Thursday, July 31, 2008

What the?

Why the hell is the dotted line the Family Troll - Part Four as straight as an arrow? It goes through solid objects, which a FC dotted line never does.

I'm fairly certain the joke is supposed to be "they'll never think to come this way, but, ha ha, they've left a thick dotted line behind them!"

Even if it's not, this is a big old FAIL. The whole point of the Family Circus dotted line strips is that the lines meander as the children meander, all over the neighborhood, into houses, shops, trees, etc. The whole point of the FC dotted line joke is that children are hard to keep up with because they will go for whatever attracts their eye.

This seems to be pure laziness. If you're going to do an homage or a parody, don't neglect to include the most iconic aspect of the thing you are referencing.

Other than that, I'm enjoying the Foxtrot element.




Update: I realized after I posted this, and the first commenter pointed out: the whole joke might be that the line is straight, and the FC kids wouldn't be able to find them because it is straight. Fair enough, I retract my opinion that it's big FAIL.

However, I think there's potential for a much better joke there, a clearer one. A decoy dotted line leading away from Skull and whatshisname would have been cleverer, implying that the dotted lines, which don't really exist in the world of the comic (but only to the reader), are actually real.

53 comments:

hnm said...

Sorry to say it this way, FSM, but that deserves a BIG FAT DUH. It goes in a straight line BECAUSE the FC lines are always windy and meandering. He's implying that the children are incapable of going in a straight line, so they'll NEVER EXPECT Skull to flee that way.

Honestly. That seemed really obvious to me, but I don't think you've been much on the ball lately.

Anonymous said...

That was the funny part of it and made me laugh very hard.

Fake Scott McCloud said...

You're right -- I've updated my post.

I still don't think it's funny, but hey, that's just me.

Anonymous said...

You seem to be missing the boat quite often here lately.

Ti Chan said...

It made me laugh... Until someone pointed out the whole "going through bushes and teepees" thing. I mean, seriously, I wouldn't have thought they could PHASE THROUGH OBJECTS either. Smart move, kid.

You would really think SK would have just drawn it so it wouldn't have those bits. Unless he didn't think it through.

Anonymous said...

How is that kid aware that such a tactic would work?

47 said...

Sorry, FakeSM. Today's comic was solid, and the joke should be obvious to most readers. I think the clipping was intentional, to highlight the fact that they're deliberately taking a perfectly straight path.

I'm also giving bonus points for Jason's Terminator 2 reference in the first panel. It accurately captured Jason's character, which I wasn't expecting.

If I have to raise an issue, I'd ask if Kurtz knows Bill Amend. Unlike the Family Circus parody, there's no fair use argument for Jason's likeness since FoxTrot itself isn't the target of the parody.

Skeeter said...

No offense, mate, but you're wrong on this one. This if the first PvP in a long while that I have found legitimately funny.

You seem to be missing the obvious more often lately. Perhaps because apathy towards PvP has set in?

R.W.McGee said...

If you've read Family Circus the straight line parody is pretty obvious, and pretty amusing. If they had used some other wandering line...well that would just have been confusing. Kurtz got ya on this one I'm afraid FSM.

Kefim said...

So he's basing a joke on a fact you'd only know by reading the crap that is Family Circus?



No wonder I didn't get it.

Jack Tango said...

Absolutely inclined to agree with other comments, and your update. The humour lies in knowing that the Family Circus kids always take the windiest route possible to get somewhere.

And keeping in with Jason Fox's character, he'd be smart enough to (pardon the pun) outfox them.

I think it's more bemusing than amusing, to be honest, but it's still witty.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, very obvious joke, and the first good one in a while.

This time you're just dumb. =p

R.W.McGee said...

I also agree with 47 by the way...it seems like Kurtz' use of Amends characters recently is leaving him open to a lawsuit.

Anonymous said...

I'd also like to point out that, regardless of use, the dotted lines only mark off where a character has gone, not where they're going to go.

A "decoy" dotted line wouldn't make any sense at all because it would imply that the characters had taken that path.

It would just be confusing. This joke is gold.

Mike said...

I like your stuff, but you're losing steam -- and this one's completely off. It was a funny joke.

Anonymous said...

Amend had a strip pretty recently which did take-offs of a few web-comics (including pvp), which quite possibly inspired this arc. Scott might or might not have asked him before doing this, but there's no way Amend is going to do anything to him about it. I mean, seriously. Don't be ridiculous.

Anyone else noticed a certain Peanuts character in this strip? And no, the Schultz estate won't sue Scott either before anyone raises the alarm.

Fake FSM said...

Just another "me too" post -- this has been the funniest PvP for a while now. Perhaps it's time for a "PvP Makes Me Sad Makes Me Sad" blog? :P

Urethra Franklin said...

He wouldn't sue Kurtz. Didn't you see this?

Anonymous said...

FSM, I love ya dude, but seriously? You're covered in massive amounts of fail on this one. It was crystal clear to anyone who has ever read the dotted line FC strips even once.

