The Great Nitpicky Live Blog of El Goonish Shive
Cakman: GAH MORE COMICS JEZUS. I will have my work cut out for me in school tomorrow. And yes, AHR, I enjoy it too. To the extent to which I got the urge to make a "Butthurt Liveblog" in revenge, but, as I have said before, Lampshading something doesn't forgive you for it. Even if I said "I'm doing it because she deleeted meeeeeeee, " and made a joke of it, it wouldn't make it any less assholish.
Gilphon: It's this sequence that makes me realize that Ellen could've been a fun villain if the series was purely comedic. It's not, so the sudden rash of evil from her is more bizarre than anything, but it's still fun to see somebody utterly fail at being evil like this.
AHR: I can definitely agree with that. The first part anyway. I'm not allowed to actually enjoy anything.
Gilphon: Also, looking ahead a bit, I think we've reached the point where the writing crosses over from 'bad' to 'not good'.
AHR: I certainly hope you don't mean one strip ahead. But if I go to the end of the arc with the other V-5 Ellen, yeah, the snarky lines are actually legitimately snarky. Even before that it was showing up, like with smoking goth girl.
Cakman: AHR (8:24:37 PM): what DID you tihnk AHR (8:24:43 PM): of Ellen's snappy snappiness? Cakman (8:25:39 PM): I haven't read it yet. I read as I write. And I'm too tired to review now, so I'll get it all done in school. >_> I am procrastinator. AHR (8:25:46 PM): ... AHR (8:25:50 PM): then just read it AHR (8:25:52 PM): don't write AHR (8:25:52 PM): plz Cakman (8:25:54 PM): k Cakman (8:31:41 PM): ...wat. AHR (8:31:46 PM): :3 Cakman (8:32:47 PM): Wait Cakman (8:32:48 PM): is this Cakman (8:32:57 PM): He's playing this straight? AHR (8:33:03 PM): the snappy snappy? Cakman (8:33:07 PM): Yeah. AHR (8:33:09 PM): yes Cakman (8:33:34 PM): ...BUT IT'S ELLIOT. THAT FUCKING IMPLIES THAT ELLIOT IS EVIL. Cakman (8:33:47 PM): ...I'M FUCKING WRITING THIS NOW. AHR (8:35:05 PM): I lurv you
- I actually enjoy drawing thing like that- making a bunch of dashes instead of lines.
- Though Elliot has crazy lips in the second panel.
- I disagree with AHR on this point. As of now, there is nothing wrong with Ellen's reaction. She's not crying because she's a girl- she's crying because the horror of the situation is finally dawning on her. In fact, this COULD be a brilliant idea. Basically, the thought of being trapped in a body like that is the substance psychological horror is made of.
- Not sure why Elliot turns evil in panel 2 though.
- And Tedd still doesn't seem to realize how much he is fucking over the lives of everyone around him.
- Once again- to be not only trapped in a body, but to be trapped in a body that is going to stop existing in one month is a horrifying revelation, one that could be dealt with in a touching way, and one that could have made for a fascinating plot. And I can't get over that. This is a really smart idea for a story- to him, he is still Elliot, and he simply touched the gem, and another version of himself appeared out of thin air, and now, for reasons he can't understand, he's being called a "duplicate". It's a great idea for a body horror-involving story. The other you is believed by everyone around you to be the real you, and there is nothing you can do to convince them otherwise. Even the girl you love is now going out with this person who claims to be you- but you KNOW in your head that you are the real you.
- LET'S SEE HOW HE FUCKS IT UP.
- Oh you stupid fuck.
- This... I don't even know where to start.
- FIRST OF ALL, I AM GETTING FUCKING TIRED OF YOU THINKING THAT PUTTING SOMETHING IN "CHILLER" FONT ON MICROSOFT WORD AUTOMATICALLY MAKES IT CREEPY. IT DOES NOT.
- SECOND OF ALL, ELLEN IS SUPPOSED TO BE ELLIOT. THIS ENTIRE STRIP DESTROYS ANY SHRED OF HOPE THAT ELLIOT WAS NOT AN ASSHOLE. THIS STRIP IMPLIES THAT, WHEN PRESENTED WITH A DIRE SITUATION- NOT EVEN A DEFINITE ONE, JUST A DIRE ONE, ELLIOT WOULD BECOME SOCIOPATHIC, AND ATTEMPT TO DO DAMAGE TO THOSE AROUND HIM. SO WHAT? IF ELLIOT WAS INFORMED BY SARAH AFTER THEY HAD SEX THAT SHE WAS PREGNANT, WOULD HE GO ON A STABBING SPREE.
