Monday, September 22, 2008

Even cooler heads

This is the best looking strip in a long time. Seriously, it looks great. So nothing to complain about there.

However, this feels like a deus ex coming on. I doubt it'll be that easy to get Skull back and if it is, well...that'll just be disappointing. This does feel a little anticlimatic, but maybe there's another twist tomorrow.

E.Z. is back in his E.Z. body. I guess they just keep a bunch of those statues around the office for just such an occasion. I hope we get an explanation of the relationship between E.Z. and Gorgon Lady though.

Not much else to say here.


Anonymous said...

Just reposting

1) Where did "Zeus" get his new statue body? If he switched again, why didn't he do that before the golf trophy?

2) If he is the highest of magics as he proclaims, he shouldn't really have a boss.

3) "Need I remind you how you became a living statue in the first place?" He isn't a living statue, though. He's a bodiless entity that possesses a statue (so far, of either stone or metal). Now, if she turned him into this bodiless entity, fine. But she couldn't have really turned him into a statue.

4* New!) My only complaint art-wise is that in the second panel, the gorgon's eyes can be easily mistaken for the opposite of what they are, due to the vertical lines on the eyelids. While her eyes are very low-lidded and unamused, it's easy to mistake them for her lower lids raising up slightly to make a very odd face. Maybe others don't see it, but it's what I first saw when I read the strip.

Otherwise, nice art.

Anonymous said...


I noticed #4 as well, but the rest of the art impressed me enough that I let that slide. ;)

As for #2, my guess is she isn't actually a higher-up. My money is on her being an ex-girlfriend or maybe even family.

Brett Schiller (Sage) said...

todays strip-
Very good art work as all the details were there from Scratch picking out the rubble in his fur, to the detail of the mythical creatures, to even the background that showed the boards in the wall. Only funny part was Scratch's ooooh face looks like he's about the plant one of "medussa", even though i know thats probably the only way to draw the face.

Good way to MOVE the storyline along, nothing overly funny, hopefully its either back the Skull or a quick dive into "Zeus" and "Medussa's" background and out to Skull's Return.

Other funny point (to me which could mean not funny at all) wanton's secondary definition also means "sexually exciting". Even though thats not what is implied here it could have definetly changed how this storyline ended :).

Julia said...

You know, before I was saying that I'm mostly disappointed in this because we had to deal with the crappy storyline just to get to this, and it's a huge letdown even from how horrible the preceding was. But if this means it can be over very very soon and we don't have to ever speak of this storyline ever again, I will accept it gladly and thankfully.

Tim said...

For some reason i really dig the art in the last panel. Something about Scratch's expression seems very cat like. And I like the large amount of white space with just the short dialogue.

Brett Schiller (Sage) said...

@ tim-
I liked the last panel as well as Scratch and his goggles are drawn well and "Medussa's" hand is drawn well. Good drawing either from a model or memory.

Scott said...

Responding to Anonymous:

1) Gnatalie sent down for a new statue once the fight started.

2) No man from his generation likes to admit that there is a woman in power over him.

3) He's a living statue. But he's also immortal so if he gets destroyed he can come back. But only as a statue. He must have gotten a stare-but-good from old Mads.

4)GAH! Now that's all I can see.

Scott said...


I actually took a picture of my own meaty hand and traced it a bit, shaving it down to make it more female like.

I wanted to make sure I had the proportions of the hand correct. It's hard to fake that cupping motion.

Brett Schiller (Sage) said...

@ Scott
Very good and also a good use of scale and perspective (as it shows the size difference between Scratch and Medussa well ), Like I said before I like your "realistic" art like Rip and Brent's mom (name escapes me).

Still looks like Scratch is about to plant one on Ms. Medussa (i know it can't be drawn another way, just made me laugh)

The Trouble said...

I like the little snake dude hanging out in panel 3...

Brett Schiller (Sage) said...

oh and what would be PVPMMS without its trademark nitpick!

Panel 4: medussa's line should end with a question mark. (i know prob been said before)

TheOriginalJes said...