You're just being a dickhole for no good reason. It's cool when you've got a reason, but this? This is just you being a dickhole.

Urethra Franklin said...

Geez, internet, can we stop with the "fail" and "win" crap? I hate nerd slang.

Fake Scott McCloud said...

Hey -- I'm glad you guys like it. I still think it's weak.

Anonymous said...

Like and dislike, strong or weak don't enter into this discussion, buddy.

The fact of the matter is that lately you flat out don't understand what is going on. You have severely lost the plot. For someone who picks so many nits, it's amusing to see you be unable to recognize your own failure in this regard.

Fake Scott McCloud said...

@anonymous 5:10

You don't think the update to the post 10 minutes after I published it counts as a recognition of my own failure?

Plus -- there is a difference between the plot and the gag. I never commented on the plot. Everyone is discussing the gag, which I didn't get, and still don't like, and others got, and like.

Different strokes folks. Totally cool. I'm still very interested in where the plot is going. I expected something interesting would bring Skull back, and it looks like we might be headed that way.

Sage said...

I agree again this post was a FAIL, but we all have our bad days. It was a good joke, and not in the "because all the others were so bad" type, it was funny, made me chuckle because of the big dotted line trailing them.

I think Scott is thanking Amend for putting him in his strip and did anyone notice the Snoopmeister in the picture too?

Your resident PVP apologist
Sage (:P RW)

Anonymous said...

Oh man, PVP actually went way over FSM's head. Time to take him out to pasture, methinks.

At least he left his error open to public scrutiny and gave his self-correction as an addendum though. That deserves some degree of respect.

Moo said...

Like Scott, FSM has to accept negative feedback on his work. I just hope it doesn't put him off because I enjoy reading his posts.

Ignore the anonymous above, he's been trolling for awhile.

J said...

If that strip didn't hit the target, the new one wasn't even firing live rounds (01/08).

Okay, I get the letter writing gag, it's a nod to old (really old) Peanuts strips, obviously updated for current technology. That works, we've had a week of newspaper comic parodies and homage, and this is just adding water to the lake.

But really? The kids are about to kill, maim or at least "aggressively question" Skull, and the best we get as a conclusion is simply being told that the LotR is real ??

Seriously?

That's it?

That's the best you got?

I feel like we skipped something. A couple of somethings, actually. Like going to the bathroom in the middle of a bad live show, only to be told "Aaah, dude, you missed the best part!"
The hell, man?

Anonymous said...

Showing the family circus kids actually out hunting for Skull would have hammered the dotted line joke for far more than the little it was worth. The only thing I'm disappointed about is that we could have had another Skull and Jason strip... but that would be taking the goodwill a bit too far in the direction of actively using Amend's characters, so I can live with it ending here.

The punchline was good too. That's such a Jason thing to ask if he ever met a real life troll...

Re: FSM missing the punchline. Um, FSM has had punchlines go sailing over his head since practically the beginning of this blog. It's really not new. We forgive him, though.

Dave said...

Kurtz has kinda alienated most of the world with the last week's comic strips... Family Circus and Foxtrot are basically non-existent outside of North America. I think I'd basically seen one strip of each on the web before I moved to Canada last year, so I didn't quite get what the line was about...

Anonymous said...

You sir, are grasping at straws. FAIL.

FSM is a failed webcomics artist said...

WOW.

There is no excuse for an American citizen who has ever picked up a funnies page NOT to get that joke. That is, of course, unless he was being willfully dense and looking for something to complain about. BUT WE DON'T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT THAT, DO WE?

It was a clever joke, and well executed. The art was fantastic.

Please please PLEASE stop being a destructive asshole and do something constructive with your time.

Zak said...

Yeah, at this point you're hating for the sake of hating. You're not hating for the sake of criticism. Hell, you're not even hating for the sake of getting it off your chest. You're hating because you're in a rut, and you're hating because you can.

One of FC's biggest gags, if not the TOP FC gag, is the children winding around. And who cares if Scott draws a line through (read: over) an object? A decoy line? Seriously? Are you that desperate to find an alternative you find better?

Protip: JUST READ THE COMIC. ENJOY THE COMIC. IF YOU NO LIKE COMIC NO MORE, YOU NO READ COMIC.

Your opinion isn't needed on the interweb. We got along fine without it before, and we will again (somehow, someway, we will find a way to manage *one solitary tear*). Don't feel obligated to hate just because you need post fodder.

Not Me said...

If the line hopped over obstacles, it would have ruined the joke. The line had to PERFECTLY STRAIGHT in order for it to work.

But... are we to assume that Skull and Jason traveled UNDER the bush, UNDER the teepee? NO, STUPID. They went over them, but their trajectory remained straight, unlike the FC kids who like to go around stuff.

Right? I mean... right? A "decoy line" would have been the most labored, overly complicated joke possible. The existing one is simple and to the point.

arg.

Anonymous said...

FSM didn't get the joke. He admitted that. And after it was explained, he put his hands up and corrected his post. Now the dicks are coming out of the woodwork, late to the party, after everything has been said again and again to accuse him of 'hating just for the sake of it'.

