Monday, September 8, 2008

Counterpoint

I liked today's strip, despite my strong inclination to hate it because of the re-appearance of Shecky. The punch, while perhaps unwarranted, is a strong way to introduce the relationship that will hopefully continue throughout the story -- that is to say, Shecky is about the be Scratch's bitch for a while.

I can live with that. (I dread, however, that they will come to some agreement and it will be Nick Nolte and Eddie Murphy all over again.)

As for nits, there are some to be picked:

I could have done without Shecky's "Get it?" in the second panel. All it does is drag out the "fragment of overheard joke" trope from the first panel.

I'd also love to have seen a different approach to the last panel. There are a lot of extraneous lines that are confusing the issue -- we could have done without the texture lines on Scratch's belt/holster, and we don't really need more than one well-placed star-and-line around Shecky's head. We certainly didn't need what I'm guessing is the remnants of Shecky's bar stool in the lower right corner.

I disagree with others on the issue of context -- It think it's safe to assume that Scratch knows of Schecky, even if they've never been in-strip together before. The sucker punch is quite in character, I don't feel bad for Shecky at all -- seeing as I hate his guts.

32 comments:

vaultkeeper said...

The punch made no sense, it's completely retarded.

Sage said...

Im liking the back and forth between ES and FSM.

And *gasp* its civil!

Anonymous said...

Someone needs to tell Scott that it doesn't count as fan service if the author blanks out the panel where the actual fan service happens.

If we don't see Shecky being hit, it doesn't count Scott!

Also, the punch makes perfect sense, I'm sure Scratch hates Shecky as much as everyone else.

Anonymous said...

This website is a fucking joke.

Shivan (Shy-Vin) said...

I'm really tempted to like Shecky just because everyone hates his guts.

hnm said...

I actually DO like Shecky. AND Scratch, for that matter.

Brett Schiller (Sage) said...

@ anon 415
I was worried because he haven't had our daily affirmation :)

Brett Schiller (Sage) said...

btw its me sage if people care to know

matt said...

"Someone needs to tell Scott that it doesn't count as fan service if the author blanks out the panel where the actual fan service happens."

Haha, that same thought crossed my mind...

Anonymous said...

That air of superiority over anon posters not getting you off any more, Sage? One 'name' not good enough for you, now you've got to have two?

Btw, would it be wrong to hope tomorrow's strip features a ResDogs/ear scene homage?

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I don't get the big deal of anonymous vs. named posting, either. I could easily create a blank account, or create one that I use, but never reveal my true identity in. It doesn't add any sort of accountability to what we say. Seems like everyone is always looking for some way to feel superior over someone else.

Julia said...

The only reason there is any difference is because we actually did make accounts. You all keep saying you could make an account, too, but you haven't, and for the most part anyone who is here just to be a nuisance doesn't seem to care to make an account. That is where the differentiation lies.

Brett Schiller (Sage) said...

Actually, I was just saying that the "new person" with the new handle was actually someone who has posted here before, not some random new guy. How the hell did I come off as superior?

Ive seen too many people saying "you hide behind anonymity" when I post there. JCM from PVP boards being the most vocal and including it in his signature. I find it funny that i get flack for adding my real name, then anonymous people say Im making up a name or calling me out on it.

Do i think it adds any strength or importance to anything else I say? No. Is it really important at all? No. I just changed my handle and wanted to let those who are not anonymous that I have a history on the site.

Jai said...

You have to keep the same Blogger "name" at all the blogs you may operate and post at, too. Maybe he doesn't want to post at a family or professional blog as "Sage".

Uh. Right, PVP.

Punch O’Clock!: What on Earth is that round thing at the bottom right corner of the last panel supposed to be? It's far too big to be any sort of accident... so...? Huh.

Scratch now has awesome (Not really, but they are big) beefy forearms. And that belt also looks bigger than ever - what's the perspective supposed to be in that last panel, anyway? I almost believe it's supposed to be similar to that of the previous strip's final panel.

Shecky's (I HATE YOU, SHECKY) dialogue is really forced-sounding. I hate when shows or comics suddenly cut to a new setting where a character is just then getting done sharing a wacky-sounding story (Oh boy, if ONLY we could have heard the whole thing! No. Lame). Even though this story involves elves and rupees, it's no better. I would vastly have preferred for him to have been starting to tell a story, which Scratch then interrupts.

The "POW" panel is not preferable to actual action, since this is not a send-up of the Adam West Batman show. Maybe SK wasn't sure how to get Scratch up high enough to punch Shecky in the face? Left the way it is, though, we sort of have to assume that Scratch punched him right in the arm. That's not thrilling in the least, not even to the part of me that hates Shecky.

