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[PA Comic] Monday, March 16, 2015 - The Judging Wood, Part Five

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Posts

  • BrushwoodMuttBrushwoodMutt Registered User regular
    edited March 2015
    Gabriel wrote: »
    Brushwoodmutt, that was awesome. I was wondering how many people would notice that she took his bandanna. Love your interpretation:)

    Thank you! If you are the Gabriel, I want to say I love your art and how much narrative and mythology you convey visually. I really admire you and this comment has officially made this day amazing! ^ ^ Thank you, and of course Tycho as well, for the wonderful comics!

    Edit Forgot to tag him. @Gabriel

    BrushwoodMutt on
  • CruxAustralisCruxAustralis Registered User new member
    edited March 2015
    I like to think that the blue bird is not exactly good, but more "motherly", the whole reason for it to want to spare the lookout's life is because of him being a child, at least as far as I gathered. And in my view Cowl isn't necessarily the devil on her shoulder, but a guardian of the forest that cares for its balance. The boy's presence there upsets this balance and as such must be dealt with before something worse happens. At least that's why I think Cowl is out for blood.

    This story arc taught me something I didn't know: only after a certain age humans are seen as intruders on the wood (Although Cowl seems to think that any human is an invader. Maybe that's why Trill is with them, to keep him from murdering anything that he sees as an intruder?). Also, I think th reason why the boy disappears when they start debating is to show that he can't hear the birds.

    CruxAustralis on
  • PLAPLA The process.Registered User regular
    I just take birds at face value. One is cranky, one is friendly.

  • IamdudeIamdude Registered User regular
    I was kind of hoping Tycho would expand/explain things in the post today.

  • AncillasAncillas Registered User new member
    edited March 2015
    I like to think that the blue bird is not exactly good, but more "motherly", the whole reason for it to want to spare the lookout's life is because of him being a child, at least as far as I gathered. And in my view Cowl isn't necessarily the devil on her shoulder, but a guardian of the forest that cares for its balance. The boy's presence there upsets this balance and as such must be dealt with before something worse happens. At least that's why I think Cowl is out for blood.

    This story arc taught me something I didn't know: only after a certain age humans are seen as intruders on the wood (Although Cowl seems to think that any human is an invader. Maybe that's why Trill is with them, to keep him from murdering anything that he sees as an intruder?). Also, I think th reason why the boy disappears when they start debating is to show that he can't hear the birds.

    I think your interpretation of the birds and Cowl not representing "good" and "bad" are spot on. I took them to represent the perspectives of youth and adulthood.

    It's kind of like how kids see a big green lawn and want to play on it, but older home owners poke their heads out to yell at the kids to get off the lawn.

    The birds wanted nothing but to make the easy choice that made everyone happy. Really, it was the only perspective they saw. Much as a child would act, they only see the one solution and it's simple.

    Cowl saw the boy as a risk to his food and resources. This is the perspective of one who has lived in the world and has the cynicism to show for it.

    Ancillas on
  • darkmayodarkmayo Registered User regular
    The only time we see the other wrist is this strip, so we have no way to confirm that it wasn't already there or that it is the lookouts scarf, without Mike confirming that yes it is. Other than it not really fitting in with the Daughters attire without further information it would be easy to believe it was always there.

  • kimekime Queen of Blades Registered User regular
    edited March 2015
    The universe and story are really cool. I think my main problem is just I don't like the stylistic choice of how much information to present to us.

    We've got long posts here, and in other, previous threads about simply what happened in literally what we saw, let alone any context needed to understand it fully. That's interesting for many people. That's not for me.

    I like having to think about the things I read, and I appreciate the attempt to do that. I just like the analysis being at a slightly different... focus (right word?) than what is often the case in the new PA universes.

    I want to know what happened. I want to know why, within the universe, that made sense to happen. I want to think about the deeper motivations, the direction things could go in the future, different interpretations, etc.

    Not sure if that makes sense. Am I looking at this the wrong way?

    Plus, of course, I want more than just five strips at a time :P

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  • BloodySlothBloodySloth Registered User regular
    This is a nice prologue or first chapter of a story where we eventually go back and flesh out the inbetweeny bits. The problem is I don't think we're going to get that. I don't see any reason why the story should be so hidden from the reader; it's not like a crime caper or, like, Memento, where the obfuscation serves a narrative purpose.

