Monday, August 25, 2008

A Joke!

I'm happy to say that the best thing about today's strip (Interlude: The Lolbat Returns) is the punchline, which is funny, I like it. The preceding panels are tougher to get through.

The joke is that the characters are speaking with a rich and wide vocabulary, as opposed to their nemesis, the Lolbat (LolBat?). Unfortunately, some of the dialogue used to represent this rich vocabulary seems arbitrarily chosen for complexity and rarity, rather than editorial appropriateness, undermining the case the villains are trying to make.

Example: "Our personas are based on the finest our culture has to offer."

Exactly what are they based on? The finest... personas? So, "our personas are based on the finest [personas] our culture has to offer", which is a redundancy that should be edited down to "our personas are based on the finest our culture has to offer." (I'm an idiot. I meant to type the following:) "our personas are the finest our culture has to offer."

(Plus, if I were trying to write like an erudite cartoon villain, I would have used the less common "personæ" to really hammer the point home.)

I also take issue with "concourse;" not because it's used incorrectly, which it's not, sorry RW. Concourse means (among other things) "a crowd or assembly of people," which doesn't sound very villainous. Conclave, on the other hand, is just as good an SAT word, and means "a private meeting." Plus it sounds sinister.

(Update: Mr. McGee has more to say on "concourse"...)

55 comments:

matt said...

Did I miss something or is your whittled down version of the personas line exactly the same as the original version? Minus the capital O, of course.

matt said...

also, I like The Masked Scrabbler!

Julia said...

I think FSM was trying to explain why that is what he assumes the sentence to mean. But it seems like it was really meant to mean something else.

As I said in the last post, I'm not actually a fan of the punchline and prefer the preceding panels, but different strokes and all.

Fake Scott McCloud said...

Nono, I'm an idiot. Thanks for catching it.

a longtime reader said...

Yes, I've always loved the word Conclave.

Or Enclave. Anything with a "-clave", really.

Syndicate, Triad, and Tribunal are good 'evil' sounding words. Anything related to triangles.

I certainly wasn't expecting some kind of Spanish Inquisition.

R.W.McGee said...

con·course (knkôrs, -krs, kng-)
n.
1. A large open space for the gathering or passage of crowds, as in an airport.
2. A broad thoroughfare.
3. A great crowd; a throng.
4. The act of coming, moving, or flowing together.
[Middle English concours, assembly, throng, from Old French, from Latin concursus, from past participle of concurrere, to assemble : com-, com- + currere, to run; see kers- in Indo-European roots.]


Ok, I know I'm being super nit-picky, but as an English major it's my doom. YES, concourse can mean a group of people or a 'throng' but it does not refer to an 'organized' group of people...such as might be found in a meeting of super-villains, but rather a collection of people such as would pass through a public area (or concourse)

Kurtz is modifying the word with the adjective; diabolical...and that simply CANNOT apply, unless you are willing to empower either an inanimate area, or the ACT of meeting/coming together, or a random group of people with malicious intent.

Now, I could be wrong, and the villain could just be holding forth in some sort of public area about LOLbat...but I doubt it, the context implies some sort of shadowy meeting.

Conclave or Tribunal would have been acceptable choices, and I must correct my own earlier post as 'discourse' would be fairly weak, since it also does not accept the modifer 'diabolical' well.


Anyway, my apologies for being anal, but trust me...he is not using concourse correctly.

Ti Chan said...

Weirdly enough, it's these arguments that I love about this place. Sure, others may call it nitpicking, but I am LEARNING things while also showing ways in which to improve a comic I like.

Jai said...

I interpret "Our personas are based on the finest our culture has to offer" as "Our personas are based on the finest culture our society has to offer".

In any case, I like where this is going. SK did, indeed, have a good idea for his villains. I'm glad Kris Straub was able to help him out with, uh, whatever it was about this that SK couldn't think of. I am sympathetic for the plight of these villains, but of course they're also villains so it's just funny that they can raise a good point about the idiocy of modern internet culture while (No doubt) awaiting a well-earned beatdown. It's like watching the villains in Pulp Fiction or Reservoir Dogs make insightful remarks as they continue blithely down their own destructive paths.

