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Eric: Is it hypocracy when we really *want* Brad to get beat into nothingness, though? It is? Damn.

(From Gin and the Devil. Click on the thumbnail for full sized philosophical discourse!)

There are substantial differences between, say, Gin and the Devil and Something Positive. Certainly Matt Milby and R. Milholland have different artistic styles. Gin and the Devil is a little more rooted in the everyday, too -- not only in a singular lack of pliant pussies (get your mind out of the gutter) but in a sense of almost desperation. There's a reason so many of these relationships evolve in bars, in Milby's strip. Milholland has -- though he might try to deny it -- a kind of optimism running through his strip. Things resolve, more or less, even if they take a long time, and no matter how incompetent and stupid the Lesbian might be, there always comes that day when she begins to step out into the light. In Milby's strip, said light is probably the harsh light of dawn on a day that might not improve things.

And yet, today's strip (well, Friday's strip) feels like it could be as much a Something Positive as a Gin and the Devil. The setup feels Milhollandesque, the delivery is just about perfect... it would work just as well with Jason in Wayne's place, ready to reduce someone who just sucker punched Davan into a fine red paste.

Which may say something about the commonality of the two strips, or at least that moment of comeuppance when the bully who just smacked your friend discovers that oops, he had friends who were bigger than he was. It reminds me of an experience back in college. My friend Matt is not the largest person in the world, but he might be the bravest. He's the sort of person who runs towards fights instead of away, because someone might need help. And there was a point where, freshly haven given blood (just to ensure he was at a disadvantage), he interceded between an abusive boyfriend and abused girlfriend. Said boyfriend turned on him, and three of his frat buddies turned to join them as well.

And the contents of just about the entire dorm Matt lived in turned on them. See, Matt was president of his dorm and nice to everyone, so pretty much everyone on Earth liked him. Did I mention several of the people in Matt's dorm were at B.U. on Wrestling Scholarships?

So, the pleasure I feel in seeing Brad about to be made triple jointed and foldable is in some ways nostalgic. And if it reminds me pretty seriously of Something Positive today, I think that's because I like Something Positive too.

Posted by Eric Burns-White at January 31, 2005 4:13 PM

Comments

Comment from: Spatchcock posted at February 1, 2005 9:34 AM

An aside: why is this guy bothering to put his dialogue in bubbles? This is not a comic strip. It's a series of pictures illustrating swathes of text. Snarky, I know these massive, wordy comics are your thing but damn if it isn't time that the artists of this school learned a few lessons about communication and their art form. Posy Simmonds was doing very wordy comics, prose + comics if you like, so a mass audience as far back as the mid 70s, but with a subtle difference - you didn't go blind reading them.

So many strips like this one (S*P, Queen Of Wands) show that the artist can both write and draw but they can't design worth a crap.

Comment from: Eric Burns posted at February 1, 2005 9:44 AM

I think Queen of Wands in particular is extremely well designed for the kind of story it's trying to tell, actually. In fact, it's one of the few "Infinite Canvas" concepts that actually fits stylistically with what's being done.

As for Gin and the Devil... I dunno, it looks like a comic strip to me. But, as always, milage and varying and all that.

Comment from: Spatchcock posted at February 2, 2005 8:27 AM

Eric, you are funny! Queen Of Wands doesn't utilise the infinite canvas! It's a box with some text in it, punctuated with pictures.

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