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Eric: On the other hand, I was into the attractive jumpsuit science babe from the prologue. But then, I'm just like that.


(From Sluggy Freelance. Click on the thumbnail for full sized Arrrr!)

Folks know I was a fan of the That Which Redeems arc over on Sluggy Freelance. Folks also know I'm a fan of pirates. And, like many people, I've been missing Bun Bun.

Welp, we got Sluggy, we got Bun Bun, and we got pirates.

Meh.

I'm sorry, this sequence is literally doing nothing at all for me. Now, Abrams has admitted he's having some trouble with writer's block. And honestly, I can see evidence of that. This all feels... forced, somehow. Like he's doing it because he has to do it, not because he's feeling it.

Maybe it's the fact that Bun Bun's been gone a long time, and when we see him again, he's once again at the top of the heap, this time on a Pirate Ship. I know the joke is Bun Bun's unstoppable and deadly and all, but there's no sense that he so much as underwent a setback when he was divested of Holidays and lost his bid for power. This feels like a retread.

I don't know. Maybe Abrams will surprise me and I'll end up enjoying Oceans Unmoving. But for right now, I'm sticking with 'meh.'

Posted by Eric Burns-White at February 6, 2005 11:10 PM

Comments

Comment from: Tangent posted at February 7, 2005 1:39 AM

It's about time you Snarked about Sluggy... to be honest, I think Sluggy Freelance has been 1st and 10 ever since Torg returned home from the Lame universe. Even during that there were signs that things were not well in the Sluggy world. Especially with the Saturday MitDo* strips which Pete has confirmed as canon (and that he approves of the script for it weekly).

Recently I gave up on Sluggy Freelance. This was after two weeks of "They're going to lose the house!" "They're not going to lose the house!" "Oh wait they ARE going to lose the house afterall!" and then switching venues after ONCE AGAIN having a "wait, maybe they lose it maybe they don't!" strip.

Sluggites will read it just because. But I won't. Not until I learn (maybe through WebSnark? *grin*) that it's gotten out of the dregs that it's currently struggling through.

Take care!

Robert A. Howard

Comment from: tynic posted at February 7, 2005 6:46 AM

I liked the prologue, and I found the buildup to this sequence funny (old guy, etc), and I was honestly surprised to see Bun-Bun (though I think I was alone on that one - I don't read Pete's newsposts, apparently there was some warning there). So I was all set for old-style Sluggy goodness ... and then I found myself saying, well, ... 'meh'.

You're right, there's no conflict to be had with Bun-bun once more top of the heap. I find Pete's crowd scenes confusing at the best of times, and with this washed out colour scheme it was difficult for me to follow what was happening - and the dialogue wasn't snappy enough for me to keep struggling with it. I'm still holding out hopes that this is a temporary, writers-block induced doldrum attack, but I don't think I've really enjoyed a Sluggy strip since the Pumpkin King.

(Oh, and the MitDo* are really, really dreary. I'd rather filler or nothing at all, frankly).

Comment from: J.(Channing)Wells posted at February 7, 2005 8:43 AM

The joke with Bun-Bun, of course, is that he's a tiny little cute thing who is neverhtheless an unstoppable dynamo. This is funny in and of itself for maybe a year or two. Once the shine wears off the idea, I think that readers have to either start liking the character as a person rather than a gimmick, or lose interest entirely.

At this point, I'm firmly in the second category. I get a few feeble flickers of amusement at the physical prowess Pete credits Bun-Bun with, but that's about it. I didn't miss him and I'm not happy to see him back. Hell, if it weren't for Kiki and the lack of resolution of the Sasha character, I wonder if I'd even be reading Sluggy at all anymore.

Still, even amidst all the muck, Pete sometimes shows a little flash of brilliance. But those are getting fewer and farther between.

Comment from: Bo Lindbergh posted at February 7, 2005 10:28 AM

Anyone else think Kada ("science babe from the prologue") looks a bit like Sasha?

