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Eric: I think when you explicitly make reference to the Cerebus Syndrome, you by definition aren't moving into one. I think, anyway.

(From Felicity Flint! Click on the thumbnail for full sized metareferential tears!)

Submitted without comment.

(Except to say that as you know, I'm not a huge fan of metafiction. I think it ends up a bit clumsy much of the time, though when it works, it works.)

(Hrm. I don't actually think it works here.)

(Well, the caption does. The caption made me grin, and grinning means it works. Right?)

(Of course, now here I've gone and actually made the caption come true. Which means referring to the caption actually closes an entire metareferential circle, doesn't it?)

(Maybe I'm overthinking this. I need more coffee.)

(By the way -- one thing that's kind of fun is the sheer number of people who e-mailed me to point out the Felicity Flint reference. It's funny on two levels. One, I'm enough of a John Troutman fanboy that the likelihood I'd miss the reference -- while nonzero -- was small. Which isn't a complaint. I like people enthusiastically sending me mail that starts with the word "Dude!" Two, of course, is the fact that he posted this -- along with the prediction of snarkage in the air -- on the very day I declared I was taking the day off. Fortunately, with FFlint's production schedule, I had several days of "current strip in the archive" to work with.)

(Also, oddly enough? Vanilla soymilk tastes exceptionally good in hazelnut coffee. The nuttiness of the soymilk combines with the nuttiness of the coffee to make something distinctive and pleasant. And the vanilla makes it mellow and smooth. Plus, protein. Protein is good.)

(You actually didn't care about that last bit, did you? I need to stop talking into a live mike.)

Posted by Eric Burns-White at March 16, 2005 11:07 AM


Comment from: Tangent posted at March 16, 2005 11:46 AM

hee hee hee!!!

Comment from: Miles Gloriosus posted at March 16, 2005 12:00 PM

If I post a comment for a post without comment... even though it clearly contains any number of comments... meh.

Does it say anything that I found the least relevant part most interesting? I should get me some vanilla soymilk.

Comment from: John Troutman posted at March 16, 2005 12:59 PM

Actually, I hate metahumour. It just seems like, sometimes, it "fits". Of course, that line wasn't even there when this ran on GraphicSmash - I think it actually predates Websnark's creation. Basically, I was relettering that page for Keenspot and I thought exactly what Felicity says in the fourth panel. So I actually wrote it in, because if I'M thinking it, READERS are probably thinking it - I figured I should cut them off at the pass should they try to call me on the sudden tonal shift.

That said, SHEER NUMBERS e-mailed you? How much is "sheer numbers"? Because I was unaware that anyone besides me actually read Felicity - the only feedback it ever gets is from my friends (Megs and... well, pretty much just Megs.)

Comment from: Milligan posted at March 16, 2005 1:10 PM

John Troutman: Snarkwhore.

Comment from: 32_footsteps posted at March 16, 2005 3:08 PM

Hey, does this mean that if I write a video game review and reference Websnark, that I'll get a snark too?

And talk about abuse of parentheses... Just as a hint - just because you attempt to use the Internet version of sotto voce, you don't have the right to say "submitted without comment." Just call a spade a spade, and admit it's a comment.

Comment from: Eric Burns posted at March 16, 2005 3:14 PM

32 -- if you look at every last "Submitted without comment," they're followed by multiple parenthetical comments.

This is, and I use the term in its most generous meaning, the joke.

No, it's never actually worked. Yes, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting the same result. Nevertheless. The point is it says "Submitted without comment" and is followed by loads of comments.

Comment from: Eric Burns posted at March 16, 2005 3:17 PM

Er, expecting a different result.

In my defense, I'm not very bright.

(And the "submitted without comment" 'joke' is always pulled out when I do comment on someone who made a Websnark reference. Not all references end up here.)

Comment from: Alexander Danner posted at March 16, 2005 3:31 PM

Not to validate your insanities, but I've been pretty consistently amused by the "submitted without comment" bits.

