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Alexander D.
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 06, 2002 12:37 am    Post subject: Re: Whoa... Reply with quote

Penner Theologius Pott wrote:
NOW - what interests me is what this says about our perception of gender stereotypes (or, unfortunately, about my own ) - that I would read a male being struck by a female as humorous and that I would read a female being struck by a male as abusive. Okay, maybe what I'm really horrified by is what this says about myself, but I'm curious if anyone else feels this way


I think this sort of thinking is very common, actually, but it's definitely to your credit that you can see that there's a problem with thinking this way. It's interesting that you should bring this up actually -- I was doing some reading on domestic violence against men just a couple of weeks ago, and was thinking of doing a comic on the topic. For anyone who's interested, I'm going to post a couple of links to articles I read. Both pertain to the murder of Phil Hartman -- the first holding the incident up as an example of domestic violence against men, and the second lamenting the fact that most of the media completely failed to recognize the fact this was domestic violence, since it was committed against a man instead of a woman.

http://incestabuse.about.com/library/weekly/aa053098.htm

http://abusedmen.com/essays/The_Death_Of_Phil_Hartman.html
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buzzard
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 06, 2002 6:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I first saw the panels without the parallelogram, I did interpret the tree as being the parallelogram somehow transformed, like a Greek myth. But I backed off from that stance later when it just seemed to be a device for showing time passing.
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LightRider
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 06, 2002 3:48 pm    Post subject: Different class? Reply with quote

Anyone think that the Red 'Gram was supposed to represent someone different from what was depicted in the wide panels as the "norm?" The norm being blue squares and green circles? Could it represent a different race or social status looks or any other variable? I wonder why she found the proposition and outlook on life so badly when the square just proposed with no outlook at all...What think you.
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shifttoprow
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 06, 2002 4:20 pm    Post subject: This is all drastically cool. Reply with quote

This one threw me off a bit; I'm used to Scott (or Mr. McCloud?) being more detailed and straightforward, even in his subtleties (somehow). The title seems a bit mismatched, though that may be because Scott developed the story differently than he'd intended, of course.

I, as an obsessive-compulsive proofreader, had more of a reaction to the spello "you're" than the comic itself. Plus my little monitor is crunching the comics into tiny frames, making me wonder if we shouldn't go back to pages on wood pulp contrary to Mr. McCloud's vision.

And finally, he hasn't used any of my excessively brilliant title suggestions, all of which deserve immortality of the highest order; nay, worship... *sigh* I'll have to make my own comics, now won't I?

Keep it up, Mr. McCloud, you rock!
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Lady Stardust
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 06, 2002 4:56 pm    Post subject: Different Class/Race Reply with quote

I think what LightRider mentions is very important. I didn't realise it myself, but having read (not the right word, is it?) the improv again, it becomes very clear. In two panels (the first and the one after the first winter panel) there are many green circles and blue squares, but not a single red parallelogram. Being different from the rest, being an outsider for whatever reason seems to be the topic of this improv.
I liked "Parallelogram's Revenge" a lot, although the ending seemed a little abrupt. I really don't know why the green circle and the red parallelogram are buried next to each other.
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Scott McCloud
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 06, 2002 4:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I, as an obsessive-compulsive proofreader, had more of a reaction to the spello "you're" than the comic itself.


Whoops!

Thanks for the heads up on that. Just fixed it.
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Scott McCloud
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 06, 2002 5:44 pm    Post subject: IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT! Reply with quote

Guess what?

I just revised the ending!!

Check it out:
http://www.scottmccloud.com/comics/mi/mi.html
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Craig J. Quack
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 06, 2002 7:10 pm    Post subject: Revisioning and retitling Reply with quote

Well, this didn't change the ending for me so much as it clarified what I already thought happened. It's still not about "revenge," per se, but then again Scott wasn't given the title "The Circle's Regret."

