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  #19201  
Old 02-16-2017, 02:46 PM
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My issue is not about the "lore" (honestly, who cares) but about the storytelling. MephAIstopheles is a literal embodiment of deus ex machina. Shows up, solves the problem, wraps up all loose ends in a nice bow, and then departs. It's deeply unsatisfying, because none of the actual characters played any role in the climax of the story.
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  #19202  
Old 02-16-2017, 03:44 PM
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azuma helped!
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  #19203  
Old 02-16-2017, 04:10 PM
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That was another dumb thing: why recruit Emily specifically? The obvious assumption was that it had to do with Emily's accidental savant-like programming skills, but... none of that came into play. Everything she did in Bubbles' head was not only extremely straightforward (quick-jump here, open a door, shoot a thing), but explicitly instructed to her by MephAIsto in the first place. And then MephAIsto warped into Bubbles anyway rendering the whole thing kind of moot.
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  #19204  
Old 02-16-2017, 07:03 PM
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I'm hoping this is just a hint of some of the deeper parts of his world that Jacques is building.

I'm hoping, but I'm doubting it.


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  #19205  
Old 02-16-2017, 08:12 PM
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I find it hard to dislike Jeph Jacques' work even though his ambition is routinely thwarted by his timidity. I don't know what it is.
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  #19206  
Old 02-16-2017, 10:10 PM
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I feel the opposite; Jeph's work is better the less effort and ambition he puts in. I think he's got a good sense of silly, irreverent humour, and next to no sense at drama. So when he resigns himself to dumb stuff like dord or Bembo, it works. When he tries to be a serious storyteller... we get Alice Grove.
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  #19207  
Old 02-16-2017, 11:28 PM
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He's got a knack for the trivial, sure. But what I mean is: When he attempts something of substance, the reason he stumbles is because he doesn't commit to it. He doesn't like to hurt his characters, doesn't like to leave them afraid and alone for very long. That's not to say that he doesn't like them to have painful experiences - but he always seems to be in a hurry to return them to a place of relative stability and comfort.

He's a nice person who'd much rather write about nice people, and his attempts at creating a more challenging conflict usually succumb to that preference.
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  #19208  
Old 02-17-2017, 12:41 AM
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That's a good point; it even extends to how he clings to the gag-a-day format, as if he can't stand the idea of leaving the reader without a smile.
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  #19209  
Old 02-17-2017, 05:38 AM
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I find it very easy to dislike Jeph Jacque's work because nothing about it is good.
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  #19210  
Old 02-17-2017, 01:25 PM
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I on the contrary adore goofy shit that's only mostly loosely tied-together, so I have read every QC and feel it has gotten significantly better with time
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  #19211  
Old 02-17-2017, 01:50 PM
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i would probably broadly agree with that, but i definitely also agree that this arc was...not very good. though on some level the deus ex machina doesn't even bother me much as a result, like, wow, that luckily wrapped up much faster than i expected! a lot of it really does come down to him having a clear comfort zone that this whole thing seemed to reach just a bit too far out of.

anyway guess i do like a few of the characters a lot but really i mostly read it because occasionally there's a joke i find unreasonably funny. especially this one

Last edited by spineshark; 02-17-2017 at 02:11 PM.
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  #19212  
Old 02-17-2017, 02:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bongo Bill View Post
He's got a knack for the trivial, sure. But what I mean is: When he attempts something of substance, the reason he stumbles is because he doesn't commit to it. He doesn't like to hurt his characters, doesn't like to leave them afraid and alone for very long. That's not to say that he doesn't like them to have painful experiences - but he always seems to be in a hurry to return them to a place of relative stability and comfort.

He's a nice person who'd much rather write about nice people, and his attempts at creating a more challenging conflict usually succumb to that preference.
This seems fair.

I read webcomics as a break from real life challenge and conflict, which is perhaps why this approach is right up my alley but annoys others in the thread.
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  #19213  
Old 02-17-2017, 09:13 PM
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Like you can really tell when Jeph discovered Azuma Kikyo because the comic tone pushes from 'hipster nerds' into 'nonsense goofery' very quickly. I wonder if we could get him interested in YKK?
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  #19214  
Old 02-21-2017, 01:36 AM
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I was wondering when David Willis would finally pull his main character's signature move of saying something horrible with mindless innocent gusto and have it tarnish his magnum opus, and it looks like that day has come.

Robin has arrived fully intact from Shortpacked as a wacky looney toon with a reality distortion field that can't and won't be shut off. She is currently stomping all over Dumbing of Age doing her best Donald Trump impression and even though the other characters are fighting back, they can't get rid of her. And the comic is rewarding her with cheap laughs and "That's our Robin!"-type punchlines.

