Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Candle in the dark

Ok, several things to nitpick here today so let's get started.

The raygun: Looks pretty terrible with that mini-cymbal for a muzzle. I don't know how it fit into Scratch's holster earlier.

Panel 3: What Shecky's saying isn't especially dramatic, so the silhouettes are unnecessary and feel out of place in the middle of the strip. 

Panel 4: Giant forearms of doom! 

Panel 6: I guess it is a magical bar. Would be nice if we could actually see some background characters (or a background for that matter) that drove that point home.

Panel 8: The goggles, they do nothing! (for me). 

I actually chuckled at the giant poofing out of existence. I think if Kurtz erased the barrier between the last two panels and got rid of Scratch's "kick in the nuts" line, we'd actually have a decent punchline. 


R.W.McGee said...

As well as being Scratch/Shecky-centric...we're also being derivative! I'm taking a week, I think.

Superpenis Testicles said...


That's good onomatopoeia.

Fake Charles M. Schulz said...

I instantly thought of the Hitchhiker's Guide:
"Now it is such a bizarrely improbable coincidence that anything so mind-bogglingly useful could have evolved purely by chance that some thinkers have chosen to see it as a final and clinching proof of the non-existence of God. The argument goes something like this:

"I refuse to prove that I exist," says God, "for proof denies faith, and without faith I am nothing."

"But," says Man, "the Babel fish is a dead giveaway isn't it? It could not have evolved by chance. It proves that You do exist, and so therefore, by Your own arguments, You don't. Q.E.D."

"Oh dear," says God, "I hadn't thought of that," and promptly vanishes in a puff of logic."

Sarah said...

I once spent a week with a friend (engineer/biology majors respectively) trying to design a biologically compatible dragon. We had to lose alot of mass to get the creature to fly, but not enough to keep it from being able to defend itself when land-locked either. And the use of a hydrogen air-sac of sorts allowed for both fire-breathing and extra buoyancy to offset the weight.
I disagree with science and magic being incompatible.

The Pimp Reaper said...

I'm actually thoroughly enjoying these Shecky/Scratch strips.

Kethry said...

Am I the only one having trouble visually with these comics? It's like playing with those magic eye puzzles, I have to work to make all the lines into pictures.
It seems like the "camera" on them is zoomed in just that little bit too much, making it hard to distinguish what's what.
Scratch is fairly small, so he's ok, but I completely missed that the ray gun was in Shecky's nose yesterday, and I really had to work to find the lines that meant "giant" in today's strip.
I don't think it's the black and white that's causing this problem-- I've never minded it before-- although of course, color would help define what's what.
I'm afraid that this is due to "artistic growth and changes" which worries me: it means it will never be fixed, and may get worse.

Anonymous said...

Funny how often absolute shite hides behind the guise of artistic growth or integrity.

Julia said...

This whole story line is so boring to me. I can't even be bothered to read it. When I saw that it was a double length strip today I decided it really wasn't worth the effort to read. (I know, I know, how much effort does it really take? Well, apparently too much.)

TheOriginalJes said...

I disagree about removing Scratch's last line. Maybe it could have been re-written, but I can't think of anything better.

I like how it put's a cap of the "believe vs. reality" gag for this strip. A re-write could have also better served to punctuate how Scratch was (as I believe) completely oblivious to the giant and his disappearance. Just like Max and other humans couldn't perceive Skull.

But the giant's disappearance isn't necessarily because he can't exist; rather that Scratch's proving it to Shecky made it possible that neither could perceive the giant. And since (assuming no one else was in the bar at that moment), neither person now believed in the giant's existence, the need to perceive anything at all disappeared as well. Either way, I agree that it was chuckle-worthy.

As far as the art (of drawing Scratch), I noticed that as soon as he put on the goggles, Monday, SK seemed to add a dimension of perspective to Scratch that reminded me of artwork I had seen depicting art-deco (please forgive the spelling) stylings of 1920's an 30's era grandeur. (* I'm sorry that I don't know the name of a common piece to illustrate my thought for you. *) And the gun reminded me of Kid Robot.