This is the second time in several weeks that we've seen the tension build up to a point, then gently dispersed.

I hesitate to call it anti-climatic this time because, unlike The Bonnie Situation, I think it works here.

Although, I do hope that surprise twists that fizzle, rather than pop (or explode, even), don't become the norm.

I, too, also enjoyed Scratch's taunting of Zeus.

I would offer that Medusa could have been a bit more snarky with Zeus. I think it would have flowed better to see her be snippy in a less-than-formal tone. Although, I admit, I don't know to what extend Scott has planned their past relationship.

birdman said...


Nitpick on the nitpick!

I read her line as a command. She's demanding her key, not asking for it.

birdman said...

Damn, I can't count. Final panel is #5, penultimate panel is #4, and Sage's nitpick is still valid.

Should just delete my comment, but I feel like leaving my dumbassery for all to see.

Brett Schiller (Sage) said...

meh its ok, im not a grammar expert, i wasn't sure if it was a question mark or an interobang.

Julia said...

birdman, I do the same all the time. I think it feels like there should be four panels, but they are drawn small, so Kurtz fits five in where four should be.

Scott said...

Julia, there were supposed to be five panels. I chose the correct amount of panels for that strip. There were not supposed to be four. Four would have been one too few in the panels department.

1,2,3,4,5 panels. All in a row.

Julia said...

I meant in terms of the size of the space. Your panels are small. You should spread out a bit. I know you're probably trying to make sure people who still use 800x600, but by my view, there's plenty of blank space that could be taken up with a bit of a spread. Then there would be less crowding and the panels would look like normal sized panels.

paulsouthworth said...

Scott, Julia has been making comic strips going on 75 years now, okay?

I think she knows a little bit about pacing and composition.


Brett Schiller (Sage) said...

Ah and with that statement you wonder why stuff devolves sometimes.

Anyway 9/23 strip-
I liked it all the way around. The art continues to be high quality as the mythical creatures remain very detailed (Medussa's serpent in the 2nd panel was great) and overall done well (art isnt my strong suit so ill leave the nits to be picked by otheres). The writing was great too as Skull's gag in one panel made me chuckle more than the last week (the last week being more adventure then comedy)

The only line that stuck out was Scratch's about being double-crossed. I know he is a bad-ass in this story but Medussa is the one that expedited his friend's return, the one to not trust is Zeus. But thats the only nit, I don't think the whole sweater falls apart due to that.

paulsouthworth said...

I'm obviously trying to be funny about it, but I really don't understand what makes some people think they can tell other people how to do their jobs. It kind of blows my mind, really. It's one thing to talk amongst yourselves about it and discuss what you did or didn't like, but when you're addressing the creator directly and saying, "Nope, you should have done it this way.", even after he explains why he did it the way he did it. I mean, what makes you think you have enough information to make such a call? I guess it's just a matter of personal self-confidence and steadfast belief in your own opinions, but I would never presume to tell someone how to do their job, especially if I only had a passive relationship with said line of work, i.e. a comics reader. I mean, I've watched a lot of jackhammering in my day, but I don't walk up to dudes in the street and tell them they're doing it wrong. I mean, what the hell do I know? Maybe it looks like he's about to pulverize his own foot, but maybe that's all part of the technique he's cultivated over the last 25 years of jackhammering, and I'll just look like a total idiot if I say something. I just don't have that kind of confidence in my knowledge of jackhammering to make that kind of statement, but Julia obviously doesn't suffer from my shortcomings, so maybe I'm the idiot?

I don't know, I just think maybe it's presumptuous and maybe a little rude to tell people how to do their jobs, and it bugs me.

Carry on!

The Trouble said...

I'm kinda ashamed I actually recognize those hands. Made me laugh though!

Rdy said...

"I mean, I've watched a lot of jackhammering in my day, but I don't walk up to dudes in the street and tell them they're doing it wrong."

What if the worker came up to you and asked you if you had any comments or questions about his work? Would you express your worries about him losing a foot then?

To be fair, in Julia's case, Scott didn't explain anything really, he simply shot her down for having an opinion.