  • fullforce098fullforce098 In a van down by the riverRegistered User regular
    I see it as being a representation of Justinia (lady Justice) only the scale is on her head rather than in her hand, and her sword is the beast from Part 3 rather than an actual blade she uses on the guilty. The birds are merely taking contrary positions but it's up to Trill to decide ultimately. She isn't blindfolded, but Lady Justice is not always depicted with a blindfold, and in any case, she was not dispensing the Law on the boy, as she says he's too young, and there's no evidence besides. Then there's the birds asking to be married but first Trill must "clear the docket".

  • darkmayodarkmayo Registered User regular
    I see it as being a representation of Justinia (lady Justice) only the scale is on her head rather than in her hand, and her sword is the beast from Part 3 rather than an actual blade she uses on the guilty. The birds are merely taking contrary positions but it's up to Trill to decide ultimately. She isn't blindfolded, but Lady Justice is not always depicted with a blindfold, and in any case, she was not dispensing the Law on the boy, as she says he's too young, and there's no evidence besides. Then there's the birds asking to be married but first Trill must "clear the docket".

    I like that interpretation, question is do all Daughters have this judicial function or is it only a few.

  • weremooseweremoose Registered User new member
    I'm starting to believe that the Eyrewood is an allegory for dating.

    The Grove Lion is the Father. Just look at his reaction to the "boooyyyyy" in part three. Reminds me of my father in law's first reaction.

    The Daughters are... well, the Daughter.

    And the Lookouts are her dashing potential suitors, full of daring-do in hopes of wooing her to their affection. But all the while, they are blinded by their competition to the fact that their exploits are juxtaposed to her wishes.

    ---

    The forest represents the Father's home. The village represents the wider world to which the suitors lure the daughters, against the Father's wishes. The Men of the village are society's pressure on boys to act a certain way so as to win the affection of women.

    There's a lot of sexual symbolism, such as eggs, flowers and swords.
    The Tithe is about Hannah changing from a girl to a woman. Her eyes are opened and her flowers blossom. Her father is simultaneously wounded by the presence of her Suitors and increasingly protective of his Daughter.

    Death represents social rejection.
    In The Judging Woods, Trill commutes the Lookout's "death" as a suitor by not rejecting him completely. But she does not go with him either - the game between them continues.

  • RatherDashing89RatherDashing89 Registered User regular
    edited March 2015
    This is a nice prologue or first chapter of a story where we eventually go back and flesh out the inbetweeny bits. The problem is I don't think we're going to get that. I don't see any reason why the story should be so hidden from the reader; it's not like a crime caper or, like, Memento, where the obfuscation serves a narrative purpose.

    I definitely understand people's frustration. I myself would have liked to see a 4.5, showing the boy's reaction to being talked over (especially good if Trill is depicted speaking in Bird) and maybe show Trill healing him or teleporting him home--just show we know exactly how she helped him.

    But I think the reason these stories are so difficult to decipher is that Jerry isn't so much interested in writing a story, as much as a setting with characters. Most of the comics shine more as character moments than for their specific plots. As someone who prefers character development over plot in stories, the characters are so strong to me that I don't mind missing out on what's actually happening.

    EDIT: Geth awesome'd this comment the second it was posted. I'm scared as to what this means...

    RatherDashing89 on
  • fullforce098fullforce098 In a van down by the riverRegistered User regular
    darkmayo wrote: »
    I see it as being a representation of Justinia (lady Justice) only the scale is on her head rather than in her hand, and her sword is the beast from Part 3 rather than an actual blade she uses on the guilty. The birds are merely taking contrary positions but it's up to Trill to decide ultimately. She isn't blindfolded, but Lady Justice is not always depicted with a blindfold, and in any case, she was not dispensing the Law on the boy, as she says he's too young, and there's no evidence besides. Then there's the birds asking to be married but first Trill must "clear the docket".

    I like that interpretation, question is do all Daughters have this judicial function or is it only a few.

    I never got the sense the Daughters were all uniformly the same, and even if they were, there's no reason to believe there aren't any special cases or outliers. Especially not in a fantasy series that has not explained all its rules to us, if it has any to begin with.