I took that to be intentional and to last for the duration of Scratch's mission to find Skull. Almost like a Vegeta power-up. I like it. I also like the dominating angle from which we have to view Scratch while he's on his rampage. And, how the angle returned to normal while Scratch slipped back into is normal psyche to explain the non-existence of giants.

By the way, has anyone else noticed how SK intentionally addressed the issue of Scratch's speech? Since Shecky, as a mythical didn't know scratch could talk, and we know Kirby and Scratch can talk to each other; there may be an animal mythos to the story as well. Any thoughts?

TheOriginalJes said...

-"Anonymous Anonymous said...

Funny how often absolute shite hides behind the guise of artistic growth or integrity."-

I couldn't argue with that. But, I'd like to know how you think it applies to today's strip?

J said...

Seperate mythos doesn't seem likely. Scratch has always been secretive about his talking (or at least never talking in front of people) so it holds that he wouldn't speak in front of Shecky when he visited.

The camera work of the strip reminds me of when people complain about the Bourne movie cameras. How the use of handhelds make it too shaky, you miss a lot of the action and what is in view isn't exactly what the viewer wants to see. That's what I feel every time Scott has a story arc he wants to tell, he goes into a 'cinematic' mindset with how he plans the panels. And we the viewer suffer for it. The more serious he wants a story, or strip, to be, the more we see of the silhouette panel, the over the shoulder shot, and now we are getting a mix of close ups and ground angle shots.

Anonymous said...

What could have been a quite entertaining 'Hunt For Skull' storyline has turned into a bar-room conversation between Scratch and Shecky that's stayed well past it's welcome.

Either the whole thing is going to be rationed out and made to last far too long or it'll be a missed opportunity and fizzle out half-heartedly (a seemingly common occurrence with most arcs in PvP these days).

Anonymous said...

It's like the game Arcanum, only not as good. Talk about Magick versus Technology.

Anonymous said...

Kurtz's obsession with newspaper style spreads has really begun to damage his strips. Either he needs to learn how to cut down on the fluff and suss out what's really important to the story or he needs to buckle down and double or triple the amount of panels on a daily basis. Scratch and Shecky's bar room sequence was a one day deal, no more. The fact that it has been drawn out for half a week (or longer?) is telling.

Yes, yes, we all ready know all of this, but this entire year has been nothing but overlong story arcs, and I think LOLBAT, awful as he is, proves why: Kurtz is incapable of editing himself and stories he deems important. LOLBAT is stupid and pretty hard to fuck up, full of both clever and stupid humor, and is over before you know what's happening.

Reading the comic weekly, as opposed to daily, won't help either, as then the real problem is even easier to stop: we've spent a page or more in a bar, without any awesome fight sequences or really complex/incredible/great art, and there's absolutely nothing to show for it that couldn't have simply been accomplished with Scratch shoving the gun in Shecky's nose originally, saying "You're helping me, dicknose," and then the two leaving the bar in search of Skull.

Anonymous said...

err, "even easier to spot," not "stop." Stupid anonymous posting and being unable to edit!

Anonymous said...

This storyline is ridiculous. The fact that something can exist solely on someone else's belief--faith, essentially--is basically magic itself.

Scratch is stupidly denying the reality of things; this argument of "science" shouldn't exist in the PVP universe, at least with Scratch.

Scott Kurtz is hardly coherent with creating a plot, and he's real petty about it too.

Anonymous said...

this story is too long or too short. either way I hate it and PvP hasn't been good in years. Kurtz is a dick. I hate apples.

Back tomorrow to talk to you guys more about it.

ButtPlugg669988 said...