I know this keeps getting expressed a lot but I really don't think people are telling Scott what to do. They might be commenting on how they think things could have been improved but I'm fairly sure they're not expecting Scott to change his ways just because of their comments (and given how often he repeats those sentiments himself - neither is he).

paulsouthworth said...


Maybe I would offer an opinion if asked, but I would still be hesitant. If a creator of a comic strip I read offered to answer my questions or comments, I wouldn't say, "You should to it this way", I would ask "Why did you do it this way?". Maybe I think it would have been better another way, but I would never presume to tell him or her how to do what they do, I would ask questions of them in order to gain insight on why they make those decisions. Right away, Julia came out with "Kurtz fits five in where four should be", suggesting that she, as the reader, knows better than Scott, the creator. Maybe if she had phrased it differently, like maybe, "I wonder why Scott did that?", or "It seems like there are one too many panels, I wonder why Scott felt the need to split the strip into five?", it wouldn't bug me as much. I find it to be a presumptuous attitude, I guess.

Then, granted, Scott responds snarkily, but who can blame him? I would be pretty snarky if someone started tell me how to do my job, even if I did ask for questions and/or comments. He responded in kind, as far as I'm concerned. If she'd asked a civilized question or made a neutral comment, he would have answered more nicely or maybe explained himself. As it is, he's rewarding rudely-phrased, presumptive comments with flip remarks, which I think is a pretty fair exchange :)

Brett Schiller (Sage) said...

@ Paul
But the difference between the snarky comment of "Julia doing this for 75years" and your explanation that is thought out about your frustration leads to different opinions about you. If that second commentary about the frustration of an artist hearing from their audience like they know better came first I would have come more to your side then "Paul's being a snarky bitch." I know both sides are guilty of that but if you are the person that tries to explain it in that way isnt coming from a negative way you won't get as much de-evolution of conversation. Like you said she could have just phrased it wrong, or she was assuming that she knew beter, the response should be about the same

YES YES I know I've been a flailing bitch too, its a human thing but thats just where I was coming from with my comment.

The Trouble said...

I agree with a lot of what Paul said. I'm a graphic designer so I'm used to getting feedback and criticism on my work. Of course I am producing work for a client and it's considerably less subjective then a comic strip or traditional fine art.

That being said if a client has a problem, let's say with the legibility of a certain aspect of my work, there are basically two ways they can handle it:

1. They can simply say that this part is hard to read and I need address it.

2. They can tell me to increase the type to 14pts, make the text bright red and bold the whole paragraph.

Now I'd much rather get the first kind of response, because I'm a professional and I know what I'm doing. I have many clients that insist on telling me line by line what to do to fix it, and most of the time I disagree with those instructions. It can actually go a long way towards making me unhappy with the final product. Give me the problems and I'll find the solutions.

Now Julia made a lot of comments that I think if she thought about a little more she'd realize are massive undertakings and really not viable (resizing the strip).

However if you distill what she said down to it's essence, it's basically that she thinks there is a lot going on in the comic and it feels too busy. That's a valid comment. Maybe it's too late to do anything about it on this current strip, but Scott be aware that it's an issue for some people in future strips.

Brett Schiller (Sage) said...

Also, the jackhammer-er (sp?) job isn't a job that is up to a public audience. The response you get to jobs such as that, crane operator, pig inseminator, carpenter, stock trader, generally are more of an objective results I.e. do this the job gets done and only really people with that skill will really know if you mess up.

Jobs such as artists, entertainers, sports figures, politicians are more subjective as even if you do a sucessful job you are at the behest of people's opinions. (thats why there are so many starving artists that don't get appreciated until post mortem, or backup QB's in the NFL that fans want to see) People outside of expert can see and comment on things as good or bad on basic to moderate levels of knowledge. In those professions "can't please all of the people all of the time" is just the mantra you face.