  • fortyforty Registered User regular
    So more world building than actual story...
    And all the worlds he builds? I mean, wow. That's some worlds right there.

    The best card in Hearthstone is your credit card.
  • H3KnucklesH3Knuckles Jack of all interests... ...master of noneRegistered User regular
    edited March 2015
    Edited to add: I find it interesting that people are upset or turned off by how Trill (the Daughter) was acting; ignoring the boy to talk to the birds while judging him. The Daughters are not supposed to be fun and lovable; they are the witches/fae folk of the setting, with an alien type of grey morality. They are meant to be strange and slightly scary. Also, I loved the murderous owl. Owls are birds of prey and therefor obligate carnivores; there is nothing wise or sagely about them, they would absolutely be ever-watching, ever-judging hawkish aggressors. One thing people don't know is that an owl's face is a lie; it's all in the feathers, pluck them and you'd see that the head and beak underneath do not look terribly different from your average eagle, falcon, or vulture. Just a little more broad side-to-side and shorter front-to-back. The big eyes and diminished beak are a costume effect.

    I feel like this run was pretty easy to understand, but the transition between parts 4 & 5 are so jarring that it throws a lot of people off and they end up not being able to see the forest for the trees, so to speak. I think it would've really benefited from a little narration box in the top left corner saying something like "later..." to more firmly establish that yes, this is a jump cut, and no you're not missing part of the story. Just something to smooth it out a bit.

    Speaking more broadly, I'd say that I feel like it's an issue of balance. It reminds me of when Jerry was talking about his (high school/junior high?) gaming-group's experiences with D&D's Dark Sun setting during the wrap-up of the podcast series where he DM'ed a game for Mike, Scott Kurtz, and Kris Straub using 4th Ed's version. He talked about how in the beginning TSR just kind of broadly outlined the setting while leaving a lot unexplained and even more unsaid, and it made things mysterious and exciting. The setting was strange and alien, and since it was up to the group to flesh it out and make sense of things, there was more of a feeling of exploration and discovery. Then he went on to say how that kind of got wrecked as the creators kept adding more and more "splatbooks" and supplemental material delineating everything. I've had similar experiences with comic books (is there one minute of Wolverine's past that hasn't been narrated in excruciating detail at this point?) and the Warcraft franchise. I don't want that to happen to Lookouts or Sand, though I don't really think it matters as much with Automata's genre. But you can write stories that leave room for imagination without leaving the audience feeling like they're grasping at straws (see the original Star Wars trilogy), and you can have ambiguous endings or unclear character motivations without the story feeling like it's missing pieces or poorly plotted.

    Jerry is a great writer of dialogue, jokes, editorials, poems, and world-building, but let's be honest; he has far less experiences writing ongoing narratives than any of those other forms, so if he still has room to grow it shouldn't come as a surprise. He doesn't need to abandon his stylistic approach, but it needs a little more refinement and balance. We're just starting to notice it more because we've gotten familiar with these side-projects, and now that they're making mini-comics about them more frequently we expect more than we did when they were first teasing the concepts.

    H3Knuckles on
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  • foodlefoodle Registered User regular
    edited March 2015
    darkmayo wrote: »
    The only time we see the other wrist is this strip, so we have no way to confirm that it wasn't already there or that it is the lookouts scarf, without Mike confirming that yes it is.
    You see at least part of her right wrist in the last panel of part 1, enough to see that she doesn't start with the red scarf. She's wearing the same loose bangles/bracelets on her right wrist as on her left at that time. Not definitive, but another clue that she took the Lookout's scarf.

    I do like how the Daughter is portrayed as being very non-human. She spends most of the time talking to the animals and barely addresses the Lookout. It shows how far from her human origins she's moved since becoming a Daughter. The Lookout is like an alien/foreign creature to her that she really can't relate to. Lots of really interesting tidbits about the world in this very sparse comic.

    foodle on
  • TheoCTheoC Registered User new member
    This is a nice prologue or first chapter of a story where we eventually go back and flesh out the inbetweeny bits. The problem is I don't think we're going to get that. I don't see any reason why the story should be so hidden from the reader; it's not like a crime caper or, like, Memento, where the obfuscation serves a narrative purpose.

