Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I have no title

So Cole is all by himself for thanksgiving while his estranging wife takes their kids elsewhere, and he's happy? Perhaps even giddy, given his expression in panel three. I...really?

I will say I like Max's new look via the art upgrade.

Thanksgiving Day Update: This didn't click with me until I saw today's strip, but since when does Brent own a house?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Ranty Rant Rant

I've been quiet during this storyline for a number of reasons. Partly because I was curious to see where it was going. Partly because I've had a terrible sore throat for the last few days and haven't felt like doing much of anything.

But after today's strip, I feel I need to chime in. 

I think I see where this is going; the boys now assume that Max is gay, because he's said things that might imply it. But he hasn't actually said it, so by the sitcom rules that PvP seems to adhering to as of late, there will be a wacky mix up.

With Brent and Cole now competing to impress Max, I expect a series of wacky double entendres and misunderstood phrases centered around a thanksgiving dinner, ending with Max proclaiming that he is in fact, straight and the boys are immature jerks for only wanting to be his friend after assuming he was "gay for them" during the college years. 

This behavior, by the way, doesn't even remotely make sense character wise for Brent or Cole. Cole's hatred all these years for what amounts to an imagined slight? Really? And now a contest to impress their new gay friend? 

Ugh. This is terrible and I'll be counting the days until this arc is over.

Just, no.

Today's is the first strip that I believe should not exist. I'm not even going to link to it.

While not openly hateful (and I do not believe that SK is trying to be hateful), it promotes negative stereotypes; it's retarded to the point of almost being offensive.

(SK: "Asshole." FSM: "Fuck you. It's a terrible strip.").

Friday, November 21, 2008

OMG... teh GAY

I have always been ambivalent about Cole. He's not a terribly interesting character, and the "divorce" storyline, which had potential to reveal hidden depths, just made me angry.

Now, Cole has revealed himself to be such a dorknozzle (Old Wounds) that we find out he's been holding a grudge based on an imagined slight for years. It's just another example of lazy writing (SK: "Asshole." FSM: "Right, right...").

Why, in heaven's name, did it have to be like that? Would it have been so difficult to write it in such a way that she actually was was an old girlfriend, who just happened to start hanging out with Max after she broke up with Cole? That's an imagined slight that's believable.

(On a completely separate note, and I'm withholding judgment on this, but if this turns out to be a "look, we haz a gay now" storyline, I'm going to be pissed.)

So, Cole's an idiot, and were these real people, the level of hatred he holds for Max about an ex-non-girlfriend would clearly reflect on the state of his marriage in some way. (What ever happened with that? Oh yeah, nothing.)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Daisy, daisy...

I waited until today to see where this was going... But yesterday's strip (Excuses, excuses) is an example of what I like to call "lazy writing." I don't know what professionals call it, but I'm guessing "top shelf" isn't it. (I'll save Scott (and perhaps Paul) the trouble -- "Hey FSM: Fuck you asshole." Fair enough.)

In what universe would any person interpret a declined Thanksgiving invitation as a total personal rejection? I understand that good feelings for Max are in short supply, but Thanksgiving is traditionally a time for family and any reasonable person would accept Cole and Brent's family-related excuses as understandable.

This could have easily been fixed.

Scenario 1:

Max: Hey guys! I'm on my own for Thanksgiving this year and was looking for some company.

Cole &/or Brent: Uh, sorry Dude, we've got plans with our families.

Max: Ah, of course, I just thought I'd ask. Well... how about the weekend after?

... At which point excuses can get thinner, and negative inferences can be more reasonably drawn by Max.

Or, scenario 2:

Max: Hey guys! I'm on my own for Thanksgiving this year and was looking for some company.

Cole &/or Brent: What, are you kidding? I wouldn't spend Thanksgiving with you if you stuffed yourself with a duck stuffed inside a chicken stuffed inside a goose.

At which point their distaste for Max has become obvious, and Max can let fly with the hurt feelings.