Its true with any job that deals with the public. There have been many times in the two years ive been a physical therapist where a person has gained ROM and strength and been better overall but once the bill comes we were horrible and only watched TV. Or NOTHING has changed but they feel better so you're the greatest thing. There have even been times when someone's bad mouth someone to a doctor and then they come back and WANT TO BE with that therapist again. At least in my profession you can't throw people under the buss or blast them for not knowing because pretty soon people just won't come back. At least in my case you smile and take the good with the bad because its something I love to do.

I know its different from personal interaction to the anonymity of the internet and hearing the same thing over and over again would make you spout off ever once in a while.

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

@ the trouble
Even if you got the 2nd comment would you respond by trying to explain why you'd do it a different way or /sarcasm "Yeah you know what you're doing, im just the graphic designer is all" /sarcasm ?

Even if people talk out there ass they think they are right and your response goes a long way to them thinking you an ass or something better

Brett Schiller (Sage) said...

but to be fair if someone is being an asshat for an extended period of time they do need to be blasted.

Ill prepare to be blasted as we speak :)

The Trouble said...

Well that's true, and this is where I think Scott and Paul (on Scott's behalf) are coming off a little overly sensitive.

When I get response #2 I address it the same way I'd address it if they gave me response #1. Which is I do it the right way and convince them I'm right. This works 75% of the time.

But. I'm closer then anyone else to the work so there are often times that I don't see that the text is illegible. So no matter how the problem is brought to my attention, I now know there is a problem. And if the final quality of the work is the ultimate goal, then my bruised ego is secondary to the final product.

I just listened to the new WW podcast where Mike basically said that exact same thing with Penny Arcade.

Obviously it's pretty easy to say all this, getting 40 nitpick comments a day is enough to kill anyone's patience. Anyone in any creative pursuit goes through this, it's just part of the job.

Brett Schiller (Sage) said...

@ the trouble
Last paragraph - exactly

paulsouthworth said...

If there was a website like this dedicated to Ugly Hill, I'd feel so flattered at first.

Then I'd read it every day for a week and eventually jam a sharpened pencil up into my brain.

Brett Schiller (Sage) said...

Well I hope its a number 2 then. you know so you can fill out forms after you do that.

Julia said...

I thought I made it clear that I understand WHY the panels can't be spread out. Obviously you need to please the lowest common denominator (people who still use 800x600 screen res.) But it should be obvious that there are other things that can be done. Because the panels are way too small. That is a space for four panels where there are five. It's just how it is. There's really no way to argue with that.

(Yes, I know, you will come back and argue that I'm wrong, now. Go ahead, it's amusing.)

Scott said...

The difference, trouble, is that Mike is getting his input from a trusted peer, not a website like this.

Mike and Jerry trust each other when it comes to making the strip. They have no ego with each other.

But Mike and Jerry have a very strict policy about listening or reacting to criticism.

If you think they would be interested in the input of a site like this, you're mistaken.

Julia said...

So, Scott, stop taking the input. Ignore this site. I'm not sure why that is so difficult for you.

Scott said...

It's not the panels that are too small, Julia, it's your heart.


Scott said...

Well, to be honest Julia, your "insight" into my work is pretty off. So I feel like if nothing else, I should be here just to offer counterpoints to whatever it is you type.

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

No, honestly. There have been sites on the internet at times that caused my blood to boil to the point where I decided to just stop going to that site. Makes life much more enjoyable if you can manage not to give a website the satisfaction of it pissing you off.

As obvious by all your responses, you aren't going to take any word posted here as good intentioned advice or even consider that there may be even a sliver of truth to it. So why read it? What benefit do you derive from it?

paulsouthworth said...

If you can't understand why it's so hard to ignore a site where people are critiquing your work, you obviously don't know what it's like to out your work out there for public consumption.

Also, the fact that you think Scott is doing his strip in a certain size to accommodate one screen resolution or another just shows how little you know about this subject! I'm sorry Julia, you are wrong.

Let's argue about it.

paulsouthworth said...

Julia, were any of those websites that caused your "blood to boil" dedicated solely to something that you have created?

If there were a blog out there whose sole purpose it was to critique your job performance every day, you're telling me you wouldn't read it?


