Monday, June 30, 2008

New post! New post!

Ok, so I am back! I am excited because my project got funded! But you don't care, so here we go!






Kevin -- we hardly knew ye. I thought this was a great week of strips. It was finally the break we needed from the wedding/sex/Scratch-fest, and do I feel bad that he died? No. It's a cartoon character. He died in an accident. Through his own idiocy. The fact that Skull failed to protect him is obviously gristle for some sort of professional EPIC FAIL on Skull's part, and the art in the final strip is to die for. (Haaa haahaha, haa. Ha.)

I don't want to neglect the nitpicking, so I will say I didn't care for panel three of Busy Day -- I liked the strip, but panel three broke the flow by not including Skull somehow rushing to save the old woman from Kevin's hi-jinx (or showing him slacking off in a hammock somewhere :). I also thought the final panel of Kittens 'n Bits made less sense than it ought to have. Just a matter of scripting.




LOLBAT? Was teh awesome. The only thing I wish it had was smoke and a screech as the invisible bike peeled out. That would have totally completed it for me.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Heyooo!

I have been away! I have not been reading or writing anything! I have been working my ass off though!

Sorry for the lack of posts -- I can see that the comments are keeping some of us busy...

Anyway, I'll return to a normal schedule soon -- Monday at the latest!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Popeye and the Freaking Cyclops

Ok, I feel the need to get petty for a brief moment: This strip (Throat Baby... Throat Baby?!) just bugs me.

First of all, Francis in the second panel? He looks like a cyclops. I know what's actually happening... but he looks like a cyclops.



Second, and I suspect this is just an effect of Scott's Cintiq still being new to him, but Cole's arm in the last panel is just weird. I know it's the proportion that's supposed to make it so big, but it's still gargantuan, and the line is too thick. It really stands out.

Third: Is this a joke that really needed to be told? I know it bookends the "Alien" reference, but, come on. Who didn't see it coming.

(I'm in a bad mood.)

Fourth, I'll say it again: I can't wait for a one-off strip that breaks us from the current storyline and starts us off on a new path. Technically, we're still connected to the wedding story, which started on April 12th. We've been through parental insanity, wedding preparation, the wedding, Skull's departure, the talking cat conundrum, and now the aftermath of said cat's freakout.

In all that has been a lot of good strips, even more great art, and it has been very worthwhile, overall.

But, and maybe it's just me, I'm desperate for a Bulldog and Cooch strip. And I hate Bulldog and Cooch.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Chin

So, as you can see by the results of the poll in the previous post, most people think of Brent's chin as being weaker-than-average.

I bring this up because of this image in Maid of the Mist:



Brent's chin is even weaker than usual here. Maybe it was a slip of the Cintiq pen.

I also bring it up because I wanted to make sure that the following panel is the joke I actually thought it was, despite some commenters thinking that Jade was being 100% sincere when she told Brent he had his father's chin (I don't think so).



This is still my favorite drawing of Brent, partly because it reminds me of Terry Colon's work :)

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Chin-full (or -less) Wonder

Today's strip (Maid of the Mist) reminded me of the conversations we had when Brent's father was introduced.

"Why?" you say?

Well, this poll may explain:



I'll share my own thoughts later when we have results.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Dear Robert Mader

If you're going to send people emails that include death threats, you shouldn't use your real name and email address.

Sincerely,

Fake Scott McCloud

(BTW: Before readers here get all Google-y, no this isn't the guy who's playing sax for Bette Midler.)

Freak Out: The Reconstructed Updated-then-Retracted Version

People have been asking for it, but no one seems to have it and it has been found by commenter "reader":



(my from-memory version :)

Scratch Fury: Larval Stage Supercat?

I like the call out to Alien and all, but the story has taken an odd turn, one that doesn't seem to be going anywhere. Is this the beginning of a new Scratch? And what happened to the updated version of Thursday's strip? I'd love to see some one-shot strips so we can finally be done with the wedding/sex/talking cat mishegas.

(FWIW, where is the doc looking in panel one? And there seems to be a mess of spare lines in panel 2, one of which might be a motion line from Francis' arm, two that seem to be sloppy versions of the doc's belly lines from panel one, and an extra line I can't identify.)

(Update: Ah -- I didn't notice the doc was listening to the stethscope in panel one.)

(Update 2: I am quickly tiring of Marcie's kissy lips. A fresh expression would be welcome.)

I am going to hope that the title of today's strip (Hang in There) is meant for us as much as Cole.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Cats and Continuity

Apparently there was more to say about the last strip than I thought. The issue of Scratch's public sentience is burning up the comments. I don't really care much. I don't recall a time when other characters were clearly communicating with Scratch, so I just assumed this was the first time it had been revealed.

If someone can find a strip that proves this to be a retconning, huzzah, we will dine out on Kurtz' mistake for weeks. But even then, it wouldn't make me sad, just irritated.

Cole's mistake in today's strip (The Cat Whisperer) was using the ill-advised "tchk" noise, which, in my household, is reserved for calling squirrels. He would have been much better served by the more soothing "pssspssspsss."

