Thursday, April 30, 2009

Skinned Knees

Friendship is Rare: Part Four

Hey guys, so here is why I have sucked for about the last week (I know some of you may argue it has been longer then that):

Over the past week those changes in my life which I mentioned before: a) wedding b) house hunting c) thing that cannot be named, kind of all came to a head.

My Fiancee and I purchased a great house in Oxford, PA (where the Amish roam), we finally found the last piece of the wedding puzzle with a florist (flowers are HOW MUCH?!), and the thing that cannot be named came true and I am changing jobs at the end of the week. So life has been hectic to say the least.

I still check out the site and update the days so you guys can converse and I love checking in on them. Now that that life has settle down a little (closing is in August, Wedding in November, job change basically over) I'll do more updates so they can be disagreed with. :)

Also, Jim Thorpe from Suckerboys was nice enough to do an interview with me two weeks ago. I just have to polish it a little so it flows from conversation to actual interview and he is a great guy. I'll have it up by the weekend. Go read his comic it is great.

Stay safe from swine flu. It's gonna get ya!

Art -


Monday, April 27, 2009

Scott Kurtz is back, Alright! (to the theme of "Backstreet's Back")

Friendship is Rare: Part One

Art - Kurtz has tempered our expectations as he has said in many venues that this is just for this run. See this is the frustrating thing about PVP, he CAN give us stuff like this but he doesn't. He has said "I was inspired/ I was excited to get back to my characters" and thus colored for the week. Well then was there that "excitement/inspiration" in previous months since he NOW has it? Ugh.

Anyway I like the coloring of both the characters and the background in this strip. There are fused fingers but it makes sense since he is hold a coffee cup. I also really like Skull in the last panel as he is very teary and snotty and fits him very well.

My only complain (aside from the paragraph above) is that Brent looks a little too tan. I see him as a pasty white guy (as with all the white guys in the strip) and with and without the shading he looks like he was at the tanning booth for the weekend.

Story - Kurtz returns and is right back in his wheelhouse. I'm on record as saying I really liked Skull and that continues with this strip as he and Brent had a good interaction, but one similar to something seen before. Nothing amazing but it was a funny strip nonetheless.

Also for those who noted that Brent's eyes were seen this is not the first strip as it was done a few weeks ago in this strip here

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Guest strip by Brad Guigar

Art - To me Scratch just looks odd throughout the strip and not in the "someone else is drawing him, different style way" He just looks like a cross between the normal Scratch with a heavy dose Stewie Griffin

I've read Evil Inc before and I'm just not a fan of the art style, personal preference more than actual quality

Story - A good little integration with the Evil Inc and PVP world, since Scratch is, well, Eeeevil. I think that Scratch is a little too wordy then what know of Scott's version. A nice little punchline, but nothing extraordinary.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Guest Strip by Renee Engstrom


I love Renee Engstrom, that is all :)

Art - Anders loves Maria is one of my favorite webcomics so I was expecting some nudity, who knew that Cole would be the one with frontal?

I love Renee's flowing lines and overall coloring as she is, in my opinion, the best artist of the comics that I read.

Also, I liked the way she drew Francis as he was very Bohemian/shaggy looking and was a nice version of what Scott was trying to do.

Story - I liked the story as it played off well the "fun" loving side of PVP versus the responsibility that Cole has to deal with.

I actually like this type of relationship better as boss Cole makes more sense than dad figure/boss Cole when dealing with Francis. The latter to me tends to annoy because what right of it is his to spout off about Francis' sex life (College is fine, because he can be a mentor). In this strip Cole's reaction makes sense, is sympathetic, and is funny because most of us can understand where he is coming from.

Monday, April 20, 2009

All the Single Ladies

Guest Strip:Danielle Corsetto

Art -

Story - It like this strip as the writing kind of makes Sam and Jades friendship as natural as the Cole/Brent relationship; replacing the office/pop culture nerdery with a bar and video games with a douche with a pop collared douche hitting on you.

Like Scott said in his notes for this strip Danielle writes very well for both Sam and Jade and the difference between a male writer and female writer is shown here. I'm not saying that Scott is a bad writer with women on purpose but you can only write what you know.

It is the same thing like watching one of those female centric shows (Sex and the City, Gray's anatomy, etc) and they write the all guys as emotional wimps that can't make decisions. Sure there are guys like that but you usually don't see 3-4 in the same group of people at the same time. It is what you THINK the opposite set is/should be, not what they are.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Guest Strips: Imaginary Friends

Guest Strip: Ryan Sohmer and Lar Desouza #1
I Want to Believe

Art - I liked the art in these two strips as the "kid coloring in the lines" style is done well. It matches well with the strip being about Skull and imaginary friends.

I loved the drawing of Skull throughout and the homages to Pooh, Hobbes, and Snuffy were done well too.

Oh and I don't know who the kid looks like or is supposed to be :).

