« Upgrade complete; enter when ready | Main | Because Movable Type is Weird.... »

Eric: Of course, if Clango had just gone to Doc for his memory purge in the first place, we wouldn't be having this conversation, would we?

Diesel Sweeties!

(From Diesel Sweeties! Click on the thumbnail for full sized seven year old callbacks!)

Say what you like about Mr. R. Stevens, he is not afraid to shake up the status quo.

I made reference to this two years ago, when Clango dumped Maura after she got drunk and cheated on him. And can you honestly believe it's been two years (from last December) since Clango dumped Maura after she got drunk and cheated with him? Jesus Christ I'm getting old. But I digress. And now, we've had a significant move in the opposite direction. Indy Rock Pete took a left turn into full on evil (which will backfire on him, because Pete is too stupid not to take credit for things he should just shut up about. I predict this to be true) by destroying Clango's backup disk when Clango reset his brain to null to wipe out events that Clango's current girlfriend, Pale Suzie, found suspicious. In effect, Pete decided to kill Clango (though as Collin said, the unliving can't truly be said to die) so he could hook back up with Pale Suzie.

Absent a normal backup, Clango needs to be reconstituted from the most recent backup they have -- namely, an old backup disk that Maura had from back before they broke up. A backup disk which, if today's strip is to be believed, dates back to 2000. Which it is worth noting, is when Diesel Sweeties first began.

Got that? As of this moment, one of the leads in Diesel Sweeties has essentially been reset all the way back to the first strip. All the adventures, character development, and stuff that's happened since then is just plain gone. As far as Clango is concerned, he and Maura are still an item, he doesn't even know who Pale Suzie is, and for that matter, he doesn't know what kissing is.

It's possible that Stevens is resetting things in the strip to the point that he can synchronize situations with the new newspaper syndicated version of the Sweeties. And that's perfectly fine. It's all right to push the magic reset button if you justify it, and this particular plotline is a perfect justification. For newcomers (especially those out in the world of newsprint and paper), the situation is going to be less complicated than it would be for us. At the same time, we still have a continuity of events that makes sense and works for us.

And, as we know the web strips and the newspaper strips aren't going to be the same, we now have a rich and full and almost certainly drunk and embittered expanded cast that Stevens can play with on the web that won't need to cross back over into newspaper comic events. And that is a very good thing for both populations of readers. I only hope that the Newspaper Sweeties will be showing up on the web as well, so I can keep up with everything regardless of whether my local paper picks it up or not.

The best compliment you can give a daily comic strip is to say you can't wait to see what happens tomorrow. Diesel Sweeties is there right now, and that's monumentally cool.

Posted by Eric Burns-White at January 5, 2007 10:18 AM

Comments

Comment from: Eric Burns [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at January 5, 2007 2:05 PM

This is a quick test!

Comment from: ruds [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at January 5, 2007 3:09 PM

Success!

Comment from: Wednesday White [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at January 5, 2007 3:48 PM

The best compliment you can give a daily comic strip is to say you can't wait to see what happens tomorrow.

Seriously? I find anticipation clouds my ability to evaluate whether present and prior installments were actually worth my time.

Comment from: Dr Chuck Pearson [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at January 5, 2007 4:36 PM

Success, indeed; all previous login problems have been overcome, Well done, kind Eric and Weds.

Now, then: Supposedly a couple of papers have been running DS strips this week, ahead of the official start-up of the syndicated comic. Has anybody actually seen/read these?

Comment from: 32_footsteps [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at January 5, 2007 4:55 PM

Is it wrong that I just want to have a debate with Clango over which dead French philosopher should suck it more - Sartre or Descartes? Because I have a vendetta against Sartre ever since he cost me a trip to Japan. Oh yeah, it's personal.

The system is mostly fine, for me, except that even though comments are supposedly open on the following post, I can't post to it.

I'd personally ask if Clango is a bit stupid for not backing up in a secure location more frequently... but given how seldom I actually do back-ups, that'd be hypocritical.

