Friday, August 15, 2008

One quick thing

I think the Jase story is going well, albeit predictably.

It's a lovely Friday and I needs to get out of here, so I only have one minor comment: It looks like a coloring book. Big fat lines, lots of white space, no attempt to liven up the panels. Not every strip can be a visual panorama, but I wish we could see more variation.

Have a good weekend!

46 comments:

Moomin said...

Can someone open up photoshop and do a bit of coloring in for us. :)

Have a great weekend guys.

J said...

I'm sensing that Bonnie is not the harpy Robbie would have us believe.

Small parts about the writing bug me for some reason. In panel three, Cole is trying to "gently" ease into the topic. Brent, in character and I love him for it, just breaks right down to the nit and gritty. My bugger is, personally, I think that Brent should've interrupted Cole, have his word balloon overshadow Cole's. For me that would have made a bigger impact on Brent forgoing daintiness.

Then in p.4, Cole looks disturbed. Why? Because he's uncomfortable bringing up the point of the visit? It was his idea! Why isn't he giving Brent the evil eye or something, Brent just ruined his plan.

Maybe it's personal style, but the back half just doesn't have any 'umph' for me. Too much open hand, not enough knuckle.

Anonymous said...

Big fat lines, lots of white space, no attempt to liven up the panels.

That's what got PVP where it is today. Kurtz has little incentive to change.

Anonymous said...

I just absolutely cannot imagine a strip such as this would take more than an hour at most to create.

rossiter said...

Following Scott's tantrum last week (and in retrospect, that's really what it was -- a hurt child throwing his toys against the wall), I tried an experiment and stayed away from reading PvP for the last five days. You know what? I don't miss it. I still check in here to get a sense for the community of readers who give a damn, but oddly, I think I prefer to read PvPmakesmesad for the time being, and not PvP itself. The reactions here are more interesting, intelligent, nuanced, and reasonable than the strip they are commenting on.

I'm thinking of writing to say this to Scott. Don't imagine he'll care -- really, expect he'll just ignore me complete or tell me to fuck off -- but I'm curious to know what you all think. Should I bother writing the creator of a webcomic to let him know that, while I've enjoyed his work over the years, his public behavior has repulsed me to the point where I want to boycott the production entirely?

Anonymous said...

You should do that, Rossiter. Scott will post your email in a rant, and start whining, then all his fanboys will post about how they think you're stupid.

Ben said...

Coloring book? Oh, c'mon, FSM. Panel two looks a bit spare, but the rest is just about the right level of life. There's a couch, there's a picture frame, there's a.... something or other vertical line poking into Jase's hair. What should he do, add poodles in the background?

I like the strip, and I tentatively like what SK did with Jase, with a couple of minor caveats. First, is that a cowlick, or the tiniest ponytail ever? I'm not sure, but it bugs me. Also, the little manga horizontal nose lines. Always looked weird to me, but it REALLY looks weird in profile, as in Panel 4. Unless Jase and Bonnie like the rough stuff, I'd call that particular detail extraneous.

Still, those are minor concerns, and it's good story line going right now. I'm happy.

Anonymous said...

I always regret reading comments in here. Is this blog PVP Makes Me Sad or Scott Kurtz Makes Me Sad? For people quick to want to move beyond all that, you guys aren't very good at letting it go.

a longtime reader said...

@ Rossiter:
Unless you've already done it, then no, I don't think you should say anything.

The most 'effective' way to show your disapproval is to not give him the traffic, which translates into advertising revenue.

Which is not to say that I want him to go out of business. Far from it. But if you're a dissatisfied customer (assuming it's cost you anything other than time), you can save yourself and the creator a lot of heartache by just letting go.

Personally, I still read PvP daily, and I keep an eye on this place because I find it entertaining.

Now, a prediction:

Bonnie isn't real, but an imaginary girlfriend.

Time will tell.

Anonymous said...

What the fuck, anonymous 8:55. How is Scott's bullshit affecting his comic not related to PVP making someone sad?

Anonymous said...

What the fuck, anonymous 8:55? Letting what go?

Anonymous said...

It's cool, guys, it's cool. Keep pretending that this is some kind of worthwhile critical discussion while you trade stories about what a prick that lardass is and how his work is shit. Ad hominem is the core of good critique. You're doing an important service to web comics.

Anonymous said...