"I think if Kurtz erased the barrier between the last two panels"

Scott will never abandon his slavish devotion to emulating the medium (newspaper comics) that will never accept him and embrace the free-form no-rule liberation that a web comic could be.


He doesn't have enough imagination and creativity to see the possibilities.

Anonymous said...

Scott will never give up the use of panels or black lines or word bubbles.

Fucking luddite.

J said...

The hook of this story, if my subltly is fluent, is the return of Skull. Such a story should be a long one. The intended drama of a return demands the required time frame. If is was over in just a week, I think we'd all feel pretty ripped off; why go through the months without if you can simply bring him back in five days.

That being said, I don't agree with how the planning (if there was any) was handled for the arc. To begin, the beginning was a cliffhanger to amp you up for the story itself; which fell off the cliff with the abruptness of Scratch going from pout to AVENGER in zero point two. Then this week, we launch into Scratch and Shecky (two characters nobody likes for long periods of time) discussing Scott's logistics of magic, which keep contradicting itself.

Instead of going from the declaration straight to arc, better I think would have been a week inbetween. Let the cast wonder where Scratch went. Have Brent not even notice. Have anything except launching into...this. Make it seem like Scratch had to work to find Shecky; because, really, I'm supposed to buy that Scratch not believe in magic and yet find a (supposedly) mythical being inside of one day?

Scott needs an editor. Badly. The first rule given to writers, after finishing a work, is to lock it away for weeks and then come back with fresh eyes. Without a buffer, he cannot edit even himself, and puts up his strips much too early. And this (story) is what we get.

Anonymous said...

Some people...

"Scratch is stupidly denying the reality of things; this argument of "science" shouldn't exist in the PVP universe, at least with 1Scratch."

It's a Hitchhiker's Guide reference, dingbat. And why wouldn't Scratch believe in science over magic? His intelligence came out of a machine. He's not a magic talking cat.

Anonymous said...

"His intelligence came out of a machine. He's not a magic talking cat."

Hmm, depends which way the wind is blowing, going by that retcon/de-retcon snafu of a few weeks back.

R.W.McGee said...

"Scott needs an editor. Badly. The first rule given to writers, after finishing a work, is to lock it away for weeks and then come back with fresh eyes. Without a buffer, he cannot edit even himself, and puts up his strips much too early. And this (story) is what we get."

I believe that's pretty much the long and short of it. If anybody listens to Penny Arcade podcasts, I believe that's one of the reasons PA maintains a fairly consistent level of quality...they both act as editors for each other, rejecting bad ideas and refining good ones. I think Scott badly needs that on a daily basis.

(And in my opinion somebody to tell him that Scratch and Shecky are horrible characters, but I know that isn't a universal opinion.)

Brett Schiller (Sage) said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brett Schiller (Sage) said...

Sigh, sorry FSM but the ruckus has not ended.

it's getting boring and difficult to keep up 5-10 secret identities. Anyone want to take over a fake review site? about 11 hours ago from mobile web

and. . .
Thanks for you replies. Secret identities may remain secret for a bit longer. Hope that doesn't make anyone too "SAD." about 11 hours ago from twitterrific

some of thoses replies:
Matt Guigar: @pvponline Ooohh! Me! Me!!

Kris Straub: @pvponline i told you it gets exhausting.

So how would you condense a person who (whether or not he "fooled" people in to bashing his product) did this type of thing?

@pvponline Pick me pick MEEE. I'm pedantic and rude and I have a 5th grade education!

Thank you Paul Southworth for those words. Even though it was meant to disparage the people here, it really goes a long way to summarizing the author or PVP.

Ah i'd like to know either way if its all a joke or not what it all accomplishes? Showing that people who create things on the internet have no life? Are vindictive, emotionally retarded people? Showing that they have an audience that they can fuck with just to pass the time before they buy or bitch about an iPhone? Or all of the above. Thank god i can't draw (that doesn't stop Callum Doghty or Quical as he is known on twitter) or I may have wanted to do a webcomic of my own and turn into one of these people.

