Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Keymaster

I wish I had more to say about today's strip, but instead I'm just making a rolling hand gesture, silently urging this story to get a move on. 

Again, I'd like to see the camera pulled back a bit. It looks like they've gone outside to an alleyway behind the bar so Shecky can give him the key in secret, but that isn't something that the reader should need to pause and think about. It should be obvious and it took me a second to process the brickwork in the background.

Maybe it's just me, but does anyone else think the key shape is different in panels 2 and 3? The head looks more elongated when Shecky's holding it and there's an extra tooth when Scratch holds it.

So now Scratch has a key to Arcadia (or whatever you want to call the land of mystic creatures). This should be interesting. Hell, this should be something Shecky gives to the rest of the cast so they can get their friend back like Cole promised they would.

I can only assume tomorrow's strip will be an over the shoulder shot of Scratch looking through a door into magic land. Maybe if we're lucky, he'll stay there.


Jai said...

Scratch is doing the David Caruso thing heavily this week - putting on his shaded goggles just so he can take them off again a moment later. Heh. Shecky's explanation of the key is a little confusing - will it take Scratch only to places he wants to go in THEIR world, or in our world as well? Shecky did say it turns doors into portals to THEIR world, so the follow-up of "It will take you straight to where you want to go" doesn't seem to fit.

Mental note to self: Shecky IS wearing a shirt. That's why there is a button on his chest.

Also: Never hand Shecky a punchline. I mean, well, never hand him any part of a story. But definitely not the punchline.

I didn't even realize the location was supposed to have changed, but it looks like you're right, Scribe.

Anonymous said...

The thing that spoils the punchline for me is the blatant signposting.

"She, uh... lets me borrow it from time to time,"

The pause, the emphasis and Shecky's documented character flaws all point to him stealing things for personal gain so the impact of Scratch's observation has been dispersed somewhat. It would have been a better line without the "uh..." or the bold type.

I had no idea about the change of location and checking back, as we'd not seen any bar interior backgrounds, there's hardly any indication that they've gone outside.

Anonymous said...

@Anon 11:53

There's a bit of brickwork in the background of the last panel. Though now I'm not sure if it's supposed to represent the outside, or just the shoddiness of the bar.

Adam said...

Umm...can't his girlfriend or whatever see into people's souls and know what they did or are about to do? Wouldn't she know he stole her stuff? So much for a secret.

J said...

I like the change of setting, but think that, in hindsight, the entire "interrogation" should have happened in the alley in the first place. Make Scratch more like Marv from Sin City, backalley beatdown style.

I saw what you saw, only I got Vin Diesel in Chronicles of Riddick.

..wait a sec, did Scott just steal the Keymaker plot from the Matrix?

Anonymous said...

I guess it's a straightforward IF there's a background THEN you're not in the bar any more but it's not like there's a great deal of room left for 'not bar' indicators. Like ES said, having not seen the bar, we don't really know if the brickwork isn't just part of this dive's decrepit interior and SK just fancied drawing a background for a change.

I really hoped that Scratch pulling the goggles down marked a full-stop in the Shecky/Scratch interaction - a kind of "Right, I'm off then!" gesture but raising them again does make the end of yesterday's strip just look like a token action to make the image a little more interesting.

Anonymous said...

"..wait a sec, did Scott just steal the Keymaker plot from the Matrix?"

Or the doorway gimmick from Sci-fi's "The Lost Room".

(still miffed that never got turned into a series...)

The Pimp Reaper said...

I have to agree with whoever-the-hell up there. Shecky's way of talking makes if very clear that he stole the thing. And then, oh look, the punchline is that--- he... stole the thing? That's the punchline? Really?


R.W.McGee said...


punchline (eng) n.

def: The part of the comic which, after reading, makes me punch myself for having read the preceding parts.

J said...


edit (eng) v.
alt: editor (eng) n.

def: word/concept/practice does not exist

Anonymous said...


commenter (eng) n.

def: any of a larger cadre of losers who spend all day trolling the comments section trying to convince each other how much they AREN'T obsessed with PvP.

Jai said...

What a ridiculous stance to take. This place is solely PVP-related. Are you really trying to argue that "we all" think we're not taking PVP perhaps obsessively seriously? You were doing pretty well until you mentioned the "larger" cadre. And then how we troll "our" own site. All day. And not a single thought was spared to keep your definition from including yourself! It's shoddy work.

