Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Robbie's Home Improvements

So, The Bonnie Situation - Part Six Seven. (Woops! I meant 7.) Yeah. I'm not going to comment on the fact that Jase has apparently married Wilson from Home Improvement. Nope. I won't. (I will: I think it's terrible; but I recognize that this may be purely a personal preference, and I think it's a worthwhile experiment. Even though I will likely continue hating it.)

I agree that we're missing a strip. Where was Bonnie's reveal? If you're going to introduce a character who is all gimmick, don't they need their own "Heeere's Bonnie!" moment? Scott is usually so good at writing conversations that it feels very odd not have had a "Hey guys, meet Bonnie!" moment.

I really wonder if we got this one a day early.

Update: A clarification: When I said "Where was Bonnie's reveal" I didn't mean "why haven't we seen her face yet?", I meant, "Where was the moment that this brand new character (whose gimmick is that we never see her face) is introduced?" This is a last-panel type event, and to just insert her without any fanfare is odd.


Jai said...

That's Part Seven, I think. I'm starting to wonder how many separate parts there are going to be in this Bonnie Situation.

Bonnie's like the anti-Wilson. I don't think it's a very sustainable setup for her eyes to be covered in every frame (It will only make sense for word balloons to be covering them and not physical objects, 99 out of 100 times), so we might be getting to the "point" of this dodgy affair fairly soon. I don't know what "the reveal" is going to be like, though - surely the other characters can see what she looks like, so the only surprise is going to be for the readers. I have no idea where SK is going with this (Which could be a very good thing!).

TheOriginalJes said...

Ok. I totally didn't see *that* coming. She's a freakin' amazon, WOW! (No, Scott isn't "hiding' her face. The point is that she's so tall, that's all one really comes away with. [See Scrubs (R) first appearance of "Giant Doctor", when we see who's lab coat that is.] Her face becomes irrelevant.)(An added joke being that Jase's gaze lands squarely on her boobs.)

However, I'm not sure what left a greater impression. Is it the fact that she's so amazingly tall (and I thought the intro was perfect, btw)?

Or is it that after only such a brief in-strip interaction with Cole, Brent, Jase, and Bonnie (following how long of an existing relationship is this in story-time anyway, Scott?); they're going to have relationship issues?

I hope this isn't an abandonment of the whole Bonnie-situation. I thought that had some real "next-level" promise for PVP writing quality.

Although my prediction from the other post may have been more realistic, this very tall Bonnie seems like good ol'fashioned PVP to me. I'm glad I was wrong. (I think you are, too.)

TheOriginalJes said...

just one more thing.

SOOO much better than Schecky!

matt said...

I'm pretty sure she is normal height and they are all just still sitting down from the earlier conversation...

I think I know what the revel is going to be though.... Jase is Skulls next case and Bonnie is going to have a little Skull head! Ahh!

R.W.McGee said...

Yeah, I don't think she is that tall...everybody else is seated.

At the very least Scott's little word bubble trick is intriguing. I will ride a ways with you on this one Scott.

47 said...

"she's so amazingly tall"
Matt's correct. Jase is simply sitting down.

Anonymous said...

She'd better not supposed to be super tall. Her waist is at Jase's shoulders. She'd have a 2 foot long torso and 5 foot long legs.

Oh -- and I think those "tracing lines" you guys were commenting on before is her hair.

Jaap said...

man i just bought this spiderman issue what kind of shit is this aunt may wants to introduce spiderman to this chick but you don't see her face what's up with that

I think it's too soon to brand Bonnie as someone you'll NEVER see the face of. I say the reveal will be shocking and on friday.

Anonymous said...

"Oh -- and I think those "tracing lines" you guys were commenting on before is her hair."

Then she's moulting because there's one on her right arm, one on her left hand, one next to her left boob and one just above her right shoulder. Yeah, I'm thinking not hair.

Anonymous said...

@jaap: Shocking, but neither Cole nor Brent react to it?

J said...

Her arm vein disappeared, as did the collar bone.

I still wanna know what is on her cheek.

Anonymous said...