It took years to build up the good will that Dumbing of Age is known for and this only serves to tear it down the longer it goes on. Robin is quickly joining Amazi-Girl on the shortlist of “reasons David Willis continues to receive messages accusing him of making up or misrepresenting Joyce and Becky’s religion”. And more pertinently, reasons for accusations of not being serious about giving LGBT people a fair shake, because Robin has been depicted earlier in the comic as voting against LGBT interests and not giving a damn.
Robin is so wacky you guys that she refuses to let the setting correct her no matter how many definitive attempts it makes. When introduced, she was the subject of a somber tale about being corrupt, closeted and in denial, but Willis allowed her wackiness to make short work of that. She was given multiple opportunities to come down to earth but her Shortpacked self steamrolled them all. She was literally thrown out the door for breaking into a character's home to play "loveable sitcom scamp" and went back in through a window. She was rewarded for this with further "That's our Robin!" slapstick.
Seeing such a bizarre tonal shift like this gets readers to start asking questions about the credibility of the other outrageous things they’ve read.

I'm fairly certain this arc was written in maybe August or September of 2016, when it looked like Donald Trump was still a joke who wouldn't win and therefore wouldn't get the chance to run the United States into the ground and put the lives of more than half the people who read Willis's comics in serious danger. It should have been DELETED the night of November 9, 2016. If David Willis wanted the arc it looks like he tried to execute, he should have put his foot down and not allowed ten years of muscle memory to undermine it. And he definitely should not have allowed himself to get topical by echoing Trump.
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  #19215  
Old 02-21-2017, 07:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dart Zaidyer View Post
this gets readers to start asking questions about the credibility of the other outrageous things they’ve read.
I'm fairly certain readers have been questioning Willis's credibility for more than a decade.
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  #19216  
Old 02-21-2017, 08:20 AM
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I wish David Willis would choose to write good comics instead of bad ones. He's clearly capable of it.

Substituting art for therapy, that's something I can forgive in a webcomics person. But in his case it seems to be making things worse.
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  #19217  
Old 02-21-2017, 08:40 AM
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Isn't he like 40 and a father at this point? Maybe doing some gags about INFANTS BE CRYING Y'ALL would be the tonic his work needs.
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  #19218  
Old 02-21-2017, 09:08 AM
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Much like Jeph, Willis is undone by his inability to reconcile his desire to tell a serious story with his zany cartoon instincts. Even as someone who enjoyed his earlier work, I never took to Dumbing of Age, because it's his project that's been worst at threading the needle.
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  #19219  
Old 02-21-2017, 05:31 PM
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I guess it helps that I never read any of Willis' other works, so I don't have the history backing it up. I do find some of the stuff very out of place, but I think he's doing pretty well over all with DA. It's not perfect, but compared to all the comics about college students made by college students, this at least has some perspective.

That said, he's clearly borrowing elements from his earlier comics so he feels he HAS to stick with those elements because "the fans demand it" which, without looking, they probably do to an extent. It would be harder, and more interesting, if he didn't stick with it, but actually change things. Then he might alienate fans that pay his bills and he likes to eat (bad habit, I can't give it up either).

Again, I don't have the same history, I know OF Short Packed, but I only have ever read Dumbing of Age, so make of it what you will.
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  #19220  
Old 02-21-2017, 07:35 PM
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I'm another person who came on with Dumbing of Age, and I think it's great. It's not, like, my fave, but I'm happy to read it every day. Unlike QC, which I am unhappy to read every day but I still do because I dunno.
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  #19221  
Old 02-22-2017, 08:23 AM
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Quote:
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I am unhappy to read every day but I still do because I dunno.
You just described the majority of my webcomic consumption.
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  #19222  
Old 02-22-2017, 10:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JBear View Post
You just described the majority of my webcomic consumption.
Mine too, until I made a conscious effort to stop reading webcomics from inertia, or the ones I liked ended, or update irregularly enough that I've stopped checking them daily.

I'm down to three now!
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  #19223  
Old 02-22-2017, 10:26 AM
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knock it off!
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  #19224  
Old 02-22-2017, 10:32 AM
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I'm not going to stop reading Dinosaur Comics. Not for you, not for anybody
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  #19225  
Old 02-22-2017, 10:34 AM
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Quote:
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I'm not going to stop reading Dinosaur Comics. Not for you, not for anybody
I was talking to the people who are reading garbage comics because of inertia. If you enjoy a thing, by all means, keep enjoying it. If not then stop being a masochist.
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  #19226  
Old 02-22-2017, 10:40 AM
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Well, my tone is withdrawn, but my message remains unchanged.
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  #19227  
Old 02-22-2017, 10:43 AM
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Quote:
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Well, my tone is withdrawn, but my message remains unchanged.
What you should be reading is North's Unbeatable Squirrel Girl!
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  #19228  
Old 02-22-2017, 10:44 AM
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FYI - this thread now exists solely for Octo and I to have conversations about things.

Dearest Octo,

How was your lunch? I am many time zones away from you and so have not yet had lunch. I had doughnuts for breakfast. They were lovely.

All the best,

False 'Flawgic' Logic
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  #19229  
Old 02-22-2017, 10:54 AM
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Dearest Flawgic;

The knowledge that you haven't had breakfast fills my heart with sorrow. I ate a slice of banana bread and a spiced latte from a Starbucks, as they were out of my preferred sandwich. The men's morale is flagging. Please send saltpetre and hard-tack.

Yours;
Octopus Prime
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  #19230  
Old 02-22-2017, 02:08 PM
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Get a room you two!


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