Thursday, July 3, 2008

Open Thread: It's a Trap!

Again, not much to say. Aside from Scratch looking weird (the anonymous commenter can suck it -- he looks weird, I don't have to say why; tomorrow is a holiday and I am lazy), the art is cool, but the joke falls flat.

Observation: Brent in 3/4 doesn't look nearly as weird (suck it!) as Cole.


Anonymous said...


paulsouthworth said...

Dude, come OOOONNNNN. You're killing me. Seriously. Scott spends 1-2 hours on each these strips. The least you could do is put down your Dr. Pepper and spend at least 1/10 that time tearing it apart. Shit, you're not even tearing it apart anymore. You're just making vague, semi-derogatory comments in the general direction of the strip.

Next PVPMMS post in advance: "Comic bad. No like."

Fake Scott McCloud said...

Hey man, there are hot dogs to be eaten.

Sage said...

Hey Paul, did you see Yahtzee's "how to" for comics? I was wondering what someone who actually does that work thought about it.

Paul you forgot to add "FSM smash!"

FSM - you forgot the hot dog eating contest at Coney Island. THATS how you eat hot dogs.

paulsouthworth said...

So move the dick to one side, stuff a hot dog in there, and get back to work!

I kid! But seriously though, that's tomorrow.

I'm working tonight and probably tomorrow too. Unfortunately, it takes a lot longer to post a new comic strip every day that to bang out half a paragraph and stuff it into a generic Blogger template. I need to grab every second I can to make sure I have enough time to put out the best product possible!

If you can't at least try to do something right, after all, there's really no point in doing it.

paulsouthworth said...

Sage- I thought it was completely accurate and funny as hell. Also: fast.

So many comics are like that because those are the easiest solutions to problems. Main character? Me! Girl character? Sassy! Friends? Wacky! Etc.

I can't claim to have avoided them all, but I'm painfully aware of them, and I spend a lot of time consciously avoiding them at all costs.

Except for the miscarriage storyline, of course. I'm planning at least three of those as we speak.

Sage said...
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Sage said...
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Sage said...

Well what good comic doesn't need a miscarriage arc. Im surprised Mr. Schultz didn't involve that as Lucy or Peppermint Pattie would have been good character cases.

Its true that our blog posts don't take that long but we understand that our REAL jobs (meaning im a physical therapist, not that my job is better/more real than yours) take as much time and effort as a comic artist. Its just that i can only draw stick figures (but that can be a webcomic according to Yahtzee).

Have you ever seen Zero Punctuation before Paul?

paulsouthworth said...

Drawing comics isn't my full time job either, but that doesn't mean I take it any less seriously! I work at least 9 hours a day as a graphic designer, then come home and do freelance work on the side. Then, after that, I can draw my comic strip. I'm working from 7am to at least 11pm almost every day.

I keep coming back here hoping to see some kind of well thought-out breakdown of the day's strip, but all I get is pointless nitpicking or "that looks weird" or "that's cool". I'm not saying that running a criticism blog is any less important than drawing a comic strip, just that one should put a little effort into anything they do, no matter what it is.

Especially if what you do is get on someone's ass about what they do.

R.W.McGee said...

I'm a bit confused, because I'm sort of tempted to agree with Paul here...I think the level of analysis in TFSM's posts originally was far more impressive than the analysis in the comment/responses...and I think that has flipped around in the last two weeks.

Of course, I sometimes abandon my blog for months at a I can't find it in myself to be too hard on FSM if he has something better to be doing.

Which transitions into my agreement with Sage...this is not a job for any of us. We have no responsibility to Kurtz (Other then, in my opinion to refrain from libel or cheap personal shots...although some anonymous posters obviously don't toe that line) we are not being paid or compensated for our time, other than in the enjoyment derived from discussing this web-comic with our peers.

And I guess in a nutshell, that is why I am OK with Kurtz not being here. The responsibility of the community is to the community, not to the creator of the webcomic that inspired the community.

If at one point Scott derived something useful from this site, wonderful, if he doesn't, that's fine too. In the end, that's just not what this is about.

Also, you can never have too many miscarriage story-lines.

R.W.McGee said...

Oh, I totally forgot today's comic. Heh.

I actually thought the punchline was in the first panel, as it carried over from yesterdays joke...and sort of validated the previous comic, which I had not found terribly amusing. The Scratch panels were all sort of relateable, but not laugh out loud funny.

Still, for my money Scott is on a role, and back to the sort of non-linear humour that made me a fan of PvP in the first place.

Anonymous said...