Bonnie is a reference to "Pulp Fiction" (originally an unused idea from Reservoir Dogs) where a like-named wife is talked about and whose face is never revealed. The phrase "Bonnie Situation" is used explicitly in the film.

I don't disagree with your main point, I just thought I'd mention that Kurtz is actually referencing something with this Bonnie/Wilson dynamic.

Anonymous said...

Go watch an episode from Power Puff Girls.

Anonymous said...

I figure there's also the possibility that Kurtz feels like he can't draw a pretty enough woman to break up Robbie and Jase and wants you to imagine her whole face.

matt said...

ahh thats pretty interesting... urban dictionary describes it thusly:

When you are already stuck in a particular problematic situation and there is a high risk of being discovered by third parties and it could lead you to embarassment, imprisonment, a smack-around-the-head, grounding, divorce, a severe belt-beating etc. Bonnie Situations can be a psychological burden as you are trying to get out of the situation as quickly as possible before you are discovered - a kinda race-against-the-clock. A Bonnie Situation is more aptly used when a husband is about to be found out doing something wrong by his wife.

John said...

I'm left neither knowing nor caring what her face looks like and why we can't see it. If she was horrendously beautiful or ugly shouldn't the expressions on the other characters have reflected that? Admittedly, perhaps we'll get a "nice catch, she's a hottie" or some type of variation coming up soon when Jase isn't in front of her.

If her looks aren't exceptional (for good or ill) and it's just a "gimmick" that readers aren't shown her face, than it's being done really bad. Using text bubbles to block her face would be ok on occasion, but to use it in every strip seems to me to be really lazy. I mean, at least give a good reason why her face isn't revealed for her intro arc!!

It just seems really hokey to me.

And yes, I can see why her and Robbie wouldn't get along. And I did like Brent's reaction to Jase's "I won the lottery" line. Best part of the story thus far.

Anonymous said...

Did Fake Scott miss the actual part6, where Bonnie comes home and she and Jase talk off-screen? His link goes to part 7...

J said...

I think I see the annoyance. Anoy 4:37 mentioned Powerpuff Girls, and that's a good example. Ms. Bellum was an excellent example of not showing a characters face. But they stuck with it; they never showed her face. You only got neck and any hair that fell below the shoulders. Here, Scott can't seem to decide which technique to use and we get a missmatch.
1) B.S. Part 6 - Unseen when she entered (given a pass for buildup and use of good punchline)
2) B.S. Part 7 - Panels 1-3 show the bottom half of her face
3) Panel 4 takes her head completely out of the picture

I liked Panel 4 the best, because you didn't know anything. You imagined...whatever you thought you saw. The first panels show too much to let you decide what was going on for yourself, and not enough to get a complete picture.

Jai said...

The Bonnie Situation - Part Eight: While I really like the visual of all the word balloons in the background and I enjoyed what Brent had to say at the end, this is really just the last panel of Part Seven stretched out into four new panels. Is that good? Is that bad? I don't know, but I felt like we didn't get anywhere even remotely new.

Jase's chin is now pointed, and not deeply rounded. This snuck up in Part Seven, but I didn't notice until Part Eight. Jase is apparently on the juice. You know... 'roids. This is merely an observation.

Something that I've considered mentioning in times past is the look of Cole's arm, as portrayed in panel 4 (And 2, but it's partially concealed). The bottom edge of the sleeve juts straight out from the curve of Cole's back, which makes the sleeve (Or even the entire body) look paper-thin as we are prompted to imagine how tiny Cole's arms must be to leave no impression along that particular curvature. It is more succinct to say simply that the main cast of PVP is generally drawn without shoulders. It works much better for, say, Brent's slight figure than for Cole's bulky, overweight A-frame. Most of their poses either have their arms pointed straight down (Which works fine. That pose has the least-noticeable effect on sleeves) or does, indeed, give the characters shoulders or at least a full-figured set of arms. This particular pose of Cole's stands out among the rest as "unnatural", though. I'm delving dangerously close to wanting to talk about Cole's entire design by raising this subject, which I'm sure would be... well, more pointless. I'll just stick to how the arm in that pose is unusually flat. The fix, well, it involves a shoulder. Or you could move the arm further in front of the body, away from the back. Either way, you'd need to draw another curve for the arm's bottom-most elbow-to-shoulder (Maybe just elbow-to-collar) line.