Julia said...

So what you're saying is that all this time that Scott claimed he had blocked the site and wasn't reading it, he was lying?

I think that if he wasn't lying and he really wasn't reading for the past few months, you have been a very bad friend by reporting to him what was being said.

Brett Schiller (Sage) said...

Oh jesus.
drop it, not because you are annoying but becayse Paul and Scott are working up their act. Scott is the big tough bulldog that will snark to whatever you say. Paul is the little yappy dog saying "yeah spike your right". i don't think you'll get through to them.

The Trouble said...

@scott - I knew this was going here... yes I realize that, my point is they have a mechanism in place to make sure they produce the best possible work.

Your a smart guy you can tell the quality difference between "PvP Sucks" and the comment about Gnatalies eyelids creating some confusion as to her expression/where she was looking.

He pointed something out and now you can see it from his perspective. But despite his lack of credentials your reaction showed it was a good catch.

Now it's up to you now to decide if you want to take those little lines off her eyelids or not. Does removing them compromise the character? Is it a relatively minor change that will help more people enjoy the comic? That's your call.

paulsouthworth said...

I honestly don't know if he was reading or not (and I certainly wasn't giving him daily progress reports), but if I had to guess based on my own crippling insecurities, I'd say he was lying through his teeth! I know I would.

But again, only Scott's hairdresser knows for sure.

Julia said...

Yeah, Brett, I know. But I'm home sick and have nothing better to do!

R.W.McGee said...

I actually have to say, that although I generally agree with your analysis Julia...I think you are way off base here. You thought the strip would have been better with a different amount of panels, Scott replied that no, he chose the number he wanted...that seems pretty open and shut. Semantics of criticism aside what are you still arguing about?

Brett Schiller (Sage) said...

go old school with Snood Julia! :)

paulsouthworth said...


No, she won't get through to us because she's wrong! Even a little yappy shitstain of a dog like me can see that.


Julia said...

RW, he (and you) misunderstood what my complaint was. I wasn't complaining about the number of panels. I was complaining that in general his panels are WAY TOO small.

Brett Schiller (Sage) said...

ok we all made our points lets stop.

paulsouthworth said...

Julia, I'm looking through the comments here and I don't think you answered my question.

I can't accuse you of lying if you don't even answer me!

Julia said...

Have I had this sort of site devoted to my work that I have ignored? No. But have the sites I've ignored been critical of me and things I love? Yes.

Anonymous said...

*raises hand* I has question!

In today's strip, is the guy Skull is with supposed to be Ethan/Buckley/someone from CAD? The style looks similar and it seems like an entertaining cameo/jab/whatever.

The Trouble said...

yeah it's ethan.

The Trouble said...

was fucking hilarious, BTW

paulsouthworth said...

Julia, here was my question: If there were a blog out there whose sole purpose it was to critique your job performance every day, you're telling me you wouldn't read it?

And then I said LIES, anticipating your response.

Julia said...

If that was the question, why would I bother answering? You would believe whatever you cared to anyway.

Now then, enough of this. Brett is right. And I should nap anyway.

paulsouthworth said...

Clever girl!

paulsouthworth said...

Which is to say, not a very clever way at all to avoid the question.

Good job!

Which is to say, of course: bad job.

R.W.McGee said...

I would have avoided it by pretending I only spoke Latin.

Quod est agrabus summus via sic transit? (<--doesn't mean anything)

Brett Schiller (Sage) said...

RW my mothe was a saint take that back!


R.W.McGee said...

mis perdoleo, tu est mater transit sic parveo parvum agricolae? Tu estus malus.

paulsouthworth said...

J'ai parié que Julia n'est pas même malade.

R.W.McGee said...

Je ne sais pas, mais, je suis tres malade...dans le tete.

joe said...

Je ne pouvais pas dire qui était avec Crâne, jusqu'à Anonyme a dit qu'il était Ethan. Ensuite, la bande dessinée a été dix fois plus hilarant!

I had to reword it a few times to get a sentence that the translation wouldn't completely mess up.

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