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Eric: "Spinster," she says. What is she, 29? 30? Feh, I say! Feh!

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(From Scary Go Round. Click on the thumbnail for full sized mouse!)

Every so often, we need a reminder -- subtle though it may be -- that Scary Go Round isn't just Bobbins with a different sense of style. Well, more of a reminder than the fact that Rich Tweedy has never been back since Holly Terminated his Entire Existence in the last Bobbins storyline.

Now, I know. Scary Go Round is a horror strip -- ostensibly -- and therefore it would be distinctive right there. There was whimsy in the original Bobbins -- robot girlfriends and the like -- but very few ghosts and ghouls and the like. But somehow, that's not quite the same thing as discovering that Shelley's ability to communicate with animals isn't limited to malevolent sea creatures lacking spines. (And you thought Aquaman had problems.)

Anyway. With each successive year, Scary Go Round goes deeper into mod-scented whimsy, and Shelley is disproportionately at the center of it. Granted, it's entirely possible that the aluminum poisoning that fixated her on kittens once upon a time has more to do with the talking animals in her life than the animals themselves. Still, in a world of various kinds of horrific beasts, Hellish things, and multiple deaths of Shelley... it seems perfectly reasonable that the animals just talk on occasion, and Shelley's experiences have opened her up to it.

I'm reminded, at least briefly, of Nobilis. In Nobilis, player characters live in two worlds at once -- the Prosaic Earth, where everything has a reasonable explanation, and Mythic Earth, where there are spirits in every thing. Now, when something changes in Mythic Earth, Prosaic Earth reflects it scientifically, and vice versa. However, the Player Characters live in both worlds at the same time -- and if they toss miracles around where everyone can see, normal humans begin to see Mythic Earth as well. Only the other humans around them don't see Mythic Earth, so people naturally assume those normal humans are just completely insane. They call it dementia animus in the game -- the insane ramblings of a person who lives in Prosaic Earth but perceives Mythic Earth.

Well, Shelley got herself a case of dementia animus some time ago, and it only seems to get worse with time. Only it doesn't really bother her, most of the time. She accepts what she can't change. She copes with the weirdness through cheer and tea, and she just marshals on. And so now, when she discovers there are talking mice under the bed, she's annoyed but not surprised -- and Hell, at least it's not furries, right?

(Though it's worth noting that in her mind's eye, furries were really quite pleasant people, whether Shelley liked them or not.)

Anyhow. It's not that Bobbins didn't have whimsey or even magic realism, here or there. It's that the quality of it was different. It was Sentient VW Bugs and Fembots as humorous digression -- as sitcom. Scary Go Round is more of a story, and some of the paths the story takes are decidedly odd.

Anyway. It's cool stuff.

Posted by Eric Burns-White at February 20, 2006 11:28 AM

Comments

Comment from: Mvmarcz [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at February 20, 2006 4:36 PM

she must be exceptionally gifted to be able to knit upside down :p

Comment from: Ford Dent [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at February 20, 2006 4:42 PM

"Anyway. It's cool stuff."

Yes.

Yes it is. The whimsy inherent in SGR is the sort which I aspire to sprinkle throughout all my writings (the fictional ones, at any rate). Shelly's unflappability (is that a word? Maybe it's unflappableness. Unflappablishness?) is one of the parts of the comic which endears it to me, as here is a girl who has been dead, feasted on the brains of the living, and continues to be a cheerful young(ish) woman who talks to mice.

Comment from: Tangent [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at February 20, 2006 6:16 PM

She's a very hot 30, you have to admit that. ;)

I wish I knew a girl like Shelley. Well, a girl like Shelley who was actually interested in me, instead of thinking of me as like a brother or something. *rolls eyes* (Yes, scary as it may seem, I *do* know people who are reality-impaired. *grin*)

Rob H., trying to avoid a Scary-Go-Round pun

Comment from: Ununnilium [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at February 20, 2006 7:02 PM

SGR's supposed to be a *horror* comic? Wow. Best horror *anything* I've ever read, and that includes the showing of Ring that really killed half the audience after a week.

Comment from: ANT Link [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at February 20, 2006 8:51 PM

SGR's been on my own "why do I read this strip again" list lately. It seems to have gone away from whimsy with a story to just plain weird shit happening with people who speak in only vaguely coherent nonsense. Yeah, the nonsensical talk was always there, but these days it seems to be just nonsense for nonsense' sake and not much else. I'm not gonna drop it yet, but I'm hoping it gets back to a story focused more on narrative and less on characters talking in round-a-bout nonsensical references.

Incidentally, that's the most times I've ever used, and probably will use, the word "nonsense" in my entire life.

Comment from: Bequita [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at February 20, 2006 9:46 PM

1. On knitting upside down: sometimes you have to angle the knittng needles like in the comic. Additionally, knitting sucks, it's hard to keep an appropriate tension.

2. Did anyone else notice the pack of cigarettes under her mattress?

Comment from: lucastds [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at February 20, 2006 9:49 PM

i like SGR immensly

Comment from: Mvmarcz [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at February 20, 2006 10:42 PM

the way she's holding her kneedles her stitches'll prolly fall off, and as for tension, just don't tug after you make a stitch and you'll do fine, knitting is a basic and easy thing to do, just ask my 5 hats :D

Comment from: miyaa [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at February 20, 2006 11:22 PM

Personally, Shelly seems to be the kind of knitter/seamstress that tries to make things that you'd never think that could be hand-made. Like underwear and lingerie.

I've had too many bad stories with bad knitted clothing that the only things I'll accept hand-knitted are potholders and placemats.

Comment from: jpcardier [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at February 21, 2006 1:42 PM

I love Shelly. I love the rampant surreality of this strip. It's like a flower you sniff and discover is actually made of chocolate.

Personally, the main storyline I am loving currently is the Esther / The Boy possible hookup. Favorite Line So Far: "Will I ever be the Forces Sweetheart, The Boy?" "I'm sure when the Doomed Poets Mobilise, they will paint you on their planes." Red Wine and Dark Chocolate, dialogue like that is.

Mind you, my favorite line for the series so far is "So, how sir would you like to die?" "I'm not meant to die! We used the pupil's books in the ritual!" "Do not schoolbooks remain the property of the school? O, bitter irony! To my first question, I suggest you answer 'quickly'."

Comment from: Mvmarcz [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at February 21, 2006 5:29 PM

knitted undies


oh the fun http://knitty.com/ISSUEsummer04/patterns.html

Comment from: coldcut [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at February 22, 2006 11:18 PM

Not to be a total fanboi, but I'm 95% sure that the spinster bit was a nice little gift to the females on the SGR boards who regularly refer to themselves as spinsters.

No hermits were harmed in the making of this message. Yet.

Comment from: Adam [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at February 23, 2006 9:19 AM

Now, I thought Allinson had said he'd stopped reading the forums, because people kept guessing his endings and he felt compelled to change them as a result...

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