The Great Nitpicky Live Blog of El Goonish Shive




" Gilphon, you gonna take that? A_H_R is talking shit about you. "

Yes, I am.

As for this: Oh lord, we're entering the relations arc. I've always hated the relations arc. It's it's Shive's miserably bad first attempt at doing a serious storyline, is what it is. Though, if I'm to be fair, it's really only the end that's mind-blowingly awful.
Cakman 11th Dec 10

I'd say that the Grace thing was the first attempt at doing something serious.

However, I am somewhat amused how set in stone Shive's story telling style is. Plot, relationship drama, plot, relationship drama, plot, relationship drama, all their own separate-esque arcs. The people who were complaining about the party arc almost should have seen it coming, really.

To Shive's credit, he does actually merge the two when the dude with a hat comes alive and tries to kill Ellen, but then you had that whole problem of the plot and the relationship drama surrounding the same people, with two other subplots going on in the background that did not (Well, two thirds of the subplots did not).
Cakman 11th Dec 10
Damn. I broke my first-post-after-A_H_R streak. Ah well. Here we go:

  • Take a second and think of the implications here: Grace is saying that the only reason she is not a bloodthirsty killer is because she is female. As if her standing as a female character wasn't bad enough. I mean, that doesn't even make sense- aren't females usually the dominant species in the wild?
  • I am of the opinion that while El Goonish Shive does not feature explicit sexual content, Dan Shive lets his own personal fetishes bleed through its very fabric. With that in mind, I think the title to the comic is not so much 'smug' this time around as much as it is Dan Shive reacting to his own comic.
  • Did the estrogen-testosterone switch make it so that Grace didn't have vampire teeth too?
  • And why is her brother still shrouded in darkness?
  • You know, this point is a bit moot by now, but didn't she, like, grow a lot during her transformation? Why didn't her clothes rip? Of course, I don't want this question to be answered, though, as I am 90% sure that in order to answer it, Shive would go to his hilarious scientist and woman comedy bit, a pair whom I place just under 9/11 news reels on the funniness meter.

  • ...What the fuck? Why would it make sense for Elliot to suddenly get a LOLPERVERT face when he asked that? What does he expect Grace's response to be? "After escaping, I felt horny, and I like the feeling of being naked inside of a trench coat at night in the winter,"?
  • I hate that God damn hammer gag. I hate it hate it hate it.
  • Here's something I noticed: Look how different Grace's color is when she's half-squirrel and when she's fully human. Is the implication that her skin color changes, or that she is covered in fur? Because... Think of how weird it would be to talk to a human whose face was covered in fur.
  • That squirrel looks nothing like an actual squirrel. It looks like a Pokemon.
  • Okay, Tedd has, at this point, said under 100 words to Grace. Why the hell is she so obsessed with him?

  • It's only because A_H_R is a terrible person and ruined the fact that Elliot has a girlfriend already for me, but isn't he being, like, a douche bag by not telling her that he already has a girlfriend? I could understand if he didn't realize that she had a crush on him, but it's clear from the way that he's inviting her that he does know. So why can't he just say to her "Listen, Sarah, there's something you should know..."?
  • In addition, this is sort of A_H_R's bit, but the backgrounds actually fit this time. It's nighttime! :D

  • Not much of anything to this strip, but isn't it sorta weird that Elliot would ask why he fell asleep on the couch? Like, wouldn't he just say "Oh," and move on?
  • ...And now that I think about it, where was Tedd's father during all of this?
  • This also makes me wonder whether Grace has any intelligence whatsoever. If she grew up in a laboratory, wouldn't that leave little to no time for schooling? What's she doing during this time? Just sitting on the couch at the house?
  • Also, considering how much we had pervert Tedd jokes earlier on, why wouldn't he have tried to pull SOME kind of moves on her?

  • Why is he hiding from Sarah? I'm confused. Did I miss something or is it just bad writing?
  • Even if you were going to go with "he's ashamed of what he's about to do," it makes him even more of an asshole because he's putting HER through misery because he doesn't want to deal with his own problems.

  • Not much to complain about here either, but I've been staring at the screen for a good five minutes now trying to come up with the reasoning that Shive had that led him to believe someone would read the strip, see "BRRRIIIIINNNGGG," while knowing that the characters are in a school, and seeing how Elliot reacts to the noise, yet still say "What?! What is this foolishness?! What happened? Where did that noise come from!?"

