Monday, July 21, 2008

Rape is Hilarious (or: someone owes me 20 bucks)

Ok -- the title of this post is a bit inflammatory, as I don't actually imagine that a female panda succeeded in raping Brent (To the victor...). But -- the punchline doesn't work at all if that's not the implication. I actually think the punchline was a decent bit of writing, even though I think the strip itself (and the entire storyline) is worth less than a little.

In any case, I am going to hope that this is the end of the panda saga, and we can return to something... what? I don't even know what to hope for.

It's a sad day when you're hoping for filler material.

I have decided not to pre-read the banked strips even though I see they are already being discussed in the comments. I can only take so much in one day.


y knee said...

You might as well do all the strips now and have the rest of the week off. Sadly they're just as disappointing as the current panda arc.

Scott must be putting all his effort into other projects, like making tshirts to sell at conventions.

J said...

Yeah, but the t-shirts are all based on when the strip wasn't aggro-ing the net.

Filler strips might be nice (hell, even a General Lee jump would be nice) but I yearn for other characters. How's the Reggie/Miranda love connection? Is Cole divorced yet, the whiny bitch. Is Francis getting some on a constant basis now? Panda strips were always meant as filler, and to make it more..Idunno, ligitamite (I probably spelled that wrong) seems too much work. It doesn't need to make sense. Just funny.

Where's the funny?

John said...

Um, how about Sonya - you know, Skull's "girlfriend" - how has she reacted to his disapearance?

Jai said...

Oh, Sonya died in a car accident months ago. Or something. It doesn't matter, because she's not a cat that can talk.

I agree that this strip doesn't make much sense. It's intentionally ambiguous, and the least likely outcome is the only way the last panel makes sense. SK is not concerned with such things as continuity, though; it's perfectly rational to him that Brent can both get raped and not have been raped so that the strip isn't "icky" and yet the joke will still "work". It's a fractured universe of humor that PVP exists in.

Josh Fruhlinger said...

It's in the same fractured universe as Heathcliff, Dennis the Menace, and Garfield. You guys are trying to project Frank Miller type graphic novelization(yeah I just made that a verb) on what is essentially trite 'syndicated funnies' crap. PvP will always make you sad because it's meant to line your bird cage.

Anonymous said...

Let's not forget that, according to Scott in the Halfpixel thread for Friday's strip, the original punchline to today's strip was going to be "You have Panda AIDS". That doesn't leave a lot to interpretation.

I'm not sure why Scott changed it. I mean, if this storyline has taught us anything it is that the use of the word Panda as an adjective is comedy gold.

47 said...


Constructive criticism. There is little value in a PvP Makes Me Sad post if it is nothing by a list of personal disappointments without any suggestion on how it could be better.

btw. A panda sexually assaulting a main character in a panda suit is as funny now as it was when it happened to Homer Simpson. :p

Anonymous said...

It was funny in Trading Places too.

Anonymous said...

It was also funny in my bedroom. Not at the time, but I can look back and laugh.

Ti Chan said...

It seems that next week we'll have another bout of Troll comics to look for. They really aren't as good as the last Troll comics, but that's my opinion. Mostly cause he's once again running on old jokes.

There's a HARRY POTTER JOKE for gods sakes.

Kethry said...

So, above and beyond how truly base and inane the whole panda mating arch has been, I'm disappointed in the delivery of the punchline. I've given up on it being funny, but did it have to be trite to boot? How many times has the punchline in the last panel been something along the lines of "one character makes a remark, and another character strongly refutes it." It's not even good writing, let along good humor.

Anonymous said...

Is it amusing to anyone else that Scott keeps pointing out that there are "thousands of webcomics" and how "webcomics are the wave of the future" in some obsessive Howard Hughes fashion, only to repeatedly pimp himself and his inner circle of fucktards as being the cream of the crop, dispensing advice to these other thousands of webcomics on how to run their business?

Fucking amusing.

TheOriginalJes said...

Well, he does have to represent his book. The only other way for him to get street-cred is to actually hack other sites...

Anonymous said...

Well, the truth is (to anon 10:11) that he's obviously got the lot of us hooked. They say that people can tell you are gay if you are constantly railing against gays, that whole hatred of what we love kind of thing. If that's accurate, this lot is HILARIOUS on this blog.

Anonymous said...

