Monday, July 27, 2009

Sad Sad Little Man

Clothes Make the Fan

Art -

Story -


Anonymous said...

God I love steampunk.

TheOriginalJes said...

Bulldog and Cooch - I'm actually kind of glad to see it.

I understand the glass partition. I just don't know why the desk isn't behind it.

Why is Cooch's nose red?

The cars seem a bit anachronistic, given their general shape. I would have expected the cars to be more like the early 80's cruisers with the "gumball"s on top. Or, are the characters themselves supposed to be the anachronism?

A sign on the outside of the building to specify if this is a police station (as I seem to have assumed above), or Cooch's (what would be now poorly decorated [glass partition]) apartment.

Also, smoke coming out of the mannequin's cigarette as a lit fuse would have been clever. And, maybe, a growing ash? The ashes present in panels 1 & 2 are the same size.

Finally, both Cooch's should be sporting some major chest hair, if their going to be dressed like that.

Maybe Brent should grow a mustache. Bulldog looks so much more manly than he does.

Jai said...

That could also be because Bulldog doesn't have a ponytail.

The drooping of the cigarette (Between the first and second panels) is actually pretty funny -- to me. I imagine that it fell out completely in the third panel, and that that's what triggered the explosion. Using a cigarette's slow, natural slide out of a mouth as a fuse is pretty unfeasibly devious!

Could it be that the "joke" has finally been reused to the point of becoming funny? Or is it just hitting enough of the right notes (Finally) -- I like the full color, I like the explosion, I like seeing Brent and Cole dressed up like that, and I would like to point out that "arresst" isn't a word.

I agree with most of your points, Jes. I wouldn't expect to start seeing continuity (Such as a definite view on what the anachronism involved is) for these, though. Mendoza blows them up EVERY time we see them (Or so we are left to believe), but only "now" has he "taken a hit out" on them.

Which, by the way, should be "put a hit out". They are not taken out (Implying they were taken out OF something, which obviously isn't the case), they are put out (On the street, or the market, or what-have-you). There is a loose connection between the two words (The act of taking something out often means that you've also put it somewhere -- all with the same action) that makes "take a hit out" seem viable... but I would guess that it is bad grammar. I could also be wrong. And Bulldog is not likely to give a damn either way, but there you have it.

rdy said...

"Could it be that the "joke" has finally been reused to the point of becoming funny?"

Can't say I find variations on the same joke used over and over again that funny. A glance at the first panel tells me what's coming, on the off chance the explosion doesn't catch my eye beforehand.

TheOriginalJes said...

I had assumed that the drooping of the cigarette was due to a change of POV.

But, now that I think of that... If Bulldog were standing in the doorway, talking to the fake Cooch; wouldn't we see Cooch from the other angle?

Otherwise, the implication would be that the real Cooch entered from the other direction entirely; as Bulldog would have had to enter the room completely and swing around to face the fake Cooch as shown. And, since we see Cooch enter from over Bulldog's right shoulder (similarly to how we see Bulldog enter over the fake Cooch's shoulder, per se); there would have had to have been a second entrance almost directly in front of Cooch's desk.

(Assuming that's the "real" Cooch's desk... ;)

Jai said...

Hahaha, Jes, now we know how Brent looks with a mustache! Good call. It may not be Bulldog's mustache, but it's something!

And it's funny. Hooray!

Kurtz's new arch-nemesis is "drawing consistent doorways". For reference, see what Jes just commented on about the Bulldog and Hooch strip, as well as the Rambo panda kicking in a door recently. Today, we have the doorway from panel 2 mysteriously growing a door for the next panel. We can clearly see two sides of the doorway in #2, so the grey space cannot be the door (Besides which, it extends beyond the top of the entire panel). Perhaps it isn't INTENDED to be the same doorway that's used in #3, but Brent is still presumably looking at Jade without having turned his head. Perhaps it isn't intended to be a doorway at all, judging by its height... but it's hard to make that call, because #3's doorway extends to an impossible height on the right.

"Impossible" because the parallel vertical lines are a clear indication of the perspective in panel 3, and the door frame is not visible on the left side of the speech bubble. Either there is no top framework, or the door is clearly set too low on the left to dream of touching the doorway on the right. Neither option is good. I don't think it would have come up if the artwork had all been laid down before the lettering / speech bubble process began.

D said...

Clothes make the fan: The art in this strip is really refreshing. I like seeing the characters drawn in this looser style. One thing I don't think fits is the expression of the "pffft" in the first panel. Pursed lips read more like a sloppy, horse snort rather than a "pffft" which sounds more teeth based.

Thursdays at 8: The looser kind of style continues. The ash tray in panel one kind of looks like a dead-on-it's-back rat or something. The reaction from Bulldog barely noticeable. If this is supposed to be a caricature of the over-acted cop series of the 70s, shouldn't there have been a hammed up reaction? Otherwise, this has become a kind of standard in-joke, along with the panda attack and the general lee. I do have to note that the coloring on the explosion looks really good.

Hairy Potter: Like above, the door way seems to have over complicated the panels and draws the eye away from what's going on. In these panels the text are the anchor, they should have precedence, so I feel that there should have been a simplification on the visuals.

A Nonny Mouse said...

I think wearing dark glasses wherever you are and imagining that you're a better person for drinking a particular brand of coffee is also a cry for help. The difference is that the entire world is such a person's comic convention.

Alternatively: those aren't necessary protection for the eyes from the sun's UV rays, those are a cry for help.

And I guess I'm super brave, because I went to see the new Harry Potter movie all by myself and sat right in the centre near the front. I bet Jade would be super impressed with me and maybe even divorce Brent to come live in my house.

TheOriginalJes said...

@ Jai -

And you were right about the ponytail.

I have to completely disagree about the doorway in panel 3. If you're standing close enough and looking from a standard chest height of 4.5', the top of the doorway could be obscured by the door itself. It would only be visible near the hinges and beyond the opened side.

If I'm to infer that the archway in panel 2 is not the doorway in panel 3, than Brent would be walking past Jade as she sits in the living room.

The real problem is between panels 1 & 2. As Brent is grabbing his keys, we see the back of the couch and Jade turning to see him. For the POV in panel 1 to work, we would literally have to be a fly on the wall (panel 2 - with archway molding) that mysteriously appears next to the table that held Brent's keys.

Would Jade look better if her eyes would consistently stay within the bounds of her hair?

Dave... or IS IT? said...

I actually liked today's PvP!

"Mustaches off" is a good tight punchline, and the characters seem somewhat interesting today...

Anonymous said...

I agree, that was actually funny.

TheOriginalJes said...

No, "Taking A Crit" is funny!!

I almost burst out laughing at work!

I'm not sure, but is Cole drawn differently today? Or am I just starting to get too critical about the art? Or both?

Robby said...

What is an entropy tower ?

TheOriginalJes said...

Entropy, as described by my old high school chemistry teacher, is nature's tendency towards random disorder. He further went on to say that its more of a placeholder explanation for anomalous discoveries until someone smarter comes along and explains it.