    I definitely understand people's frustration. I myself would have liked to see a 4.5, showing the boy's reaction to being talked over (especially good if Trill is depicted speaking in Bird) and maybe show Trill healing him or teleporting him home--just show we know exactly how she helped him.

    But I think the reason these stories are so difficult to decipher is that Jerry isn't so much interested in writing a story, as much as a setting with characters. Most of the comics shine more as character moments than for their specific plots. As someone who prefers character development over plot in stories, the characters are so strong to me that I don't mind missing out on what's actually happening.

    EDIT: Geth awesome'd this comment the second it was posted. I'm scared as to what this means...

    I agree, Jerry seems not to be interested in writing a story. So far the world has, to me, the feel of notes scribbled in the back of a sketchbook--interesting pieces, but nothing to hold them together. I think the reason we see these disjointed clips is just that that's all there is to see: interesting characters and concepts but nothing else.
    From that angle, the whole thing makes sense. You only catch glimpses because if you got a good look you'd immediately see there's not much there, or not enough to hold an audience for as long as this setting has. It's like watching the trailer for a movie...

  • AegeriAegeri Plateau of LengRegistered User regular
    I really love this world, the art and general storyline they came up with but once again, it feels grossly incomplete. I honestly think many of these things just need more panels and time dedicated to them, instead of rushing through plot points and leaving things vague. Doing it once or twice is mysterious, doing it over and over again is basically digging a narrative hole and is making these stories feel very unsatisfying. I'd much rather more individual panels and coherence to storylines, rather than bouncing around and hoping someone just randomly "Guesses" the vaguely correct answer in a post on the forum or somewhere else.

    The Roleplayer's Guild: My blog for roleplaying games, advice and adventuring.
  • streeverstreever Registered User regular
    I do think this could have used slightly more space to grow, but I actually think it could have used a few less words and a few more pictures.

    After the tribunal, a shot of the boy handing over the eggs, and then running away in the next panel (scarfless) while she holds the scarf.

    I think that one shot would have really sold the entire story.

    As it is, I disagree with much of the criticism so far; I think this world isn't that mysterious. We can make lots of safe assumptions about the world and the setting; it isn't as enigmatic as some are describing it.

  • darkmayodarkmayo Registered User regular
    edited March 2015
    foodle wrote: »
    darkmayo wrote: »
    The only time we see the other wrist is this strip, so we have no way to confirm that it wasn't already there or that it is the lookouts scarf, without Mike confirming that yes it is.
    You see at least part of her right wrist in the last panel of part 1, enough to see that she doesn't start with the red scarf. She's wearing the same loose bangles/bracelets on her right wrist as on her left at that time. Not definitive, but another clue that she took the Lookout's scarf.

    I do like how the Daughter is portrayed as being very non-human. She spends most of the time talking to the animals and barely addresses the Lookout. It shows how far from her human origins she's moved since becoming a Daughter. The Lookout is like an alien/foreign creature to her that she really can't relate to. Lots of really interesting tidbits about the world in this very sparse comic.

    Eeehhh kinda, you mainly see fingers and maybe some arm? I had to zoom in really close to see. This is the kind of stuff that I find annoying, while drawing it on a tablet zoomed in Mike knows exactly what he is drawing and what each part is. When zoomed out viewing on a browser you are not going to make those connections easily if at all. Leaving your reader wondering what is going or missing out on information you want them to have.

    Why is everyone going on about eggs, we have no proof that eggs were stolen or the lookout is guilty of anything at all except unsubstantiated accusations from the Hate owl who is an asshole.

    darkmayo on
  • darkmayodarkmayo Registered User regular
    edited March 2015
    double post

    darkmayo on
  • YoungFreyYoungFrey Registered User regular
    edited March 2015
    darkmayo wrote: »
    Why is everyone going on about eggs, we have no proof that eggs were stolen or the lookout is guilty of anything at all except unsubstantiated accusations from the Hate owl who is an asshole.

    I think it's pretty safe to infer the Lookout did something. That is what Lookout stories are: boys go into the Wood and try to kill nature so they can become men. And it does really look like something injured him. I agree it might not be eggs, but I feel he did mess with something.