Anonymous said...

I think that's really the funniest thing about people posting variations on the "Haha! Look at these losers coming to this place to read and talk about something they're interested in! Losers!" as whatever their position on posting here, they always set themselves lower.

I mean, coming here and taking part in something you're desperately trying to imply you look down on / have no interest in? Yes, you lead a full and meaningful life without a moment to spare for trivialities, don't you? :)

Anyhoo... today's strip, Monsters Inc - another one that ends with Scratch posturing. What is this, the third or fourth now?

Anonymous said...

Guys, if you hate people commenting on the way you shouldn't comment on PVP if you hate it so much, then why do you comment on people making such comments?

Anonymous said...

Hate? Hate the fanboys and hate PvP? :) Man, talk about reading in what you want to see. What bit of finding something funny implies I hate it?

I'm fine with the fanboys running in with their silly comments as long as they're fine with me laughing at them for doing so.

The 'You either love everything about PvP or you hate it completely' mindset is so hilariously moronic, you can't help but smile when one of these chuckleheads opens their yap and lets loose with another steaming pile of brain-shit.

Jai said...

Yes, I was clearly seething with hatred. It took all of my willpower just to refrain from stabbing my monitor as I typed.

Magic, Inc.: Hahahaha, the third panel absolutely kills me! It looks so much like Mr. Zeus Statue has been confronted with a giant nipple (Which is all but in his mouth). The only thing saving it is that there are a couple of non-nipple features, but man. That sure looks funny. Taste the milk of defeat, Mr. Zeus Statue!

I don't know that it's a statue of Zeus, but he's some head honcho so I'm going with it. I have no idea why he's still Robbie's statue, but it helps explain why people are so pissed off at the world of magic that they're trying to kill it with science. Hm, interesting shading on his fingers in the final panel - it looks good, but it really stands out (In a not-as-good way) because that's the only patch of black in the entire strip.

Scratch delivers the exact same sort of final panel "badass" line that he's already done three or four times this arc. Funny how that makes it seem like the arc hasn't advanced anywhere, yet.

Stephen Geigen-Miller said...

Scratch delivers the exact same sort of final panel "badass" line that he's already done three or four times this arc. Funny how that makes it seem like the arc hasn't advanced anywhere, yet.

I was just thinking the same thing, Jai.

My reaction after reading 'Magic, Inc.' was "I really hope this doesn't work."

Scratch getting results by going all gun-waving two-fisted Mad Science Guy started as a fun contrast to the dithering of the rest of the cast.

But really, he's just using violence to try to solve a complicated problem. And nobody likes seeing a bully just win and win and win.

I'm about ready for the cat to get slapped back down. It would change things up, and might just lead to some story and character progression.

And that may in fact be Scott's plan. Note that Scratch is now holding a gun to the head of someone who, if the fight at the wedding is anything to go on, doesn't care if his head gets blown off.

Brett Schiller (Sage) said...

So the statue fellow makes Skull become Scrathes imaginary friend to make him a better person (feline)? Its not like he could do any worse than with humans.

Anonymous said...

""..wait a sec, did Scott just steal the Keymaker plot from the Matrix?"

Or the doorway gimmick from Sci-fi's "The Lost Room".

(still miffed that never got turned into a series...)"

Or.. the use of keys in Stephen King's the Dark Tower, or the key in Alice in Wonderland... or ...
ah forget it... the use of magic key's to enter other worlds is very common symbol used often in science fiction and fantasy.

Anonymous said...

But it's a MAGIC gun that uses SCIENCE to destroy MAGIC! Get it? GET IT?!

I actually kind of like the idea of Scratch getting his ass kicked and going back to the offices to find Skull back as an imaginary creature for Francis.

The flip side of that would be horribly cliched. Scratch kicks the guy's ass, then finds out that Skull is all ready back at the office. HURRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR

I'm not sure where this story is going or could go that would be interesting to me. I wish it was. Unfortunately, today seems to prove that Scott drug out the past few days' panels simply so he could cliffhanger us because it's Friday, and it's not even because he had a genius last panel to hook us with.

Ah, bugger. Lazy fucking storytelling.

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