Wednesday, November 5, 2008

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.

39 comments:

awa64 said...

It's a tribute to Berkeley Breathed's "Bloom County."

Matthew said...

It is a tribute to one of the all-time classic newspaper comics, right up there with Peanuts, Calvin & Hobbs and Lil Abner. Shocking that you are unfamiliar with it, would be like a music commentary site not getting a reference to the Beatles. But anyway, every election year Opus (the Penguin) and Bill the Cat (the Cat) would run for president and every time it would end with a strip like this. Good God man, I revoke your comic strip criticism privileges until you have read some of the Bloom County collections available at your local bookstore, library and on Amazon.

paulsouthworth said...

Yeah.

Wow.

paulsouthworth said...

I mean, even if you didn't know the characters (which is hard to believe, unless you're 13 years old), down in the lower right corner Scott wrote "Apologies to Breathed". A simple 5-second Google search for "Breathed" brings up his official website, and an additional ten seconds of searching would probably have told you everything you need to know.

I would say you should have done your homework before making the post, but 15 seconds of internet searching barely qualifies as "work".

RC said...

I don't blame you because I didn't get it either. That comic strip was never in my daily or weekend newspaper growing up. Regardless, Kurtz is free to spoof any comic strip he likes, it's just that in this case he risks making a reference to something web comic readers aren't familiar with.

So what is the joke?

Bitsmack.com

Brett Schiller (Sage) said...

Yeah, I know Doonesbury has been around for the longest while, but ive read maybe 1 week of strips, the same as bloom county. I don't watch Doctor Who either so i don't get the reference either. True you should know who he is referencing (I knew the characters were from that strip) but I had no idea of the story lines of the strip.

Also, really Bloom county is equal to that of the beatles of comics? :) Id say more The Who or Pink Floyd. Great bands that weren't necessarily mainstream (ala Peanuts, Garfield) that have a strong followings, but people don't know EVERY detail of them. Plus if you read Bloom County backwards it synchs up with the Wizard of Oz. :)

TheOriginalJes said...

Actually, I'd say more of the U2 of comics. Most every kid in my school was reading the strip daily. (I also have a vague recollection of Dan Quayle making a Bill the Cat reference.)

TheOriginalJes said...

I think the real difficulty for SK, in this instance, is that (age-wise) he's at the upper end of the spectrum for his target audience. So, when he references something more personal to him, he stands out like "that guy".

TheOriginalJes said...

Oh yeah...

I loved the art in today's strip. It was almost a perfect rendition of Breathed's work.

Daddoo said...

It's not even the first time Kurtz has reffed Bloom County. We're talking nearly a decade ago.

If you're going to be a specialized PVP critic, you should probably be aware of his influences. And if you're going to be a comic strip critic of any type, maybe you should know something about one of the three most influential strips of the past few decades. Calvin & Hobbes. Far Side. Bloom County.

Every webcartoonist (or normal cartoonist) lists them as their most critical modern influence.

And to not even recognize it? Not just that this was a famous panel, but not even the characters contained within?

Wow, dude.

RC said...

So now it's come to criticizing the web comic criticizers? I think daddoo and matthew should join up to launch "PVP Makes Me Sad Makes Me Sad". :)

Bitsmack.com

Ben said...

Esoteric Scribe makes me sad.

@TheOriginalJes: The art was weirdly good. Down to Breathed's idiosyncratic shading habits. Good enough that I'd almost suspect a copy/paste. If not, though, then Kurtz... my hat is off to you.

paulsouthworth said...

You're right, RC. I guess we should have lower expectations of a person who identifies themselves as "Esoteric Scribe".

In other news, keep a lookout for my new webcomics criticism blog under my pseudonym, "Super-Cool Writer Guy"!

Reader said...

I know no one appointed you to write these critiques, and that anyone could've just started this blog (or in your case, join in) but I've really gotta question your qualifications if you haven't even heard of Bloom County.

It's one of the true greats, and one of the true modern classics, and the fact that you don't immediately recognize those characters on sight pretty much invalidates anything you've had to say and anything you will say on the topic of comic strips. Poser.

As for the strip, the art is simply amazing. It's spot on Breathed. Without the "apologies" caption I would've thought Kurtz had collaborated with Breathed on the strip. Bravo.

Jim Thorpe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jim Thorpe said...

Since it's been mentioned regarding the artwork - this image is from the original strip - probably a trace in Illustrator.

