Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Three Things

Attempting to be snark-free today:

1. Awkwaaarrrd was awkward, and not because we all dislike the story so much. The corner where they meet splits both panels two and three in half and makes the strip a bit of a muddle. They kind of get confused for gutters, but I'm not sure how I would fix it. Actually, maybe shading the wall would help -- my crappy attempt to demonstrate follows:



Panel three is tough anyway. How do you make it clear that a panda is pretending to look at his non-existent watch? You do what SK did, I guess, but I would have placed the arm a bit lower so as to see all of the panda's mouth. It kind of looks like he's wiping his mouth, which is what I initially thought he was doing. You know, after the coffee splashed and all.

2. Unaccepted doesn't make much sense as a title for the strip, and I'm confused as to why Cole is acting all father figure-y.

"I was thinking along the lines of... for you" is a line reserved for someone with actual authority over a kid's life, which a boss is not. The line would have been better as something like "I thought you were thinking about the community college in town..." Actually, the strip would have been better without Cole, as a conversation between peers.

And without the awkwardly-phrased ten-year-old pop culture reference in the punchline. (A little snark -- sorry.) I don't mind pop culture, I do mind awkward phrasing; it just reads as lazy. You can get the same joke, and a better cadence, with "Maybe you could get hired as a janitor, then 'Good Will Hunting' your way into the program."

(My specific critiques: "janitor" both flows nicer and more specifically references GWH; we don't need to know that it's an undergraduate program.)

3. When you wake up after 4 hours of pseudo-sleep, make sure your leg isn't still asleep otherwise when you try to stand you might get an rapid involuntary close-up view of the floor. Which hurts.

19 comments:

a longtime reader said...

I think the same joke could be told thusly:

Francis:
"I'll apply for a scholarship, then. Financial aid?"

Marcy:
"Janitor."

It's not exactly punchline material, but it's more of a snappy comeback.

R.W.McGee said...

And it reduces the awkward and not particularly topical 'Good Will Hunting' reference to a subtle suggestion instead of making it implicit.

Francis:
"I'll apply for a scholarship, then. Or, maybe Financial Aid?"

Marcy:
"We already have about five unresolved plot lines going, are we really going to send Francis to college now, too?"


Hmmmm. I'll try to punch that up.

The Esoteric Scribe said...

Francis: "I'll apply for a scholarship, then. Or, maybe Financial Aid?"

Marcy: "Didn't your mom put the 10 grand you got for your fan film into a college fund?"

Zack said...

Yeah I dont understand why Cole has taken such a fatherly influence on Francis's life. Now he's trying to choose his college for him? Just makes me even more annoyed than ever at Cole. The punchline was the worst one in weeks. Seriously, Good Will Hunting reference? Is he even trying anymore? Has anyone ever said those words to someone else? It's so awkward and written weird. Sigh. So bad.

hnm said...

I concur with everyone else here.

COLE. IS NOT. FRANCIS' FATHER.

Unless Francis has been orphaned offscreen and Cole adopted him and this has just never been mentioned, Cole has NO BUSINESS saying such things to Francis.

The "you're not my child but I'm going to behave as though you are" thing seriously pissed me off in the wedding storyline and it's seriously pissing me off now. Especially since Francis is ostensibly an adult now so Cole should be volunteering no input on ANY decision of Francis' that doesn't relate to work.

J said...

First off: my pleas (and possibly animal sacrifices) have gotten me my college strips! Sweet financial-aided victory is mine.

Second: maybe it's the cinema geek in me, but I rather like the GWH line. Granted, it does need to be smoothed over, but overwise the joke works. Would've worked had the writing not been so scripted, even better had alongtimereader's idea been used.

As alternatives, maybe a "21" reference (Marcy/Jade: "I'd say you could play blackjack for tuition, but you still owe me a bill from last month's game"), or better yet "Accepted" (Francis: "Screw this, I'll make my own college. It worked for the Mac Guy"), may have been more up to date.

Scott doesn't seem to be to 'hip' with up-to-the-minute culture any more (not like Star Trek/Wars or Dukes of Hazzard are cutting edge either), so his dependence on such a (realitively) old movie seems more a pander to make sure the joke hits home to the widest amount of people then actually to be relivent.

As for Cole...he's always wanted to be "that guy" who everyone looks to as a father figure in the office, and probably sees himself in that role, in his own mind. That fact that he isn't is a slap, and I think he ignores it and tries to place himself in the role regardless.

Anonymous said...