Funny strip, but "I can't feel my legs" is another generic punchline that could be punched up, or even discarded altogether. Erase all the dialog from the panel except the caption "Three Hours Later...".

This strip is much funnier when the face is the punchline, in my opinion. The dialog just clutters it up.

paulsouthworth said...

Mmm, that's good criticism! I would agree with that!

See visual aide:

Anonymous said...

I agree that PVPMMS has become pretty half assed of late. It should go back to the way it used to be.

Though it seems Kurtz has been doing a better job lately himself, so it has probably become harder to find something to complain about.

Who woulda thought the situation would flip like this. Now Kurtz is improving and FSM is making me sad.

Zack said...

I liked the first panel, a nice little throwback from the only funny part of the previous strip. I also liked the fourth panel. Everything in between and after was generic and not funny. I don't even feel there was a punchline in this comic. Scratch looks really weird too, barely looks like a cat. Also the expression on Brent's face in the last two panels is just awkward. Can we go back to Skull trying to save stupid kids? That was the funniest week in months and now were back to a boring trite Brent storyline.

Mike Vogts said...

Personally I kind of like the first panel, hinting at a somewhat "interesting" conversation Brent and Jade are having, inspired by the last strip. Kind of like a quick punchline in and of itself.

A friend said...

I prefer the last panel without text, I think it works better that way.

Paul I've been wanting to advertise on UglyHill but you've got those Project Wonderful button ads right at the very bottom where 1 out of 1000 readers might notice them.

Any chance you could raise them a little? How does $1 sound to you?

These days advertising is dirt cheap, Project Wonderful have really harmed those who sell their own ad space. Megatokyo did well but now his $200 a week ads have been empty for months. Same with Greg Dean whos now finding it impossible to sell his $75 a day skyscrapper ad.

Books, artwork and merchandise, that's where the money is Paul.

47 said...

Good work on Brent's facial expressions today.

The highlight in his glasses gets bigger over time, which is an interesting way to express emotion in an abstract sense. It almost gives a "tearing up" look and feel.

Anonymous said...

"I prefer the last panel without text, I think it works better that way."

Having seen Paul's tweak, I'd have to disagree. Brent says he's not going to move and then the next panel shows him not moving. Less a punchline and more simply the expected confirmation of his statement. 'Amusing expression' doesn't cut it as much of joke.

I agree the original was pretty bland but the modification actually makes it worse, in my opinion.

paulsouthworth said...

A big part of the joke is that he's been sitting there, unmoving, for three hours straight, which the caption states. Obviously he's having some issues, but I think it's funnier if we see them rather than hear him stating them.

Ti Chan said...

I have to say, the silent last panel is so much better to me. AND DESPITE what someone said in the last conversation about this comic, I still dislike how Scratch is being portrayed in this comic. It's good to use him as such in a joke, but this seems OUT of Scratch's usual demeanor.

It was said that even WITH Scratch's higher intelligence, he tends to do normal cat-like things, such as biting a computer's wires or playing with string. THIS BEING SAID, it's rarely something we see him do for long AND he also rarely has that vacant cat look on him.

This makes me worry. If we continue to portray him as a normal cat, instead of a super intelligent suddenly-not-understood-by-humans cat, then we've more or less betrayed a whole part of PVP past. And while that grudgingly taken with small things, such as Scratch being able to talk, but I wouldn't be able to take it with something large.

And Paul, I really want to congratulate you. I don't know if you read, but you're actions here really got me interested in your comic. So much so, that I would buy merch to keep you drawing. It's strange. I read more than 20 comics, and because your comic is an out of the box comic, it's in my top five. It's sits with Dr McNinja, and that's HARD. And now I feel I have kissed wnough ass to warrant a brushing.

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure Scratch has either fallen into some state of shock, or else due to skulls absense the magic of his original transformation is waining. I thought despite the little hiccup in writing referencing this originally, it's been portrayed rather clearly? I had assumed everyone picked up on that.
I like it better without dialouge on the last panel as well. Since Scott's drawing is becoming less copy pasta and more rich, it would be cool to sometimes let the drawings speak for themselves, as it could have done today. He's only recently begun to fully realize the drawing potential of the strip, however, so the idea of doing something like that it probably still shaky territory in his mind. The more confident he becomes with his art, the more he'll let it guide some of the jokes I think! :D

Nono said...

I'm curious, why do Americans say fourth of July and not July fourth?

Isn't that how the Brits say it?

Happy Freedom Day!

hnm said...