    YoungFrey on
  • TheCanManTheCanMan Registered User regular
    YoungFrey wrote: »
    darkmayo wrote: »
    Why is everyone going on about eggs, we have no proof that eggs were stolen or the lookout is guilty of anything at all except unsubstantiated accusations from the Hate owl who is an asshole.

    I think it's pretty safe to infer the Lookout did something. That is what Lookout stories are: boys go into the Wood and try to kill nature so they can become men. And it does really look like something injured him. I agree it might not be eggs, but I feel he did mess with something.

    I'll give you a hint as to what that "something" may have been.
    99uCWxZ.jpg

  • foodlefoodle Registered User regular
    edited March 2015
    darkmayo wrote: »
    Why is everyone going on about eggs, we have no proof that eggs were stolen or the lookout is guilty of anything at all except unsubstantiated accusations from the Hate owl who is an asshole.
    I think the whole egg stealing thing is a red herring. I think it just shows the limited world view of the birds/owl and how divorced they are from how humans think/act. It seems more likely that the Lookout was part of an expedition to kill the lion/tree/bush thing, as we've seen them attack such creatures before as part of their training. That then explains why the lion/tree is after the Lookout in the middle of the story.

    foodle on
  • RatherDashing89RatherDashing89 Registered User regular
    forty wrote: »
    So more world building than actual story...
    And all the worlds he builds? I mean, wow. That's some worlds right there.

    To be fair, that was given as a hollow praise for a series of novels. This is a tabletop gaming setting. The world is the most important part because players are free to create their own stories within the setting.

  • YoungFreyYoungFrey Registered User regular
    forty wrote: »
    So more world building than actual story...
    And all the worlds he builds? I mean, wow. That's some worlds right there.

    To be fair, that was given as a hollow praise for a series of novels. This is a tabletop gaming setting. The world is the most important part because players are free to create their own stories within the setting.

    The Eyrewood is more than a tabletop game setting. It started as a PA comic. Became a series of actual comic books. Then Gabe came up with the game idea. They have said before they feel like it's the most versatile of their properties.

  • fortyforty Registered User regular
    foodle wrote: »
    darkmayo wrote: »
    Why is everyone going on about eggs, we have no proof that eggs were stolen or the lookout is guilty of anything at all except unsubstantiated accusations from the Hate owl who is an asshole.
    I think the whole egg stealing thing is a red herring. I think it just shows the limited world view of the birds/owl and how divorced they are from how humans think/act. It seems more likely that the Lookout was part of an expedition to kill the lion/tree/bush thing, as we've seen them attack such creatures before as part of their training. That then explains why the lion/tree is after the Lookout in the middle of the story.
    Yeah, the birds are focused on eggs because they're birds and that's the kind of stuff they'd talk about. It's like an avian version of the "squirrel!" gag from Up.

    The best card in Hearthstone is your credit card.
  • darkmayodarkmayo Registered User regular
    edited March 2015
    TheCanMan wrote: »
    YoungFrey wrote: »
    darkmayo wrote: »
    Why is everyone going on about eggs, we have no proof that eggs were stolen or the lookout is guilty of anything at all except unsubstantiated accusations from the Hate owl who is an asshole.

    I think it's pretty safe to infer the Lookout did something. That is what Lookout stories are: boys go into the Wood and try to kill nature so they can become men. And it does really look like something injured him. I agree it might not be eggs, but I feel he did mess with something.

    I'll give you a hint as to what that "something" may have been.
    99uCWxZ.jpg

    I think if the Lookout had messed with treelion the daughter would have listened to what he had to say instead of dismissing him. From how I saw that part the treelion smelled a human boy and wanted to eat him and the daughter was all , be quiet while adults are talking.

    darkmayo on
  • RatherDashing89RatherDashing89 Registered User regular
    forty wrote: »
    foodle wrote: »
    darkmayo wrote: »
    Why is everyone going on about eggs, we have no proof that eggs were stolen or the lookout is guilty of anything at all except unsubstantiated accusations from the Hate owl who is an asshole.
    I think the whole egg stealing thing is a red herring. I think it just shows the limited world view of the birds/owl and how divorced they are from how humans think/act. It seems more likely that the Lookout was part of an expedition to kill the lion/tree/bush thing, as we've seen them attack such creatures before as part of their training. That then explains why the lion/tree is after the Lookout in the middle of the story.
    Yeah, the birds are focused on eggs because they're birds and that's the kind of stuff they'd talk about. It's like an avian version of the "squirrel!" gag from Up.