I was considering DigiPen before they moved out of the country in '98. I ended up completing an unfocused Bachelor of Computing Science degree before moving onto my current gaming-related, post-graduate studies. As a result, I could tell you how quaternion matrix rotations relate to Jacobian determinants, but I really didn't have any practical, job-applicable skills by the time I graduated.

Anyway, I think I need to rent Good Will Hunting now. I didn't get the punchline. :(

JimmyJojo said...

As for Cole...he's always wanted to be "that guy" who everyone looks to as a father figure in the office, and probably sees himself in that role

I truly believe that it is actually KURTZ who wants to be "that guy", which is why there is so many light-weight morality tales in PVP stories. Seriously:

The divorce story: Be strong, be a man, maturity wins

The episode with Jade's mother: Grow up, be a man, this is how a man should behave.

The francis/marcie sex story: Here are my sexual mores for you to see and agree with

... and a dozen other panels where characters refuse to talk like real people (or even cartoon characters) and spew platitudes designed to improve someone else's life, whether they want it or not.

J said...

PvP is become the shark-jumped sitcom of webcomics.

...

Megatokyo is the asian movie channel.
Penny Arcade is Comedy Central.
Questionable Content is MTV, in that period between still playing music and producing more light dramas.
Khaos Komix is the Logo channel.
Multiplex/Joe Loves Crappy Movies/Theater Hopper make up the movie network.

Anyone else?

a longtime reader said...

@ jimmyjojo:

It makes it all the more infuriating that Cole is not the voice of reason. He's incredibly immature, and he's constantly bringing everyone down.

Yet we are told again and again that he's the adult, in a father-knows-best kind of way.

It's one thing to have a flawed character who thinks he is the better man. It's another to be told he is the better man, when he is clearly not.

Ti Chan said...

The worst part is Cole will not only assume this role, but seemingly bully others into his views, and instead of going, "Wait, you douche, why do you think I don't know Marcie enough for a serious relationship/aren't mature enough for sex/couldn't get into a good college?", everyone just kinds of goes with whatever he tells them.

Which seems... hokey. I mean, even the friends I know for eight years get more back talk from me if they try to live my life for me. Yet he's only known them (Marcie/Francis) for about 3 and everyone assumes he knows well enough to tell them what's best.

Specially when his own life is in shambles. His wife and he are on the rocks, he seems to have NO FUCKING RELATIONSHIP with his children (he has some right?) and has no actual money sense. Let's admit it, the only reason he owns his own business is his friends and mere luck.

Though, if he does have children ( I swear he does...), and doesn't spend time with them, he may be trying to make up for it through Marcy and Francis.

Anonymous said...

"I truly believe that it is actually KURTZ who wants to be "that guy", which is why there is so many light-weight morality tales in PVP stories."
I have to agree. Kurtz clearly wants to style Cole after that archetype but simply lacks the chops to fill his mouth with anything but platitudes and the worse kind of trite morality.

Apart from being disingenuous, it grates against everything that has come before with regards to character development and their relationships.

Anonymous said...

"I have to agree. Kurtz clearly wants to style Cole after that archetype but simply lacks the chops to fill his mouth with anything but platitudes and the worse kind of trite morality."

My guess is that Kurtz actually believes this stuff, and actually thinks that the people he's saying it to should just sit there in silent agreement while he preaches from his pulpit.

For example, go and reread the comics where Francis (and only Francis) gets berated for having sex. While reading, consider the following, which was posted by Kurtz on this blog:

"I know how I felt when I found out my 16 year old nephew was sexually active. I felt like there was no possible way he was mature enough to handle the emotional aspects of being sexually active with another person. I told him he should have waited until college."

R.W.McGee said...

Holy crap...PvPonline is turning into 7th Heaven! lol!

orionfury said...

I have been rereading pvp, and Francis' Mother is Close friends with Cole, and was asked by her to watch over him years ago, so that may explain why Cole is taking an active role in choosing his college.

vaultkeeper said...

Why is the editor of a gaming magazine talking Francis out of a gaming college? *boggle*

Anonymous said...

Remember the concept of owners looking like their pets? Only now do I notice how much Scott Kurtz looks like a basset hound. Even with those oh-so-cool sunglasses. Sorry Scott.

Anonymous said...

Robbie left a million dollar college fund for Francis, and Francis also has 10k stored in the bank.

Is Scott even bothering with his own canon?

Jai said...

Canon is something you shoot people over sharks with, in PVP.

Well, that's not a particularly well-deserved or logical joke. But I liked it, and you can't un-read it.

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