FFS. Hypocrites much?

Anonymous said...

Ignore the jabbering groupthink attacks, FSM. Your blog continues to be great, and the wave of negative comments in this forum merely illustrates that assholism remains rampant online. And I'll stand with you in your questioning of the dotted-line gag; easily the weakest of this week's intertextual tie-ins. The folks throwing rotten vegetables at you are merely demonstrating (A) their binary mode of thinking -- either it WINS or it FAILS, no inbetween! -- and (B) their eager, swarming response to blood in the water. Fuck'em.

Sunny said...

FSM you better hurry up and do another post before these trolls get any worse. Even Kurtz is having a go at you on twitter.

If you want to critique FSM, then fine do it, but stop telling him to quit the blog. FSM and the rest of us, have never asked Scott to quit PvP.

Anonymous said...

Yeah but PvP is worth the pixels it's printed on.

JRSofty said...

It really was more of an inside joke for people who were old enough to have read Family Circus years ago. Obviously you were either not born yet OR just were too young to read the FC comic.

I would suggest that you find some old Bill Keane stuff and see that whenever the children were sent out to do something that they would be distracted and move around the neighborhood in very curvy and sometimes circular paths.

I don't think I have to explain the rest to you.

Chris Crosby said...

That was the most clever PvP strip in ages. You make me sad.

Anonymous said...

I feel sorry for you Paul Southworth.

Anonymous said...

this site has gone from critiques to pointless bashing. Very sad.

Anonymous said...

C'est la vie

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this. I've been meaning to give up on this blog, and now I have the perfect reason.

Anonymous said...

That's one troll gone, just one more and we'll be back to normal again.

I think the problem was the 2+ weeks of panda strips followed by a really bad week of filler. It really put a lot of people off.

paulsouthworth said...

Hey, what did I do?

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Aww come on don't be like that. You have to admit, FSM handled this very well and I think thats why it annoys the people who hate this blog.

Anonymous said...

Think you're running out of things to nitpick...

Thank goodness, maybe you'll get bored and Scott will stop trying to please you people who didn't like the comic to begin with.

Fake Scott McCloud said...

I deleted a comment because it crossed the line.

It made a point though, so I will republish it, sanitized:

__________________________

from anonymous:

"That's one troll gone, just one more and we'll be back to normal again.

I think the problem was the 2+ weeks of panda strips followed by a really bad week of filler. It really put a lot of people off."

Yeah, you go ahead and keep riding FSM's dick. Filler or no, PVP hit one out of the park, and not only does he not get it, he "retracted" his crit to say "well, it could still be better." A decoy. Ooh, I wish I was a gag-writing genius like FSM.

Here's an idea, every post in this blog from now on can just say "sucked, could be way better."

Go hug a unicorn, awesome dudes.

Sunny said...

You naysayers don't seem to understand. :)

Even if FSM decided to quit (which he won't), he will still let the rest of us use this blog to chat about the latest PvP strips.

Chet said...

However, I think there's potential for a much better joke there, a clearer one. A decoy dotted line leading away from Skull and whatshisname would have been cleverer

Um, what? How is that "cleverer"? How is that funnier?

Your version of the joke isn't even a joke. You realize that, right? That your version isn't funny? Your version isn't even an anti-joke, it's just plain flat.

Advantage: Kurtz. You've betrayed the game you're playing, here.

Jai said...

It was a really good joke, but the execution wasn't so hot. Was it really too much work to move that teepee over, maybe draw the entire background with a straight line IN MIND the whole time so the straight line doesn't look stupid by going through and under things? The Family Circus kids' dotted line flows through the air in leaps and bounds to reflect the activities of the child it follows (Or, in the cool alternative TFSM suggested, the line that the CHILD follows) as they jump around or travel over objects - further reflecting the whole idea of that gag, which is (Always) that they're wasting time exploring and wandering aimlessly instead of going straight to their next destination. So, the straight line is a great joke. Really liked it. Too bad it didn't make much sense with the scenery added in.

Slecher said...

PvP online feels like its going nowhere recently as far as im concerned and i cant wait for it to get back somewhere <--- my opinion , not a fact. Just trying to setup my mood when i saw that comic.

Im from canada , never read any FC or whatever , never heard about them until i went through the comments today, So when i saw a wierd drawing with tons of object hanging around with a big freaky line and a troll with a weird drawing of a kid, i couldnt help but think: Wtf is this?
(It does look pretty weird if you dont know what it's about.)

I figured it must be a parody....but still if you dont know the joke/miss it , that one really looked messed up

And even knowing it now....the joke doesnt make me laugh i mean....sure the kids cant follow a line ...im not gonna start laughing outloud for only this much .

Probably missing a whole Nostalgia thing or something here and im sure glad some people enjoyed it and i respect they could , since , as i said, i miss the background to enjoy this joke but still....i just can't enjoy it, and im sure tons of people couldnt either.

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