Thursday, June 11, 2009

Let Go Of . . ..

Last Call

Art - I liked the art in panel one, especially in the shading of the trees and the overall detail of the house. Scott does seem to do well with landscapes where he can put detail into his work.

Robbie and Butler are also drawn solidly/well like they normally are and I like the shading on Robbie's chin a lot better then before. It changed from the beginning to the end of the last strip from the lighter circle to the border of his chin. It looks a hell of a lot better and a lot less distracting.

The only thing that confused me was the size comparison between Butler and the couch. Either that is a REALLY tall couch and Robbie is taller than I thought or Butler has shrank (which I believe he's taller and skinnier of a character.) At the height of Butler's chest the couch would have to be about 5-5.5 feet tall which is the size of the headboard of the bed we are getting and most couches I have seen aren't that tall.

I know it is mostly a framing issue keeping the characters face's in the panel. Just when that happens you get some unintentionally weird proportions :)

Story - I don't know if it has been revealed before for interesting for me to gain the information of Robbie's last name. The story really didn't touch on anything that was brought up from the last strip, in terms of what Robbie thought of his life.

Asking what you guys think, when Robbie said Jase would run the brewery I was curious, is Max also a partner of the business (i.e. "runs" the business) as well or just a consultant?

The punchline was meh for me, as I guess my opinion of Heineken then Robbie/Scott :)

As a side-note - Renee Engstrom, creator of Anders Loves Maria is doing her second Sketch-a-thon. Scott and I don't agree on a lot but we agree that she is a great artist and this is a good way to support her and get some nice art from her. I did it the first time around and hope to this time, so if you want something follow this link here.


Brett Schiller (Sage) said...

Reposted from the yesterday by OriginalJes

Last Call -

story -

I would definitely have preferred to see the arc hang with Takes One To Know One.

There's a lot of story potential within the "in-between" areas of the strip. To see Robbie give up (as many probably expected) so soon makes him look like a pathetic cry-baby, rather than a tragic hero bested by circumstance.

I'm not saying it isn't a good strip. I just feel the placement of it (or abruptness, if you will) ruined what could have been a good cadence to this arc.

As a suggestion, I would have inserted an 8 panel strip of various scenes during product development or R&D testing, similar to the strip of Skull with that boy he hated. That would have given a better sense of elapsed time.

Unless, the author wanted to punk-out his character. In that respect, who am I to say?

dialogue -

I thought it was solid. My only personal preference would be to spell "Hiene" with a second 'i' (Hieni or Hienie), just so it doesn't appear to be silent.

Art - (my weakest subject) All suggestions made from here are just how I envision what SK's putting out there.

Panel 1 - The general gloom at the mansion would have been better served if not obscured by the lower text bubble. I would have moved it to the left where the tree-line and roof meet. Certainly, I would have paid special attention to the detail of the 2nd story balconies because of that.

Panels 2 - 4 - I felt they were well done. I use the word "felt" because that's all I'm qualified for.

However, I would have made some re-arrangements of the text bubbles to accommodate changes to panel 5.

First, I would move Robbie's bubble to the bottom right of panel 3, with the tail still leading to his mouth in panel 4.

Then, I would have moved Butler's panel 5 bubble to panel 4. This would lead to...

Panel 5 - With Butler's text out of the way, I would think I'd prefer to see the walls shaded with a fade to black starting from the white glow of the TV, and extending in fading rays of light.

I'd also leave everything else in place; Robbie's text bubble, the couch, Robbie, and the room in general.

I think that would have been a monumental "frame" for the disappointment/despair Robbie's feeling at the moment, while using the text itself in the middle for it's well-purposed irony.

I'd probably brighten up the color of the couch just a little in all frames, to help maintain a little light-heartedness throughout. Mostly because this isn't a definitive end to Robbies role with the brewery, unless he makes it so.

TheOriginalJes said...

(Sorry Sage ;) , it's not in me to go with the flow...)

As far as the couch goes, I think, when you have that kind of money, the term "usually" just doesn't apply. Also, the floor could be tiered, or Butler could be further in the background.

I liked the landscape of the first panel. But, I'm the kind of guy that holds an artist up against himself. And this was no Niagara Falls.