Sir, the pretensions you allude to are not so ingrained as you appear to want to believe. You also make a very common, even if somewhat absurd, mistake: presuming that a collective of individuals represents a common will.

Anonymous said...

Come on guys this is about PvP, not Kurtz. Lets try to stick to the comic. :)

Although if it makes you happy, after Tim Buckley, Scott Kurtz is probably the most disliked person in the webcomics industry.

I don't have enough fingers and toes to count the number of times I've seen him cause trouble. I really wish he'd give it a rest.

Anonymous said...

Maybe you fanbois will feel differently when you inadvertently cross Kurtz's path and he puts a bounty on your head.

hnm said...

So am I the only one who, upon initial review of panel 3, interpreted Cole's right arm as BRENT'S right arm? They're smushed so close together in that chair that it almost looks like Brent's got his arm around Cole's back or something, especially since said arm is otherwise M.I.A.

Anonymous said...

Well, Brent did admit that he and Cole are gay for each other...

Jai said...

I like the strip, and I tentatively like what SK did with Jase, with a couple of minor caveats. First, is that a cowlick, or the tiniest ponytail ever? I'm not sure, but it bugs me. Also, the little manga horizontal nose lines. Always looked weird to me, but it REALLY looks weird in profile, as in Panel 4. Unless Jase and Bonnie like the rough stuff, I'd call that particular detail extraneous. - Ben

That's a good summary. Jase's hair reminds me of the army hats from Beetle Bailey, and definitely bugs me more than the random "background line that stops at Jase's head" and the meaningless horizontal lines across the bridge of his nose (Is he sunburned? Is it a divot? Does his nose crinkle upwards?). Unfortunately, his hair with that huge tuft at the back and his nose-lines are two of the only three strikingly distinctive details in his appearance (I would say the third is his deep, round chin).

There's not a lot else worth mentioning (Mitten hands), but I have a hard time dragging my eyes away from Cole's right arm in the fourth panel. It's tiny! It's mutated! There are altogether too many joints and impossible angles in it. It looks like Cole laid his arm down naturally and then someone beat it to a pulp with a sledgehammer.

Anonymous said...

I'm just marvelling at how close the lack of space in a four panel strip has Jase sat to Cole/Brent.

And I think that's the problem. If they were stood, you could probably get away with them huddled that close for a discussion. Water-cooler distance. But sat down? Who sits with their face about a foot away to the person they're addressing? Surely the room isn't that small?

Julia said...

Hey, lately I've been getting all my new comic reqs from this site, so I thought I'd offer up my own. Just found this one today: http://blankitcomics.com/

Probably best to start at the beginning, but it's only been around for a few months so it doesn't take that long to get through the archives. I like the art and color and the story is funny.

Anonymous said...

Scott Kurtz a sell out?

Advertising, merchandise and books that's all fine and dandy, but paid reviews now? I got the impression that after sending him more free stuff they must have hinted that they'd like something in return this time.

Anonymous said...

I'm all for updating characters to a new style, but Jase was the one with the big nose and the baseball cap obscuring his face right? Now he looks like an All-American football player.

Lost body weight sure, but nose-job or not?

Anonymous said...

I know it's not PC to discuss SK's antics these days but his latest blogpost reallt has me rolling my eyes. I can't believe he has no qualms whatsoever accepting the roll of shameless shill.

Anonymous said...

"Please never stop sending me free ways to lounge more comfortably!"

I threw up in my mouth a little when he said that.

Anonymous said...

Here you go Fake Scott et al.

Anonymous said...

It's official; Scott is worse than Buckley.

Anonymous said...

Also why, Sumo?

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sac

Anonymous said...

Wow. This place really has just become an online club for people with bitter grudges against Kurtz.

The difference between Kurtz and Buckley is that Scott isn't PRETENDING that he's not being offered free stuff to review. Tim never openly admits he was sent items in exchange for a review and all of his reviews are positive. THAT'S a paid shill.

Scott has advertising all over his site. He's always talked up his sponsorships. He's never altered his strip based on any of his paid advertisers or sponsors.

You guys really should change the name of this site to "People with a mean-on for Kurtz club." It has nothing to do with critical review of his work. It's all about hating on the man.

And for what? Making a successful webcomic?

TheOriginalJes said...

Ah, Monday...

Today, we see Bonnie's dialogue. It does have the beginnings of controlling b*#!h potential. But, it could go either way.

I'm thinking that she's going to be smokin' hot, though. French Maid potential and all that...