@ No no:

Likely to differentiate it from any other date, since we DO call ordinary dates "July 3rd" for example. If we called it "July 4th" it'd just be another day. :D

Ti Chan said...

See, for that to have been clearly defined, I have to believe in that "magic defining his intelligence' bullshit. Maybe I'm just stubborn, but I REFUSE to believe that someone intelligence which was heightened through a machine and used multiple times without magic can suddenly be taken away WITH magic. Hurrumph.

That aside, I was once again not real impressed with the nod towards Independence Day the movie. It came out as strange to me, though I could see Brent saying it.

Maybe it just me.

Nono said...

Oh that makes sense. :D Thanks hnm.

I guess I'll see you all on Monday then. Have a great weekend!

ds1 said...

pvpmakesmesad is making me sad. Fakey isn't running a tight ship these days, but I agree there is something off about the July 3rd comic.

In panel 2: Since Scott Kurtz doesn't use shading regularly, the foreshortening on Scratch makes him look really compressed. If there was some contrast between Scratch's front and hind quarters, the depth would sort itself out.

In panels 3-4: Do cats contort there spines like this? It doesn't seem physically possible, referencing the strip "He's freaking out". I've never had a pet or have spent time around animals because of terrible allergies, so this may totally be true.

ps. it really looks like Scratch is pawing at Brents up-thrust wang in panel 4. Or perhaps that's a little Freudian.

Anonymous said...

"Do cats contort there spines like this?"

Cats actually do arch their spines like that all the time.

R.W.McGee said...

sooooo WWF and Panda...I think I will be checking out of the strip for a couple weeks =P

Anonymous said...

Oops I forgot to tell a joke.

Anonymous said...

Gotta hate those "Dun-Dun-Daaaaaaa!" strips.

Sage said...

Scott's returning to the Panda strips, and thats a good thing. he writes and draws them well and they are consistently good.

Anonymous said...

You say Potato (consistently good), I say Potato (tired, weak, predictable, lazy)...

Randy said...

FSM- your critiques are starting to leave a lot to be desired.

Critiquing doesn't mean just point out the bad stuff. If the comic is okay, or even good, then you need to critique the reason why it was good/successful.

Otherwise it's a waste of a post.

My big question about this comic is this: why isn't anyone wondering why Scratch suddenly sought out Brent!!?

Sage said...

When he says its going to be a lazy post and he knows it, i cut him some slack. He has pointed out the good things and offer alternatives on the bad, even photoshopping the art ideas in the strip. (damn you eyebrows)

As for scratch it was a strip going for the joke on how people react when a cat is sleeping in there lap not that Scratch sought him out. If you want an explanation Scratch is a cat, Brent had a lap, and cats generally like to sleep in peoples laps (it freaks me out too.)

TheOriginalJes said...

My cat immediately seeks out the one person in the room who is either allergic to cats or just doesn't like them. Then he happily sheds all over them.

Tuesday's strip - I think I like the writing here. The dialogue definitely sets a fundamental tone for the next couple of strips.

And the linework appears to be solid as well.

I don't know if Agent Hawksbill has been changed significantly, but he seems to be alittle bolder. Not just in lineweight either. The whole character seems more focused and somewhat less psycho compared to his last appearance.

There may be some technical comments I'm not qualified to make. But the overall impression keeps my attention. Which is what I think it should be doing for a daily strip. I'd give bonus points for that, since PVP usually reads so much better in a book format where one doesn't have to wait for the next punchline.

It almost makes me wish the post were late, so that I could read the next installment immediately.

No, wait. I'd rather tomorrows posts early. Yeah, that's it.

Anonymous said...

"It almost makes me wish the post were late, so that I could read the next installment immediately."

Yeah, it's weird how PvP is becoming a 'read once a week' prospect... for a number of reasons, lately.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps it's nitpicky, but "What do we owe the pleasure of this visit...?" in the first panel doesn't make any sense. The phrase is "To what do we owe the pleasure?" which is an actual question

Anonymous said...

Maybe he feels a need to pay something to the pleasure of the visit itself.

Anonymous said...

"Twitter / fakescott
* fakescott: Laziest blog post ever coming up!"

Couldn't possibly be as lazy as the ones that aren't there... 3 and counting?

paulsouthworth said...

That's dedication.

hnm said...

So if the PvP gang is getting a monthly check to keep the panda there, and they'll now be housing the FEMALE panda, under the circumstances does that make them the panda's pimp?

TheOriginalJes said...

Does it matter that Brent's dad nailed the panda with a fist through the wall? Or did I just spoil a plot point?

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