LOL! A harry potter joke? I thought PVP was all about riffing on (as the animated series says) "games, movies, pop culture". Its kind of the essence of the comic according to that pseudo mission statement. That's like getting pissed that Penny Arcade makes jokes about video Perspective? Can we get an order of perspective over here? Yeah, this Blog in the corner, thanks!

a longtime reader said...

Okay people, clearly we are all very passionate about this, as the comments have gotten somewhat derailed. Let's all step back, take a deep breath, and go into this with a clear head.

So, how would you 'fix' PvP?

Personally, I wish Scott would limit himself to three panels on average, rather than four or five. This would force him to tighten up his dialogue a bit.

I'd also like to see more stand-alone strips, and shorter storylines. Again, for the same reason as above.

Anyone else?

Anonymous said...

Scott needs to tighten up the graphics before he finishes level 3.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the "a longtime reader" above.

J said...

I'd actually be more receptive to longer strips, let it play out. Give him more room to stretch, maybe the setup and punchline may have a better impact. PvP falls into the same pitfall that newspaper strips do, in that they have 4-5 panels to tell a joke, while still carrying a storyline. In that goal, Scott has achieved newspaper quality; the same joke will be hammered for five days in a row, while baby-stepping it's way through a story that could've been told in two days.

Last week's Zits? Five days of the same joke (WAKE UP), with a weak Saturday punch (teenager like food).

He's not in a newspaper, never going to be in one, so why he maintains the need to stay confined in the the format is a mystery.

And by god, I totally forgot about Sonya. Maybe she and Skull meet in a motel by the airport once a month now that he seems to be traveling for business.

J said...

Check this out!!

Ti Chan said...

The reason I am upset about the Harry Potter joke is that it was made in the 'anti-Christian' context. I am sorry, but if we're talking about pop culture, let's not get in the way back machine to do it.

I wasn't going to complain about the context, since some didn't wish to read it, but... He's simply making a joke about how Christians dislike the Harry Potter books. A0 A joke that has been made THOUSANDS of times, and B) A joke that has been made THOUSANDS of times BECAUSE IT'S HORRIBLY OUTDATED. That would have been the joke to make with the first or second book.

Simply put, he's late and so now this joke just seems STALE. I would expect it about more current Harry Potter books.

The same goes for a lot of the Family Circus jokes he's making. Simply put, they all seem kinda old. Something we've heard OVER AND OVER AGAIN that it's no longer funny.

Sure, Christians hate gays.
Sure, Christians hate demons.
Sure, Christians hated Harry Potter before they realized how much money they could make out of it.
None of it is really creative or new.

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

Hrm...I hate neither gays nor Harry Potter. I'm on the fence about demons.

a longtime reader said...

Let's not get off base here, Ti Chan.

Although I do agree that many of the jokes are outdated, or just plain boring.

Part of the problem is that Kurtz has a tendency to dwell on a concept, or a punchline. And then he'll repeat it, just to make sure we get it. And frankly, it's a little obnoxious.

R.W.McGee said... current strips.

R.W.McGee said...

Oh, and if I was being forced to 'fix' PvP...I would leave SK as the illustrator and bring somebody else in to do the writing/plotting.

Ti Chan said...

McGee, I think that would work to help the comic so much. I just fear that SK's problems with criticism, constant demand for attention and timing problems would cause some huge rift between him and any writer who isn't used to him.

I can just imagine that turnnig into some horrible drama.

R.W.McGee said...

Yeah, I'm not sure who you could tab for that job. It would have to be somebody with a big enough name that Scott respected them to do the job...but not so big as to make it into a clash of the egos.

PvP just desperately needs an injection of fresh ideas though...every story arc recently seems more forced and painful than the previous one.

Anonymous said...

Getting someone to write for Scott is like trying to get an assistant for Monk. No one wants that kind of job.

Anonymous said...

First of all, what Harry Potter joke? I don't remember anything of the sort.

john said "Um, how about Sonya - you know, Skull's "girlfriend" - how has she reacted to his disapearance?"
That's true, what did happen to Sonya? (I think Scott just forgot about her)

r.w.mgree said "PvP just desperately needs an injection of fresh ideas though...every story arc recently seems more forced and painful than the previous one"
Not arguing there buddy, but on the other hand, I quite enjoyed today's strip (Unaccepted) which seems to be taking advantage of Francis' new 'maturization' and introducing some new ideas.