Story - One of my favorite arcs from the past year was the one with Skull being an imaginary friend to other kids and have similar results to this child. I liked the homages from a storyline perspective too and adding the edge to Snuffy made me chuckle. Very good fill-ins!

PS - I hope to have a special treat up this weekend as I try to branch out from straight reviews on this blog and provide content that is a) different and b) still related to webcomics. It is my first foray and I hope I serve my subject well.

As for a clue "You, sir, are the greatest athlete in the world"

Monday, April 13, 2009

A Team Loses it's Voice

PS - I am a Philadelphian by birth and by passion and grew up with baseball as my favorite sport. It still is likey my favorite sport to watch and today likely the biggest legend of the organization, Harry Kalas, passed out and died at the ballpark.

For those outside of the area, he also did some voice over work for commercials and also for NFL films, which may be the best chance to have heard him. To hear a famous call click HERE. His voice made listening to baseball on the radio in the summer one of the greatest things ever.

BTW the guy in the back is the color guy Chris Wheeler, generally not liked, but we loved his reaction.

Friday, April 10, 2009

You A'int Nothing But a . . .

Catch Me if you Can

Art - Awesome.

Story - As a owner of a hound dog who recently passed away (Beagle instead of a Bassett) I can say from experience these dogs are great and leave you with a whole in your heart for a while when they go.

"A boy can learn a lot from a dog: obedience, loyalty, and the importance of turning around three times before lying down.
Robert Benchley (1889 - 1945)"

If you want to read a good tribute to a dog go HERE for Bill Simmon's story about his dog Dooze.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Well this is just plain funny

Hello all,
At the beginning of the week I added my own little funny thought of Scott taking Miranda's role and screaming "but I AM pretty!"

Now someone more talented than me has made that into an a visual media.

Thanks to Kovac for the link, creating it (?) and doing a great job

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Indy and Feminism at it's Finest

He Says She Says

Art -

Story -

It's Beautiful

Art -

Story -

Magic Box

Perkins and Fowley

Art - I liked the embrace of the "lovers" in the first two panels even though I don't know why Miranda's hand changes between panels, as panel 2 in weird. All the characters themselves were drawn very well and I loved Chet's actions in panel 3 and 4 especially interacting with the monitor. Also, the shading was done well throughout as well.

So no major nitpicks . . . DAMN!

Story - Continues the story well from the previous strip as Miranda's ego needs a soft place to land. I also like the fact that Chet is in fact a lummox as I'd rather see another Skull type then another snarky member of the PVP cast

I agree with RW that this was a great punchline as it presented another pop culture reference (I know it's a pop culture strip) and addressed the fact it might have sailed over the head of some people (Francis' reaction) and basically said "don't worry about it". A clever little play on some of the jokes in the past from PVP, well done.

Side note - Is it bad that I get the Wild Kingdom references right away and I have no knowledge of Doctor Who? Please don't revoke my nerd card.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Thin Skinned - Ironic i say!

Beauty is Only. . .

Art - I liked the shading as it was kept consistent with the light from the monitor. Also, the backgrounds and set pieces were done well with good detail and I like Miranda interacting with the door frame in panel 1. Nice little touch including the line graph on the monitor as well.

Miranda's bug eyes were ok in panel one because she is angry/indignant about what was written about her. Also, her hand in panel 3 and 4 is ok because she is gesturing towards the screen, but seems a little disproportionate due to it being a little long.

Story - A nice strip as the combination of the internet and Miranda's ego would tend to be a bad thing.

With all the things we've seen from Scott though with comment pages and critic sites I imagined him (in cartoon form) saying "But I AM pretty"

Do it yourself it'll make you chuckle.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Well . . .

Yo guys,
This isn't a strip critique, and I know some of you are happy about that, but it is a general opinion relating to something involving. For those of you that want the background of this subject Scott posted a few comments to a story about a political cartoonist getting released/fired from a newspaper and that's here

Now from the posts it is easy to see that there is history, likely a new school/old school spat that happened months to years ago that Scott (if it is the real Scott) held onto and now that people, through no action of his own, have fallen down and he has taken the time to kick and gloat over.

I'm going to steal something I heard from a podcast with Adam Carolla and Bill Simmons. They talked about a theory where if a person is described by his first name twice in a row it is a hidden code that the guy is an asshole. The most famous being "It's just Manny [Ramirez] being Manny". If you think about it though it is very true because if you have someone in your life and describe an action as "it's just blank being blank" 99% of the time they are being a dick.

In these same podcasts they (mostly Simmons) have talked about the downfall of newspapers with people who have been in that business and a few themes have emerged that make sense for the real reason of newspapers hitting the shitter.

First, the biggest thing of the internet that killed newspapers? Craigslist and other classified sites. A lot of the revenue that newspapers got were from their classifieds and when a FREE, popular, and national alternative came about newspapers couldn't compete.