TheOriginalJes said...

Anonymous said...

It's a dice tower. When you drop a die into the top, it bounces around and gives you a proper roll without enough not rolling enough or flying off the table or under your couch.

rdy said...

Did anyone *really* need this explaining? :) I mean, it's in the actual strip.

TheOriginalJes said...

"Slight of Hand" has caught my interest. I hope it's as interesting of a story arc as it's intro.

I thought the detail of seeing into Skull's wrist was a nice touch.

Only three nit-picks for now...

1- If it's an area-effect, shouldn't we also see the stuffing in the couch? Or pieces of Scratch's extremities?

2- The line should be, "So is my right hand (comma) apparently."

3- After such an obviously bright flash, I might have had Skull answer, through squinted eyes, that everything was invisible (or something to that affect). And, I would have shown the reader Skulls missing appendage, leaving Skull to be surprised in the next strip.

I'll admit that it did take me a second to realize that Scratch is holding a circuit board, and not a notepad. But, I attribute that to the size of the picture on my mere 21" monitor.

A Nonny Mouse said...

It looks like the "Skull and Scratch sit on a couch, Scratch tries out an experiment" thing might be turning into a running gag. Which is alright, as far as running gags go.

Anything is better than "gaaaayyyy," in any case.

D said...

Taking a Crit:

A poo joke every once in a while is great. Joke-wise SK hits his the mark. Cole getting excited about a useless trinket and Francis taking the idea to the "Jackass" extreme. I had a laugh. Art-wise, I think this strip is really good. SK seems to have moved away from stenciling his characters for this one. Look at that hand in panel 3 - it's great!

The only thing missing from this strip is an epilogue panel with a trip to the hospital via ambulance or is that old hat?

Every roll of a non-loaded die is fairly random! That tower is a waste of time and money.

Slight of Hand: This strip is ho-hum. The scale of the characters may be changing. Has skull become smaller or has scratch gotten bigger? The absent comma in the fifth panel irks me a bit. Scratch's last line doesn't add much to the punch line. If it was written like "Yeah... um... that's temporary", the uncertainty of a resolution adds to the dilemma. Then in the next strip, he could have worked in an invisible masturbation joke. Ka-ching!

Jai said...

Taking A Crit: It actually seems really, REALLY weird to me that Francis would swallow dice. I mean... really? We couldn't have Skull swallow the dice, or have Francis just TALK about how he could roll the dice more randomly than by using the tower? And what does the "added randomness" of Francis' roll (Or... churn) have to do with his punchline of getting 20s? Are we supposed to assume that it would be great luck modifier to roll the dice through your digestive system?

Overall, there's really a LOT of room for jokes, here... but the punchline isn't much of one. However, "taking a crit" is a good joke. And, as has been said, the artwork feels loose -- in the good way! All told, this strip wasn't a bad showing.

A Nonny Mouse said...

Heh, yeah, Francis' line is basically "completely random? That's nothing, I can make the result not be random at all!"

Is that entropy tower a real thing? Google doesn't bring any relevant results. Plus it really is a pointless contraption which must do the same thing as a quick shake of the hand before rolling the dice, so it's hard to imagine anybody actually paying for such a thing.

TheOriginalJes said...

I think it's real. It's also probably something that caught Scott's attention at the Con.

rdy said...

Wasn't there supposed to be a Ding! yesterday?

"I will not be running a Ding! comic this Sunday or next."

That just covered the day it was posted (the 19th) and the 26th so I figured it'd be business as usual the week after that.

rdy said...

Just to clarify, when I say 'yesterday', I am of course speaking from the future (at least according to, as it's currently 4:50am on the 3rd where I'm sat).

Jai said...

Hm. I was just thinking that, myself. So much for Sunday updates?

Good habits are hard to keep!

A Nonny Mouse said...

Remember when weekend comics and larger Sundays were the norm for webcomics? Then the artists got lazy and said "screw this, the internet isn't a newspaper we're on the fringe man" and we started having to endure increasingly comic-free weekends.

Kurtz is keeping up with colouring the comic, at least. I'm surprised he stuck with that one, especially as he said right at the start that we shouldn't expect him to.

I think maybe "chicks don't want to bang Nosferatu" was a decent joke in concept, but feel that it would have worked better if the lead up had been more succint and less soapboxy.

Chris said...


I'm actually hoping Kurtz does give up on the Sunday strip. The whole week of Ding was a good indicator to me that he a) had little material for the strip and b) what material he had was pretty forgettable.

Djagir said...

Is it just me, or is Cole's head changing sizes and shapes throughout "Maneuvers in the Dark"? And what in the world is up with that monstrosity of a tie? It's huge!

Jai said...

Chris: I can't dispute that, but how does he improve himself if he gives up on it? Nor does the Sunday strip have to be Ding!-related. I wish it weren't, really. The old Ding! was pretty decent, before it became the "you had to have been there" WoW stories (Before it became the D&D-related attempt to mine the same vein as Penny Arcade's Jim Darkmagic. The same way a breath mint might try to capitalize on a light appetizer's success).

A Nonny: Twilight being an utterly awful series is a soapbox I can get behind! So I liked this strip a lot. I hope it isn't continued, of course, because then the soapbox will be run into the ground, where it will start digging a very large and terrible hole for itself -- if the Panda Wars story was any indication (The initial caricature was fine, but after that... all you could hear was the distant sound of an airplane beginning to dive out of control).

Djagir: That's no tie... it's a space station. Yeah, it's pretty bad (As usual). Cole's tie retains its title of "The #1 Most Ugly Thing In PVP". It hasn't had much contention since the mitten hands went near-extinct.

TheOriginalJes said...

Maybe the tie was some sort of gift from the wife. As you may remember, they were on the outs before Brent and Jade's wedding.

D said...

Oh, no, a Harry Potter fan is going after a Twilight fan! It's all the same gutter-trash and having the same effect on culture. Could Harry defeat Sauron or Morgan Le Fay?

On a deeper level, I think Cole is jealous of Jade and Brent. Her inclusion into their dynamic breaks the "bromance". Who knows maybe SK thought this deeply - maybe, maybe not.

p.s. A little part of me dies whenever i use the term "bromance".

A Nonny Mouse said...

I don't have any love for Twilight either, but when the disembodied voice that is apparently now responsible for Kurtz's creative efforts forces him to fill panels with a rant, I feel that it ultimately obstructs the effectiveness of the joke.

I say this while remaining aware that the intention was a spot of melodrama in order for it to be contrasted it with the glib dismissal of the punchline.

A Nonny Mouse said...

And D: yeah, I just say "friendship" and leave my soul fully intact. It keeps the resale value high so I can hold out for a good deal when it's time for Satan to offer to prolong my mortal existence.

Jai said...