I don't remember the name of the rat-man (Faux Penguin), but his nose should really be inked in so it doesn't look like some kind of warty growth. I didn't like that in the first lolbat, either; it caused me some considerable confusion when trying to ascertain what those villains' theme was supposed to be (And then I was, like, oh! Man! That's why his goons are wearing Mickey Mouse masks!).

R.W.McGee said...

I agree Ti Chan, I feel like I learn a fair amount here on a daily basis.

On a more complimentary note, I forgot to add that I also thought the punch-line was solid, and it's nice to have a PvP strip that results in a chuckle, rather than feeling like you are watching a soap.

Anonymous said...

You guys are picking at nits. There's no way any one person or comic strip could live up to such scrutiny. Are you setting the bar so high on purpose? Why not just go ahead and give yourself permission to be 100% Kurtz haters? Why are you trying so hard to prove you don't like PvP?

the joke was solid and the strip was fun. Do you REALLY need to deconstruct it to this degree?

PvP doesn't make YOU sad. YOU make PvP sad.

reader said...

jai said:I don't remember the name of the rat-man (Faux Penguin)...

I never thought of him as Faux Penguin. Ever since his first introduction I assumed it was a nod to Ratigan of The Great Mouse Detective fame.

Anonymous said...

"PvP doesn't make YOU sad. YOU make PvP sad."

Hey, I see what you did there. Well done, you're the first person to play around with the name of the blog in put down. You been waiting long to use that gem?

matt said...

the rat dude was the villian in Lolbat #1 he introduced himself as Monsieur Rongeur (french for Rodent, so Mr. Rat).

I like all the Lolbat stuff so far, we'll have to see if a whole week can stay fresh/funny.

Anonymous said...

You guys are picking at nits.

You fanbois are funny. First you complain that we aren't giving enough details in our criticism. Then you complain that we over-criticize.

Oh wait, funny isn't the word I'm looking for. What was it again? Oh, yeah, stupid. You fanbois are stupid.

Ti Chan said...

I'm actually really nervous about LOL Bat for a week straight. LOL Bat is much like the Panda Attack to me. Nice for ehre and there to break apart stuff, but too much and we get the Panda Arc, which was horrible. I am hoping he stays the course on this for us.

Jai said...

I never thought of him as Faux Penguin. Ever since his first introduction I assumed it was a nod to Ratigan of The Great Mouse Detective fame. - Reader

Well, he's short, wears a top hat, and is one of the Faux Batman's villains - sounds a lot like the Penguin (And, really, nothing like Ratigan except that they're both rats? There's a bit of a detective angle that could hold up, too, but I suspect the lolbat is no great detective like his counterpart. The lolbat probably finds everything he needs by searching Google). Ratigan would be a neat tip of the hat (The movie was great, too bad they never made any more - the Basil of Baker Street books were good), but I sort of doubt that that's what was going on when Monsieur Rongeur was created.

Anonymous said...

Onomatopeia seems to fall outside the theme of the rest of the group.

Anonymous said...

Onomatopoeia has been done.

J said...

I like Onomatopeia. I don't know why.

The Savage Critic...*snerk* I don't know if that's aimed at this site inparticular (or more likely at Johanna, being she's female and the lastest in his list of critics who critique his work) but I fell on the floor when I saw her. The jaws on her costume just rock.

Going way back to LOLbat's first appearance, FakeScott said he wished that Scott had drawn the dustup from the "invisible motorbike". While I didn't have a problem with that one way or the other, I kept thinking, "Is this guy a real superhero?" And I can't figure it out. He fights crime, so yeah, maybe he is. But then he rides a invisible bike. My brain says to this, "escaped mental patient"...with good intentions.

Jai said...

Oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy!

Dark forces gather: Believe it or not, I've something to say to each of these characters. Let's rock it!