- THIRD OF ALL, WHY IS SHE EVEN CONVINCED THAT SHE'S GOING TO DIE? SHE TEDD, THE 'EXPERT' IS SAYING THAT SHE WON'T. SO WHAT'S THE DEAL? IS THE POSSIBILITY OF DANGER ENOUGH TO DRIVE ELLIOT TO SOCIOPATHY?!
- Fuck you, Dan Shive. And not fuck you for deleting my thread, (you had nothing to do with that.) Fuck you for coming up with an excellent idea for a story, and then just fucking it over when push comes to shove.
- And you know what? I wouldn't be against the idea of Ellen going insane from the pressure. After time passed, and she felt her life collapsing around her, becoming convinced that she was an evil twin would make sense, almost. But here it doesn't. It happens without any foreshadowing, any exposition, any explanation, or any god damn REASON.
- Awesome. Two comics ago we had a legitimately thought-provoking plotline and we are now back to square one. We now have badly-done humor that doesn't make any friggin sense.
- Well, Ellen, you seem to have forgotten that you were terrified of dying. So your decision to become an evil twin seems to have worked well for you.
- She now sounds like a villan from the Adam West Batman series.
- Wat. The keys were duplicated? How the hell does that make sense?! The gem sensed the keys in Elliot's pocket and made replica on the clone it was making? How could it detect Elliot's clothes? If it detected his clothes- and not only his clothes, but the KEYS in his clothes (which his SKIN was not touching at the time), then by that same logic, the floor should also be detected. And the floor should be duplicated. And it should spawn directly beneath Ellen, intersecting the two objects in time-space. Then, by Ozymandias's logic, there should be a massive explosion, and we should be rid of this sic-ridden shank of drivel.
- I mad, God damnit.
- I mad.
- Wow. You seemed to have realized all this rather quickly, Ellen.
- Perhaps faster than the fucking readers might have. Why not give us a strip or two?
- From what I've heard, there is an entire ARC dedicated to a friggin birthday party. Why not sit back and let the idea sink in? Let the notions and the implications percolate in both the characters' and the readers' heads?!
- Fuck this. Fuck all of this. And what am I doing? I'm getting pissed off at an internet webcomic. Ugh. Moving on.
Cakman: Actually, funnily enough, AHR's and my AIM screen names are both nearly the same as our tv tropes screen names- just with things added onto both of them. Also, on the note of the deleted thread- nothing was said by any other posters. I posted a few portions of the liveblog, labeling whether it was AHR or me writing, and then Chrysicat posted that. 191
- Wait, if this takes place in under six seconds, how was Tedd able to warn Elliot in the previous strip? The whole time frame seems a bit wonky.
- The first panel joke is a decent lampshade. But I am still pissed off right now at the silliness of the tone whiplash.
- But the words in the second panel really aren't needed. We can see from the lack of shards that there was no glass there.
- I can't get over this. What the hell was Dan Shive thinking when he chose this turn of events? There's a legitimate tragedy at hand (though for some reason, I do recall once hearing that Ellen does not die.), and he's going back to comedy. But not black comedy or gallows humor. It's just the straight, cornball lampshade-without-joke humor.
- And the plot point already makes no sense. If it's such a low-priority building that there is no GLASS on the windows, then there should not be a security team.
- And yes, I am thankful for the coloration.
- The joke? I'm fine with it here.
- Except for the title card, which explains the joke. I'm not sure how many more times I'm going to need to say that when reviewing this strip.
- And once again, convenience wins over logic and reason with Tedd getting the "instructions".
- And way to ruin whatever suspense you had going for you.
- This is a really... Short journal.
- Would they even call the creatures werewolves back then?
- And come to think of it, how did Tedd specify what he wanted to read?
- And... How exactly does this disprove the idea that Ellen won't disappear? This has to do with variant 5, not the crystal itself.