D: Ugh... the combination of Harry Potter and Morgan Le Fay reminds me of the TV show "Merlin". It's pretty much that exact combination, if you throw all but a shred of the literary accuracy through the window. It's really a terrible disservice to all the classic Arthur stuff. I haven't read a Potter book since I tried getting through the first two chapters of the first book and failed, but I enjoy the more recent movies. The Twilight movies look numbingly vapid, however -- so I'll keep pretending (Even if it may not be true) that HP has some sort of an edge over Twilight. :)

I think we saw some of that Cole-Brent-Jade quandary back when Cole's wife had kicked him out (I mean, when Cole ditched his wife. And kids? Whatever), actually! I think Kurtz is pretty aware of Cole's need for Brent.

TheOriginalJes said...

Selling Points - Could this be meant to explain the latest shipment of Skull plushies? :)

Jai said...

Skull picked up his dining habits from Rorschach! "Fine like this." :)

Very cute strip -- I love the way it's drawn, down to the hand-lettering. I hope Kris Straub one-ups it with Jinxlets, somehow.

Jai said...

Imaginary Friends: I think it's supposed to be "Eberron", not "Ebberon". At least, that's what wikipedia said when I tried to find out what Francis' explanation of his campaign meant. I don't guess there are many spell-checking programs for correcting misspelled fantasy terminology, of course.

TheOriginalJes said...

Is table-top gaming making a comeback? I'm not sure that I know anyone who still plays.

Chris Dunning said...


Yeah, it's kinda going through a bit of a revival.

TheOriginalJes said...

I guess I can understand it. It's far cheaper than MMORPG's. Unless you include snacks and drinks.

Djagir said...

Well, I do need to congratulate him. I didn't think he could make me want the fart jokes back.


D said...

Selling point: Fart joke, ahoy. Kurtz's hand lettering looks really clean except for the "family" and the third panel - Break out the Ames Lettering Guide! Joke is tepid, would have been funnier of if the doll had stink lines or was partially melted or something.

Imaginary Friends: Blade runner tabletop game = awesome. The punchline, which is Brent slowly recognizing they are those people in the third panel, makes his speech in the final panel pointless. It should have been something like a cut away to Brent pulling a "Crying Game" shower scene. That font for "Fools!" is terrible, it has not punch. Maybe something jaggy-er.

No Butts about it: Poo joke, ahoy! I guess this the "Intervention" parody strip. That show is pretty popular, so it may resonate with some folks. It's not my cup of tea. Art wise the characters are back to what appears to be the usual style. I wish someone would tell him that a looser line helps his characters seem more natural.

I miss Pink scratch.

D said...

Sorry for the double post, but where are the admins of this blog? They're committing the rookie webcomic artist mistake of not informing their audience that they're not updating anymore.

This makes me sad.

A Nonny Mouse said...

There's only one, really. Each one has left as he passed the mantle on to somebody else.

I personally don't mind long stretches without updates. This is just an informal little get together where we sit around the campfire toasting marshmallows and swapping diatribe.

Jai said...

Eh, I have to agree with D. It would be nice to have someone that's actually running the blog still. It's the entire face of this site, and I don't want to post under a blank "Sad sad little man" entry forever...

Neither one of the PVPMMS contributors checks the email account they have listed, either, it seems (Although I'm not too surprised that TFSM doesn't). I'm sure Sage is a busy guy, but I wish he'd let us know if he's still actually around or not.

Rich said...

i'm calling it. time of death: 8:41 PM on Jul 27, 2009

rdy said...

Surely it should be SK calling it? I'm sure he'd be eager to proclaim the site dead (again?).

Aaaaaaanyway, since the discussion are going along fine without a critique article heading them, I don't think there's any reason proclaim the sky is falling just yet.

rdy said...

Speaking of the deceased though... two Sundays and no 'Ding!'?

TheOriginalJes said...

Sage has been in the middle of a move to a new home.

When he gets settled, we'll see if he remembers us. Although, when I changed jobs, there were some blogs I just stopped visiting because I was out of the habit.

Jai said...

He also has a wedding in November. I hear those also require some small amount of work and planning.

I don't begrudge him being busy, but with a little forethought he could have had someone else hold the reins while he's not able to.

R.W.McGee said...

I offered to step in a while back, but I don't think Sage knew how busy he was going to be at that point.

D said...

One solution to this conundrum would be to start up a sister site in the interim - a kind of PVP makes me sad v1.5. Then when this site becomes active we could just bring our stuff over.


The admins have been away for a week or two before, so we could just wait it out.

A Nonny Mouse said...

In the meantime, let's make fun of PVP for using the same punchline twice in the same panel! I know how tempting it is to make a Snorks reference at every opportunity, but it didn't add anything to the joke.

TheOriginalJes said...

But, Justice League WAS on after the Snorks!

Or some other show like that.

I do remember the Yellow Lantern from Saturday mornings. How Cole and Brent could be so surprised is a bit odd. Wouldn't they know just about everything about Marvel and DC from way back?

I like the change of location, bringing the crew to the comic shop. Although Cole and Brent are way out of place at their age.

However, I don't think it was a good call to not illustrate the background in the third panel. Since Scott didn't use any sort of shading effects other than a solid background, the absence of the surroundings just tells me that Scott didn't want to try his hand at a new perspective for the book shelves and aisle.

Francis' beard is starting to get quite fuzzy. But, will it develop color anytime in the near future? I don't know anyone who has flesh-tone hair.

Cole's wildly wide tie now has spots. This tells me that the first one wasn't a fluke. He's either wearing a tie/bib or he's just developing really poor taste.

It's nice to see Cole's mouth return to normal. Now he just needs to thin out the darkening uni-brow.

rdy said...

@Jes : I think the spots you're seeing is an artefact from the colour reduction to a .gif file, not a design choice. You can see the same effect on the yellow comic in the first panel.

I think I'd have preferred having the background drawn in on all panels, rather than just the first. While the third does emphasis it, having all the colour disappear after the first just looks odd to me. I admit it makes a welcome change from the grey/green walls of the offices though.

Rich said...

To be fair there hasn't been good critique by an admin since FSM was here. Go back and read some of FSM's old posts and compare them to Sage's. His criticisms were legitimate and he had a real understanding of telling a story with images. He would photoshop in the changes he suggested and show WHY thhey were better as opposed to "Art-no complaints here. Some nit picks: Coles tie looks weird"

Perhaps if someone starts a sister site the posts will be more similar to that.

TheOriginalJes said...

One more comment:

When's the last time anyone went to a comic shop where the books weren't in sleeves?

TheOriginalJes said...

(I mean, besides the Manga.)

Jai said...

Considering Brent and Cole's gaming magazine jobs (Heh), they aren't too out of place in a comic book store. Then again, lately I feel like maybe they're running a comic book magazine now for all we know. They -- I mean, Kurtz -- is clearly more into the comic book / tabletop gaming scene than they-- HE used to be. Brent is especially not out of place in the store, because he's a graphic designer (And, presumably, artist).

rdy said...

Now he just needs to thin out the darkening uni-brow.

It's funny but I really noticed this in yesterday's strip ("Family Matters"). That, and how with the advent of colour, all the characters with button noses look perpetually sozzled.

