Thursday, August 21, 2008

I got nothin.

It's been a quiet week on the old blog, and that's fine. The signal-to-noise ratio has been a bit high on the noise side over here lately, and it's the end of summer, so it's a natural time to chill for a while.

The current storyline doesn't inspire much response, either good or bad. Reading it is like reading a comic strip version of Charles in Charge (so wacky!). If you don't know what Charles is Charge is, count yourself lucky.

Sitcom comedy is mostly about making mountains out of molehills; putting archetypal characters into staid and well-worn positions that cause them great angst and can be solved in 30 minutes (60 if it's sweeps). We're being presented with a classic example of this -- the quickly snowballing scenario, the presumptive dissolution of a formerly solid relationship with almost no prompting.

Cole cries "what have I done?"

You have set us up for at least another week of predictably sitcom-like strips. Thanks a lot, jerk.

38 comments:

reader said...

With Kurtz' current focus on longish plotlines instead of one-offs, I'm glad I'm only visiting once a week.

Not that I mind plotlines too much, and contrary to many here I have no beef with the current one, it's just that I find the PvP plotlines to be more enjoyable when consumed one week at a time.

I suppose that's due to what others have mentioned, that Kurtz have a fondness for taking his time with something that could be told in one or two strips. And I can certainly understand the frustration with that if you're a daily visitor, but as a weekly visitor it works pretty well.

Maybe part of it is that he's also writing for the physical comic book and not just for the website?

Makes sense to me.

Skeeter said...

To reader:
So, essentially the equivalent of the current comic trend of "writing for the trades"?

In comic books, sometimes I prefer I nice one-issue story and in a comic strip, sometimes I prefer a nice one-strip gag. Storylines are all well and good, but each individual strip should stand up on its own; when everything becomes a massive storyline, it becomes boring pretty quickly.

Of course, Kurtz is apparently incapable of producing a one-strip gag these days.

Anonymous said...

I just don't find PvP's strips funny any more and I can't tell if they're just supposed to be perfunctory continuations of a storyline and so simply intended to be funny.

Visiting other web comics these days has become a bit of a revelation in that they assure me that my sense of humour hasn't atrophied like I'd begun to worry. I can only assume that I'm no longer the audience SK is aiming for.

R.W.McGee said...

I just found xkcd recently, and I've been sucked in to that webcomic. It's much better than PvP at the moment. The current PvP storyline seems fairly dull, I figure I will check in mid-week of next week and see if anything is going on.

John said...

I rather enjoyed today's strip. I thought Robbie's emotion was good, and Brent's activities before hearing about a car. I (surprisingly!) laughed out loud at the punchline. Classic PVP, to me.

So, kudos for that. I'm still not enamored with the story itself, though.

J said...

Maybe the story problem is that it seems to be making a conscious effort to extend story history. And being too obvious about it. Used to be that story lines would sneak up on you, and a simple gag or subplot would be a defining moment for a character (Brent pretending to be an online affair with Jade for instance).

Now it seems that everything is being handled more heavily. Like the Bonnie thing - which is almost more of a "Robbie" thing, being he is who seems to be coming off the most effected. Going into it, you knew that something was going to happen. Something, quote, big . Brent and Cole "hanging out" with Robbie? Cole doesn't "hang" anywhere, he goes with (mis)guided purpose.

One-off gags aren't hitting marks, storylines are seemingly constant, or strung together anyway...even the one-off gags are getting storylines (Da panda). And don't get me started on good jump-offs that are abandoned (I'm still bitter about the college being a one-off. I'm keeping hope for next month though.)

Robbie said...

Unfortunately, guys -- and this is something I really felt that everyone should be reminded of after all that's happened with the strip as of late; the long boring storylines, the lame one-strip gags, the characters we can't stand, and so on -- and what we should all remember, is that Scott's fat.

That means he's not responsible for his actions, and thus, not responsible for the poor quality of the comic.

Just thought I'd remind you all.

You're welcome.

Anonymous said...

Oh my God, this place has shown ita true colors now. "Because he's fat?" That's not what I call reasoned critique of a freaking comic strip. Face it, El Fako McCloud, you're just a bunch of Kurtz haters.

Ti Chan said...

Sure, cause we all sit around boiling our conversations to "how many things can we blame his weight problem on."

ANYWAY, I haven't spoken up much about this storyline because it's so very mild. There nothing really here or there that makes me feel better. It's not so good that it makes me want to point out the small problems to make it perfect and not so bad that I want to talk about everything I disliked about it.

It's just mediocre.

Anonymous said...

There seems to a be a point that you achieve a certain level of success, receive praise from your peers and have a healthy fanbase, where you begin to think that it's all 'natural'. That is, that whatever it is your doing that people love about your work, you manage to achieve it without any real effort.

And to a certain extent, that's true. You can go through the motions and create the work and people seem happy enough. It looks like the old work. Occasionally, some of it may even shine but you're just not trying like you used to. The 'struggle' has left the struggling artist and as a result, the work becomes bland. A shadow of it's former self.

And that's what I believe has happened to PvP. SK has been told so often that he's creating something exceptional (which he was) that he's 'relaxed' a little. I'm sure he's still working hard on it and with these extended storylines, he'll be convinced he's pushing the work further than it's even been but it's just lost that spark.

Anonymous said...

Well, FSM can relax a little, as today we got our quintessential sitcom ending. You can just hear the laugh-track give a standing ovation as the screen fades to black.

One finger out of five.

TheOriginalJes said...

The first anonymous has a good idea about reading in one week intervals. I've noticed with other popular comics, the daily isn't all that funny. But line'em up and I'm ROTFL.

It also makes sense when SK's planning them in advance, that the gag may take longer to deliver.

Randy said...