By the way, what the heck is that schmutz falling away from Scratch in the last panel?

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Unfortunate Andy Kaufman Reference

Ahhh, Scratch (Here kitty, kitty). I like Scratch. I give it a 1 in 10 chance that Scratch will be the key to getting Skull back.

Cole looks really weird in the first panel, so much so that I didn't even think it was him at first. I, too, find Marcy's mitten hands a little disturbing in the third pane... They remind me of the makeup for the robots in Heartbeeps, and anything that reminds me of Heartbeeps is to be hated.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

They grow up so fast

So, it looks like Francis may be done taking lumps for getting his groove on.

(I'd like to know who gave Marcy her lumps. She got lumps too, right? Right? I mean, if we're going to be puritanical we're also going to be even-handed about it, right?)

(Sorry. Sorry.)

He seems rather unaffected as we're treated to a shopping trip that may lead to the ouster of the Big Skull Shirt.

Personally, I've always thought Francis' limited wardrobe was a missed opportunity for humor. No kid wears the same shirt everyday (ok, some kids would if they could, but now that he's older, maybe he can get a little more sophisticated?), and changing up his t-shirts could offer an extra level of commentary about the strip, or simple non-sequitur gags, or even make real-world references. (Pop culture jokes can work better if they aren't the main focus of the strip. I would LOL pretty hard if I saw him wearing a shirt that said RELAX.)

(You could compare them to Judah Friedlander's trucker caps in 30 Rock. Berke Breathed did that kind of stuff in old-school Bloom County with shirts and pictures hanging on walls and stuff.)

Monday, June 9, 2008

Eeeerrggghhh.

I have no criticism of today's strip (Entendre. Make it a double).

Cole is taking a somewhat conservative stance that apparently reflects SK's own thoughts on the issue. This is totally fair. Scott is entitled to his opinions, and is entitled to express them as he sees fit.

I personally do not agree with them, so we're talking about a larger issue than "do I like PVP" at the moment. I suspect a fair number of PVP fans are disagreeing with Cole right now, and whether SK knows it or not, this could become a sticky storyline -- people stop consuming products when they find out that the owners/creators do not share their opinions on some things, and sex is one of them.

I'm not saying people are going to jumping off the PVP ship with any volume, or that anyone is going to be burning Kurtz in effigy, but some of them, like me, will be thoughtful about the story.

I'm going to wait and see where this goes.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Niagara Falls!?

I wish the interrobang were a standard element of punctuation too (Don't Be Silly Lois), but three in a row?!

If everything is at maximum emotional volume, then where is there left to go?!

I can see two in a row, then dampening down the last panel to imply "man I should have seen this coming", but three in a row?!

It was a good joke otherwise.

Have a good weekend :)

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

WTF Robbie (plus open thread)

Rude. Ruuuuude.

After making such a big deal of making everything about the wedding special, I'm surprised Kurtz ended it this way (You don't have to go home...).

Mouth, meet bad taste. Ech.




Update: I might as well make this the open thread for No Regrets. Anything I could have said has been said much better by Stephen Geigen-Miller.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Elsewheres

I've liked PVP more than usual recently, and a bunch of other strips have been funny lately as well -- let's take a break from whinging about PVP for a moment!



What does everyone else read?

Slammin' Silhouette

We give SK shit for using the silhouette too often, but Safety First uses it perfectly. In the final panel, it really slams our attention on to Robbie, which makes his punchline laugh-out-loud funny.

The script for the second panel frustrated me in a way that many other strips have in the past, but I haven't been able to get the explanation out of my brain yet. I'm collecting examples and will do an Access Hollywood-style expose eventually :)

I look forward to Jade getting back in her civvies.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Shushies.

My Two Dads is better than the sitcom that inspired the title (the whole run).

I el-oh-el-ed at the third panel, it's a great moment. Offhand I can't recall the last time the text went to the lowercase, and it works. That having been said, I personally would have swapped the second and third panels, giving the "shushies" time to linger while they debate their response.

I'm also not the biggest fan of the text in panel two:



It reads like SK is trying too hard to "write how people talk" here. Cole's "I mean" refers to nothing stated, and I'm all for making the subtext play a role, but here it seems awkward.

Brent's "do you want to do this" is meant to imply to the audience that Brent and Cole are already on the same page in terms of the response required by Francis' outburst -- not only are they on the same page that response is required, but the "do this" implies that they know what specific response is required.

That's all fine, as far as motivation goes, but the subsequent "or should I handle it" makes the line lumpier than it ought to by changing the verb ("do this" vs. "handle it").

A cleaner line would have been "Do you want to handle this or should I?", or, to keep intact the idea that they know exactly what's coming, "Do you want to do this or should I?"

Some writers can get away with the overlapping thoughts and partial statements that make scripts seem "natural" -- having read some of Aaron Sorkin's scripts, I know that just about every word that comes out of the actors' mouths are in his scripts, but it's so freaking hard to get right. Most of the time this work is done by the actor, and it's especially hard in print.

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