The introductory panel of the bar's exterior is not needed, so ideally we'd have gotten Shecky in the bar starting up a story in Panel 1, Scratch interrupting the story in Panel 2, Scratch leaping into the air and Superman-punching Shecky's face in a wide and glorious Panel 3, and then the "We need to talk" bit in Panel 4. That's it. That wouldn't have been bad, although there still wouldn't be a joke in sight.

Oh, and Scratch is totally right to begin the conversation by punching Shecky out. Shecky obviously has the "flight" reflex (Not the "fight" one), and is a horrible little failure of a confidence man that is certainly not going to be interested in helping anyone find Skull (If he even knows how to). He's easily bullied (When the bullying is actual violence and not a peeved, impotent Cole Richards). Scratch is bloodthirsty - when he remembers it (lol he's so lazy, what a lazy cat!!1!) - and is not about to try wasting his time. Makes sense to me.

Anonymous said...

I believe the thing in the bottom right panel is Shecky's arm though FSM seems to think it's the barstool he was sat on.

Even though Shecky's ear is pointing in a different direction, I think it's placement in relation to the hat (near the back) suggests he's still facing to the left and that some part of his body - since he's on the ground now - would be showing on the right.

So two strips into what could be a long arc and no gags - just two 'posturing' endings. I probably would change to once-a-week PvP visits if I didn't want to know what people were referring to here when I visit :)

Fake Charles M. Schulz said...

The reappearance of Shecky coinciding with the return of late strips. Coincidence? Nah, just good ole' Scott returning to his natural habits.

Helluva way to run a business if you ask me. Work when you want to and get indignant when someone says anything about it. Where do I sign up?

You want the definition of professional? Try 50 years with no missed strips, on time every time.

Iron Dookie said...

*aneurysm*

Diagoras said...

Note: I didn't say it was out of character for Scratch - the little ball of rage. It just seemed, at this point in the story, to be unwarranted. We'll see with further comics how it develops, yeah?

As to the off-screen nature of the punch - I think it would have been funny to make it the shoreyuken punch used in past strips. Sort of a running gag kinda thing - I know, logistically difficult in this comic with the position of the characters.

But, if it became a running gag, we'd have Ken and Ryu coming with their lawyers for a week's worth of strips, claiming the punch was their IP and, as such, only they could use it. Legal humor, though, is probably only funny to me, so I'll just sort of muddle to the end of this. Heck - Streetfighter humor is likely only funny to me. I'll just shut it now, then, shall I?

Superpenis Testicles said...

Guys.

You're supposed to hate Shecky. That is his function.

You are doing it correctly.

TheOriginalJes said...

Well, since Shecky is probably the only mythical creature Scratch can easily locate and believably bully into helping find Skull (or atleast finding someone who can find Skull), I have resigned to tolerate his "un-deserving of ink" presence.

Anonymous said...

"one for the road." - another holding-pattern strip with another 'posturing' ending.

Anonymous said...

What is that lump in panel 3 today? It doesn't appear to be in any other panels. I'm genuinely confused by this.

The Pimp Reaper said...

It's Shecky's arm, leaning on the table, bent towards him.

Does look a wee bit odd.

matt said...

yeah it's his forearm, he's kinda pulling himself back up on the bar counter.

Anonymous said...

Am I the only one who fucking hates the god damned stupid titles Kurtz gives the strips now?

It doesn't alter one way or another how I view the strip, but they are so damned god-awful.

Julia said...

@Superpenis testicles

This isn't about hating a character whose purpose is to be hated. This is about hating any story line that involves him. It's one thing to have a character that is just so incredibly horrible that everyone hates him. It's another to have that character come along with horrible story lines that drag and are boring. The first works in lots of instances. The second never does.

The Thelonious Punk said...

Well I'm not saying I wouldn't like to see Shecky get punched as well, but you can't really expect SK to put more than a "pow" in - I mean it is a family comic.

But seriously, seeing Scratch punch Shecky when he's on top of a barstool would be a little absurd, and I think SK wanted to stay away from that, especially with you guys complaining about the way Scratch tapped him on the shoulder 0.-

Anonymous said...

This isn't a family strip.

Jai said...

We've already had lots of strips where violence has been fully illustrated. Such as, uh, the recent lolbat ones. That wasn't very long ago, man. Not to mention that the language and subject matter of PVP is frequently not suitable for a "family comic".

The Thelonious Punk said...

Sorry, for those who didn't realise, when I said PvP was a family strip I was joking. (For some obscure reason html has no -sarcasm- -/sarcasm- tags)

The Thelonious Punk said...

And when I said actually seeing Scratch punch Shecky would be absurd, I was referring to the height problems a cat punching someone on a barstool would involve.

Anonymous said...

I pride myself on my super-honed senses that allowed me to zero in on the 'But seriously,' comment. I've always been rilly, rilly observant...

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