Sitcom comedy is mostly about making mountains out of molehills; putting archetypal characters into staid and well-worn positions that cause them great angst and can be solved in 30 minutes (60 if it's sweeps).

Technically it's a commedy of errors. We can thank the Greeks for this entertainment archetype... although their shows were a lot longer than 30 minutes... and they generally got drunk while watching said shows for days straight. Gotta love bacchus :p

I think the art has been much more expressive lately.

Anonymous said...

"It also makes sense when SK's planning them in advance, that the gag may take longer to deliver."

This is something I just have to disagree with - the idea that there's one 'joke' per situation and that if there's a long arc, then it's okay to have dry spells. Other strips manage more humour in one page than we've had in this entire Jase/Robbie/Bonnie arc.

I dunno, maybe SK just isn't creative enough to handle the writing side of things - not just for gags but strong situations. This last three weeks have been a bore.

Anonymous said...

If he put half as much thought into his comic as he did these idiotic rants filled with poor fucking advice then his comic would be genius.

Anonymous said...

I think the worry is that he does put as much thought into the comic as he puts into those ill-conceived rants of his and that's the problem.

Anonymous said...

Re: Part Nine- I wonder what Brent was doing with that book. It's so mysterious.

J said...

Going back to Scott commenting on his lack of proof-reading ability, I think I see how that could tie into the wide (for here) perseption that story and funny quality are going down.

He commented, pretty directly from FakeScott, that sometimes there isn't enough time between finishing a strip and posting it to have a second pair of eyes look over for quality. This, from a man who works from an office he and his buddies got together so they could focus on work better (I think that was, at least part of, the reason).

I'll give art credit in that Scott seems to be leaving behind the template art he was known for. So often criticism is fired at the art for odd looks, differences between panels, yada yada...I take as a sign that he is drawing more. Kudos.

But he needs that buffer again, not only to have it, but also for proofing his work. And not just the writing. He needs to look at how the strips work together, how a joke plays out; it wouldn't to let the strip(s) sit for a few days before coming back to it, to see if what he wanted still holds when it isn't freshly drawn. Then he can make whatever chances, big or small, that he needs to enhance whatever he was going for.

Anonymous said...

"I'll give art credit in that Scott seems to be leaving behind the template art he was known for. So often criticism is fired at the art for odd looks, differences between panels, yada yada...I take as a sign that he is drawing more. Kudos."

Hmm. I'm afraid the latest strip ("The Bonnie Situation - Part Ten") has blown that little excuse out of the water for Scott.

Panel one Jase is copy/pasted to panel five but with a hat. Panel two Jase is copy/pasted to panel four. Panel two Robbie is copy/pasted to panels four and five.

Sometimes 'not trying hard enough' is just 'not trying hard enough'.

Anonymous said...

This sums up my opinion of recent PVP.

Anonymous said...

Does any one else notice how cluttered the panels in PVP usually are?

It's usually two or three people and two huge word bubbles all pushed together into a cluttered mess. No one ever says anything about it, though.

Anonymous said...

Good point, Anonymous. It's an overlooked topic in need of repeated commentary.

Anonymous said...

Some great news for you all (you too FSM). Scott is going to do a whole week of LOLbat. Excited?

Jaap said...

Oh god that's terrible.

Anonymous said...

What?
What the fuck?

Is he trying to punish us or something? lolbat had one funny panel, the rest is just Scott acting like your mom trying to sound hip infront of your friends.

Anonymous said...

I guess he wants to pimp some T-shirts.

Anonymous said...

Tomorrow's lolbat strip is actually pretty good.

sumguy said...

Mondays LOLbat strip

Julia said...

Well, I think it was pretty good until the last panel. The "punch line" wasn't funny and sorta ruined the rest of the joke.

Anonymous said...

I disagree, Julia. I thought the last panel was pretty funny. It shows how the Lolbat's rogues gallery hates him for more than just busting crime.

Maybe Scott is commenting on how that lolcat stuff is really idiotic through the rogues.

budda said...

Query; is LOLbat really a superhero, or just a schizophrenic who thinks he is?

Anonymous said...

in ur blog dissin ur kurtz

Anonymous said...

Thing is, after three dreary weeks of "Eventually Jase Comes Back...", anything else is going to seem like pure gold. It'd take some real effort to mess this up.

Anonymous said...

I love how you guys have to qualify compliments. Can't you just say you enjoyed today's strip? It has to be that the strip was only enjoyable today against the backdrop of normally shitty strips?

R.W.McGee said...

Re: LOLBAT

This whole strip annoys me, but in brief; Concourse = Discourse. A concourse is a physical place where people come together...which SEEMS like it's what Kurtz means to say, but let me use some synonyms to clear up why it is wrong.

gentlemen the purpose of this diabolical 'airport' is clear.

gentlemen the purpose of this diabolical 'train-station' is clear.

See, because we aren't sure where they are...the purpose of their diabolical concourse is NOT clear. However, if it is a diabolical DISCOURSE...then the purpose IS clear, to formulate a plan of action against the LOLbat.

Alright, carry on defacing Adam West Mr. Kurtz.

Anonymous said...

But concourse can mean a large gathering of people. Thus, "the purpose of this meeting is clear."

-DoomDragon6

Anonymous said...

Concourse, according to Merriam-Webster:

1: an act or process of coming together and merging

2: a meeting produced by voluntary or spontaneous coming together

3 a: an open space where roads or paths meet b: an open space or hall (as in a railroad terminal) where crowds gather

Anonymous said...

I love how you guys have to qualify compliments. Can't you just say you enjoyed today's strip? It has to be that the strip was only enjoyable today against the backdrop of normally shitty strips?

Of course, instead, you could just shut the fuck up rather than trying to tell me what I think. "You guys". Nice attempt to generalise one opinion as a hive mind thing. Idiot.

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