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Eric: A PvP snark that's actually about PvP? Shocking!

(From PvP. Click on thumbnail for full sized Chainmail Goodies!)

No, this has nothing to do with when this strip updated. While dedicated reader Chris Meadows found some tools that might let us track the update times far more carefully, we made an executive decision that such tools were "way too much work than the joke was worth," and so the Update Pool has been retired with full military honors.

Besides, far more interesting today is today's strip, which is definitely worth a snark.

Kurtz has a gift for characterization. He doesn't need a huge amount of exposition to give you just reams of information about the character, and if you've been following along at all, you can build significant information about his characters without even realizing you're doing it. Miranda, Jade's little sister, has been Kurtz's characterization masterpiece.

She's come right out and said that she wants to seduce Brent -- not because she's particularly attracted to Brent (though she might be), but because growing up she had to deal with her older, more developed sister seducing her boyfriends just by walking through the room. From what we know of Jade, my suspicions are Jade never actually seduced or even showed interest in any of these boys, but when a little sister has Jan Brady Syndrome, it's all about perception. We know also that while Jade is, from all accounts, red hot (I'm reminded of Wednesday White's Comixpedia article on Geek Women and the male fantasy -- Amazonian/sexual/beauty versus empowerment -- though I think Jade is presented more as someone overcoming the stereotype in her everyday life, occasional Everquest Cosplay aside), she is less interested in using her sexuality to her advantage than achieving based on her skills. Further, we know she is a legitimate geek -- she games, she roleplays, she likes geek stuff. She has geek cred, and she has it because she legitimately likes it. She is, in a way, the ectype of Geek Woman to Marcy's Archetype in geek girldom.

Miranda, on the other hand, is not a geek girl. She has no love of gaming. She thinks the LARPing is stupid. And while both Jade and Miranda dressed in sexy outfits for the LARP, Jade did it to get into character. Miranda did it because if she was going to have to do this, she was going to be the hottest thing in the room.

This leads us to today's strip, which encapsulates this whole into four panels. Jade is into the adventure. She's fighting, she's role playing, she's having a good time. Miranda's clearly not into it -- she's not 'fighting' the 'orc,' she's playing off her scanty clothing and natural hotness to get the guy behind the orc mask to drop his guard so she can take him out. "Sex is a weapon," she says, and for her it is -- but it's a victory that misses the point of the adventure.

Miranda's quest to show up Jade -- seduce her boyfriend, keep Francis on a hormone based leash, dominate Jade's workplace and hobbies -- is a full out interesting plotline for PvP. Kurtz is handling it well. He's bringing the Funny. And most of all, he's being subtle about it. And this makes for good times for we the readers.

Now, if you really want to get bored, ask me sometime about my analysis of Max Powers.

Posted by Eric Burns-White at August 26, 2004 4:40 PM


Comment from: MasonK posted at August 27, 2004 2:20 AM

I just wanted to say that this story wound up being the story before the PvP strip showed up via RSS feed. Well, I thought that was amusing, anyway.

So, tell us your analysis of Max Powers!

Mason Kramer, Straight Man.

Comment from: Eric Burns posted at August 27, 2004 2:40 AM

The next time Max shows up in PvP, I'll do the Max Powers Snark. Promise.

The precis is I think Max might just be the hero of the strip.

Comment from: punistation posted at August 27, 2004 10:29 AM

The sexy widdle sister seems to be common in LARPing. Especially in the past few days. ^_^

( http://geebasonparade.keenspace.com/d/20040813.html )

That, and the Ultima Attack: Booby Flash!

( http://geebasonparade.keenspace.com/d/20040806.html )

And you wonder why grrls dig LARP. We already got Lvl 99 attacks. ^_^

Comment from: Eric Burns posted at August 27, 2004 2:22 PM

Heh. Jennie Breeden kicks four kinds of ass.

Megatokyo reffed the Booby flash attack too. And Peejee flashing Mike (albeit wearing a bra) was effective too. In fact, Robert Heinlein used the Booby Flash as a combat tactic in Number of the Beast back in the seventies.

Having been flashed by an attractive girl I didn't know before (standing on the Ithaca Commons next to a guy named Steve, both of us involved with women standing not far from us, with Steve looking at me afterward and saying "this is why Ithaca's considered friendlier than Binghamton"), I can attest to the power of the woman's breast to stun folks into submission. Though it's not as powerful as the Unexpected Wiggle. The Unexpected Wiggle can cause brains to reset when used properly.

Comment from: Centurion13 posted at August 27, 2004 11:58 PM

Hey, I think I see where you are going with the 'Max Powers is the hero of the strip' idea. I have asked Scott at least once why everyone in the strip seems to think Max is a bad guy. Never got an answer, but that may be because he is a busy guy.

Max seems to be all business, but I have never seen him actually do anything bad. He is always polite to everyone, and constantly upbeat, seeing opportunity even in the worst situations. I still haven't figured out why Scott has him as the heavy, but hopefully it will come out in future strips (although after five years, it's tough to see why it wouldn't be plain already).


Comment from: Eric Burns posted at August 28, 2004 1:24 AM

Actually, we've seen Max do one nasty thing and one potentially nasty thing but maybe not, both having to do with Jade. He faked being dumped when Jade was feeling low, after overhearing her "wanting to stay away from Brent Sienna" for a while, and got her to go dancing with him, and then he attempted to blackmail Jade into a date with a "nude picture."

But frankly, neither of those are substantially worse than anything the PvP staff has ever done. He's a bit unctuous, but that's not a crime.

We'll see.

Comment from: Bequita [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at May 22, 2008 7:51 PM

The thing with Ding, is that it's art imitating life. He's drawing the best bits of life in Panda Attack in that strip. Ruin, Hitsuji, they're real people, and there are little bits of real them in Ding. The hiding in the pumpkin thing? Really happened. The blood elf rogue chick? I can HEAR his wife on Vent saying her lines. If you ever enjoyed playing WoW, it's pretty funny. If you were ever in Panda Attack, it actually makes you a little homesick.

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