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William G
Reinvents understanding


Joined: 15 Jan 2003
Posts: 560
Location: South central...Korea. Word.

PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2004 10:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That was a good bit of improvin' there Scott.

But now I think it's time to get back to the weird. I'm personally wondering how the devil has made out with Hortense.
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2004 10:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rip Tanion wrote:
Speaking of Boston, the war begins tomorrow night at Fenway. Prime time, national TV, baby. Turn down the sound so you don't have to hear Tim McCarver prattle on like a moron. 1918!


Yeah, yeah, 1918...here's some numbers for you, Rip:

NYY: 2-5-2
BOS: 6-9-2

Boo-yah!

Here's another set of numbers, just for grins...

A. Rodriguez, 3B: 1 for 4, 0 runs, 0 RBI
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Rip Tanion
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Location: The Riptania Sky-Palace in da beauuuuuutiful Bronx.

PostPosted: Sat Apr 17, 2004 1:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

18 more games left, son. Don't pop yer cork. It's only April. See you in September.

Oh, and Babe says hi.
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pege
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Joined: 10 Apr 2004
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Location: Essen, Germany

PostPosted: Sat Apr 17, 2004 5:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

One observation:
Sean is indeed talking to himself.

"Well, that wasn't such a bad day ..." and "Met someone nice ... Got some exercise ..." is not targeted to his second personality. But then that other guy jumps in and interrupts Sean's self-conversation.

About the same happened in the very first panel with "Gettin' cold ...".

Poor Sean: Everyone else can talk to himself, but when he tries, he always gets interrupted.
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flexo
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 18, 2004 12:10 am    Post subject: coda Reply with quote

i don't have that much of an opinion on the story's content. mostly, i can say that i loved it. a wise story with great dialog. what i liked best was the inclusion of the history book. its such a resonant symbol that works on so many leves, and it does so in such a simple and therefor powerful way, it's really perfect for the characters and the issue and hand. the combination of the impersonal title, the doble personality disorders and the history book hints some very powerfull and very political (and i mean that in a GOOD way) opinions on the transmition of wisdom and power structures throught history. scott mccloud's capacity to conjugate this issues in a smart and belivable manner, framed in a story of such an intimate scale, shows so clearly than he is a lot more than a smart guy capable of experimenting with his medium: he is also a storyteller, and a subtle and damn smart one for that.

furthermore, notice the following: after all his talk (and all the money he put where his mouth is) about the posibilites of the infinite canvas and so forth, when faced with a story of some substance (not a mere anecdote) he didnt impose any of the formal results of his experimental work on it: he chose to put the language of his medium at the service of the story. i mean: he is telling the story about two loonies, but the story is all about the facts, so instead of making some twisted-infinite-canvas-thing that would turn the crazines inside the head of the protagonist in the norm behind the form, he chose to use a very regular grid. he could have told the same story through the eyes of the crazy guy, or the sorta crazy girl, or just with a crazy subjective eye (as if we where as crazy as the characters in the story), giving him the excuse to make a VERY experimental comic. instead, he did something coherent with the critical tone of the title: he exposes the facts in a sober, almost objective manner, allowing the form to frame and contain the insanity of the voices in the story, giving us the oportunity to see with some distance. so not only has he proven he is a great storyteller: he has also proven that he's formal choices as a comic storyteller are NOT capricious. he had already proved that he could create a mood with a very experimental (almost subvertive) structure in The Right Number (are the superimposed panels really juxtaposed? but then, how come it's still comics?? maybe because juxtaposition does happen, but when we reconstruct the story in our memory to mantain the chronological order of the panels?)