TheOriginalJes said...

Family Matters brought three things to my mind.

1- The loss of Scott's pet. I can still remember what I went through with my own, and I can't help but wonder if Scott's ready to move on from Kirby in the comic, so as not to eclipse the two bassets he now has.

2- Recently, I heard of a pole which places basset hounds in the bottom 3 for intelligence among dogs. Bull dogs and beagles being the other two.

3- "Can I eat your poop?" x 3

TheOriginalJes said...

Ironically enough, point #1 really did MMS.

rdy said...

@Jes: Regarding point #2, would it be too snarky to mention the saying about dogs and their owners being alike ;)

Jai said...

It’s Slobberin’ Time!: This strip feels like it was lifted from a professional Marmeduke-meets-Garfield crossover. I'm pretty sure -- and really hope -- that such a thing has never existed, but let's see if Slobberin' Time really fits the bill.

1. There is a cat. He's orange, he's unhealthily large, he loves sarcasm and most of his jokes are terrible. Check.

2. There is a dog. He's large, he's uncontrollable, and the combination of these two things are the only comedic setups he knows. Hmm, well, there are two dogs in this strip... I suppose that, together, they constitute "too much dog to handle", and the rest falls into place. Check.

3. Their situation is uninteresting and the lines are uninspired. "Boring" and "Dumb", respectively (To get straight to the point). Check, please.

Yeah, looks like a ringer. What a groaner. Yesterday's strip (With the now-super-talkative-and-smart dumb Kirby) made me think that the comedic future of these two pups was looking pretty bleak, and now I know for sure. God damn it, Kurtz, please stop bringing your comic strip down to Marmeduke's level. :(

I'm not a dog owner, but I don't think that "heel" is applicable to the situation (From what I understand of how it's used). Can someone else weigh in on that?

D said...

I like how Rich called us all out for being hacks and we respond by increasing the quality of the comments. He does have a point, it seemed like FSM was more of an expert so he could easily critique the work. I can only speak for myself, I'm a fan, so I can only review the work. Jai and Jes look like two heavy-weights just slugging it out for what may become an mod job.

As for whipping up a secondary webpage, I guess the votes are in and we'll stick around here for a while.

Joeing is half of the battle is intentional(?) meta-humour, so hats off to that. SK caricatures are effective, but not distinctive. That is to say, I can't tell who they are, but I know they aren't part of the PVP universe.

Family matters could have been better paced if Scratch had a big reaction with no dialog and Skull said something like "someone must have stepped on your grave" or whatever is supposed to make your hair stand on end. Also, there was too much dialogue to set up this joke.

It's slobberin' time - hot, hot, dog on cat action! Too naughty for the animal kingdom! I'm a traditional kind of guy, so I like hand lettering and some good lettering would have really helped this strip out. Comic Sans is barely even a typeface. Why must everyone use it!? There's no joke in this one, not even the proverbial "bon mot". It basically boils down to: LOLcat says "Oh Noes!".

That was my rant, submitted for your approval.

rdy said...

Considering the title is 'It’s Slobberin’ Time!', it's a remarkably emotionless (and slobberless) assault. Kind of like Scratch is being attacked by the Midwich bassets or something.

A Nonny Mouse said...

"Heel" means you want the dog to stand by your heel and match your walking pace. I guess that involves not standing on top of you, but it does feel like a strange choice of command.

But, rdy, the sort of "assault" they're doing is typical behaviour. They're not supposed to be attacking Scratch, just sort of getting to know him by smelling him over and probably slobbering on him in the process.

rdy said...

@Nonny: I think you missed my point somewhat. I wasn't saying he was getting attacked, as in 'violently'. I understood that they were basically mobbing him, it's just that if you look at the drawings of the dogs themselves, they don't look very involved/puppy-like at all (hence the Village of the Damned reference). And since the title was 'It’s Slobberin’ Time!', the gulf of emotion jarred somewhat.

It also seems like something SK noticed (or who knows, read) too, as their actions in Friday's strip seems more akin to what I'd have expected for Thursday.

TheOriginalJes said...

D said -"Jai and Jes look like two heavy-weights just slugging it out for what may become an mod job."-

Actually, I did make an offer. But, like R.W., I haven't heard back.

...and thanks for the compliment.

TheOriginalJes said...

The Trouble With Kibbles - Has Scratch been experimenting with growth formula? He's HUGE!.

And, he, Cole, and Skull seem to be experiencing the same hair-gene malfunction with the eyebrows. My own cat, although he does have a brow, is more prominently displaying whiskers above his eyes.

It's Slobberin' Time - The whole thing is cute. I have no problems with it.

I would have considered adding something like, "STOP LICKING THAT!" But, that's just me interjecting myself, as usual.

D said...

@jes - You are welcome.

Trouble with kibbles: This strip feels like two halves of two other strips stuck together. The tone doesn't really follow from second to the third strip. If Scratch's line started with something like "That's unacceptable" instead of the "Dear lord" then the rest of the line flows. The "Dear lord" line starts setting up the second punchline with no payoff from the first setup.

The first half of the strip with the brain augmentation setup could have had a neat ending with a basset hound version of the Three musketeers. Or something less cliche.

The second half of the strip could have been preambled with the bassets doing cute, but annoying stuff that builds up to the "Mondays" line.

Also, hand lettering ho! It's a small step in the right direction.

Parcel tongue: I don't quite get the title pun, but I know it's in there someplace. I'm not a Harry Potter fan but Hogwart's takes an apostrophe, no? As for the joke, again, I don't really get what's going on with the Harry Potter business. Skull's got some rockin' Alvin and the Chipmunks style upper teeth.

Hey, we're approaching 100 comments!

TheOriginalJes said...

Parcel meaning package for delivery, and from the movie for the split-tongue language of the snakes.

Chris Dunning said...


Looks like we might be seeing Cole's dad this week. SK had posted a sketch-up of him early last week, and it seems that the logical step from today's strip would be that the boy in the picture is Cole's father.

Art wise, I really like what SK did with Brent's glasses in panel 4. It's a great emote. Obviously he's really been working on this over the last year or two (actually, I think we really started to see it around the wedding), and it's starting to look more natural all the time. Unfortunately, I don't think it works as well in panel 5, where it looks like it's taking the place of eyebrows and pupils.

Throughout the strip, the handwork is a little uneven. The photograph shows a really well done thumbs up, but panel one is a little sloppy, and Brent's finger in panel three seems a little funky, but only when I actually made a survey of the hands themselves.

I also think that Kurtz seems to have done well in stabilizing his palette lately. I know a few months ago it seemed like colors will vary by several shades from one strip to the next for no real reason, but I've noticed a bit more consistency lately... either that, or I was simply seeing things (then or now).

The dialogue in panel 4 is really the joke to me, as I don't get the reference in 5 (I'll look it up in a bit).

Overall, I give today's strip a B+ with the note that I can adjust that grade based on how the upcoming story line goes.