The Scrabbler: His first panel's dialogue really has nothing to do with anything but his name. And I almost couldn't swallow that he formed "eviscerate" with the seven letter tiles at a time that Scrabble limits you to, but then I realized he must be playing some sap that previously used the word "rate" or even "ate". Next, he says the group should be called "The Sophisticates". Is that supposed to be an "Aristocrats" joke, or is it just supposed to be pointless? Why wouldn't he just suggest that they be called "The Aristocrats", then?

Onomatopoeia: Really, I don't see his/her connection to the others. And he also says something with scant relevance to the setting. Ignoring that he accidently bears a striking resemblence to the already-mentioned actual comic book villain of the same name, why is he shouting "Bloink" instead of, I don't know, writing on a notepad and saying "Scribble, scribble"? "Bloink" could be onomatopoeic, but it's impossible to tell what sound he's trying to imitate by saying it. Pretty weird, but SK may have something cool in mind for him. Onomatopoeia was a pretty huge part (Biff! Zap! Pow!) of Adam West's Batman, after all.

The Statistician Magician: I love this guy. He's got a complete "Mathemagician" vibe, is referencing Leeroy Jenkins, and is armed with a giant calculator. How can you not like this guy?

The Savage Critic: "Maudlin"? What? That's totally wrong, but I really like the idea and the rest of what she says. The name isn't, well, clever... but it's blunt. Which is probably more fitting for the character, eh? Referencing Joyce seems to be a standard joke to fall back to when talking about how critics act; what's up with that? Still, it gives this double-strip an extra little dose of humor.

Monsieur Rongeur: He didn't get his name in this strip anywhere. He's a little conceited if he expects everyone to know who he is despite having no text title over his head! Really, Panel 6 looks like the perfect spot to refresh us on his name.

Lolbat: The recent Jase-arguing-with-Bonnie strips made me wonder if lolbat's speech bubble would look cooler behind the window. It sort of implies that he can easily be heard through the glass when he's placed on the far side of the glass but his speech is up front. Pure speculation about that interpretation and that the suggestion would even work, but I know I liked seeing the bubbles in the background last week (Except for the ones that were half in the background and half in the foreground, those were visually confusing).

Oh, and I liked the viewpoint in yesterday's second panel. Setting it outside the window looking in really set the tone for lolbat to be out there watching them, since it made me expect to see that this was the case.

Anonymous said...

The Savage Critic - I realise the fanboys will be going "Oooh, zing!" but with these sort of things, SK just draws more attention to how petty he can be and reminds us of his previous foot-in-mouth escapades that spawned this situation.

A good rule of thumb for any drama he finds himself in would be in the future to move on as quickly as possible and never speak of it again because contrary to what he imagines, he won't have come off well during the storm-in-a-teacup.

Regarding the strip - all for more jokes per strip. Wish he'd try this hard for regular PvP. Several gag lines per strip is a lot more entertaining that one per fifteen strips.

reader said...

jai said: Well, he's short, wears a top hat, and is one of the Faux Batman's villains - sounds a lot like the Penguin (And, really, nothing like Ratigan except that they're both rats?

Ratigan wears the top hat and has a cane, just like Rongeur. I could've sworn he's also got the monocle, but a Google image search disagrees with me.

That said, you're probably more right than I am.

a longtime reader said...

The Scrabbler definitely has the potential to be my favorite character. I wonder what his powers could be?

Does he throw energy-charged scrabble tiles at his opponent? Does he form words to summon their deadly manifestation? Is he an obsessive-compulsive who feels the need to finish other people's sentences? Or does he simply confuse and befuddle his opponents with his linguistic repertoire?

(I've been playing Scrabble lately.)

matt said...

yeah, I think that was supposed to be an Aristocrats joke. Not sure why he went to the alternate, lesser known, punchline. Too bad too because that would have gotten a much bigger laugh outta me.

Not sure why MR didn't reintroduce himself in this comic, that seems odd. Villains like that never miss an opportunity.

Anonymous said...