What I forgot to mention earlier is that I did enjoy the strip. I was left with the combined feeling of "poor kid" and "get off you butt and see this through, you lazy turd".

I should have led off with that. Sorry.

Brett Schiller (Sage) said...

Oh I also say there was nothing awful about it.

My complaint about the couch is based on perspective as a chest high couch (at least for a taller man like butler) would be either a) a very tall backed couch or b) an unseen step off that you don't normally see in architecture.

I know it is mostly a framing issue keeping the characters face's in the panel. Just when that happens you get some unintentionally weird proportions :) (btw im adding this to my front page post)

Jai said...

You do realize the first panel is not new, right? It's just that we haven't seen it colored before.

And now, if you will, a brief tangent. My longest-running grievance with PVP had been that it was black and white, and now that it looks like color is back to stay I have never quite mustered forth any words of celebration. So, here they are: I LOVE THAT PVP IS STILL BEING COLORED. It's AWESOME. So I would prefer to avoid having Kurtz think that he's just adding another layer of critique fodder into strips when he colors them. I love colors!

In fact, today's strip could use a little more color... directly to the right of Butler in the second panel (Our right). Leaving it white gives the exact same impression as the perfectly blank white (What I assume is the) screen of (What I assume is) the television in the final panel. To continue my wish to see color spicing up the place even more, an actual image on the TV would have been nice... but I recognize it isn't a necessity. Rich people love the White Screen channel.

In panel 4, I can't imagine a reason for Butler to have drifted around to the front of the couch. The previous two panels indicate that he was leaving the room, and turned around to look at Robbie. Are we being teased with the awesome potential of... MULTIPLE BUTLER CLONES placed around the whole room? God I hope so!

And that's totally it. It's not a brilliant strip, but it looks solid to me (Oh, and I agree about the spelling of "Heine" being changed to indicate the actual sound of the nickname).

kurtz said...

I bought art from Rene too. She's rad. You should all buy art from her. It's real watercolor on watercolor paper.

When you get it in the mail you get all excited. This came from SWEDEN!

Buy Rene-art!!!!!!

Brett Schiller (Sage) said...

See Renee's art can make the world come together! :)

TheOriginalJes said...

Jai - As of today, many poor people can also enjoy the White Screen channel. (I love that name.)

A Nonny Mouse said...

I do like Renee's art style, but unfortunately don't find Anders Loves Maria very enjoyable.

Today we learn a peculiar fact about Cole: although he is disgusted at the idea of eating potato salad that has been picked at by a dog, he is perfectly happy to retain a plate of cookies that have received the same treatment.

A Nonny Mouse said...

d'oh, it's "Rene" rather than "Renee."

TheOriginalJes said...

Welcome to Ravenhurst - I think Scott did a really good job in conveying how annoying Giacomo is.

I found his dialogue to be hard to follow and a complete turn-off. If my fighter-thief were a part of that campaign, I'd get a LOT of practice with my sneak-attacks.

At least we have the back-story...

Jai said...

It took me a while to get that all of the "song" was actually just being rapped. I really did fail miserably at trying to come up with a common cadence and melodious flow for the first few speech bubbles, but eventually I got the picture. And no, I can't think of any clear way Kurtz could have indicated it wasn't a real song from the beginning (Showing that the bard is waving his hands like a freestyle rapper in the very first panel could have helped, but then there'd be no theatrical build-up of imagery).

The art is enjoyable, and I think an unrealistic fantasy world is a perfect showcase for Kurtz's creative side to get out more in his artwork.

If I have to poke fun -- and poke fun I MUST -- then let us all loudly snigger at the words "If you touch one more string". Because it really doesn't look like the bard is playing his instrument at all (Which makes sense if he IS rapping). And because the instrument is entirely devoid of strings. The guy must be wearing a pretty thick ale-monocle.

TheOriginalJes said...

@ Jai - actually in panel 3 his left hand is playing a barre chord, sans strings. And, he's doing the rap-hands in panel 4 (which I hadn't noticed before).

Djagir said...

So, the new Sunday feature is Monday's comic? I think Scott just crossed the International Date Line ("You come here often?")!

(Seriously, not a problem for introducing a new feature. I'm just amused by how the timing works out.)

rdy said...