Jai said...

Parcel Tongue: A couple of weird points of interest, but overall it's a solid strip. Especially compared to Marmeduke and Garfield jokes.

It seems odd that Cole would get fan mail. What does he do, anyway? Is he the editor? He could have gotten praise for an editorial, but I was imagining that he only runs the business side of PVP Magazine. I suppose that's just the impression I get from having never seen him do or talk about his job, beyond holding meetings. Of course, with just five staff members (You can't tell me that Skull contributes to the magazine. Wait, I forget if Miranda works for Cole or Max these days), they'd all have to wear a lot of hats to keep a real publication going. The root of the oddity behind Cole getting fan mail is that it is a reference to something we've never, ever seen him do.

The other bit of strangeness comes from panel 3, where Skull is shown to be standing where we would have to assume the table was a moment earlier. We have no visual indication that Brent chose to turn away from the table, but sure... that COULD have happened. If we weren't already so sure of the artist's merely casual interest in environmental continuity between one viewpoint and another (Even when the new point of view appears to merely be two feet "closer", using the same angle).

But neither of those affect the joke or anything else. They're simply a bit jarring. I wonder if Skull's display of passive-aggressiveness is an indication of a return to Brent and Skull's old, bemourned relationship (You know, before Brent had suddenly grown up with Skull playing the role of beloved Hobbes to Brent's Calvin. Yech)? Probably not, but I can dream.

In other news: I cannot understand the Sin Kitty design -- what is being represented on the bottom of the graphic?! Argh, it's driving me crazy.

And it's funny that this and the Panda Attack shirt emphasize bloody violence (Especially if these are the two most popular shirt designs). Because that's pretty much the last thing I would think of when I think of modern-day PVP. I miss the bloody violence days!

Jai said...

Oops, looks like the fan mail thing was actually a neatly-woven thread to connect a "one off" strip with an actual storyline. Of course, it does raise the question of "How did Cole know it was fan mail in the previous strip, without also realizing it was a mistake"... :|

Chrono-envy: This time, *I* don't get whatever pun is in the title. Hopefully there isn't one, so that I'm not to blame. :) The "Wyld Stallyns" mention is a reference to Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, a movie about time-travel. They drop a garbage can with "Wyld Stallyns rule" over someone's head (By coming back from the future to help themselves out in the past... Oh, and it's the name of their band), but maybe a bucket is involved somewhere as well or Brent just doesn't want to involve the garbage can aspect of it.

My first thought was that Cole would discover his dad was a child (?) actor and kept it a secret for some reason... is there a picture of the sketchup of his dad? I hadn't known about that.

As far as the artwork goes, I'm singularly dismayed by the armless mound that is Cole's back. The rest of the strip seemed fine (Good, even. I've always loved the sunglasses emotion, though this is only the fourth or fifth time it's been used), or was overshadowed by the broke Back Mountain. The diagonal line across said back is also pretty strange (But it's such a nice, clean line? That must count for something).

The name of the ye olde tyme televisione showe Richards, Senior REALLY does not roll off of the tongue. Maybe it was a Japanese show...? Maybe I shouldn't keep playing devil's advocate against myself.

What is a "sase", by the way? Also, yes, they DO have a time machine (The Delorean)... geez. Too bad that piece of continuity would wreck up this strip's otherwise-great humor.

rdy said...

@Jai : SASE = Self-addressed stamped envelope.

Regarding the Sin Kitty thing, I think it's supposed to be Scratch's tail, though I will admit at first glance I wondered why the wrench had bunny ears on it.

It's doesn't particularly add anything and looks out of place. I think it's because, most of the time, we don't see his tail. It threw me when it showed up last week in the pups strips, especially in the first one where it looks so long you wonder how the heck he manages to keep it hidden the rest of the time.

But, it's in a similar position to that rather pregnant-looking Scratch maquette they knocked out so I guess it's supposed to match the pose.

Jai said...

You're the man!

From what I remembered, the shirt graphic is an altered duplicate of one of the bits of concept art for the maquette. But I didn't remember the maquette's tail at all.

Hm, Kurtz could really afford to enlarge (Or... bold?) the words that would be all-caps in normally-capitalized text. For legibility. In a strip where every word is lettered in a tradtional all-caps comic book font, such things need something besides capitalization to emphasize that they are not a normal word. For instance, the strip about the Apple iPhone 3GS had me irked because the previous iPhone model is the "3G", and the lettering implied that was being pluralized.

TheOriginalJes said...

I really liked today's strip. I thought the writing was solid and smooth.

The black and white photo was a great idea. However, I think the contrast in the grey-scale should have been much sharper to:

A) Demonstrate the starkness of BW vs the richness of the (now normal) color. Either that, or punch up the color palette;

B) (Using the sharper contrast) to show that the publicity photo was well taken care of by the owner.

I (as Chris Dunning mentions) also liked how Brent's glasses were used to emote in place of his eyes. Although, a peek behind the lenses to see the eyes matching the expression would have been a great way to add depth to the art and bring home the feeling.

I completely missed the one-off of Cole's father. If a link can be posted, I'd appreciate it.

As for the title, Scott's abandoned the double entendre for the single in this case. (fyi - chronos being the greek root for time.) If he wracked his brain harder, he probably could have found a double in there somewhere. For (bad) example, had the photo been taken in the sixties, chrono- could have been replaced with chronic-.

Nitpick - Cole does have a time machine, the DeLorean. Unless it was lost in the past with Skull (see that knuckle d20 strip from years ago). I'm a little amazed that Cole and Brent can just take the General Lee out for a spin whenever they wish, but can't remember that they have a friggin' badass time machine. Deus Ex Machina is my least favorite literary device. I can't help but feel that, in each case, three minutes of thought could have come up with something better.

But hey, the strip was up before I left work, today. That counts for something with me.

A side note (this one's for you, R.W.)-

I spent about an hour listening to "Blatantly Douchey", today. For those of you who haven't seen the blog post that preceded today's strip, it's the live stream that Scott, Kris, and Brian did, yesterday. It's definitely meant to target only the budding webcomic artist community that was pain-stakingly cultivated by the half-pixel crew. In the cast, the guys go off on someone for bringing web-attitude to the convention scene.

I don't know how much of this incident was public knowledge before the webcast. If it wasn't, then airing it was just bad form on behalf of the Halfpixel crew. A cry for public support in regards to a private incident is, in my book, a definite show of weakness.

Of course, if anybody knows a link to something pre-dating the webcast I'm referring to that could show me the other side, please post it here at PVPMMS, so that I may partake in a generous helping of crow.

TheOriginalJes said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chris Dunning said...

Cole's Dad:

TheOriginalJes said...

Thanks, Chris.

...and, wow.

TheOriginalJes said...

Webcast with Merlin Mann - about 40 to 45 minutes in...a must hear for PVPMMS.

TheOriginalJes said...

Flavor of Adventure -

I absolutely loved the punchline!! It made me think of "I Love Lucy", "The Honeymooners", and "A Christmas Story" all at once.