    Or like how King Triton and Sebastian think that because humans are fish-eaters (which is true) that they all will want to fry Ariel up and eat her (which is only partly true).

  • darkmayodarkmayo Registered User regular
    forty wrote: »
    foodle wrote: »
    darkmayo wrote: »
    Why is everyone going on about eggs, we have no proof that eggs were stolen or the lookout is guilty of anything at all except unsubstantiated accusations from the Hate owl who is an asshole.
    I think the whole egg stealing thing is a red herring. I think it just shows the limited world view of the birds/owl and how divorced they are from how humans think/act. It seems more likely that the Lookout was part of an expedition to kill the lion/tree/bush thing, as we've seen them attack such creatures before as part of their training. That then explains why the lion/tree is after the Lookout in the middle of the story.
    Yeah, the birds are focused on eggs because they're birds and that's the kind of stuff they'd talk about. It's like an avian version of the "squirrel!" gag from Up.

    Or like how King Triton and Sebastian think that because humans are fish-eaters (which is true) that they all will want to fry Ariel up and eat her (which is only partly true).

    Man there is like a comic for every situation.
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  • QuoteQuote Registered User new member
    edited March 2015
    Wow... that was... confusing?
    I really liked the art on this one and I'm a big fan of the whole Lookout series in general, but this latest installment left more questions open than it answered.

    <rant>
    It reminded me a lot about the last Automata (Silverside), where I had to check the boards again to find out, what was actually happening in the last 2 panels.
    While I'm a big fan of leaving room for intepretation (and obviously there are at least some people that seem to get every hidden message), cramming enough story for 20 pages into 13 panels, out of which only ~half have actual dialogue, is just not working for me. I check the site every other day and even after re-reading the whole thing from start to end I had to go over here and find a post that actually explains everything that's going on in half a page of text! The previous Lookouts / Daughters comic, "The Tithe" was so much better and delivered a much clearer storyline, which was a ton more enjoyable for a regular reader like me. If you put a "buy the Lookout comic book!" button next to The Tithe, I would have instantly jumped at that chance, whereas with this latest series, you might even make first time visitors less interested in the whole series by giving them such a beatifully drawn, yet terribly hard to follow, story. You should've either put twice the amount of panels / text in this run or deliver only half of the story, with the other half at a later point. At least give us a post accompanying the comic, that explains what's happening in the story!
    TL;DR: drawing & art top notch, as usual. Story this time was a mess, trying to do too much in too little space. Many subtleties that only to the most hard-core fan crowd is able to "get" and probably left everyone else confused.
    </rant>

    Quote on
  • _J__J_ Pedant Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    I want judgmental owl to get his own spinoff series. Something about how he attains corporeal form through scorn.

  • metfanscmetfansc Registered User regular
    I think I like the world that is being created here, but I tend not to like the comics because every time I am left wondering what in the world that was I just read. The character looks very intriguing and the concept looked cool, but the story seemed to be mostly off screen which I didn't enjoy at all.

    Kind of glad we are back to normal.

  • Agent SmithAgent Smith PennsylvaniaRegistered User new member
    "Are we mended?" The overall tone of this comic and the mannerisms of the characters almost remind me of Midsummer Night's Dream. Seeing Trill is like seeing Puck's younger sibling busting out of merry making enough to make a real-world mundane human decision. I would almost expect Puck and Peaseblossom to come out of the woodwork to slice the kids throat, because it was fun. And maybe because he was trespassing. Creepy yet beautiful like a exquisite icicle that's 5ft. long hanging over your head.

  • TheoCTheoC Registered User new member
    Yeah, but in the end it's an endless stream of "wouldn't this be cool?" And no actual story. Next one will be "oh, and there could be a daughter modelled after a berry bush, and a boy eats one of the berries and then she says it's only fair she should eat one of his...His heart DUN DUN DUNnnn"
    I.e. just another riff on the "daughters are weird and creepy but they only think they are being nice/fair/obedient to the laws of the forest"
    Just as long as we don't have an actual story or learn something meaningful, right?