the one specific somewhat negative observation i do have is that the final panel (the very last one) was sort of an anti climax for me. the story had been told in an almost indiferent way (no narration captions, no text other than the things both characters say and the text in the book's cover, all the panels of the same size and shape... is there a storyteller here at all?) and this, combined with the fact that both characters are sort of, well, fucked up in the head, conveyed a feeling of detachment. like we werent completely involved in the story. and this works beautifully with the critical eye the story should demand of the reader. however, at the end there's a subtle shift in the tone, and the story becomes, quite suddenly, very simpathetic with the homeless guy. it's not casual that the first frame is a close up of his face, and the last panel needs to see him from such a distance. after all we have seen and heard, how can we remain detached? this is almost a pathetic ending. and im talking about the ending's capacity "of arousing sympathetic sadness and compassion" (thesarus). im not saying it's, like, "pathetic", as in, you know... "stupid".

so, in that sense, the minute i read the last panel i though "it would work better if it where twice as long." i imagined the same image in a longer panel, but not relocationg the bum in the center, but rather keeping him on the left side. simply by puting him off center, "cast aside", and showing more emptiness, more "lonely space", making the urban enviroment more melancholic, both the sadness of the moment and the bum's marginal status would have been accentuated.

furthermore, the moment the bum says "aren't we all", sudenly he is including himself in the human race on a personal level, and that, in terms of content, and specially in the context of this particulat story, brakes the fourth wall. sudenly, he is thinking of himself as one of us, including himself, and in a way, also talking to us. up until that point, both characters had been entirely involved in their own private worlds, indiferent to anyone besides themselves or each other. the doble personality disorder excludes us, in the sense that for someone with such a disorder the concept of the "other" (the "foreing", and that would be us) is broken. that's why i thought the comic (our eyes) should have formaly acknowledged the significance of the bum's statement, making the last panel twice as long as the rest. that would have separated it from the rest, hierarchizing it, kind of like a coda. also, since our eyer perceive with a wider horizontal spectrum, accentuating the horizontal axis would have made it seem a lot more like the way we look. a more "subjective" look.

i know: picky, picky, picky. call me mr obsesive. but hey: when a story is so good, you want to go home with a big bang.

cheers for such a home run, Scott!

a- (flexo@compuciencia.com.ar)
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DecafSilicon
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Joined: 29 Aug 2003
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Location: Grove City College, PA, USA

PostPosted: Sun Apr 18, 2004 9:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wouldn't at all call it breaking the fourth wall. Writers have made sweeping statements about humankind throughout literary history without being accused of metafiction ("Oh, Bartleby! Oh, humanity!").
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William G
Reinvents understanding


Joined: 15 Jan 2003
Posts: 560
Location: South central...Korea. Word.

PostPosted: Sun Apr 18, 2004 11:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
"Oh, Bartleby! Oh, humanity!"

You know, this is something like the fifth time I've seen Bartleby, the Scrivener refered to on the web this week.

Was it on TV or something?

Quote:
he didnt impose any of the formal results of his experimental work on it: he chose to put the language of his medium at the service of the story.

There's an old comics theory that you should present your work in a style that is opposite of the material being presented to get the best results.
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Rip Tanion
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Location: The Riptania Sky-Palace in da beauuuuuutiful Bronx.

PostPosted: Mon Apr 19, 2004 4:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Never did find out what was in Sean's shopping-cart. What a gyp!
I guess Scott believes that "You should always leave them with a mystery."
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Michael_Harker
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Joined: 17 Mar 2004
Posts: 21

PostPosted: Tue Apr 20, 2004 2:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow.

What, a long journey it's been. And stuff.

Although I am mentally incapable of making a long detailed list of exactly what was so great about this improv (like some of you) I just have to say that this improv is, in my humble, opinion, the best improv, and more than that it's probably my absolute favorite comic of Scott's, online or paper... with the possible exception of the ones that understand and reinvent stuff.