Speaking as someone who frequently has a title first before I do any writing, I know what it's like for a project to take on a life of its own. Recently I wrote a play called "In a Pickle" where the title and story occurred to me simultaneously. It was read at a theater and afterwards people told me the title seemed too lighthearted to go with the play that I had written. Of course, I can't imagine any other title going with it, so what can I do?
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Lady Stardust
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 06, 2002 7:13 pm    Post subject: Ending Reply with quote

Well, the ending makes much more sense now.
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Greg Stephens
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 06, 2002 7:51 pm    Post subject: Revised Ending Reply with quote

Well I must say that it has more flow to it this way, and is almost entirely unambiguous, but does require less reader-involvement to make the story work. I think it'll come down to a reader preference, but I liked the previous ending a little more- much more open to interpretation. What I like about this revision, however, is that way that new panels are simply added and none of the old panels have been altered.

To the gender issue- assuming geometric shapes have gender (Flatland aside)- I had assumed the circle to be female and the parallelograms (squares are simply parallelograms with all 90-degree angles) were male. With this in mind, the red parallelogram represents, to me, an individual, the red sheep of the geometric world, who was really only represented different visually so that we would know him by sight. I'm sure that geometric shapes would not need such obvious clues to tell each other apart.

Unless, of course, he's Quasimodo.
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nihon
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 06, 2002 8:54 pm    Post subject: Other way of proceeding Reply with quote

Greg Stephens wrote:
What I like about this revision, however, is that way that new panels are simply added and none of the old panels have been altered.


A different way of going over an improv could be by drawing two or more panels and then inserting other ones between them, in order to create a flowing story...
A little like Carl Page One.

GG
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Simon
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 06, 2002 10:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I missed a day of MI, so I've only seen the revised ending.

Anyone care to fill me in on what was added?
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Boola Boola
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2002 12:10 am    Post subject: Hot n' heavy geometry action! Reply with quote

Do you really think that that's appropriate? I mean, kids could be reading this! THINK OF THE CHILDREN!


I'm better now....
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Josiah Rowe
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2002 1:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Simon said:
Quote:
I missed a day of MI, so I've only seen the revised ending.

Anyone care to fill me in on what was added?

The three long panels before the last one, with the circle dying under the moon, were added. Before the story went from the circle's memory of the parallelogram to the panel of the two tombstones.

I'm of two minds about the revision. On the one hand the end is clearer this way; on the other hand, the ambiguity of the first version had more poignancy, while this one seems to veer into movie-of-the-week territory. If you can envision a movie-of-the-week about green circles, turquoise squares, and salmon parallelograms, that is.
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Wikkit
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2002 5:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think that the ambiguity was better than the new ending. Seeing what other people thought the ending meant was as fun as the comic itself, a sort of 'Young Zaphod Plays it Safe' situation.

I also had an interpretation different than the one that it now shows, so there's some dissapointment in being 'wrong', too.
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nihon
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2002 9:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, since I see only messages by people who didn't like the new ending, I must let you know that I like the story more like this. How can I say it... it has a better rhythm.

GG
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losttoy
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2002 4:56 pm    Post subject: Revision and Race Reply with quote

Thank you very much, Scott, for making the revisions. When I saw that it had been revised I was absolutely ecstatic. There are two things going on here ...

First you see the story more clearer in the way the artist intended; filling the blanks and helping clear the message.

Second thing you see here is reader to artist interaction! In a printed comic, you could never see an issue recalled so the artist can add more to the story to clear up misconceptions/misinturptations.

The story as it is now is a lot clearer now. Due to the fact that I posted on this forum with a review which brought further debate on the subject, which I believe is the cause of the revision, I now feel like I was part of the process. (Of course Scott is probably regreting this now thinking that now anytime he draws a story he will have to change it to cater to his fans.)

Now as for the whole "race" issue. I will have to say that I too have a small monitor. I did notice that I did not see any red shapes in the bigger panels as I was scolling across them, but never thought much into it. Parallelogram was a minority one way or another. Without this interuptation this comic is meaningless. It's the difference of thinking about the one that got away vs. the lamet and seeing the error of discrimination. However, due to the nature of the comic, the true reason on why circle turned down Parallelogram will never be truely known. At first look, it seemed that Circle turned Parallelogram down because he/she/it (I am still not putting gender roles on them for the sake of this conversation) came on too strong.