Just Some Schmuck said...

What?! You're complaining that not seeing Bonnie's face is a rip off of Wilson from Home Improvement?!

Fuck you, man. You're a fucking joke.

Anonymous said...


No, he's using popular culture as a reference point.

Anonymous said...

The only issue I have with eight (apart from, like someone else said, it's basically just the dragging out of a previous panel), is Cole's speech bubbles from panels three and four. They're 'warped'.

In three, the bubble is behind Cole but in front of Brent, who is in front of Cole. In four, they're behind Cole but the one of the right is in front of the door frame/wall that is in front of Cole.

In both cases they'd look less disjointed if they were in front of Cole. I don't think we'd lose anything by covering Cole's ear. Hell, in the second panel, the whole thing could have been avoided simply by moving the bubble up and to the right.

TheOriginalJes said...

Very disappointing...

I see how that stray line you guys were talking about is the couch, though.

Even though FSM doesn't get a formal introduction to Bonnie, I still think the intro works.

But, I feel like SK backed out on some great comedy potential here. Just like Cole backed out the door.

Best work, indeed.

Subversive said...

OK, I'm not usually this guy, but Brent's hands in the last panel of part 8 look tiny. They make his head look enormous. He looks like one of the characters from Ugly Hill. That's not a diss on Ugly Hill, I'm just saying...

Grand Master - 108 Tongues, 中国制造团体, Bust Out! Family said...

I'd just like to point out something that SK has been bringing up (going meta again? Perhaps... sorry to drag the conversation back to that level, but this was something i thought worthy of mention) in his recent blogs; his admittedly poor spelling errors. Of course, FSM, you've been replying via twitter (and potentially/assumedly shut down by SK's twitter block of you), but I thought it was noteworthy that Kurtz updated his last blog to thank the readers for their input.

I think it's quite possible that a lot of the recent hubbub over Scott's infamous defensiveness has gotten him to reconsider his stance on accepting others' opinions... could his willingness to bring up a point where he is flawed (and subsequently amend his post specifically to thank people for their suggestions) be seen as something of an olive branch extension? I'd like to think so... at least it paints him in a humbler light than the indignant S-O-B he's been coming off as over the last month or so.

Just $.02, back to the regularly scheduled.

Sage said...

yes "someone suggested reading the strip backwards" that someone would be FSM.

Sage said...

Well via Paul Southworth i mean :)

Julia said...

My problem with the whole not seeing her face thing is that it only works if it's covering something up that will end up being a big reveal, like she's Robbie's twin sister who looks exactly like him but female. But only WE can't see her face. Cole and Brent can see her just fine and they haven't reacted to anything about her face, so she's not being hidden for that reason. So I think it just doesn't work.

Jai said...

Grand Master - 108 Tongues, 中国制造团体, Bust Out! Family: If you listened to the recent Webcomics Weekly, you would probably retract that opinion. It is a bit at odds with his blog post about being grateful for having been given a helpful piece of advice from a critic. SK could (And seems to) be viewing that suggestion as entirely separate from criticism. Which it is, really. Anyway, the podcast is a really long rant (With precious little back-and-forth, it's mostly just SK 85% of the time) about how the woman who professionally blogged that their book should have a section on criticism was "out of line". SK seems to feel that anything short of being a critic that is trying to inform a consumer whether a product is good or bad is unacceptable, as well - everyone else is "trying to influence the artist", which is apparently never a good thing (Unless you seek out and ask someone to be that influence on you, like SK's brother). The other two guys just say that they're more in the camp where if they believe the critic knows what they're talking about, they'll be inclined to listen - and if not, then probably they won't be (Well, while also fully supporting whatever SK's position is). It's the very first topic on the long podcast, so you can hear it right away. Like I said, they talk about it for a long time (And don't, I feel, get anywhere we didn't think SK was already). It makes me a bit sad. I don't want to be "that guy" who's just trying to wedge himself between the creator and the helm of his ship, and I don't think I am. I'd be confused if SK thinks I am (Or that this site is). I just like talking about the strip, and I point out what I perceive as faults that could be mended (And sometimes are). Would SK like this site more if it were called "PVP Product Ratings"? Strangely, I feel like that's what Johanna was trying to do when she, you know, rated one of PVP's physical products. SK didn't like it. And still doesn't. It's all a little weird, to me.