He credited Breathed on it.

http://tinyurl.com/5sahqd

Reader said...

http://tinyurl.com/5sahqd

Oh. Well, big thumbs down for Kurtz too then. "Apologies to Breathed." is not the same thing as a full-on credit, as it comes across as more of a acknowledgment that they're not Kurtz' characters. Tracing someone elses work is nothing less than plagiarizing.

Boo.

Daddoo said...

Yeah, layering one over the other does show that it's totally traced. Boo!

Dave said...

So... I'm supposed to get the reference to a comic strip that was published in newspapers in another country on the year I was born?

While American tv shows tend to be broadcast all around the world, very few newspaper strips make it beyond Canada... I imagine today's strip is lost on everybody outside on North America.

If people have to google to get a joke, they feel alienated. That's ok if they're not your target audience: xkcd and PhDComics are examples of comics targeted at a specific demographic. Similarly, Penny Arcade assumes the reader is familiar with current video games. Today's pvp expects the reader to, essentially, be American...

kurtz said...

Today's PvP garnered the biggest positive email response of any strip I did all year. That includes the strips with Brent and Jade getting married.

I believe that I'm properly servicing the spectrum of my target audience. Somedays we get Harry Potter jokes, somedays we get a reference to Barney Miller.

Guess what? If I reference Shakespeare, that's something that happened before we were ALL born. So yeah.

This is like when FSM didn't get the Family Circus joke. Heh.

Maj. English said...

Ouch. Swing and a miss for the second day in a row, Mr. "Uninformed Scribe".

(In case you're wondering, which I'm sure you are, "swing and a miss" is an American idiom relating to the sport of Baseball, when a participant who is "at bat", that is, attempting to strike a quickly moving small ball headed towards him with a long wooden (or metal) bat, fails to do so, swinging his bat but hitting nothing but air.)

Brett Schiller (Sage) said...

Ah and the snarks come out!
Maybe this will end the terrible tyrany of the blog PVPmakesmesad!

I love show and comics that make pop culture references. Some of my favorites include Lost, Heroes, South Park, and Family Guy. Even though I believe I am well versed in pop culture the breadth of knowledge of other people may be different. I.E on an early Family Guy they did a spoof of Margot Kidder wigging out at dinner and wrecking the place. Now I had no idea that she in real life did go batshit crazy and was found in someone's backyard. Does that mean i shouldn't comment on it because I don't know EVERYTHING that someone if referencing?

PVP is a pop culture strip (i know people want to make it a "gamer" strip, but its not) and Kurtz does have a wide knowledge of pop culture. I don't get every reference he puts into his strip and Im sure his audience (if they are, you know, honest) don't as well but we go "hmm, didn't get that one" and move on.

What ES said was exactly the same, maybe *GASP* he didn't read Bloom County and wrote what maybe some of the audience thought. Plus I don't get where the smuggness of some people come from (i do they're smug people) because its not even a negative review, he didn't get the reference and if you don't you might not understand a strip if its based solely ont hat. Im sure if someone made a Greatest American Hero, James Mason, or Hitchhiker's guide people mught not get it at well.

Brett Schiller (Sage) said...

I also find it funny that Kurtz brings up "positive emails" again. And if he hadn't said anything the responses here would have been "its a reference to Bloom County" and that would have been it

I don't think ES's review was at all negative and that anyone really cared enough about the strip today to question that the strip was bad.

paulsouthworth said...

Brett, when I don't get a joke, I try to find information to help me understand said joke before I go on the internet complaining that I don't get it. Don't you? I mean, I don't like to look stupid in public, especially on a subject I'm implying I know enough about to call myself a "critic".

All I'm is that "Superawesome Coolass Writer Dude" could have made even the slightest effort before pinching off a post about it, that's all.

Brett Schiller (Sage) said...

Ok, then if he said "I had to look up Breathed to get the joke" would that have been better?

Its not like he could have read the whole history of the strip, get the running gag about the election and then laugh about the strip.

It wasn't bad by any means, I knew it was a tribute strip, but a tribute to something I had little experience (as compared to Doctor Who which I haven't seen at all) I knew to move on and maybe ill get Thursday's strip. If I talked with someone about todays strip it would likely have been the same comment.

Paul its not like he said the strip sucked because of it. He knew it was a tribute asHe even asked what Skull's line meant.