My psychic prediction for this week (3,720 to 1 odds of success) - the possibility of another pregnancy arc (Jase and Bonnie)[if not already with family] is going to occur. Thus leading to Brent changing his whole attitude on the Robbie/Jase situation. Also, he'll return to Jade with familial intentions, making Miranda all hot with jealousy (but poor Reggie aint gettin' none a dat).

Anonymous said...

Really dragging this arc out and it's just not progressing fast enough. I was reading PA the other day and realised that there's a 'distillation' in their work where they try to fit the 'funny' not just in each strip but in each panel too.

These days PvP rarely raises a smile for me through an entire couple of weeks worth of storyline. I expect the reveal of Bonnie is this arc's punchline/pay-off but just getting there has been a real snorefest.

Jai said...

The Bonnie Situation - Part Six: Jase looks different! Does he look better? Yes! The crinkle in his nose is much milder (And, in the side view, absent), and his hair is more natural-looking (Whereas it varied drastically from shot to shot in the previous strip, now it looks like the same haircut in each panel. The tuft in the back has been slimmed down slightly, as well). Most notably, he's been given a neck. Even if his neck still blends directly into his shirt because his collar lines are conspicuously open-ended (Leaving me to wonder if Jase is some sort of collar-necked man who's not actually wearing a shirt at all). I do have to point out that there is now some confusion about his eyebrows, whereas before (Part 5) they were pretty clear and distinct. Now they alternate between being entirely in front of his bangs (Panel 2), hidden under them (Panel 1), and his left eyebrow missing entirely (Panel 3). All in all, he's improved for the better (Although he doesn't look much like the fat slob he used to be, I suspect that's rather intentional).

The dialogue is confusing in the fourth panel. At first, I assumed the two speech bubbles started with Bonnie talking. It made sense, in an alternating-speech-bubbles kind of way. Worse, the second bubble looks like it's connected to the first bubble, and not like it's pointing toward a different source. The important fix is easy - just merge Jase's speech bubbles from panel 3 and 4 into one bubble that both panels share. Making Bonnie's bubble look like it's not coming from Jase, there, is tougher. To fix it, I don't think that panel should even be showing Brent and Cole (Which is sort of a weak move, anyway. I don't see any reason for them to be the focus, we already know Bonnie's out of sight behind the corner or something and they aren't sharing a particularly interesting reaction until the NEXT panel).

Cole's arm looks a lot better. :) Although I don't see why it's only in the first panel.

Cole and Brent seem a little too distressed by Jase's fairly topical interpretation of his feelings, but they aren't exactly reasonable adults. They're entitled, if you look at one as snarky and self-absorbed and the other as someone in a failed marriage. It's only any kind of an issue at all because they aren't consistently portrayed that way.

Anonymous said...

@other Anonymous

It is not a bitter grudge that we bear.

Nor undying hatred or jealousy.

Not even hate, that takes too much effort.

The comic can be fine on occasion, it's just that it being a webcomic we usually hear far more directly from the creator than we do with newspaper comics. Because of that we get to see Kurtz at his best and worse both in and out of the comic and he keeps showing how irritable and obnoxious he can be.

As for shilling, whatever at least he made it clear he not only wants to make a living off his comics he wants to make more than a meager one. At least he's honest I suppose.

Jai said...

The Bonnie Situation - Part Seven: Real quick, here... Bonnie is still being obscured for some reason (And it just looks ridiculous in the 4th panel, where she has a speech bubble head), but she doesn't seem hideous. No intro between her and the guys, despite the slowly-paced previous strip. How gaming could cause a big argument between Jase and Bonnie now is utterly beyond me. How could they not have established their positions long ago, when Jase and Robbie split up? "You're", once again, should be "your". Bonnie seems ok in the first panel, but quickly becomes an obvious and unreasonable bitch (I mean, uh, harpy) that even Jase does not agree with. Since that in itself doesn't make sense, the punchline (Which is always a good punchline, even if it's phrased awkwardly. Who says "Is that the time"? "Is it that time already", "Look at the time", these are ordinary ways to deliver this punchline. "Is that the time" sounds like only half of a question) that depends on it falls a bit flat. Brent's bemused look that combines "Ugh" and "What?" is perfect, though. That's what I would look like if I were sitting there.

J said...

My brain hurts. The last strip hurts my brain. In pain.