If I sound grumpy today, it's because I am. Sorry!! >kisses<

(On the up side I think I just came up with my Halloween costume for next year.)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Excuses, Excuses

Well, this is a bit unexpected. But it's also a good thing. The implication that Max seems to have known about his unpopularity for awhile is a good way to set this storyline up. Max 

has often been one of the more one-note characters and it'll be nice to see him (potentially) experience the same character growth as the others. 

Except for the girls, who're stuck in some sort of a rut. Zing!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Trek On

The comic.

Having seen the trailer for this new Trek movie, I'm inclined to agree with Brent.

I'm not sure why Jade and Cole would be bothered by Brent's comments though. Sure it's a little morbid. But a good idea is a idea.

It seems like Cole's collar flip is switching sides throughout the strip today.

And once again, the "camera" is way too close to the action.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Not worth reading. (This post, that is.)

Today's strip (Easy Reader), and a few of the strips recently, have been of the kind I like -- one-off, lightweight, slightly contemplative strips that can be appreciated on their face if liked, and easily dismissed if disliked, knowing that something new is coming tomorrow.

I happen to have liked this one; I did not like the WoW strip a few days ago, but, as I said, as it was a one-off, it is easily dismissed.

Anyway, that's really all I have to say today. Except that Jade's continually bug-eyed appearance is starting to get to me.

I told you this post wasn't worth reading.

Easy Reader

I like Brent's "you're not listening!" reaction. 

Beyond that, sort of an average comic. Nothing stands out as especially bad, but nor is this what I would clarify as a 'keeper' comic.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Art Imitates Game Imitates Life

See, this is what we've been missing! A funny strip that blends WoW humor with PvP.

It's a shame the rest of this week has been so hum-drum, but today's strip is excellent.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


The comic.

Isn't aggravated assault specifically using a deadly weapon? At least here in the U.S. anyway.

I saw the punchline coming as soon as I read the first panel. Maybe I just watch too many cartoons, but it seems like a very overused joke. Why not mix things up a bit? Make Cole the Judge figure, or something.

Unfortunately, I don't have much else to say about the strip today.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Horde vs. Alliance

The only thing I have to say about today's strip is:

I liked this joke better when it was Cole and Brent in the bar. 

Er, Veterans Day

A quick post to warm back into it...

I like the sentiment behind Veterans Day, but (shock!) a couple of things bother me:

1. I wouldn't have included the Office reference. If you're making a point like this, don't dilute it.

2. I would have tried to find better, more authentically military sounding dialogue for Francis, to better get across the point -- the point being that by pretending to participate in military activities, we trivialize those actually serving in the military.

3. PVP characters in profile continue to look weird to me. They both look like muppets in the last two panels.

In this case it's the thought that counts though.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veterens Day


I get the message of the comic, but I think it would work better if Francis' dialogue were more disrespectful. The sort of trash talk one usually hears on Xbox Live, for instance. Right now Cole is just a jerk, slapping the controller away with silent judgment.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Quest Giver

Ah yes, the week of a WoW expansion. I'm hoping for a few strips covering this sucker, personally.

Today's comic is actually really good. I love the reactions in the last panel, especially Jade's indignation. Today's writing is everything that's right with gaming comics as far as I'm concerned.

Also, while I'm all for the rule of cool, I don't think there's that much of a difference, art wise, between a question mark and an exclamation point. That said, it doesn't ruin the joke either.

Late breaking technicality: Rep Grinder NPCs have blue question marks. You win this round, Kurtz.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Check and Mate

H-uh. I didn't expect a follow up to yesterdays strip. 

Maybe it's the close up compared to yesterday but the art feels much more streamlined here. I can't tell if it's better or worse for it though. All the chess pieces look white though.

I don't quite get the extended index finger thing. Is Brent tipping over the panda's piece, or moving one of his own? Yes, it's a small detail but still something worth mentioning.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Panda "Attack"

Alright, so Cole just looks weird in that first panel. Maybe it's just because we don't see the legs very often, much less in motion. But his shirt looks like a thick sweater or something at the bottom. That's my only art nitpick.

So yeah, it's a panda strip. I sort of thought we were done with these since the "panda-chun" storyline but I guess not. And this is a clever twist on the usual gag, I admit. 

I didn't find it especially funny, but your milage may vary.

This is. my post.