And don't forget what 47 said:
Constructive criticism. There is little value in a PvP Makes Me Sad post if it is nothing by a list of personal disappointments without any suggestion on how it could be better.

Anonymous said...

@ ti chan
btw, I'm a Christian and I certainly don't hate Harry Potter. I've read all the books - I've watched all the movies (although I don't see how they'll be able to continue with nasty Voldemort scenes without losing their captive audience of seven year olds and people like me). I don't think Harry Potter glamorises witchcaft (which admittedly does make me feel uneasy even as superstition) I think it's just a fun fantasy book/movie series for kids. There are differing views, and there are some Christians who don't like Harry Potter books (and some radicals who want to burn and salt them). This doesn't mean all Christians are intolerant mad witch-hunters, so please don't generalise - that would be like saying all Americans are fat :P
Hmmm, I seem to be deviating from the topic of the forum so I'd better not talk anymore, but that's my little rant for the day.

Anonymous said...

Someone brought this up before (when they peeked ahead) but Cole's position on the issue in 'Unaccepted' is just bizarre. As mentioned, why is he taking the stance that it's his decision to make?

The GWH punchline doesn't really spark for me either. "Why don't you do something that someone did in a movie?", when it's not completely out of the realm of possibility that he couldn't try that and it's not a joke at his expense either.

Of course, with Scott's move towards longer story arcs, there's no guarantee it was meant to be a punchline and instead, just a regular weak ending leading to a cliché series of GWH inspired strips.

Ti Chan said...

I wasn't saying that all Christians hated anything. I am sorry if it seemed that way. What I was saying is those stances and those jokes are all old, tired and done.

Also, in any joke you make, you're assuming not every person in said group, say Christians or Arabs or so forth, act in this fashion. And more importantly, not even the majority of a group would usually act like the joke, simply a small extreme group. Like any joke about gays.

And last, the jokes in which I was talking about are not yet posted, but could be found in his comics from next week.

I do want to apologize again. I know not all Christians are like that.

Jai said...

Is Cole secretly Francis' father? Why has this never come up before? They've got the same eyes (Well, glasses), the same nose, the same ears and mouth (Ok, so a lot of characters share those)... And, more importantly, today's strip where any newcomer would assume Mr. Richards is Mr. Ottoman's dad. Which he isn't... is he? Dun dun dunnn.

Anonymous said...

It's a shame this is apparently a one-off comic. This *could* be a plot worth a good week or two of comics.

TheOriginalJes said...

re: R.W. McGee & Ti Chan - new writer.

I agree with Ti Chan. Do you guys remember when Kris and Scott were making this big deal about Kris travelling halfway across the country to finally share an office with Scott?

That arrangement lasted about 2 months with no real explanation as to why Kris suddenly moved out. Just that it wasn't working out. I don't know if they ever did re-combined their offices. But, if they did, Scott didn't post about it.

There was also a lot of talk about the possibility of Scott moving to Seattle to take space in the Penny Arcade offices. But, that just never happened, either.

Re: Unaccepted

Community College!? Oh, come on...! Where I'm from, nobody suggests community college to anyone that may have the chops for a real school. That's like a bitch-slap to the ego.

Either Cole's character is being selfish, and doesn't want to lose his staff, or his character holds Francis' in very low regard in the professional sense.

I think there will either be major character development ahead, soon. Or, some very poor plot-holes in the road. I think SK may want to consider taking the off-ramp here, before it's too late.

Anonymous said...

I think that what is being discussed is some sort of education compensation program while francis works at PVP through school. Distance to redmond hasn't been established though. Only way it seems like Cole would have any say in what kind of college Francis would go to.

Urethra Franklin said...

@ TheOriginalJes: I think Kris couldn't afford his portion of the rent for the office. I know he had to get a day job recently. But I do get an odd feeling he feels alienated from the other Half-Pixelers. I'm not sure why. I just get that sense by the way he interacts with the others in the podcasts.

I'm unhappy said...

PvP was the first web comic I followed, maybe back in's been a while. I remember the day when I discovered it, and went back through the archives for hours.

I'm considering unbookmarking it now. It really has gotten bad lately. I wish I had constructive advice to give but I don't know what's wrong or how to fix it -- only that the strip has become boring and banal.

What a shame. July's work on Ding! (what, two strips maybe?) has been better than PvP for the month.

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