Comment from: javac posted at February 7, 2005 10:57 AM

I'm torn, because even though it isn't his best work it's not bad per se. I've just enjoyed so much better stuff from him. That Which Redeems was a solid line, but I wondered what was happening 'at home' and I'm still wondering even though Torg's been back since the story jumped right over to Oceans after the short house affair.

Comment from: kirabug posted at February 7, 2005 11:39 AM

Eeh.... I don't know, I think I've gotten used to starting each Sluggy storyline for the past year or so with a good solid "Hrm...". By the end of the arc, there's great payoff, but the starts are usually slow. And I'd rather be going into this here than the latest GPF storyarc starring now-we're-supposed-to-pity-her Trudy and some clown with broken English. (No, literally, a clown.) I'm not yet reading Sluggy out of pure inertia.

Comment from: Tangent posted at February 7, 2005 12:57 PM

Actually I just recently started reading GPF. But I'm not reading the archives or such... just jumping in with what little knowledge I have from others and enjoying it as it goes.

The whole Trudy arc is "meh" to me. *wry chuckle* I've no real interest in her as a character and thus no real desire to watch her in a story. Better for it to return to chuckles with Fooker and the slimemold.

But Sluggy... I was coasting for a while. Pete seriously turned me off when he went for the expected route of killing Zoe2 instead of either having her stay behind or even go back to Torg's world with him. I don't know exactly what turned me off of Sluggy Freelance... I mean, I've read worse strips. Maybe it is a combination of arrogance over the MitDo* strips (in which many fans have STATED they don't like it and want it to end but Pete (through his mouthpieces) has said "It stays, and I don't want to hear anyone complaining about it"... nice way to tell your fans they don't matter) and the way he's jerking us around concerning the Fate of the House.

And there's the fact that Sluggy... just has lost its funny. I honestly don't care anymore. I mean... CRfH has been in some serious storylines of late... but I still read and enjoy it. Dominic Deegan is in the starting stages of another dramatic storyline but continues to pun its way into my heart. CotC is in the second year (or is it third now?) of a Dracula storyline and it still draws me in. But Sluggy... *shakes head* I don't know why. It just has lost me.

In fact, it's MORE than just having lost its funny. I read dramatic strips that don't rely on humor (Wandering Ones, for instance)... and I definitely enjoy the humor strips. So why has Sluggy lost me? *sighs* I wish I knew. Outside of I think Pete should take another six week hiatus like a couple years ago, I don't know what he could do to fix this problem. But he's going to start losing other fans if he doesn't pull out of this block of his.

Robert A. Howard, who hasn't had that first cup of coffee in the morning yet...

Comment from: jrleek posted at February 7, 2005 1:18 PM

Might as well throw in my 2 cents. Personally, I've never liked Bun-bun. I was really hoping he would disappear for good, so I wasn't too happy to see him again. Personally I really liked the "losing the house strips," there were some really good gags in there and it felt like a trip back to classic zany Sluggy. It was just over too soon.

I think this new storyline is just turning everyone off because it's like Pete is starting a new strip. We've been suddenly introduced to a slew of new characters and 3(!) new universes. That's why it turns me off anyway, there's not a sigle character I care about in the whole lot. It's just something to get through.

As for gpf, I still read that, and I don't know why. Trudy's the only interesting character, and I don't care about her at all. I wish she and Bun-bun would both just die already.

Comment from: jrleek posted at February 7, 2005 1:21 PM

Might as well throw in my 2 cents. Personally, I've never liked Bun-bun. I was really hoping he would disappear for good, so I wasn't too happy to see him again. Personally I really liked the "losing the house strips," there were some really good gags in there and it felt like a trip back to classic zany Sluggy. It was just over too soon.

I think this new storyline is just turning everyone off because it's like Pete is starting a new strip. We've been suddenly introduced to a slew of new characters and 3(!) new universes. That's why it turns me off anyway, there's not a sigle character I care about in the whole lot. It's just something to get through.

