORYer of Worlds"?

What a typo.

Incidentally, the difference in quality between Brent's profile and Jade's amuses me.

As does the fact that Scratch rates a profile and Marcy doesn't.

Ti Chan said...

@anon 4:20.
I noticed that a while back. A few of the characters are missing, and I don't understand why Scratch needs a profile at all. I understand he has a kind of side story lead, but still...

@anon 1:05.
The fact is, it DOES look strange. I don't consider this nitpicking. But that might be my OCD speaking.

Pointer said...

Yes, it DOES look strange -- if Cole was a flesh and blood person, but he is not, so this entire critique is moot.

Anonymous said...

No. The posters on here telling you to stop nitpicking are dead wrong. Cole's mouth looks weird, you have a right to point it out, and if the complainers can't deal with it, fuck off to another blog. As for you, TFSM, keep up the good work.

Sage said...

Man the "why are you critiquing" anonymus people had a nice little run. Oh well saying that you don't have the chops to critique when you yourself are anonymus is just funny to me. Cole's mouth is like that of a muppet.

FSM I don;t know why posters you were refering to with when you said they were complaining about nitpicking. When I used nitoicking it was just an arguement that the point you made wasnt that important. Today's point, and MOST of your other points, are valid. If i say its nitpicky it doesn;t mean i want you to stop offering your opinions

Btw Scott is moving fast on the popularity for LOLbat as he already has got a run of tshirts. Go get that money kid (not sarcastic if you make something people like take advantage of it.)

Anonymous said...

Was Jade always such a bitch?

I mean, is that really how she would greet a friend after a two-week hiatus? I know it's supposed to be funny, but since the author has gone to great lengths to make us sympathize with his characters, and relate to them as real people, every moment with them is like grinding molars on a whetstone, my contempt for them rising like a mercury thermometer, until it boils over into a stewed vomit.

Anonymous said...

Whatver did happen to that divorce storyline with Cole, anyway? Was that resolved? I forget?

Yes, Cole's mouth looks like a muppet. It's a legit nitpick, although not a very interesting one since it's mostly a case of art style. Brent has the same type of mouth when drawn from that angle, but it's less noticeable on him because his face is more angular. The big long cut-out stands out more on Cole's big round head.

Dunno why Cole would think that Brent wanting to talk games would annoy Jade, though. He's not ringing Cole from his honeymoon or cutting across Jade. Does Cole actually expect Brent to talk about what happened during the honeymoon? Creepy.

Anonymous said...

Cole's mouth from that perspective gives me the hots. I want to kiss it. If his wife saw him from that angle more frequently, maybe their marriage wouldn't be in such trouble.

Jai said...

Cole does look like a Muppet from that angle - he looks like his lips stretch literally from ear to ear, enabling him to double as a Pez dispenser. His mouth doesn't do that from other angles. Also, he looks like he has a chimp's jutting lower face (Which I, personally, wouldn't have guessed from the usual drawings of Cole we see). At the usual angle, Cole looks to have fat cheeks - at the "behind the back" angle, he has no cheeks at all (Know why? I can tell you why. To create the outline of this new angle of Cole, SK simply copy-pasted the usual angle's outline and drew new interior artwork. That works awesome for silhouettes, but not for this). Technically, his glasses are also too small at that angle - but that's fine, because they actually look like normal glasses (Which they do NOT when seen from the usual angle). I don't think it's as important a criticism as Cole's tie is (Speaking of, instead of two black triangles it's only ONE black triangle in that strip. It still gives the correct impression of his horrible tie, but there's just no actual room left for the top triangle to be), heh, but it's certainly something that doesn't look right.

Welcome Back was a great strip, though, because it's hilarious and even taps into the idea that the characters of PVP work at a gaming magazine still.

My final artistic comment is that I can't tell what that frame/wall/thing in the background over Cole's head is. A picture? A window? A door? Is it also in the 1st panel, or is that thing (It doesn't go below Cole's head, so it's not a door?) different?

Jai said...

What a bastard, I didn't remember to say how cool the drawings of Brent with his fists knotted around Cole's shirt with Cole against the wall (And then Jade as well) look. They look really great.

pablo cruise said...

"He looks like a Muppet", sadly, is also weak. Maybe he's supposed to look like a goddamn Muppet. He is a cartoon character, after all. And what are Muppets but cartoon characters made flesh (felt)? I mean seriously, looking at Cole in a forward 3/4 view, what did you expect him to look like from the rear? Charlton Fucking Heston? Dude's got a fat head and a big mouth. If you built Cole as a three dimensional puppet exactly on model, this is what he would look like from the back. Go ahead and build one. I will wait.

The reverse 3/4 view is 100% accurate. Moving on.

pablo cruise said...

And if you're going to nitpick, for Christ's sake, nitpick the punchline. There are so many funnier words he could have used in place of the generic "fat man". I equate this to calling someone "____ boy", like, "Shut up cartoon boy". It's been done to death. Fatso, tubby, chubby, lardass, wide load, etc. would have made for a much more colorful and original punch.

Anonymous said...

It was a weak joke to start with. Panel 3 just sets it up too much. A straight forward 'expected response, unexpected twist'. On top of that, Cole's line an cumbersome thing to say considering the person you're talking about is stood right next to you both.

And yes, the _all_ the 3/4 view mouths look odd. Funny to see FSM worrying about nitpicking and then having people pop up complaining that he's not nitpicking enough by analysing his 'beef' to death. :)

Idaho Curly said...

I guess we're not allowed to critique the critic?

Sage said...

Pablo, his big thing was the art, he'll critique others things later.

TheOriginalJes said...

Re: Nitpicking the nitpicking...

I'm enjoying the irony of this post.

FSM starts out by explaining that he is in fact nitpicking. Pablo Cruise starts out fine. But, then the anonymous (often self-proclaimed "I'm an artist hiding behind anonymity from the Scott Kurtz haters") jump in to complain about the nitpicking.

It's a blog ABOUT nitpicking...

Then, after some fine technical debate over the merits of execution of the 3/4 view, Pablo Cruise comes back for a third time...

...yes,... to nitpick the nitpicking.

-I now stabeth my self, with mine poisoned dagger to honor thyne Shakespearian 'Irony within the Irony'-

TheOriginalJes said...

Oh yes! And Sage got in a good 'nitpicking the nitpicking nitpicking' (on nit^3)at the end.

Anonymous said...

When did the definition of nitpicking become "pointing out when someone is being a lazy, destructive nutsack"?

Anonymous said...

"When did the definition of nitpicking become "pointing out when someone is being a lazy, destructive nutsack"?"

Well, obviously, unless you're a lazy, destructive nutsack yourself, you have no right whatsoever to criticise.

(just to wanted beat that particular dead-horse)

Sage said...

@theoriginaljes
I was just defending FSM so I was actually doing a cube root (nit^1/3) of what what going on.

Anonymous said...

This going way past nits and into lice.

Jai said...

Haha!

Oh, and Cole's supposed to look like a Muppet, why doesn't he look like one from any other angle?

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