Super Space Cadet Man is a very good likeness for George Reeves, even though you can't see SSCM's hair. For anyone who's actually seen the old re-runs of Superman, the way Scott's drawn the costume to loosely fit the actor's mediocre (for a superhero) physique is just about spot-on (for 2d).

The shading on his cheeks in panel #3 and the textural efforts of the costume, I think give a good feel to the retro look. It's a shame that it makes panel #4 look plain by comparison.

By plain, I'd like to clarify by stating that SSCM looks more like a b&w version of an 80's comic book hero. Having read my father's old superman comics from the late 50's, his shoulders (and all his body points, actually) are too rounded and natural looking for the period. And, his limbs in panel 4 are just too well defined for the time. (Unless those comics I read were even older. Then I'm just pissed that I don't have them anymore. $$)

Little "Cole" brings one word to mind - Doof. (Sadly, that says more about me.)

Panels 1 & 2 are standard PVP faire with some decent color choices.

However, I'm not very impressed with Cole's tie. If it's his (the character's) choice to wear a clip-on, that is both sardonically funny and characteristically pathetic at the same time. Especially to wear it with an open collar. (Note to self: watch less Bravo.) The alternative to that tie being a clip-on is just too sad to consider.

TheOriginalJes said...

BTW - by decent color choices, I mean that it seems to me that the color palette has been sharpened just a bit to be a bit more ...warm? ...alive? ...not vibrant ...I'm not sure what the best word is.

Maybe it's, "I'm having a mild stroke today."

rdy said...

"Super Space Cadet Man is a very good likeness for George Reeves, even though you can't see SSCM's hair. For anyone who's actually seen the old re-runs of Superman, the way Scott's drawn the costume to loosely fit the actor's mediocre (for a superhero) physique is just about spot-on (for 2d)."

Well, you'd hope so, it's basically a trace of this image...

You can even count the same folds in the fabric at the armpit :)

Jai said...

Man, rdy, I was about to say that. I use Google Image Search for "old superman", and the first result is this.

What great "artwork", Kurtz! So impressive! So accurate! How EVER do you DO it?

Jai said...

Oh, and here's the other George Reeves picture, used in the 4th panel.

That junk is "PVP makes me angry", personally. It's just plagiarism (Taking previously-existing content and turning it into "your work". Does it magically not count as plagiarism as long as the content isn't being taken from other webcartoonists?) and laziness. There's no excuse for it. Maybe Kurtz will call me an asshole again for noticing that he did it, and for saying it's crap that we don't need to see him doing. He's a role model to aspiring cartoonists (Well, webcomic cartoonists), and speaks from a very high pulpit with his comic strip to a very large congregation. Getting away with tracing photographs instead of doing some original work is a terrible example of how to be a successful artist, and makes a perfect hypocrite of Kurtz for his double standard of original content (He HATES when people use his characters and work, and is outspoken in regards to artists' rights. Hey, they're talking about that right now on the webcast I'm listening to! Weird!).

Flavor of Adventure: Other than that... the punchline was very funny. This is the type of humor that I've always really enjoyed. However, Cole's photograph has turned completely gray (Come on, Mr. Photoshop -- you can't take 30 seconds to copy the photo from the previous strip, distort it, and crop it?). And I'm not seeing how Cole could not realize that his father's name is also "Cole Richards"... was he adopted? Did his father change names? Die young? Even if I didn't know his father was involved as I now do, I would be wondering this (Because I wondered about it when I read the previous strip).

Scott said...

I would like to take exception with the notion that the photo reference I used in today's comic is plagiarism.

I'm trying to invoke Geroge Reeve's Superman directly and the best way to do this was to parody that look and costume and time period.

Since I can't use Superman or claim that Cole Richards was child actor on the old Superman show without getting into a clusterfuck with DC comics and Warner bros, I make up my own parody of that genre of show and reference it as closely as I can.

I use photo reference a lot in my strip these days. It really has helped me understand anatomy better and push my artwork a lot. And there are times when you want to parody a celebrity but I don't want to just copy and paste an AP photo into the strip.

A good example were is the GI Joe and Twilight strip I did. In both of those strips I took publicity and movie stills and referenced them.

I can't think of any artists today that don't use google search for photo reference.

You guys act like I just pasted a photo of George Reeves in my comic strip. I used it for reference as a basis and starting point for my drawing.

The point of the photo reference in today's comic was to mimic old superman publicity photos as closely as possible. There's a reason you immediately recognized it. That was the intent.

It's not like I'm trying to pull off some clan-destine operation here.

Scott said...

Also in my defense allow me to offer two strips that I feel clearly illustrate that I can draw these more "anatomically correct" figures without photo reference. Sometimes I just want it to look MORE like the celebrity I'm parodying/referencing.


Chris Dunning said...

I'm with Scott, it's not plagiarism unless he's tracing/taking the original artwork and dropping it into his strip. These individual drawings are derivative works, and in the context of a larger piece of work they become yet more removed from piece which they imitate. Saying that Scott's sketch, which emulates a pose and general costume details constitutes plagiarism or copyright infringement is like saying my picture of the statue of liberty is an infringement on or plagiarism of Bartholdi's work.

R.W.McGee said...

Plagiarism? If a landscape artist paints from photographs they take, is that plagiarism?

I rarely leap to the defense of Mr. Kurtz, but I'm strongly failing to see how this is even remotely plagiarism.

R.W.McGee said...

(also I wanted to see how many times I could legitimately work plagiarism into a post. Three times. Plagiarism.)

TheOriginalJes said...


From now on, I promise you Google BEFORE I post a comment.

As for plagiarism, this particular argument makes me think of Vanilla Ice and Ray Parker Jr. Is it really wrong to sample the work of others? Especially if your crossing from one medium to another (photo to litho to drawing)?

Scott - I enjoyed the Merlin Mann webcast. I thought his advice at the end was interesting.

Jai said...

Scott, thanks for the civil reply. However, I believe there is a vast difference between "using a photo as a reference" and "tracing over a photo". I do not honestly believe that you merely used the photos as a reference when drawing your parody character.

As for saying that tracing a photo is plagiarism, of course that's not frankly true. What I'm trying to get at is that the result is much the same -- you saved yourself some time and effort (Which I fully believe you to be capable of) by heavily sampling something else. And the finished product is obviously not drawn in the same style as everything around it in your strip, which makes you look very inconsistant as an artist. Do you know of ANY other artist who makes as exact a copy as they can (So exact that it looks traced) of the material they want to parody/reference? I am starving for examples.

You're not breaking copyright as I understand it, Scott. But don't pretend that the majority of your readers will never know that you don't come up with your "referenced" material entirely by yourself. What if Merlin had been directed to this one strip instead of the one about puppies?How good would it feel to hear him say, "Wow, Scott, your drawing of the TV superhero is fantastic! Really reminds me of that old Adventures Of Superman show! God, I wish I could do that"? Because he could do that. He just needs to trace a photograph, like any child is capable of doing (Admittedly not with the same quality and cleanliness of lines).