As for the MitDo* strips, maybe Pete is keeping them for fans like me. I actually like them. Pete wants 1 day off a week, and it's better than nothing. Often they are kinda fun. I think the whole "canon" debate is out of proportion. I think Pete's statement was more along the line of, the strips are just a time waster, getting worried about what's cannon and what isn't is getting way too worked up over a web strip.

As for gpf, I still read that, and I don't know why. Trudy's the only interesting character, and I don't care about her at all. I wish she and Bun-bun would both just die already.

Comment from: Robotech_Master posted at February 7, 2005 2:20 PM

...and once again I find myself wondering if I'm reading the same comic strip as other people, or I'm just dain bramaged.

I kind of like Bunbun. He's kind of the Sluggy equivalent of J.R. Ewing. You're not supposed to like him as a person, but he makes a great comic foil for the rest of the strip. I personally thought the last two frames of this strip were hilarious...only Bunbun would make a total stranger first mate for the sole purpose of eventually inciting him to mutiny. :)

I now find myself wondering whether Pete is going to reference any of the Sluggy references from John Ringo's There Will Be Dragons series...

Comment from: sun tzu posted at February 7, 2005 2:39 PM

Websnark, I can see what you mean when you say it's a bit upsetting that, after his (litteral) downfall at the end of "Holiday Wars", Bun-Bun seems on top again as soon as we see him...But personnally, I reacted differently - part because I've supposing that it might actually be Bun-Bun as he was PRIOR to joining the main gang.

Consider: He was thrown outside of time. It's been explicitly stated, on his subject, that time isn't always linear. I could be wrong, but...

As for GPF, I still like it.

Comment from: Shadowydreamer posted at February 7, 2005 5:36 PM

After four years I stopped reading GPF alst week. It jumped my shark when Trudy beat up a professional agent "because he had a cold." I adore Jeff (and his wife) but.. not so much his comic anymore. I'll probably come back in six months and read it again and see if my mood has changed. (I am woman, my mood ring is tie-dye)

The evil Bunny (whether mine, Lem's or Pete's) all can be traced back to the book Bunnicula. Whether the author's conscious mind knows it or not :D

Or it could just be funny to have a small, cute, furry animal have a switch blade in his paw. Or cause grown adult humans to flee the country because they taped over his Baywatch or..

I think we all run out of funny in the end for our characters. Web Comic land hasn't been around long enough yet for the entire "End now or recreate what I've got?" debate to be rampant, but I know Pete's gone through it a few times.. and i think his way of recreating is all the other universes.

I say this because .. Cowlicks is an alt-Torg. Bet ya a cookie. :)

As long as Pete keeps me guessing, I'll keep reading. ^_^

-Shady

(Who has a tequilla supply to keep her own evil Bunny happy.)

Comment from: 32_footsteps posted at February 7, 2005 6:28 PM

Actually, it's funny to bring up GPF, because one problem that the recent GPF strips have been having (one that developed after Eric's "You Had Me..." post on the strip) has started to infect Sluggy, I'm afraid.

The new problem for GPF (which, I admit, I read out of inertia at this point) is that it can't actually focus on a storyline anymore. It's jumping around like Kiki on a Pixy Stik. Darlington seems intent to actually stick with this current plot thread for more than a week, which honestly shocked the daylights out of me. It's like he decided to jump a second shark while he's at it.

Sluggy is starting to show this as well. Too much is being left unresolved, and I think there should have been at least another week to give some payoff (but not full resolution) back at the house.

To be honest, I have to agree that Pete Abrams needs a nice break. It seems that the Sluggites really want him working 365 days a year on it. I tell you what, if someone asked me to work on my job full-time every day of the year, I'd show them precisely where to stick it, with diagrams and Mr. Sock Lop. For his own mental health, as well as the health of the comic, I think Pete needs to take a breather. Maybe we'll finally be done with the various demon dimensions while we're at it.

But for now, with no vacation in the forseeable future, I'm willing to give some benefit of the doubt. There have been a couple chuckles from the story so far, and I've ended up enjoying some storylines that have started with a "meh" overall. Besides, nobody can groove a 95 MPH fastball with every pitch.

