The Great Nitpicky Live Blog of El Goonish Shive



Goggle Fox:

On the form-fitting issue, not to detract from it being a bad thing, but he's not the only one that does it. Have you folks used X Box avatars recently? They altered the models and created a male and a female model type, now. The female models have different clothing choices from the males, you can't swap between them, and all of the female model tops are very form-fitting, even when it makes no sense for them to be.
Cakman 18th Dec 10

@Goggle: Yeah, you're right. He isn't the only one. It doesn't make me any less annoyed by it though. The way I see it, if I could, I would rant about the x-box thing as well.
Cakman 18th Dec 10
Goggle Fox:

Oh trust me, I'm not happy with it at all. My avatar is stuck in one gender mode now. Think about that.

Edit: Finally read through your massive ninja-post. I hadn't read Misfile, but it now sounds like it might be worth a look.
Cakman 18th Dec 10

Let's see here…

New zap gun parts do serve a purpose; the gun needed to back into use. Yeah, that's a pretty lame purpose and it was handled poorly, but it's there. Also Justin's pose in terrible in the first panel there. On family trips, when in a hotel room with two beds, my dad and I would get one, and my mom and sister would get the other one. So I don't quite think you can call chivalry there. I want to include a comment about Misfile, but I can't think of anything to say You managed to have good number of non-nitpicky, valid criticisms here. Good work.
Cakman 18th Dec 10

Well, the chivalry thing was about how Elliot was sleeping on the floor. The hotel thing was a comment on what the dad was saying.

As for Misfile, it has its own problems that I could spend a good rant and a half complaining about, but the psychology behind the characters is not one of them.
Cakman 18th Dec 10
  • Fix your shirt, Tedd. You look like a silly goose.

  • I'm not exactly sure how you could get that many interpretations of the same handwriting. I hate to use such language, but what for the love of Eden is Shive thinking?
  • And Justin is right.
  • Justin is right.


  • Ugg. There is just nothing happenning right now. There isn't even anything to comment on. Just boringness. When does it get better?

  • First of all, AHR, I really don't appreciate you turning this blog into an oppertunity for you to just sling vulgarity and profanity whenever you want. Tone down the language please.

  • I don't get it. I don't get it. I don't fucking get it. Why is he able to do this? This strip pisses me off more than any other strip, because it shows that Dan Shive CAN make jokes that don't suck. He just doesn't put forth the effort to do it.
  • Also, what's going on with that newspaper?

  • There's nothing really wrong with this strip as I see iDID SHIVE JUST INFORM US OF ELLIOT'S LAST NAME THROUGH THE FUCKING TITLE CARD?!

  • Ohhhhhhh. So THIS is where that anal sex cartoon of EGS would take place. Did I use that one yet? I don't think I did.
  • Otherwise, meh. Even for animal humor, this isn't even that good. Boring.


  • Homosapien joke is meh. I dislike that Shive tries to act black.
  • Do I have to do three more of these?

  • AHR used the term "wiggleworm". She's adorable.
  • I still like them. Not much ese worth noting here.

  • Finally, some things to get annoyed at!
  • First of all: Sideboob. Why is it needed?
  • Second of all: Why is Ellen suddenly bubbly and a-okay with her situation? Did shego from "introducing herself in tears" to "I'M A GIRL NOW SO SOMEBODY FUCK ME!"
  • And is she homosexual or heterosexual? I thought that she's going to get with Nanase.
  • Also, dat hand.

  • Why is it that the sister is now the weak one? UGH THIS COMIC KEEPS PISSING ME OFF.
  • And there is no need for the askew shirt strap. Seriously.

Well, this has been rather uneventful. Maybe this means Dan Shive is getting better, and we'll have to quit making this liveblog...

Holy shit. We've reviewed a lot of El Goonish Shive Strips.
Cakman 18th Dec 10

We've been over this, Cakman.

I just said she was bisexual.
Cakman 18th Dec 10
AC Drawings:

Perhaps the bed is too small for two.

I don't know about you AHR, but despite how contrived and forced they were in terms of the plot, on their own the "Poorly written letter" antics were hilarious.

I think Susan is there sort of like part witness part friend to people involved i.e. Sarah, and to a far far less extent Nanase. I mean it's probably why Justin is there too.

While Nanase wasn't the best choice to be the one to send in to comfort Ellen, she wasn't the Worst choice. I understand Elliot's reasoning about being the one with the life she wants but he should know himself better than anyone and be in there. As far as detachment goes Justin wouldn't have been a and candidate and as someone who broke things off in good terms, Nanse wouldn't have been bad either. And if you want pure positivity Grace wouldn't have been bad either. It's Sarah, Susan(duh), and Tedd who would've been on the "bad idea to send in there" list.

Elliot's parents rule in a strange apathetically caring sort of way I can't describe (the word I'm probably liking for is "accepting".). They seem more comfortable with these antics than say Mr. Verres is. In fact, they should be the agenst.

Now I must ask, we are about to experience what basically amounts to filler arcs with bits of useful information in there. Will you oblige or skip? I was hoping you owuld read them but that's your call.

I did Notice That Ellen's anger seemed to decrease over the course of this. I blame it on either she let a lot out of it over time and the last homicidal rage towards Elliot was a final burst quelled by fact. Or She's just tired, I mean they just went through hell.

Now that I think about it, I thought Elliot turned into a cat to enhance his strength and make the trip whilst carrying Tedd easier.