Even if you insist that your eerily-similar replications are not at all due to tracing, there will be no other webcomic or artist worth their salt out there that does the same thing. Can you tell me why that is?

Jai said...

"As for plagiarism, this particular argument makes me think of Vanilla Ice and Ray Parker Jr. Is it really wrong to sample the work of others? Especially if your crossing from one medium to another (photo to litho to drawing)?" - TheOriginalJes

Of course it is, if you do it without a word of reference to your source(s) and especially if you stand to gain (Either a good grade, or respect that isn't all due to you, or monetarily) by it. To do otherwise isn't professional, and looks dishonest. Crossing from one medium to another is an interesting topic, though -- what if you turn a paragraph of literary description into a painting? Of course that's not wrong; you'd have to use your imagination and your own skill to get the result (But citing your reference would be great, because otherwise your admirers are missing out). Turning a photograph into a drawing? Not "wrong", but depending on how closely you match it you may be failing as an artist. There are Photoshop filters that can do as much as an artist who's just tracing a photo, so what would be the point? How can you take pride in "your art"? If you reference it tocreate your artwork, well, that's another matter entirely -- that's the entire foundation of caricature, parody, and of learning the artistic trade to begin with. But the whole idea is to be putting your own spin on your interpretation, to make it your own. This is not accomplished by making as exact a copy as you can, sticking a new logo on the chest and drawing a different head.

TheOriginalJes said...

Jai wrote -"And I'm not seeing how Cole could not realize that his father's name is also "Cole Richards"... was he adopted?"-

I'm thinking that there's stage name/secret identity issues. Or his father just really, REALLY loved his old job.

TheOriginalJes said...

Actually Jai, I was more "amusing myself" with references to past, lost legal battles of similar issue. Sorry for any confusion.

For the record, I totally get yours and rdy's point. I'm more disappointed in myself for being so naive to take it on face value (I-MMS :~( ).

On another note, Scott's business concerns/model have obviously shifted from the point craftsmanship of original art to teaching and personal celebrity.

In truth, tracing a picture of George Reeves is no less intellectually creative than taking a photo of action figures (please see the Bitsmack archives My point being that illustrating a thought and drawing a picture are two different things.

The only thing that's really missing is a formal declaration from Scott Kurtz that he is no longer in pursuit of perfecting his skill.

-"But the whole idea is to be putting your own spin on your interpretation, to make it your own. This is not accomplished by making as exact a copy as you can, sticking a new logo on the chest and drawing a different head."-

Are you sure? -

Scott said...


First of all, I'm going to ignore the fact that I'm pretty sure you can't even trace photos as well as I do. That's not a personal attack against you, it's just that I have a hard time taking artistic advice from people who can't draw better than I can. I have little to learn from them.

Second let me say that I agree with your statement that tracing a photo and altering only a few things is a really crappy way of establishing a style.

However, it is a great tool for learning and teaching yourself anatomy and caricature. For me it works a lot better than referencing a photo and trying to replicate it.

Drawing on TOP of the photo itself, lets you see immediately if you're, say, putting a nose as high on the face as it needs to be.

At first, your art will look like you traced a photo but as you learn and practice you'll start to figure this art of caricature out and not need to trace, only reference.

I teach myself on the fly as I post my strips. And clearly the remaining 98% of the time it's obvious that I'm capable of creating and maintaining my own artistic style.

I can even do caricatures in my style of people that does not require tracing (i.e. the Whale Wars guy).

But when I want to represent a real-world person (say the cover of a Twilight book or a Superman TV show) I find this tracing method gets me the results I desire and I learn in the process.

Jai, I think you need to find a new hobby outside of dissecting my work. You seem way to eager to knock me down a peg.

Scott said...


My business model and my art are two separate interests. I want to make a living and provide for my family while promoting my work at the same time.

But I think that two panels of a comic strip where I admittedly traced a photo for the purposes of making it seem more realistic to a real-life photo is hardly an indication that I've given up on being an artist.

Honestly guys, that's just ridiculous. I've done so much to push my art this last year. It's sad you can't see that.

Jai said...

Jes: Well, my reply was very poorly written, anyway. There are a lot of trees that can be seen if you miss the forest. For instance, the book-to-painting example is purely a case of reference -- it's not POSSIBLE to sample or "trace" a painting from words. The example of musical sampling being in poor taste seems debatable to me -- fans are always up in arms over sampling, but I'm not much aware of any consequences or if sampling is too hard to prove (Or of the musical artist scene at all. I'd not be the right person to ask). I should have said "Of course it is... depending on what, specifically, you're talking about", initially.

And, Scott, if you have questions (Or really feel like making a point), I would urge you to ask them of artists who you respect and trust; I'm just the random caustic guy on the Internet who you may or may not suspect of malicious, rabble-rousing "look at me" intent (Or: "trolling"). I would recommend that you query them without giving away your own opinion or the reason (Your own situation) behind the questions first. It's very kind of you to ignore that I might just be the worst artist in the world (No, I'm not saying I am) so that you can explain again (We all know your stance on this already) that you don't have any reason to take advice from unproven strangers. Still, it seemed like you were repeating bits of what I'd already expressed back to me, as if I did not believe them. Maybe we disagree on the "you're only good enough to not trace things 98% of the time instead of 100%" point, though. To still be tracing photos at YOUR level is a crutch. While I can't disagree that you can learn from doing it (I would merely emphasize the "YOU", and then disagree with it), I must say that you should only be LEARNING from those excercises -- not publicating them. Referencing is an even better tool for growth, because you have to learn how to produce artistic similarity every step of the way, and not just when you accidently fail to trace accurately.

TheOriginalJes said...


My last post, from "On another note -" and beyond; was meant under a theoretical microscope of a day-to-day context vs. setting immutable guidelines.

What I mean to say is this:

[-"The only thing that's really missing is a formal declaration from Scott Kurtz that he is no longer in pursuit of perfecting his skill."-

You once declared your intention to focus harder on your artistic technique (around the time of the Niagara Falls drawing). No big deal. But, if someone were to take that to an extreme theoretical definitive, then...

... My comment is to say that if a person is to carry your expression of interest to mean absolutely every strip you produce MUST have that level of dedication and discipline, then you would be required (only in the theoretical sense) to formally declare an intention to depart from the rigor of your craft. -

What I probably should have said is that one shouldn't require a formal declaration from you to be excused from changing the way you illustrate, be it for that day or forever. But, notice of a permanent change would be appreciated by the fans.

I apologize for the confusion. I'm originally from NJ, and tend to be quite a smart-ass. But, it usually goes right over the heads of others.]

[-"On another note, Scott's business concerns/model have obviously shifted from the point craftsmanship of original art to teaching and personal celebrity."-

I have no personal problems with your business model (i.e. your comic, webcasts, books, appearances, etc.) If I could do it, I would. I have no problems admitting that.