Comment from: Zeke posted at February 7, 2005 8:00 PM

I've been rereading Sluggy a lot in the past couple of weeks, and it's reminded me why I love the strip so much. Yes, Pete makes his stories way, way too long, but they're good. There aren't many other strips out there that can spend months on the same storyline and keep it interesting and funny, often both at the same time.

I get impatient with Sluggy's long arcs, sure. Gofotron, Kesandru's Well, Holiday Wars... at the time, I could barely follow them. But when I go back and reread them, they hold together really well. What makes Sluggy work is that while the plots don't work so well at one strip a day, there's also a gag almost every day to keep the reader from getting bored. You'll enjoy it more when you can read it all in one go, but you won't not enjoy it one strip at a time.

And after That Which Redeems, I'm ready to forgive Pete almost anything. Like Dangerous Days Ahead and Kitten, TWR was a rarity for Sluggy in that it wasn't hard to follow day-by-day even though it was incredibly long. But even better, it was continuity porn. For longtime Sluggy readers -- and I've been on board since Love Potion II -- TWR was like seven months of Christmas. From the very start, it shed new light on past stories (who else kicked themselves for not realizing that of COURSE the pinhole would lead to the alternate dimension?). Torg's sword was the coolest addition to the strip in years, and I'm just sorry we probably won't have much opportunity to see it again.

And finally, like Eric, I'm delighted to finally see Bun-Bun again. At the same time, I'm glad Pete stuck to his guns and kept him out of the strip for a full year. After Holiday Wars, I think we were all pretty Bun-Bunned out. Above all, I hope Pete won't make this another solo story for Bun-Bun. I liked him fine in Holiday Wars, but I loved him in Gofotron and K'Z'K and 2000, when he had the other characters to play off.

- Z

Comment from: Zeke posted at February 7, 2005 8:02 PM

Oh, one more thing: Bun-Bun being in charge again. Honestly, it doesn't bother me. We haven't checked in on him for a year -- that's plenty of time to recover and get a new scheme together.

- Z

Comment from: elvedril posted at February 8, 2005 9:19 AM

What bothers me about Bun-bun is that Pete clearly knows he's a crowd favorite and he's let the bunny go from comedic foil to uber-munchkin. Remember when Bun-bun would actually fail in a comedic fashion? Now he's like Superman or Goku.

"A vampire from another dimension has appeared, it's power is beyond our understanding! Who could possibly defeat it? Aquaman and Krillin! Hahaha, I kill me, go back to your cages guys. Let's send the overpowered rabbit, after all 'undefeatable and psychotic' is the whole character description for it."

So Bun-bun is back and is kicking butt again. Gee that's a suprise... Yawn.

Comment from: tynic posted at February 9, 2005 1:24 AM

Coming back to this ...

After four years I stopped reading GPF alst week. It jumped my shark when Trudy beat up a professional agent "because he had a cold."

I dropped in on GPF today, through boredom and curiosity, and ... WTF? 'Oh, I found a woman beaten, bleeding and near death in the snow. Naturally, I didn't call the police, because she "might be in some kind of trouble." Instead I took her home and tried on my clown costume.' (I'm paraphrasing, but not much.)

... WHAT? THE? FUCK?

If it keeps this up, I might start reading just for the mind-bogglingly contrived plot points.

Comment from: Zeke posted at February 9, 2005 4:48 AM

elvedril, I can't think of a single time in Sluggy's entire run when Bun-Bun was used that way. For starters, he doesn't care about anyone else's problems, just his own. He helps Torg & Co. only when their interests coincide. And Pete doesn't use Bun-Bun to just get rid of the villain in those situations; in fact, two of the more recent ones (Aylee's clone and the "mind-wedgier") took down Bun-Bun easily. Sure, he won all his battles in Holiday Wars, but that was necessary for the plot to progress. He's powerful, but not omnipotent and not a plot device.

- Z

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