Anonymous said...

This entire blog is just a fucking joke. I love how the Fake Scott McCloud is such an egomaniac now that everything Scott posts on his site MUST be aimed at FSM.

The post about critique was not about this site. It was about that reviewer. But Fake Scott McCloud immediately assumes everything is directed at him.

Now Kurtz posts about his grammar woes and OF COURSE! It must be all thanks to the influence of this site. And hey, about 1,000 people make responese, but NO. OF COURSE it's the FSM that Kurtz listens to.

What an anonymous joke.,

Anonymous said...

Oh man -- BURN. We are so toast guys.

From one Anonymous commenter to another, STFU. I'm pretty sure none of what you just said is true, and I'd ask you to back it up with citations.

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

From FSM twitter:
@pvponline I know you hate me, but honest advice: A) print it out (new context); B) read it upside down (4realz); C) 2nd person (fresh eyes) 04:11 PM August 19, 2008 from web in reply to pvponline

hm. it occurs to me that @pvponline has probably blocked me and won't see my last tweet. 04:19 PM August 19, 2008 from web

from Paul southworth's
@fakescott Passed along your proofreading info to Scott because I think it's actually good advice. Message received. Over and out. 12:27 PM August 19, 2008

From Scott's blog:
But someone did suggest reading my sentences backwards. That takes the sentence out of context and makes it harder for my brain to fill in what it THINKS it sees.

Now using my powers of memory (FSM and Paul's twitter) along with grammer (the word someone indicates that ONE person gave him the advice; as opposed to him saying the number 1 suggestion many people) to surmize that conclusion. You know real life facts that are true.

In the words of Lewis Black, "I can usually see the other side of the argument but in this case I can safely safe I am right and you are f*cking wrong"


Jai said...

@Anonymous 3:02

I've yet to see FSM say a single thing about it. Why are you accusing him of being an egomaniac and his blog of being a joke?

Don't worry, it's a rhetorical question. You don't have to answer, we already know.

J said...

Unless I'm reading the interpretations differently (entirely possible), backwards and upside down are two different techniques.

@anony 3:02

The Bonnie Thang Part 8

Robbie has cleaned up. And now sports a nose ring. Must be a millionare thing.

Also, Cole is still a douche. Nothing he tries to help with ever comes out good for the helpee (nothing that comes to memory, and nothing I'm going to research to contradict myself).

...is the thing with Robbie's eyes new, or have I just not noticed them before? Is something wrong with them?

Anonymous said...

@j: You mean 'nine' surely?

I know it's hard to keep track what stage of this dreary storyline we're on. Can't believe it's dragged on for three weeks just to say 'Robbie doesn't like Bonnie. Cole started an argument between Bonnie & Jase. Robbie is happy.' and there's every chance it'll drag on even longer... if SK can't figure out how to end the storyline, a seemingly common occurrence these days.

Anonymous said...

Cole didn't really cause that argument, though. All he did was visit an old friend, which would be an everyday sort of thing if the characters of PVP weren't such jerks. The argument didn't start because of the topic Cole was going to broach, the argument started because Jase mentioned playing video games.

Anonymous said...

Well, who 'caused' it was really my point (and since Cole's visit sparked it, that was what I was getting at, not that he actually started an argument).

The point was that surprisingly little has happened for a run of strips that is currently 14 days long and counting. None of it particularly funny. This 'PvP as soap opera' trend doesn't really appeal to me simply because the stories aren't that captivating.

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