But, you're putting A LOT of time into your webcasts and uStreams, forums, and twitters vs. your actual craft. You told Merlin Mann that it only takes you about an hour to draw a strip. That's not alot of time for the centerpiece of your business.

( There's a post under today's comic at LICD where Sohmer talks about how many people it takes to do what you're trying to do.

You've been stretching yourself thinner and thinner over the past three years. And, after PVP hit the ten-year mark, you started to really push the personal appearances over the actual books. So isn't it possible that your fans might notice this in your work?]

It's your business, and you can do what the hell you want with it. But, you shouldn't be so sensitive about our discussing what you put out for us to see.

You said, -"My business model and my art are two separate interests."-

No. Your art is at the very center of your business model. Let's face it. Without Skull, where's your brand recognition?

Or, shall I say "was at the center". Which was my point to begin with. You're so focused on being the star and defending your personal/public image, that your on the road to being the next Perez Hilton.

-"Honestly guys, that's just ridiculous. I've done so much to push my art this last year. It's sad you can't see that."-

Yes, we have. And, haven't you noticed that more of the posters here are going out of there way to point out what they do like? That's a direct result of your last big visit to PVPMMS.

Scott said...

How funny. Cameron Stewart talks about this photo stuff in his blog. I highly respect Cameron and his opinions and found his thoughts and demonstration to be VERY helpful.

Check it out as it is germaine to our discussion here.

Jai said...

How funny. Cameron is directly backing up my point of view on the matter. You're a very weird person sometimes, Scott. I wonder why you felt compelled to point out that you are certain you have little to learn from me (Because, lacking any proof at all, you're sure I can't trace things as well as you can -- what a weird thing to say, as if you're proud of tracing a photo), and then that Cameron has opened your eyes. Are you indirectly trying to admit that I really might know what I'm talking about?

Hey, remember when Merlin told you that the 2- and 3-star reviews are the most worthwhile to read (Because they clearly aren't focused on ass-kissing and clearly aren't focused on shitting completely over the product -- they're in the middle, and either see both sides better or are more honest)? We are the people that make your 2- and 3-star review comments.

Scott said...


I don't feel Cameron's blog supports your opinion. Your opinion was

"Getting away with tracing photographs instead of doing some original work is a terrible example of how to be a successful artist, and makes a perfect hypocrite of Kurtz for his double standard of original content"

That's not Cameron's opinion. Far from it I feel.

Scott said...

Also, Jai, I am proud of my artwork.

99% of it is not produced by tracing photos. I think it's obvious that I use tracing photos in very specific situations and on a limited basis, just as Cameron suggests.

Jai said...

"Getting away with tracing photographs instead of doing some original work is a terrible example of how to be a successful artist" - me

"Personally I dislike this aesthetic, particularly when applied to superhero comics, as I feel it is reductive and a lot of the time ends up looking stilted and ironically unconvincing, and I much prefer to see an artist's individual style rather than a series of traced photographs"

"What I don't do is copy or trace the photographs exactly, as I feel that can rob the drawing of its character and spontaneity, and also appear quite lazy" - Cameron

TheOriginalJes said...

Gins Of The Father -

I think Scott's done a fair enough job (based on what little of the story we've seen thus far) of depicting a relatively loser-ish Dad for Cole. If Brent's dad is Felix, Cole's dad is Oscar.

This may even be what Scott was talking about before Brent's wedding, when he said that there was an intense background between Brent's Dad (forgot his name, damnit) and Cole. Go ahead, I'm reading.

I'm interested to see where this can go. But, I'd like to see some real, in-depth background and/or some intense unfolding of events.

I do have some concerns:

- Scott's delving into something that doesn't fit how he's described his own life experiences. He doesn't always write too well for those situations. But, if this new character is based on someone from his past; This could get big. really big.

- We don't usually get to see alot of in-comic main storyline with PVP. We normally just get to see some side gags and on-liners, like when Scratch took on Zeus.

I'm officially pleading - Scott, please let this unfold in front of us.

If I'm right, we may get to see Cole's inner child make a break for it. Or, at least, I'm hoping for it.

I wasn't very impressed with today's strip other than to see that SSCM is still being drawn well. (If it's a trace, I just don't care.) But, as I started to examine the implications of the last three strips as a whole, I was able to appreciate more of the storytelling that has kept me glued to PVP for the past 3 years.

TheOriginalJes said...

[I'm also abnormally pleased that this one comment section has almost become a website of it's own.]

Jai said...

I feel like the only thing that would hurt this storyline is if there's literally no reason for Cole not to have put 2+2 together earlier, regarding his father. Or, maybe, if the humor cuts out completely (As in Gins Of The Father, unless you count that KSSCM was overlooked completely by SSCM's enemy. It's kind of funny. KSSCM is clearly a parody of classic pathetic child characters that are written into shows for a limited run where they don't really belong, perhaps solely for a commercial purpose. Even the enemies don't know he exists). Is the story strong enough to engage readers without being woven into the usual bit of comedy? Otherwise, I agree that the whole affair looks promising. The joke today was good, and I can imagine that I'd be as excited as Cole if I'd learned something that momentous about my own father (Whose past I know only a little of. Ah, family).

If SSCM is still being traced, then it's from more esoteric photos than I'm immediately familiar with (The first two poses were pretty much from the only two iconic pictures I was ever aware of, so who knows. I don't have a reason to go looking). If he's not, then Scott realized that the power was inside of him all along!

TheOriginalJes said...

A white-on-white Cooper Mini...Motto Mafioso, Signore Kurtz!

TheOriginalJes said...

I wasn't really surprised by Cole's reaction. We had no reason to believe that Cole would expect his father to keep things from him.

I think a lot of Cole's childhood understandings are coming into question. Expect an upcoming title such as "Illusions Shattered".

A Nonny Mouse said...

I suppose some of us may have parents who have frequently shown photos from their childhood, but not everybody would immediately recognise their pre-adult parents outside of a context in which they're expecting the sight. I don't think I would.

R.W.McGee said...

I need a new thread. Scrolling through 113 comments and growing is starting to give me carpal tunnel =)

To that end, I've created an alternate PvP Makes Me Sad blog at

I can drop new threads there and hopefully Jai or TheOrignalJes will volunteer to do some analysis. Let me know what you guys think, I'm still trying to figure out a less annoying background color.

TheOriginalJes said...

See ya's on the other side...

Jai said...

Oops. I've been slowly piecing together a temporary replacement PVPMMS blog, too! I don't have time to wrap up my efforts, but RW has spurred me into non-silence on the matter. There's a link in my profile -- send me your email address if you want an author invitation, RW / Jes.

(If you think the place is shit, then just send me an invite to your place, RW!) :)

TheOriginalJes said...

I'm glad I didn't try to make a blog...

R.W.McGee said...

Ok, I've gotten the initial traffic, but I'm sort of leaning toward Jai's site design, clearly he's spent more time on it.

I will see what people think, but the PVPMMS Remix may be brief.


R.W.McGee said...

learn it, love it, link it!

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