It's sad that my first post back has to be about misplaced punctuation. It's barely worth mentioning.

So I won't. (It'll probably get fixed anyway.)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Day After

Hi, it's me, your long-missing founder and crank-in-chief.

We haven't really talked about politics here, and for good reason. This is a trite diversion devoted to meta-commentary about a single web comic. But I've been living and dying with the American election for the past few months, and now that it's over, I realize I simply haven't had any room in my brain for anything but hope. Hope that intelligence would overcome pandering, hope that broad ideas would overcome single issues, hope even that hope itself would defeat fear. And it has.

If you're not an American, you probably can't understand what last night meant to many of us.

At first glance it seems like we have overcome the last eight years of inept governance, an impressive feat in and of itself. But in truth it's bigger than that. For almost a generation, American politics have been run by ideologues -- decisions on who to vote for and what issues to talk about have been made based on personality and narrow interests, meaning more and more that the whole point of being in office was to maintain the power, rather than actually use that power.

The Republican party, long the home of social and fiscal conservatives, finally painted itself into a corner. Through extreme incompetence, and (ironically) by both adhering to and straying from their fiscal ideals, they finally managed to thoroughly trash the economy so badly that they've alienated even the conservatives in America. And that is no small feat.

I laughed at today's strip. Being a Bloom County fan from way back (wayyy back) I immediately recognized it, and I appreciated the effort.

Being an American for the past 10 years has felt a little like being in the Meadow Party -- not that I'd compare Al Gore or John Kerry to Bill the Cat, but we have struggled for so long, not understanding why our message didn't get out, playing against opponents who far out-weighed us and were willing to use any trick in the book to defeat us.

I have no illusions that our next president is not a politician, with many of the things that that implies, but the nature of his campaign, the nature of his supporters, his own unflappable temperament and nature tells me that we have turned a big corner.

I have heard it said that wealth is still a divisive issue in European politics. For whatever reason, Americans have overcome that for the most part -- we fancy ourselves a classless society. What we have instead is a less-logical fear of intelligence and a fear of "elite" which is not the same as "elitist."

Our new President-Elect is intelligent, hard-working, intellectually curious, charismatic, and seems to truly care about us and the job that has just landed on his shoulders.

He has a big job ahead of him, an amazingly big job, but he is exactly the kind of person we need working for us.

Thus endeth the election.

The Day After

I don't really get this one.

I guess it's a reference to some political comics...but this doesn't even feel like a PvP strip. This feels like a random drawing that Kurtz stuck Skull into so he could call it a PvP strip.

Also, could someone tell me what Skull's dialogue means?

Edit: For the record, when I was a wee lad, my paper didn't carry Bloom County.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Smith/Jones '08

Once again, I feel like Kurtz is using his cast as finger puppets for a personal joke.

Brent has never shown himself to be a fan of Doctor Who. In fact, the series has never been mentioned in the comic before. So why reference it now? Oh, right...because Kurtz has suddenly become a fan and thus one or more of his characters are now fans by proxy. /sigh.

Now, if the strip were Kurtz himself voting for the Doctor, that'd be a horse of a different color.

The old woman's dialogue feels pretty forced in the second panel as well. Is there really a reason for her to tack on "...for president of the United States?" to that sentence?

The punchline fell pretty flat for me as well. I mean, there could have been some witty comment but instead we get a very tired (if you're a who fan) "just The Doctor" joke.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Election Carol '08

This a cute little strip.

The art looks...well, fantastic really. Maybe it's all the costumes? Brent has a case of mitten-hands in the first panel, though that's hardly a new thing.

Not a nitpick, but an observation: Skull looks smaller than usual in panel two. It's either a trick of the perspective, or black is much more slimming than I've realized.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Monster Hunters, Finale

Sorry about the delay in getting this up folks. I got eaten by a grue last night and there's no wifi in those things stomachs.

Thus it ends.

I thought this was a clever way to wrap up the story arc.

I'm a bit torn now that the arc is over though. I feel like there was a lot of missed potential here. Now granted, there's only so much ground you can cover in eight strips.

On the other hand, it was enjoyable as a lighthearted halloween story. Which is all Kurtz intended, I think.

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