Im sure there are some thing that you do not know as well, Kurtz probably knows everything, so cut the guy a break. If you want to wait for a truly big fuck up that was not today. Give it time it will happen, after all FSM may come back.

A Nonny Mouse said...

I don't think Bloom County has gotten much coverage outside of America. I sure haven't encountered it beyond the occasional reference such as this one. So no, it isn't in the same league as Peanuts and Calvin and Hobbes.

Still, I'm not overly offended when somebody makes a reference that doesn't resonate with me.

Ben said...

No, it was probably too late for him to find it funny.

But this isn't a blog about whether some guy giggled this morning or not. The reason I read it -- and, I assume, the reason most read it -- is because it primarily consists of genuinely interesting criticism. Criticism, here, is defined not as "whether I like or dislike it" but "what there is to like or dislike about it". Obviously no critic can help injecting his personal leanings, but ignorance isn't an interesting personal leaning to inject.

Darren Hebden said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Esoteric Scribe said...

@Ben:

I never actually said I like/dislike it...what I said was that it doesn't feel like a PvP strip. That's my criticism.

Brett Schiller (Sage) said...

@Ben
I agree with your statement, as much as it is a discussion forum for PVP I did like when FSM did try to pull apart the structure a little (art, script, story, etc) to see what was going on.

While the post wasn't overly negative and I don't get the smuggness over this supposed "mistake" (what are you guys taking from the Republican playbook about the "spread the wealth" snippet?) since ES didn't know what lboom county was, it was kind of a bland critique. This is likely why the amount of posts on this site have gone down because FSM did a good job (whether right or wrong) in finding something the group here could talk about. ES has for the most part gone "I like, i don't like" with nothing else, which doesn't lead to much discussion.

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

@ ES friendly comment my friend. I do check here every day anyway for your thoughts. Im just not driven to comment on most days.

Its like PVP itself! :) jk

Esoteric Scribe said...

@Sage:

No offense taken...honestly, days that I don't have much to go into are days that Kurtz is on the ball with the strip. And overall, he's been more hit than miss as of late.

Anonymous said...

Kurtz is still a fucking prick.

"You can't draw my panda, despite there's nothing special about my panda that makes your panda a copy! But I'm just gonna trace this here drawing if you don't mind."

What a blubbering idiot.

Also, you guys need to chill the fuck out. If he hasn't seen a comic, he hasn't seen a comic. Some people (me) have gone their entire lives so far without ever hearing of that strip.

ES here is just picking up FSM's slack. He never decreed himself the almighty god of comics. He's just Robin, helping Batman solve a case.

Speaking of which, WHERE THE FUCK IS BATMAN. I MEAN FSM.

Brett Schiller (Sage) said...

@ ES
Duelly noted, I understand and have no problem with the overall job you have done. Kurtz has stepped it up overall, and while its not a 8-10/10 its been good.

Plus you have a different style to FSM which takes some getting used to. But we love you anyway ;)

Reader said...

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

Whatever man. You choosing to post here obviously means you have a relatively high opinion of yourself with regards to your ability to critique comic strips.

And I would expect any critic, professional or not, to be familiar with the history of his medium of choice. It's not like we're talking an obscure strip here. We're talking one of the most celebrated strips of the eighties.

Movies is more my medium in terms of expertise and interest, and just because a movie was released before I was born or when I was too young to see it, is no reason for me not to seek it out and educate myself about it.

TheOriginalJes said...

You guys let Paul jerk you around too much.

Brett Schiller (Sage) said...

@theoriginaljes

Its not too much if he jerks u in the right place ;-)

Dave said...

Kurtz: "Guess what? If I reference Shakespeare, that's something that happened before we were ALL born. So yeah.

This is like when FSM didn't get the Family Circus joke. Heh."

Wrong for the first one, right for the second. Of course we get Shakespeare references: we study him in school. That's not the point: the strip you referenced is far more obscure than Shakespeare. If you say you're "servicing your target audience", you're saying that your target audience is only North Americans who read the newspaper...

And then your second point here: yes, it _is_ like when he didn't get the Family Circus joke. Because Family Circus is [i]also[/i] a fairly obscure strip - I never heard of it outside of North America. It's not Far Side, it's not Calvin and Hobbes, it's not even Dilbert...

PvP is a webcomic: the target audience are people who read webcomics. If you reference CtrlAltDel or Penny Arcade, I'm sure more people would get the joke than referring to some newspaper comic that doesn't even seem to be internationally syndicated.

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