Wow. Well done. Amazing. Etc.
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kaos_de_moria
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Joined: 22 Aug 2003
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Location: Switzerland

PostPosted: Tue Apr 20, 2004 7:32 am    Post subject: thanks Reply with quote

that was a nice MI. i really enjoyed it (except of the strong gollum impact in the middle, but someone reading the MI in a year or two, won't realise). i was a bit afraid you (scott) would ruin the very well paced story telling with a punchline coming up at some point. but no, the comic fades out and leaves many options open. this is probably one of the biggest strengths of this one. of course i'm looking forward to the new 10 titles and of course i'm as well curious for the flash engine of the next MI. keep rocking or keep flying as one should ay to a human cannonball...

thanks again,
kaos
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Kris Lachowski
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Joined: 06 Oct 2003
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 20, 2004 9:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I love all your silly random morning improvs and I'm looking forward to more of them, but it is great to read something more touching in the improvs every now and then. This was a great improv I think I owe you a buck when the voting starts again.
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DON the IDEA GUY
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Joined: 26 Jan 2004
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Location: Columbus, OH

PostPosted: Tue Apr 20, 2004 12:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great story, great art.
Very cinematic -- without the obnoxious 'Hollywood ending' -- I enjoyed it immensely.

Scott has proven he can do the superhero bit -- I like his subtle work best.
Looking forward to the multimedia extravaganza he has planned for Mimi's Last Coffee!
~DON
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ridl
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 21, 2004 3:50 am    Post subject: riff on whose mind? Reply with quote

okay i have a theory-

i just read through the complete "skit" for the first time - i have had a wonderful and unique experience with this artform, scott, thank you so much. watching a true masterpiece unfold, day by week... - and i came up with this theory.

so my theory goes (and I'm pretty sure here, i think i got some merit here) sophie don't actually have disassociative dissorder... she's not actually hearing voices.

i think scott wrote a clinically depressed character talking (maybe out loud, maybe not) to herself.

this could make the story's dialogue more experimental than at first glance, especially if we read sophie's seemingly schizoid "dialogue" (really soliloquy, eh?) balloons as replacements for thought balloons(those bubbles coming out out of opus and milo's heads).

cool huh? any thoughts?

-love

streaming pirate radio from the wetlands of the pacific NW of N.America
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Kachoudas
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 21, 2004 10:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great ending.

I love those open endings. The story is much more a "piece of life" than with a climatic end.

Sean just goes away. He'll probably be back to give back the parka to the priest. May be meet Sophie again. May be not. That's their lives and we won't be there to watch and that will be for the best.

But the weird thing in this kind of ending on a internet daily comic is that, contrary to a book or a movie, you just don't know how long the story will be. So when they were talking next to the women's shelter, we couldn't know if we were close to the end or not. And it was a bit surprising.

On a book, you know how many pages are left and you somehow get ready and anticipate the ending. You know that soon you'll have to leave those charming characters and get ready for the separation.
Here, it came by surprise (unless may be for regular forum readers, which I am not) and the first reading was a little disapointing. But on a secong thought, that was great.

Yours

Jerome
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Shawn
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 21, 2004 3:16 pm    Post subject: Re: coda Reply with quote

flexo wrote:
furthermore, the moment the bum says "aren't we all", sudenly he is including himself in the human race on a personal level, and that, in terms of content, and specially in the context of this particulat story, brakes the fourth wall. sudenly, he is thinking of himself as one of us, including himself, and in a way, also talking to us. up until that point, both characters had been entirely involved in their own private worlds, indiferent to anyone besides themselves or each other.


Actually, that highlighted to me one aspect of Sean's change in the story. He became more focused upon others outside of himself than he was in his internal narrative. When he says "aren't we all", he's thinking of Sophie, and how she too doesn't want to be alone.
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DecafSilicon
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Joined: 29 Aug 2003
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Location: Grove City College, PA, USA

PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2004 11:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

William Beckerson wrote:
Quote:
"Oh, Bartleby! Oh, humanity!"

You know, this is something like the fifth time I've seen Bartleby, the Scrivener refered to on the web this week.

Was it on TV or something?


No, I'm just literate.
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