Then again, I've got a thing for excessive parentheticals, so take my opinion for what it's worth.

Comment from: 32_footsteps posted at March 16, 2005 4:53 PM

Well, as you may have guessed, I'm occasionally responsible for editing, which leaves me a mite intolerant of certain stylistic behaviors. Excessive parentheticals has led me to attack people with Strunk & White. I'll leave you to wonder if that's a metaphorical attack or not.

Part of me hates it when people act like blog whores. And the other part of me notes that I'm not above doing it myself (and I have to admit that I abuse Google bait like nobody's business). So take my complaints with a grain of salt and any other mixed metaphor I throw out.

Comment from: John Troutman posted at March 16, 2005 5:16 PM

To say I'm "blog whoring" might be pushing it, if you're indeed referencing me with that comment. I consider Eric a sort-of friend - at the very least, a peer. If I drop a reference to Websnark in my comics, it's just the same as if I'd dropped a reference to a friend's webcomic. I don't expect a link back. I just do it to give a shout out to my peeps, as it were.

After over five years in webcomics, I'd like to think that I've grown beyond cameoing/referencing for the sake of a plug.

Comment from: 32_footsteps posted at March 16, 2005 6:37 PM

John, it's merely a necessity of the business. Like I said, I do it myself (though again, Google baiting is more my M.O.).

I've read plenty of comics in which there are references to other comics/pages/writers/whatever. And I've also seen plenty of notes in the News sections of various places mentioning cameos their characters have made in other places. And yes, it is generally done between people with at least some level of good will between them.

Still, given the vain nature of producing anything on the web (I'm whoring myself out with each of these comments, I readily admit), I don't think you can hide behind a "shout out to my peeps" defense. When you make such a reference, you are, at least on some level, hoping for more attention.

Also, it's disingenuous to say "I've been doing this for five years, and I've moved beyond it." I've been writing for over five years, and I know I still do such things myself. In some ways, I think it's a dirty necessity (I don't enjoy it, but counting solely on word of mouth to increase readership is a dicey proposition at best). If you feel any shame at that, then perhaps it's a question of how honest you're being with yourself.

Comment from: John Troutman posted at March 16, 2005 6:50 PM

If I was hoping for more attention, I'd reference something else. I've very little to gain from a Websnark posting. He's linked me enough in the past that any new linkage isn't going to really make a dent in my stats. I stand by my "just giving a shoutout" defense, and I'm pretty sure I'm not lying to myself in saying as such.

I actually WOULD be ashamed if I was cameo whoring for linkage at this point. Like I said, maybe I'd have done that five years ago, but now that I'm on the largest comics network on the web, I've got slightly better ways of advertising than your "dirty necessity."

Comment from: Kristofer Straub posted at March 16, 2005 7:04 PM

You have to admit though, whoring can get the job done.

Comment from: John Troutman posted at March 16, 2005 7:17 PM

Sometimes. You, for instance, elevate cameo whoring to an art form. ;)

(Note - Winky Smiley means I'm joking. CxN is actually, in fact, brilliant.)

Comment from: Bo Lindbergh posted at March 16, 2005 10:00 PM

That page originally ran on June 22, 2004. For the morbidly curious, it still takes up 123 KB of disk space on Joey Manley's servers here. (Somebody didn't clean up before moving out.)

Comment from: Shadowydreamer posted at March 17, 2005 1:31 AM

(I am soooooo kidding)

Well, I tried to whore myself a snark.. but I gave up after Eric changed his mind on the cost from 17 cases of 12 year old Glendfiddish to 18.. no, 19.. wait, 20's a round number.. but..

Comment from: Wednesday posted at March 17, 2005 1:15 PM

Yes, I tell you: I owe my whole slot here to the duty-free and specialty shops after Heathrow's passport control. Someday, he's going to meet someone who's actually in Scotland, and the supplementary articles will begin to make sense.

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