Monday, September 15, 2008

On the count of what now?

A commenter mentioned it recently, and it bears repeating: The titles for the strips aren't helping things.

Today's title is "count of two."

How does that not absolutely give away the entire joke? (Hint: There's no way in which it doesn't give away the entire joke.) If the strip is a gag strip (and it is), you're wasting the reader's time by ruining the joke ahead of time.

(The other thing that ruined the joke for me was when Scratch started with "three." I saw the "three", saw the "pzzap!" and thought Scratch had jumped the gun on purpose. That's obviously incorrect, but I had to back up to figure it out.)

I wish I knew what the motivation for the third panel is. Why are we looking at the secretary? Is she responding to the "pzzap" sound? And if she is, why is she looking down? If she's not, why does she have such a surprised look on her face?

One last note: It doesn't seem that the proofreading advice SK asked for is helping at the moment. [Update: Fixed now.]


Anonymous said...

1: Regarding your misunderstanding about scratch starting at three, you should learn to read correctly.

2: Most people I know read the strip...then the title and any information about it. Because you know...the strip is the first thing you see as you're going down the page.

3: The third panel is probably Scott's way of getting across the action without showing the violence. It's a pretty common tool in most media.

matt said...

That's all well and good, however the height of the image is not coded into the site (as it's occasionally a double strip), so there is a point at which the the title of the strip is displayed and the section for the comic is still collapsed while the strip image loads.

My point is, it's still possible to have the joke ruined by the title even if you aren't intentionally scrolling down for it.

I've never really had that problem personally, but a couple simple tests show it can happen.

Anonymous said...

Especially for readers who subscribe the RSS feed. The title is the first thing you see.

Anonymous said...

"Especially for readers who subscribe the RSS feed. The title is the first thing you see."

Or, as someone already pointed out, you're looking through the archives.

The whole 'I conducted an improbable straw poll of all my mates and found the point I'm championing is, amazingly, the most popular' is rather pointless anyway for an issue that could be easily avoided (or are you telling me Kurtz is unable to title the strips without making it a spoiler?).

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