Yeah, reading the announcement about it being a Sunday feature threw me too.

It's an interesting move - bringing the strip back over from the commented Crispy Gamer site to the uncommented PvP site.

Is it wrong to have an instant dislike to the bard? His clumsy rapping just winds me up.

A Nonny Mouse said...

Attracting ire is usually the bard's role in a party, similar to gnome illusionists.

It's funny how the merchandise was released before anybody had seen the strip, even if Scott has been playing the character in a recorded game.

Jai said...

@ TheOriginalJes - I don't know about that barre chord you see in panel 3. From what I can see, Giacomo is not touching his lute (?) in that panel at all -- look closely, the thumb underneath the second and third fingers looks like a finger but isn't connected like those fingers to the hand (Neither is it shaded like those fingers). It's a mistake, or an illusion cast by a miniscule line break between the actual middle and ring fingers, combined with the knowledge that he must have four fingers judging by the other hand artwork (So where's the real fourth finger? I'd go with "placed behind the middle finger and forgotten accidentally").

TheOriginalJes said...

@ Jai - The left hand (panel 3) is holding the lute in a barre chord arrangement for an open-tuning. Although, I'm sure that's coincidental.

@Djagir - I'm glad to see that I'm not the only one to notice that the Sunday feature is Monday's strip. :) But, I'm sad that you posted it before me. :(

@ Rdy - PVP isn't "exactly" uncommented. You can pay a monthly subscription to join the new PVP fan club. I'm sure they must have a forum over there.

rdy said...

Well, yes. I wasn't really counting the commenting equivalent of a theme-park height requirement (where instead it's "You must be this much of a fanboy already to comment on PvP!"). It's rather like stacking the deck, if you ask me.

Jai said...

@ TheOriginalJes - The left hand (panel 3) is not holding the lute at all, it's an optical illusion like I just explained.

TheOriginalJes said...

@ Jai - Are you talking about the lute-strap? Because I see the first two fingers bridging the fingerboard, and the next two curled to the palm. No thumb at all.. And, it wouldn't be if it were properly placed behind the neck of the instrument.

I think we're going to need a tie-breaker here.

Dan said...

Isn't anyone going to comment on the fact that Ding!, a WoW webcomic, is now going to become the platform of Scott's DnD character? Much of the humor of Ding! (indeed, even the name of the strip) revolved around the mechanics of the WoW world, and now that source of comedy is rather off-limits to a DnD protagonist. Besides, there seems to be a small but vocal contingent of WoW fans who have been anxiously awaiting the return of Ding! for its WoW satire, who will now be undoubtedly upset by the comic's revival only to see it plunged into the yet more esoteric medium of DnD.

In conclusion: I predict epic fail.

Jai said...

@ TheOriginalJes - Ok, for reference, this is what I'm talking about.

A is the original, B is how I was interpreting it and C is how you interpreted it. On closer inspection, however, I have to say that I now agree with your take. Whoops, but at least now you know what I was going on about.

Jai said...

Oh, and the Jitterbug strip is really funny -- great use of multiple jokes (Or at least "multiple things that I find hilarious)! Except that I also thought Francis dialing with his face was a pretty dumb ending to a pretty clever strip. Still, this made me burn more smile fuel for a PVP strip than has happened in over a month. It's a welcome change.

A Nonny Mouse said...

Dan: I don't know, from what I've seen of the 4E rules it looks to have been partly inspired by MMORPGs anyway. Regardless, it just means that Ding will mutate into a poor man's Order Of The Stick.

rdy said...

I'm glad Ding! has changed as it was pretty clear SK had run out of ideas (the "You had to be there" phase was proof enough of that). Not sure I'm particularly looking forward to the D&D strips though. Especially with the bard and his z-grade rapping.

Still, if you need a MMO-themed fix, there's plenty of other strips still finding gold in that vein. I quite like Scott Johnson's "Experience Points". Dark Legacy Comics is always good for a chuckle and so is NPC.

TheOriginalJes said...

And, I'm more of a D&D guy, anyway. So, I'm just happy that he's looking for more content.

And, I'm hoping that he keeps drawing it himself this time.

TheOriginalJes said...

@ Jai - no problem. And, thanks for the effort. It shows passion.

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