First off, why is Bonnie being hidden? What does this accomplish? The buildup of a new character, but turning her into the unseen wife from Fraiser? I didn't notice the word-balloon-head until Jai mentioned it, but looking at it again (and again) it's actually kinda funny.

I agree with Jai, I feel like we skipped a strip. There's no intro between Bonnie and Brent and Cole. One should've been used, to show that Bonnie is not exactly how Jase describes her, but not soul sucking as Robbie would say. Instead I keep wanting to hit "back chapter" on a DVD, but skip from 15 to 13.

I want Brent to want to stay and watch the fireworks. Have him relaxing back into the chair/couch, saying to Cole, "Are you kidding, it's getting good now." I dunno why, but I want Brent to be a snarky, revel in other's discomfort, kinda guy.

Lastly...does Panel 3 bug anybody else? Did Scott not clean the panel on the cinque (or whatever the computer pad is called)? I swear I see a big vein on her right arm, something just above her collar...and I don't know what does are, but something is darkened on her cheek.

...also, where did her arm go on panel 2?

Anonymous said...

'Bubble-head Bonnie' does seem like a ludicrously bad idea. It just doesn't work. If the plan is to keep her as a faceless antagonist in this break-up of a friendship, then maybe drawing her, in combination, from the back or in *gulp* silhouette or slightly off-panel would have been a better choice.

As it stands, my first impression was that she was either hideously ugly or an established character but given that Cole & Brent's reactions are so subdued, that minor speedbump on this dreary (twelve strip long and counting) road doesn't seem likely.

Anonymous said...

What if it turns out that her face resembles Robbie's? That would be the best joke ever.

I don't mind if she's left faceless though. It gives a sense of her being aloof from everybody else, and is an entertaining enough gimmick.

Anonymous said...

PVP makes me sad too ...

I don't know whether empire has grown bigger than Kurtz himself, but he doesn't seem to be putting as much effort into the art. These last few arcs the art seems rushed and lazy. The line quality has really been bad lately.

Is this because his focus is elsewhere? Is it because despite moving to a cintique he really hasn't mastered the tool? Or is up all night playing WOW again?

I do have to commend him though on the strip being prompt.

Anonymous said...

"I don't know whether empire has grown bigger than Kurtz himself, but he doesn't seem to be putting as much effort into the art. These last few arcs the art seems rushed and lazy. The line quality has really been bad lately."

Which all tends to contradict his assertions that he's been pushing himself (artistically) lately. As someone else mentioned, he seems to have left some trace lines behind in today's strip, 3rd panel.

My favourite mistake of the strip - barring the "you're/your" switch (that has spawned a blog post where Kurtz tries to imply spotting such gaffs as akin to rocket science), is Bonnie's right trouser pocket that takes until the 4th panel to put in an appearance.

hnm said...

Jai, I do have to disagree with you on the subject of "Is that the time?" I've heard plenty of people say that in person (granted many were friends with my grandmother) and I've also heard it used before in visual media so I don't see it being problematic.

Anonymous said...

That blog post is awesome because it indicates that he not only couldn't spot the your/you're mistake, but that he glossed over "My, is that the time?" however many times and *STILL THOUGHT IT WAS FINE!*

I mean, really, google the real fucking phrase, don't be lazy and make them sound retarded.

hnm said...

Again, anon 10:26, "is that the time" IS an actual phrase. It's just archaic.

I mean, it's true the current generation doesn't use that phrase as much as they did in, say, the 1940's, but that's the point. That's what's supposed to make it funny.

Anonymous said...

The phrase is "My, look at the time" you fucking idiotic twat. If you're going to bother correcting me, you might as well get it right your-fucking-self.

hnm said...

Anon 11:13

"My, look at the time" is A correct phrase but it is not THE ONLY correct phrase. "Is that the time" is ALSO a valid phrase that was in use at one point in time.

Just because YOU'VE never personally heard it used doesn't mean it's not a phrase.

Anonymous said...

http://www.google.com.au/search?hl=en&safe=off&q=%22my+is+that+the+time%22&btnG=Search&meta=

Dopes.

Anonymous said...

You can keep going on about my "not having heard it," but the fact that it doesn't exist ANYWHERE ON THE INTERNET tells a different story, fuckface.

Fake Scott McCloud said...

I hate to take a side because this argument is absolutely ridiculous, but both phrases are acceptable.

Go to your corners and cool off now.

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