Doesn't SK get pissed when someone used his intellectual property? I can understand accidentally coming up with the same villian concept. But their costumes are even similar. I can't imiagine SK having permission to use the character with him working for image and all.

Onomatopoeia

Anonymous said...

Never mind. Looks like he realized his mistake and exchanged the charater with one named palindrome.

Anonymous said...

I guess the theme of anal-retentive internet characters which seems prevalent amongst the other villains was just a chance occurence. There are plenty of other characteristics he could have used instead of The Palindrome if it really had been his intention- backseat modding, nitpicking facts, demanding that people stay on topic...

TheOriginalJes said...

To RW: Adding diabolical to concourse is the English equivalent of adding salt to french fries, in my opinion. It doesn't make all concourse of people diabolical. Just this one.

about LOLBAT: In total, I feel that the writing lacks cadence and the art clashed on itself in the color introduction strip. The subsequent B&W's just give me a headache. It's a fighting effort just to read it.

I do get the jokes. I even enjoy imagining that SK is singling us out as the model villains. In concept, it's funny as hell, if not unprecedented.

But LOLBAT is just the written equivalent of a bad cover-band singing my favorites (off-key).

Anonymous said...

Having just looked up what the 'Algonquin Hate Table' was a reference to, it mentions that someone parodied them with a fictional group called 'The Sophisticates'. So no, it's nothing to do with the Aristocrats at all.

webcomicoverlook said...

Making up dialogue for "The Palindrome" is going to be one hell of a challenge.

Anonymous said...

Considering what a snotty jerk Scott was about someone using a panda that looked a bit like his, he owes a bit of an apology for his comments about how a similar panda couldn't happen by accident.

Mycroft said...

For the record, you only get the 50 point bonus if you play all 7 tiles on your rack. This is referred to as a bingo, by the way. It's possible to play a 7 letter word without playing all 7 tiles, and there are no bonus points if that happens. For instance, if "HOOK" is in play and you add "ERS" to make the 7 letter word HOOKERS there's no bonus 50 points.

Anonymous said...

When did Scott ever get snotty about his panda? I saw Scott at a panel one time say he would never make Panda toys because the panda is such a common animal/character.

I don't see him getting pissy about anyone else having a panda in their strip.

Jai said...

The Lolbat Strikes: I must doff my hat in honor of this very funny strip. That's the best final panel I've seen in some time.

The fact is, though, that the lolbat is beating up a bunch of people who are just standing around looking at him. Is that funny? It doesn't feel funny, it just feels kinda... wrong. Weird. Anyway, we aren't getting the whole picture, yet. With this kind of a punchline, I'm definitely looking forward to the next two. The Savage Critic is going to have a field day criticizing those fools right up until she eats a knuckle sandwich, I'm sure (Although... come to think of it... something more clever than "beating her up to silence her" would go a hell of a long way).

TheOriginalJes said...

Re: Pandas - Am I the only one who watched Ranma 1/2? Big fat pandas are pretty basic. Won't most of them look alike?

Also, the LOLBAT didn't actually apprehend anyone in the first strip. He just attacked them, then fled the scene. I wonder if he'll do that again?

Ironically, that makes the LOLBAT a pretty accurate allegory. He's the anonymous poster who lays down the smack to no useful end. My hero...

TheOriginalJes said...

His brother does make some awesome cakes.

Anonymous said...

Scott doesn't log his blog entries anywhere I've seen, but he threw a fit over someone using panda art that looked like his some time back. Sorry I can't provide better details, but it did happen. Typical Scott "HOW DARE THEY" moment.

Anonymous said...

I feel sorry for the readers who weren't aware of Scott's previous critic-related spazz out (though most of the regulars would be) as today's "Epix Battle" would kind of fizzle for them.

For the rest of us, it's just another "Hey guys, remember when I totally overreacted to a perfectly innocent comment in the review? Well, I'm doing it again!" moment.

paulsouthworth said...

I'm not trying to stir the shit pot or anything, but seriously, LOLBat is so goddamn funny.

aaaantoine said...