- The last panel might not be so bad, AHR, until you take a look at the sign. Somehow, dimensional boundaries have morphed, and this man's had now intersects with the 2-dimensional "U" on the bilboard behind him.
- Not sure if "Phill" is a reference to anything or not.
- And I will admit- while the joke is a played out one made by every bad comedian at the Comedy Cellar, Shive does NOT explain it here.
- I am confused as to the point of this strip.
- Why were they released?
- Why were they arrested if they were just going to be released?
- What is the joke here?
- Stop using "Chiller." It's pissing me off.
- What is the point of wearing that belt?
- Why have we never heard about this before?
- How the hell does Tedd get all these inventions?
- Wouldn't they have frisked him after he was arrested?
- I am growing increasingly annoyed by Shive's utter FAILURE to comprehend how to properly foreshadow and lampshade.
- Lactation fetish.◊
- Besides, fresh milk is filled with bacteria that bovines can take but humans will generally get sick from. So his plan doesn't work in the first place.
- -_- Any and all hope that the plot was getting better has passed from my body. The strip makes little sense given their situation, and the plot is fed by Godmodding.
- I'm feeling numb, and unexcited about this El Goonish Shive Porn.◊
- Why didn't Tedd ever use it when they were in the jail cell?
- Why didn't Tedd use it to get the diamond before?
- If it was so painful, Elliot sure seems to have recovered quickly.
- Where did she get that suit?
- And third panel- the door apparently opens up into nothingness.
- Ugg. This still makes no sense. And I don't understand what he's trying to accomplish or get across right now. Is Ellen really a duplicate of Elliot? Because Elliot clearly had morals, from what we saw.
- Does Ellen still find women to be attractive?
- And, by the way, does Ellen still have the pheromones on her?
- Even going by the idea that Ellen is insane, what insane person is going to cause "small problems"? How about you get a knife, go into the school, stab someone, and run? THEN Elliot would get blamed for it. What the fuck is the point of this? And besides, there's really no RULE about not staring at other people in the locker room. It's just etiquette.
- Ooooo. THAT'LL GET YOU IN TROUBLE! Tell the teacher something that amounts to "You're mean."
- Why is she not committing hate crimes? Horrific violence. THAT would get her double in trouble.
- Not sure of the reference.
- Tedd is cross-eyed in the first panel.
- And with the glasses gone, the mouth somehow reappears.
- The coloration isn't worth it. I wasn't seething with rage at the comics before like I am now.
Gilphon: Yeah, this stuff is what I was talking about. The Grace stuff is pretty bad, but this sequence actually works quite well. And aside from one glaring Missed Moment Of Awesome, the next section works as well. Well, I can't quite say that; there are a few bad things coming up, but the rest of arc is decent, overall.
Goggle Fox: I had forgotten that he brought the goo back. I don't remember what happened when he did, or why it matters. This is reaching the point where things became a blur, possibly because I was skimming the archives quickly looking for when things would get good.
Okay, the Lord Tedd stuff. Shive himself has gone on record saying that he introduced Lord Tedd way too early. I'm willing to forgive him this slip-up. He'd only been at the comic thing for a couple years. He clearly had a long way to go. Show me somebody who doesn't think their early work is at least an embarassment and I'll show you somebody who is either delusional or lying.
206: The strange thing is that skull doesn't seem to correspond to anything. I mean, it'd be one thing if it was a person she'd seen die or one of her tormentors or something cliche like that but... the skull doesn't even map to anything from her past. It's just symbolic of "Grace is scared of something". At least I don't think Damien looked like that. 202: I think the idea was that since all the teachers know that Ellen is really Elliot, if any of them heard she was in the locker room enjoying the show they'd assume the worst. She's not supposed to be in there. Still, Ellen's thinking in terms of sitcom-level "evil twin mischief" rather than body-snatching-and-death level retaliation. 216+: Because the plot wasn't simplistic enough, we get a Giant Space Flea From Nowhere to return it to "standard plotline". 219: Why is the slime the start of the chain reaction and not, say, meeting Grace or meeting Tedd or waking up on the wrong day or being born? Is it just because that was when the comic started? The universe does not work like that; even if it is causal you can't blame anyone for several-degrees-removed effects of their actions which they couldn't have predicted beforehand.