  • RatherDashing89RatherDashing89 Registered User regular
    I hate when three-panel-a-day webcomics don't deliver a fully fleshed out narrative. These vignettes are simply not up to my standards. Like...did Tycho ever buy anything from the brick-and-mortar gaming store? Who was it that he needed to buy it for? He just said "somebody"...like we're supposed to be satisfied by that half-baked explanation. Did Frank try to help them get what they wanted? What makes Frank so irascible? In the end did they walk out with a positive or a negative view of the store? Are we supposed to have a positive or negative view? What's the moral? Where's the conclusion?

  • BloodySlothBloodySloth Registered User regular
    edited March 2015
    Man you're really showing that straw man who's boss

    edit: That was perhaps a bit too antagonistic. The point remains, though, that literally no one here is extending their criticism of this or these side stories to the Penny Arcade comic as a whole. That'd be ridiculous. I think it'd be giving the PA guys far too little credit to expect that their regular three panel joke is the peak of their ability or what we should expect from them when they decide to try flexing their creative muscles. It's pretty clear that stuff like The Judging Wood is trying to aim a little higher, and when we look at it critically we should have that in mind.

    BloodySloth on
  • kimekime Queen of Blades Registered User regular
    I hate when three-panel-a-day webcomics don't deliver a fully fleshed out narrative. These vignettes are simply not up to my standards. Like...did Tycho ever buy anything from the brick-and-mortar gaming store? Who was it that he needed to buy it for? He just said "somebody"...like we're supposed to be satisfied by that half-baked explanation. Did Frank try to help them get what they wanted? What makes Frank so irascible? In the end did they walk out with a positive or a negative view of the store? Are we supposed to have a positive or negative view? What's the moral? Where's the conclusion?

    That's funny, but just to check, it wasn't meant to be an honest point, right? :)

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  • RatherDashing89RatherDashing89 Registered User regular
    Man you're really showing that straw man who's boss

    edit: That was perhaps a bit too antagonistic. The point remains, though, that literally no one here is extending their criticism of this or these side stories to the Penny Arcade comic as a whole. That'd be ridiculous. I think it'd be giving the PA guys far too little credit to expect that their regular three panel joke is the peak of their ability or what we should expect from them when they decide to try flexing their creative muscles. It's pretty clear that stuff like The Judging Wood is trying to aim a little higher, and when we look at it critically we should have that in mind.

    To be fair, I was a bit too antagonistic as well. I wasn't meaning to be overly snide or imply that people can't be critical of the comic. I am making a genuine comparison because I'm not sure where people got the idea that The Judging Wood is "aiming higher" though, aside from the fact that it's dramatic as opposed to comedic. The PA side stories have always had the feel of brain overflow to me--like when J. R. R. Tolkien first scribbled "In a hole, in the ground, lived a hobbit" on a student's assignment (that's literally all he wrote). Eventually that idea got expanded into a book, which was still very bare bones in terms of the expansive world--The Hobbit doesn't explain what this ring is all about or why all these monsters are all over the place. You get a little more in Lord of the Rings, and the final explanations in the appendices to the Silmarillion, which was compiled from his random scribblings after his death. I imagine if Tycho writes a full-fledged novel, the story will be more complete. These side stories are put on the main comic page because they are a similar media, even though they're not jokes. Little vignettes (I feel like such an asshole saying that word twice now) that deliver a single "punch", but instead of a joke, it's a single point about the world or its characters. Since G&T like to put the punch line in the second panel with another joke in the third, sometimes these three-panel comics give us two, but usually not more than that.

    TL;DR: Just because they don't have jokes as such doesn't make these side stories an entirely different medium than standard Penny Arcade, and there's nothing saying they should be judged differently.

  • BloodySlothBloodySloth Registered User regular
    That's probably a fair view of the comic, and from that angle, the unfinished feel to the story makes sense. It's just when I see these two guys set aside more than a week of regularly scheduled programming to plan out and publish a five part continuing series, it gives me the impression that they're going an extra mile, even if the output is technically at the same volume, so to speak. I see now that I could be wrong, though it does make me wish for a more complete work. Mike's beautiful illustrations almost demand it.

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