Now if you pardon me, I'm going to back up now to prevent Clango Amnesia.

Comment from: Paul Gadzikowski [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at January 5, 2007 5:11 PM

I find anticipation clouds my ability to evaluate whether present and prior installments were actually worth my time.

How does that fail to, in itself, make them worth your time?

Comment from: ruds [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at January 5, 2007 6:09 PM

How does that fail to, in itself, make them worth your time?

When a story is unfinished, particularly at a cliffhanger, I experience a need to know the end of the story, almost regardless of the merits of the story up to this point. Perhaps this is what Wednesday means -- she needs to know the end of the story just because it is unfinished, and this need reduces her ability to judge the story thus far.

Comment from: Paul Gadzikowski [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at January 5, 2007 8:27 PM

But what else is there you can know about an incomplete story but whether it's keeping you involved? You really can't judge the plot without the end. You really can't judge the characters till their growth, or not, is done. Any judgment of the story elements you make before you know the end isn't an end in itself, it's in aid of deciding whether the story's involved you enough to keep you at it.

I'm with Eric - I say this all the time myself: The best thing you can say about a work-in-progress is that you want to know what happens next, because that's all you can say about it: anything else you can say about it is an argument with yourself whether to keep reading or not.

Comment from: Joseph White [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at January 5, 2007 9:07 PM

Chuck- Yes, I've seen DS running in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. I opened it one day and said "Holy shit, Diesel Sweeties!" And let me tell you, it was frickin' weird to see R. Stevens called "Richard Stevens".

Comment from: 32_footsteps [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at January 5, 2007 9:52 PM

And I hold to a view that while slightly different dovetails with the one Paul mentions: every story is incomplete. You always come in partway through and you always leave it before the end. So to me, the question is merely whether you can enjoy what you have with all that you're given.

It's much easier to accept that a story is incomplete when you realize that a story always goes on after what you see as the ending.

Comment from: Paul Gadzikowski [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at January 6, 2007 8:48 AM

My mother might agree with you: she started writing fanfiction in her head as a teenager after visits to the movie theaters of the forties, on the simple principle that no one lives happily ever after right away. Hell, I write fanfiction too, as regular comments readers here must know.

But Aristotle showed an individual work still must be rounded off and whole and done, and when a work's in progress it's not that. Perhaps it depends on what the author-reader synergy considers a unit of work (I know I've had correspondents who are disappointed, or don't understand, that at the end of the day my unit is the daily panel gag...), but there still has to be buildup-climax, buildup-climax, and until that climax, and perhaps some falling action, the whole story can't be judged as a whole story, only as something that kept you involved or didn't.

Comment from: 32_footsteps [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at January 6, 2007 2:23 PM

Well, if you want to be more general, Paul, as any regular readers of your comic would know.

That's only true if you hold to Aristotalian standards for your stories. Circumstances have led me to conclude differently - I can accept a story unfinished, as long as the story I've gotten is good. I can certainly wish for more, and expect more when I know it's the author's intention to provide more. But I can still accept the moment for what it is outside of those expectations, and can thus be satisfied if the next moment never comes.

Comment from: lucastds [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at January 6, 2007 5:07 PM

The newspaper-only diesel sweeties will be found online at comics.com, starting monday. Also! it will be archived a week later on RSteven's own website, in the PRINT EDITION section (see the new top tabs!)

Hope that's enough info for you.

Comment from: Miklon [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at January 6, 2007 6:28 PM

It's possible that Stevens is resetting things in the strip to the point that he can synchronize situations with the new newspaper syndicated version of the Sweeties.

Silly me, thinking that this was just another DS misadventure that I have come to grow and love. If this is what Rich is really doing... he's a fucking genius and I wish I had pick his brain more when he was my professor way back in the Spring of '04.

Alas...

Post a comment

Thanks for signing in, . Now you can comment. (sign out)

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)


Remember me?