Picture this: you see a guy at a bar talking to a woman. "You are an angel! Marry me! Have my kids! I want to die old with you." The woman will usualy turn down the guy and dismiss him for being pushy or drunk.

Second view: you see a guy at the bar. He is the only one of his "race" there. He builds up the courage to talk to a girl only to be rejected.

With the first view, we have all seen it before. We never feel sorry for the jerk hitting on some woman making a fool of himself. The second view there is a story. I must appologize for my poor review earlier, but I also must stand with my statement that McCloud did not use this opperunity to put a lot of voice into this comic. The issue on discrimination is much more clear now is is vauled. However the issues on sex and violence was not touched on. What happened to the kids? What punishment (if any) was given to square. Was there any regret in his actions. Okay, I should not expect a epic story here. This is an improv comic after all. The revision helped clear up most of the vaugeness (except how Parallelogram died (in which I also believe the tree was just a show of passing of time)). Without this forum I still have to say that I would no have been able to understand the story as clear I would now. I do appreisate McClouds efforts in this story.

-David "Losttoy" Ano
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Zem
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2002 8:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wait... 'Young Zaphod Plays it Safe' is supposed to be ambiguous? All this time I thought I just wasn't getting it.

On 'polygon's revenge'... I thought it was just a story, but then Scott had to go and tell us to interpret it. Eh, I'll go with the racism thing.

Heh... reading losttoy's post, I just realized "have my kids" is kind of a funny phrase when taken out of context. It's like, "Sure! Have my kids! I don't need 'em anymore!"

Oh, by the way, squares are technically parallelograms too. That's probably not relevant to anything, but still.
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blacklieder
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2002 9:06 pm    Post subject: Hollywood Reply with quote

Quadrilaterals with uneven sides are non-preferential to the perfect shape.
Circle gets the square.
Incompatible after all.
Seeks out first option, only to find empty space.
But I guess they will enjoy each other's company in eternity.
I'm reminded of the animated short about the line and the dot.
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Zem
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2002 10:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Heyyyyy... I just noticed that the kids in each case are a mix of the colors of the two parents. Nifty.

I'm all about the irrelevancy today, aren't I?
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Wikkit
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2002 10:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zem wrote:
Wait... 'Young Zaphod Plays it Safe' is supposed to be ambiguous? All this time I thought I just wasn't getting it.

I don't know if he wanted ambiguity, but he got it. He said that he had someone specific in mind, but I personally like the theory that it is someone else.

Who do you think it was?

Ben
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carine
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2002 2:54 am    Post subject: Parallelogram's revenge Reply with quote

I find the discussions on the ambiguity of the narrative as well as on the racial/social connotations to the piece very interesting. However, there is one thing that no-one seems to have commented on: When the circle's marriage starts to strain, then, and only then does she think of her "wonderful" friend the parallelogram. Is a large part of the poignancy and sadness of this narrative (which so many posters have commented on) not exactly this "remembering" how great the "one that got away" was, and our recognition of the fact that she is inventing this memory to escape her desperate situation?

If one compares the proposal of the parallelogram with that of the square (and the events that follow), they are not very different. In fact, does the narrative not suggest that no matter whether the more "exotic" (red) man, or the more perfect (square) man was chosen, the same unhappy end is inevitable. I cannot see any evidence that the parallelogram was in fact an angel, and therefore I read the P's revenge as comment also on fantasy memory of lost people.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2002 3:20 am    Post subject: revised ending Reply with quote

I'm curious: When Scott revised the ending, did he just redraw it or was the original ending a different one altogether?

Marc
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nihon
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2002 4:38 am    Post subject: Revised ending - different story Reply with quote

You're right! The ending is still ambiguos. It can be read either:
1-The circle thinks of his good friend parallelogram and goes to die on its tomb (about the same ending of the first draft)
2-The circle doesn't know the Parallelogram is dead... it goes searching for it and finds out it's dead, and it cries.

THAT's the Parallelogram's Revenge! "Now that you're in trouble you come searching for me? Sorry, I'm dead."

GG
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