I wonder if people in the print comics get this delusional about their work or if they realize they are just entertainment to give us a respite from the bad things in the news to get us ready to read the sports section, unlike their electronic counter parts who don't realise they are just there for amusement, to talk about and then go on with your day, or to pass the time before we look for more porn.

Fake water pot said...

shouldnt the pvp members bring back skull instead of scratch.

Cole and Brent despise everything they said at the wedding havent done anything to bring skull back.

Anonymous said...

Oh my god. Now FSM and Kurtz are talking to each other in twitter about handing over posting duties.

This site was NEVER real?

R.W.McGee said...

well, the site was and is real. But it's essentially just a way Scott Kurtz (that being all the registered posters here) dick over his fans. See, he wants you to KNOW how much better his strip could be, he even has this site where he details all the ways it could be better...but even secure in this knowledge, I (I mean he) keeps on posting the same crap that I (doh! He) knows the PvP fanbois will lap up.

What is PvP Makes Me Sad? A gigantic Fuck You to all my (his) fans.


Jai said...

"It's a Hitchhiker's Guide reference, dingbat" - Anonymous, 6:17

Then it's not a very good one. It's enough to make you think of HGTTG, but in no way does it actually draw upon the scenario from HGTTG (Which was posted in these comments, third from the top). At the very least, the giant should have gotten a thought bubble in edgewise. Even then, the comparison is a bit rubbish. The only similarities are that a point has been disproven (The points and the proof in both scenarios are worlds apart), resulting in the nonexistence of someone that had been existing (In PVP, just a bystander with no powers who isn't even being talked to. In THGTTG, an all-powerful being whose own words took himself out of existence).

Anonymous said...

Scott, as is traditional, won't drop the 'joke' until everyone is clear that he's managed to turn it into the worse possible situation for himself and people realise what a douche he is. That's how he rolls.

Although, I have to admit, he's really driving it home this time. For someone so above the distraction this site apparently causes him, he sure has a strange way of showing how he moves on...

Anonymous said...

It actually would be kind of funny in an "oh my god what an idiot/loser" way to find out that Kurtz has been running this site while letting his business slide.

We're already starting to see late comics again. I doubt it will be long before the missed days start returning.

Stephen Geigen-Miller said...

The giant going "Poof!" actually probably isn't a reference to Hitchhiker's. If it's inspired by anything in particular, I suspect it's the Bloom County strip where Oliver Wendell Jones's Grand Unified Theory conclusively proves that flightless waterfowl can not exist -- and Opus the Penguin goes "Poof!"

Scott doesn't talk much, on his site or elsewhere, about prose science fiction or novels in general as an influence, and he doesn't generally use them as a go-to for references and jokes. Which is understandable for a strip that's heavily rooted in pop culture.

Anonymous said...

Scott has never missed days of his comic strip. He's been late in the pat but he hasn't missed a day.

I think the motto of this site should be "If you hate him so much, why don't you marry him."

From where I'm standing, you guys all secretly love this guy.

Anonymous said...

From where you're standing? Gee, it must be high up for you to be able to look down on all of us like you do.

Of course, you've blown your whole better-than-thou vibe by coming to a place you've apparently no interest being involved in. And then posting? Meh. Smacks of half-assed trolling to be honest.

Fake Scott McCloud said...

"Oh my god. Now FSM and Kurtz are talking to each other in twitter about handing over posting duties."

I didn't know what you were taking about until I checked Twitter.

So freaking hilarious.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone else see the resemblance with this strip and the "secret weapon of science" used in the cartoon "Flight of Dragons?"

Anonymous said...

Oh you silly fanbois and your definitions of missed and late. Like it somehow changes the fact that Kurtz does not deliver one new strip every 24 hours.

It's also my understanding that Scott actually did miss days when he was starting out.

Regardless of how you cut it, I expect makeup strips in the near future.

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