Also, newspapers did drop the ball in the early days as they kept their content free on the internet and now the "information should be free" mantra they can't really start charging because information is just out there. After all, why pay 50 cents for a paper when you can zip on the internet and read the stories you want for free?

Plus the fact that editors tried to copy the internet by getting the information out as fast as they could (through blogs and other avenues) instead of being the crap out of bloggers with quality played right into that downfall.

I'm not saying that webcomics and other things didn't play a role in newspapers going down but the reasons above have greater weight. It's like a remora eel taking credit for a kill when the Great White is sitting right next to it.

Back to Scott though, as people might say that his comments were petty, not needed, petulant, argumentative, drama producing, etc and you'd be right. I have gotten into spats with a "Scott" and "Kurtz" here too and banned from his former boards for "trolling" and seen that myself. I got my back up from stuff until I realized that what was going on, that no matter how much I argued it's like yelling into the wind.

He, and other people like Buckley, etc., etc., are programmed perfectly for the internet as they act like drama kids in high school when you tell them you didn't appreciate their performance when you critique them. They also act as supreme rulers of their own little worlds including blogs, webcomics, and videos, but they actually don't offer any influence outside of those worlds.

The funny thing is when those same people that slighted them, or they percieved to have slighted, have a downfall of their own, which they had NOTHING themselves to do, they act like Conan the Barbarian when he says that the is best in life is "To crush your enemies, to see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of their women". Scott even made a SHIRT that acted as his flag for this, whether it's meant to be ironic or not.

In this situation, and with most things that we see, it's just Scott being Scott.


Hey guys,
I was at home yesterday making calls because I am a) getting married in November b) probably putting a bid on a house c) another thing that I don't want to mention because people I know reads this (like i said NOT NOT NOT pregnancy, phew). When I got a call for one of those 3 and had to run out at 4pm, when I planned to relax on my half-day and do an update.

I'll try my hardest to do reviews daily next week but I may need to ask for help if I can't.
The Photo Shoot

Art - I really liked the art in this strip as all the problems I usually complain about don't arise. Both Francis and Jade's hair are done well, my only problem is I don't like having whole pieces of Francis' hair shaded instead of edges. With the jagged edges shading just the edge looks better.

I love Jade's posture throughout this strip as well. Her hands are good, her three fingers are together but they don't come to a point to make them "fused". The crosses arms, rolled eyes in strip 2, angry pose in strip 1, and evil glare in the final strip is pitch perfect for her character and was missed in the first strip of this arc.

Story - Again liked this strip as it kept the momentum going and all the characters played their role: Jade being the moral authority and mother hen, Miranda is being the bimbo and attention whore, and Francis is playing the smart kid and horny 19 year old teenager.

This arc is doing well as the story takes advantage of the fact that these people (and Scott's) have been together for such a long time and know each other's tendencies, character, and what buttons to push. Add that Brent notes that he's moved from his past persona (Office Skeeve) to his current state (sorta-mature married guy) has been good.

No Comment

Art - Not as good a Thursday's strip but still good. I understand why Francis' hair is shaded the way it is in panel 1 as he is next to computer but in panel 2 having half his head shaded that dark is odd.

Miranda with bug eyes appears in this strip as well but it is ok because she is excited so it actually MATCHES the emotion behind the expression.

All the other set pieces are done well as the monitor and the shading of the monitor on the wall are great. I also like how Miranda interacts with the office chair and shows a natural lean onto it. All hands, except Miranda's hand on in panel 1 which looks jumbled, are done well throughout the strip too.

Story - Hey he's moved onto comments sections and away from people like us! I do find this funny as the comments section to DING! is some of the greatest material I've read related to web-comics in the past year :). That combined with the comments thread of the political cartoonist being released (see above for comments) makes sense from it being prevalent in Scott's world.

I'm kind of intrigued in this story thread in terms of PVP as well. Miranda has always been the sexpot and gotten away with most things due to her looks with very little crap (outside of relationship problems) sticking to or bothering her. Having her confidence rattled by a comments section could become very interesting depending on which way the reaction goes.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Passing the Torch

For the times I have noted his lateness in the past this strip was right on time and I was pleasantly surprised to see it up and ready to critique at 8am when I got into work. Full critique to come at lunch.

Changing of the Guard

Art - As much as I wrote about the last two strips I liked this strip a lot.

I like the position of Francis leaning on the wall as it is well done especially with a back view of Brent in his office. Also, the "Skeeve" badge has great detail both in close-up and panned back, and likely there is not a total reference shot for that. I also liked the facial expressions, especially in panel 3, as the quality continues to be raised in the characters showing human emotion..

The one complaint I have is the lack of consistency with Francis' hair being shaded. For the past two strips his hair is shaded, as is Brent's in this strip, but in this no shading in any panel.

Story -

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