  • Actually, I need to commend Shive. I need to commend him greatly. He referenced Calvin and Hobbes, even made a slight homage to it, and yet he didn't say "Hey, look. I'm doing the same thing as Calvin and Hobbes. Have you ever read Calvin and Hobbes, folks? Because I'm doing the same thing that used to happen to Calvin and Hobbes in their comic strip, Calvin and Hobbes."
  • Dah-hah. A_H_R thought it was a reference to furries. Lets make fun of her.
  • I made fun of her by making that last link a .png >:D
  • Look at the star in the second panel. I... I can make a better star than that.
  • Grace's tail in the third panel seems to have shrunken greatly.

  • Once again, though, we are given no reason for her to like Tedd other than "I want to pair up my characters."
  • ...Hey, wait... Squirrels don't have antennae. That just occurred to me. What the fuck.

  • Grace looks seductive in the third panel, and it weirds me out.
  • Okay, so Grace HASN'T gone to school. I'm assuming the scientists taught her how to speak and whatnot, but doesn't this mean that she technically doesn't know how to write or read either?
  • Panel six and seven contain a bizarre leap in logic. On panel six, Grace specifically states that she had no idea that Sarah had feelings for Elliot. But then, despite them being seemingly sequential, in panel seven, Grace now knows that Sarah has feelings for Elliot, Elliot is fully aware of these feelings and does not return them, and that the reason Elliot is taking her to a Martial Arts class is so he can "break her heart," which means that she also knows that he already has a girlfriend. What is the thinking there?
  • Good thing Elliot sighs, so we know that he feels guilty about not owning up to his problems and rejecting a girl in the most painful way possible.

  • And thank you A_H_R for noting the horrendous lampshading.

  • You know what would be an actual good idea? If every year, El Goonish Shive had an April Fool's week, in which some bizarre or silly plot element was introduced, and then not referenced again after the week was over. He ruins the joke here by assuring us every time "HEY LOOK THIS STRIP ISN'T REAL DON'T WORRY GUYS!"

  • This could have been a better joke if he had just replaced "El Goonish Shive" in the top left with the same message as the first panel, and then just left the first panel blank.

  • The entire joke here kinda gets spoiled when you realize that there's no way for Dan to have written the words the characters were speaking either.
  • Besides, this strip is pretty much equivalent to Shive drawing three scenic background shots.

  • Decent idea for a joke. Decent idea for a joke spoiled by bad execution. Elliot's final line is completely unneeded, and somehow explains the already obvious joke even further.

  • Ted is looking offscreen at a better webcomic. Other than that, there is nothing noteworthy here.
Cakman 11th Dec 10
Silver 2195:

I'm reading along (having never read EGS until now), and I tentatively agree with many of AHR's complaints (although, as Cakman pointed out, the Calvin And Hobbes reference was actually pretty funny, and I liked the Q&A bits).
Cakman 11th Dec 10

I had figured it was a reference, since it seemed incredibly out of Shive's normal sort of thing, but I had assumed it was some sort of inside joke or something of that sort.

My mistake, I had a deprived comic-less childhood.

And the Q&A s, it's not that they're bad, it's just that they remind me that I could be reading and snarking the actual plot right now. The Q&A s were not what made me dislike the series, the plot did.
Cakman 11th Dec 10

Interesting. I'd heard of EGS before, but I never really had any particular inclination to read it (as well as most other webcomics).

In any case, this is an interesting take on it. It's somewhat annoying when you reference events that have yet to happen as examples of character drift, but I can deal with it. I only assume the Webcomic gets better over time, which would be the logical conclusion.
Cakman 11th Dec 10

I apologize for that. I was mostly assuming the readers would be people who knew the strip well, minus the man slave Cakman.

There is not much I can do though, since most things work better (in terms of badness) when there is context.
Cakman 11th Dec 10
  • Grace wants to be normal? Why? She's not a killer. And what makes her sure that her brothers will stop being violent once they are depowered?

  • I'm glad I'm not the only one who dislikes the hammer thing.
  • Yeah, that's not a squirrel.

  • Why did I like this webcomic again?

  • I guess she looks angry because he's been doing this a lot lately. Why is he doing this a lot lately though?

  • Actually, having a stuffed tiger land on you might be a bit less painful.

  • I like this one. Except for the title.

  • Repeat after me, Elliot: "Sorry, I have a girlfriend."

  • Jeremy is maybe the best character in the comic at this point. I can believe he's a creature nature never intended. Unlike the others who are still acting like aliens pretending to be humans like they saw on TV.

  • Shive must really like squirrels. Too bad he can't draw them.
Morgikit 16th Jul 13