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Okay, I've got some snark for you:Holy shit, this comic strip is about a video games magazine? Scott Kurtz, you just blew my mind.
@ ESThe only weird thing was the perspective on Cole's eyebrow that seem like one flowing loop away from his head
I liked it, I'm going to wait more then a couple strips to say that 'PvP is back' but it has finally ceased making me sad.
Kurtz is also unaware of the speculation (and round-about dismissal) of the Lego tie-in themes being re-absorbed into the upcoming Lego MMO.It's a shame Kurtz isn't more of a games player so that a mention of actual games in a comicstrip about a games magazine isn't such a rare event, though.
The lack of the gaming element in PvP has always been one of it's main criticisms.10 years ago it was hard to sustain a webcomic that wasn't about gaming, or at least wouldn't appeal to the gamer population. Maybe it's just because I was there, but it seems a lot of the earliest webcomics grew out of Ultima Online, Kurtz's Samwise among them.So while I believe PvP was never really supposed to be "a gamer comic", I think it was initialy sold that way to appeal to that market. Not that I have any sort of problem with that.
About the latest strip (sorry but I don't want to wait for the next post): - It's now blatantly obvious that there's something up with Skull: ever since he's come back he hasn't smiled ONCE. He's always cranky, for crying out loud. And we haven't even seen him in his trademark spazzy look (see the center panel in http://www.pvponline.com/2007/03/15/mar-15-2007/ - apologies for the unlikely example, it's the first I found out of my scrapbook) - I also think it's apparent that all strips involving Skull are the intruduction to a (long?) storyarc on what happened to him (what caused him to change/ if it's someone else passing for him/ whatnot). - I really, REALLY hope that the reason for Skull's behaviour is humouristic and not character development. Please note that I don't mean "funny": as the latest strips show, you can make a funny strip out of a completely serious setting. To make it more clear: I would really be upset if it turned out that Skull has grown over his spazziness (unlikely, I know, but I'm just trying to make a point) instead of (again, same boring idea) him having been replaced, resulting in the boys going on a whacky adventure against Magic, Inc. to bring the real Skull back. - I'm actually enjoying the change of pace (i.e. one strip in the current storyarc interspersed among nerd jokes/ office jokes/ current facts). It may be too slow for some, but you have to give it to Kurtz that he's putting thought into planning and dosing the material. Plus, I have this feeling that he's only building up hype, and once the troll's out of the bag we'll have some good action. - I like the way the art is evolving: it looks a lot more mature. Of course not all changes are appreciated (Cole's and Skull's flying monobrows? The Giant Forearms of Doom (TM)? Really? Wouldn't it be better to change Cole's horrible bi-triangular tie and featureless shirt instead? They look horrible in the new "realistic" style), but again you have to give it to SK that he's really putting effort in pushing the limits of the strip. I also think the art's starting to seriously benefit from the new Cintiq (and, letting out some snark, that after only 10 years Kurtz is finally grasping the concept that "light strokes go in the background, heavier strokes go in the front") - Overall, I think I see a marked evolution in the strip over the last year, moving from sitcom to TV show (think Friends against Dr. Who). It's hard to put my finger on, but the overall feeling is of greater breadth and ease with the medium.
In the future will we look back and decide that the changes that occurred around the tenth anniversary (wedding, skull leaving, etc.) would be when PvP jumped the shark?It just doesn't feel the same anymore and that's what makes me sad.
If anything, I'd say the strip is heading more towards the predictable sitcom format than away from it and as FCMS mentions, it felt like it switched tracks from the beginning of the wedding.The party strip today feels rushed/cramped with Francis squashed into the far right of the last frame. It doesn't help that the punchline (that Francis doesn't really care about the party, it's just about the cake for him) is blown on the 3rd panel.
I think the point in today's story is that Skull isn't feeling appreciated wherever he is. So the question of the day would have to be, "Is there a PVP without Skull?"However this plays out, I'm looking forward to more than just a one or two-strip rant from Skull about his displeasure or disappointment.But, I'm afraid that, since I'm in the minority on the longer story-arcs, we'll only get just that.If it's as simple as Skull getting lost in the mall, then realizing how much the gang means to him, I'd be happier than with a cop-out temper-tantrum and shallow apologies.There's just too much opportunity for SK to go wild, here. Even if it takes a while to build to it.
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