Today's strip is hilarious.

Anonymous said...

Funny? Really? Huh. Guess it takes all sorts.

(Guess I should also probably avoid PS's strip, too)

Sage said...

1st ban-ee of the PVP forums here.

Ha Paul, it shouldnt stir the pot as most people do like it.

I like LOLbat a lot better than the one off, even though i dont get all the leet speak, but this is the best week of strips (knock on wood for Fridays) that PVP has probably had since the wedding. The villains are hillarious (like someone else said pallindrome will be a challenge) Kris and the author did a good job devloping them.

Sage said...

Btw are you looking forward to the new Metallica album, i saw your blah review for the single (which i agree with for the most part.)

paulsouthworth said...

Good god, that single is horrible. It's like they forgot how to write songs that flow naturally and make a single lick of goddamn sense. I'll put on my blind sheep costume and buy it anyway, but man. Disappointing.

And yes, Anonymous 7:26 AM, you should avoid my strip! It is not funny.

Anonymous said...

I was banned a long time ago for my unrelenting trolling of ZenMonkey, aka the single most self-absorbed and bitchy poster around.

Sage said...

@Paul,
I was reading the itunes review and it made a good point that James can't really sing any more and it sounds more like he is straining. Its disappointing as its one of the few older bands that I like that can (unlike Queen) put out a new album that Ill buy (the other being ACDC)

Sage said...

@846am anonymus.

then the author LIED about it being the first time I am SHOCKED! Next you'll tell me he didn't really feel sick like he said :P.

Jai said...

"Does he throw energy-charged scrabble tiles at his opponent?" - a longtime reader gets it in one guess!

Epix Battle! - this isn't funny in the way that the very first appearance of lolbat was funny. That time, he was tied into a bunch of references to the lolcat site... this time, I didn't spot a single reference. Is it just me (Am I only acquainted with the well-known stuff? I certainly don't follow the site religiously)? Are those actually lolcat references?

The action scenes (Well, panel 2 and 3) look awesome. Panel 3 is a bit of a miss, because it looks like the exact same thing is going on that was in panel 1 - only more of it.

matt said...

If I were these villains I'd launch a "Counter Strike" and fight fire with fire. ;P

hnm said...

@ Jai:

Lrn 2 fight is a ref to the phrase "lrn 2 internet," while I surmise the invisible laser gun is a reference to invisible bike. Also "I haz a mirror" <---- "I haz a bucket" which is a seal and not a cat but close enough.

Anonymous said...

Fuck Lolbat. He's the badguy!

He's beating up his villains when they didn't do anything wrong.

It's like how the power puff gils will put their villains in a coma just for being in the episode.

Anonymous said...

"then the author LIED about it being the first time I am SHOCKED! Next you'll tell me he didn't really feel sick like he said :P."

I thought you said before that you didn't get banned? You ran before the hammer came down or something?

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

No that was before I saw that he said I had been banned and tried to get on. Thats why i took my hiatus. In the same way that you don't want to see how the sausage is made, PVP is scrapple (tasty but DEFINETLY do not want to see how its made) so I wont refer to him by anything but the author so I don't get caught up in the neta discussion, its makes your head hurt. I enjoy PVP and just PVP now and talkinga bout the strip here (and with Paul about the crappy Metallica single)

Anonymous said...

I'm not really a fan of LOLbat, though I do enjoy his nemeses; I just don't find the hero himself especially funny.

I do want to comment on "concourse," though. Its usage here is entirely appropriate. Given the context, it seems clear that it is their meeting (i.e., the act of coming together) which the Rat-man is describing as a diabolical concourse.

Can a meeting be covert? Can a scheme be nefarious? If so, then why can't a concourse be diabolical? As the originaljes points out above, there's no reason that "diabolical" can't modify "concourse" (in the sense of a meeting/coming together) if said concourse is somehow diabolical in nature or intent.

PvP has a fairly typical share of usage errors, but this isn't one.

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