Tedd is a strange one and while i find him funny and interesting there's still quite a bit wrong with him and now I'm curious to know if all he is is just a voyeur (with standards). I mean he's fine watching Grace run around half naked and innocent/okay with it/doesn't care Grace obliges, but he doesn't try anything? He has x-ray glasses but he removes the feature? And of course the whole looking a himself in the mirror thing (He's probably just a narcissist.). I think Tedd is just in this strange realm of look but don't touch.

But I could just be overhtinking things and Shive is just a pervy prude.
Cakman 18th Dec 10

AC: The two points were separate. Chivalry was about Elliot SPECIFICALLY giving up his bed. It's the logic behind that that bothers me. Why would Elliot give up the bed? I'm not saying Ellen should have slept on the floor, but I am questioning WHY it turned out the way it did. Because it seemed like it was just done because that's the way things are done, and that bothered me.

The main problem with Susan is that she's been nothing but rude to the characters up till this point. However, Justin should not really be there either. Sarah has the benefit of actually being attacked by the goo, but not really needed either, but can be seen as there for Elliot's emotional support. Nanase is there because...well, because she needs to be shipped with Ellen.

As for comforting, like I said, I would be more comfortable with it if it wasn't a blatant attempt at shipping. It makes the logic behind it questionable, on the basis that I feel that it was manufactured solely for that reason.

I would love having the Dunkel's as the agents. Although, I kind of am glad they are not. It would hit a BIT too close to creativity-home if it was.

I will only not be doing NP. And even then, might skip over to read the canonical bits that are mentioned in story.

Yeah, that's why Elliot turned into a cat. But then they end up hitchhiking because Tedd is too heavy. Yeah.

Looking is really not much different than touching, I'd venture to say. Because I'd bet you that he's certainly touching something regardless, at the end of the day.
Cakman 18th Dec 10

In regards to Ellen's sexuality, as I think I mentioned in an earlier post, she eventually goes on record as saying that her attraction to men feels artificial and tacked on and etc etc (despite the Diamond supposedly adjusting you to your new form). This might make sense considering the circumstances surrounding Ellen at the time, but when you look at Dan's track record it feels like he just decided the comic needs more pure-bred lesbians so the attraction to men's gotta go. It didn't help that in the arc after Ellen said that he introduced another character that only seemed to exist to be gay for Susan. Luckily at least that character had the decency to disappear without a notice for now.

Oh, and as for Misfile, I used to read it, but eventually it felt like it was just going nowhere and I was losing interest. Then it seems like the author decided it was cool to cram in as many panty-shots as he possibly could and I said, nope, screw this, I'm outta here.
Cakman 18th Dec 10
AC Drawings:

While you raise an excellent point I meant the the difference between admiring from afar and actual intimacy with another human being. Who knows maybe that's Teddy boy's problem, he feels inadequate and that's why nothing happens. I mean the poor boy's psyche is wrought in insecurities. Or I'm over thinking again...

Oh yeah, I nearly forgot a small segment of the newspaper was canon.

What's it doing in the newspaper?

Also, the shipping thing, blatant is most certainly true, especially from people who have already read through the comic more than twice. But if one were reading it for the first time, and weren't as obsessively analytical as you, it might go over their heads or at most see hints.
Cakman 18th Dec 10

I felt that Ellen's feelings towards her attraction to males was Dan's attempt to introduce some sort of psychology into the characters, with a not so successful result due to how the character was handled in the past.

The idea he wanted to do solely lesbians is an angle I had not considered before. It worries me, because that almost seems to go further than I am willing to accept Shive being. As in, I assume that he's more intelligent than that.

And yes, Misfile has some issues with filler. The panty shots is mostly only for one character though. But yeesh, that filler. It's like reading shojo.

@AC: I think Tedd is normal sexually, if kinky, but stunted socially. Probably due to lack of friends and parental figures. Then again, he tends to pretty unclear as a character, so I never really know how they are supposed to be acting.

As for the first time read, I would put forth the notion that it does not make it any better. You have two types of read throughs where you pick up on the hints you missed.

You have the "hoshit, foreshadowing!" for instance, Harry Potter and the Philosopher Stone, where Hagrid mentions borrowing the motorcycle from Sirius Black.

Then you have this. Which is kind of like rereading Chronicles of Narnia for the first time since you were a kid, and suddenly realizing you're reading a christian allegory. Which can be creepy or interesting, depending on your tastes. For me, it was kind of creepy.
Cakman 18th Dec 10
Goggle Fox:

Panty shots? Ugh. Is there a window of worthwhile reading in Misfile?
Cakman 18th Dec 10

I'd say yes, but that's just me. It's definitely declined in quality a lot, but I still enjoy it. It's one of those things you either like, or don't like. And in the end, it also matters whether you bother to read the updates despite not enjoying it as much. It updates pretty frequently though, which is nice.

Also, forgot to ask this: If the majority fails to notice something is poorly done, is it still poorly done?
Cakman 18th Dec 10
Goggle Fox:

Depends on what part of it is poorly done. If it's a technical aspect, yes. If it's "enjoyability" then no, since a lot of people enjoyed it.
Cakman 18th Dec 10

Well, in this case, we are arguing about how Shive handled Nanase and Ellen.
Cakman 18th Dec 10
Goggle Fox:

Rather generically and unrealistically with a side of thinly veiled fetishism?
Cakman 18th Dec 10

Any of you watch Simpsons? There was one skit in one episode where Marge said that everything needs to have a partner, then she proceeded to put vases and the pets next to each other and stuff.

That is Dan. This is why Elliot and Sarah are together despite there not being any chemistry or even development (but I always loooved you even though it wasn't even alluded to until now). This is why Grace and Tedd are together despite their characters, especially Grace's, jump all over the place and barely knew each other for 12 hours before hooking (let's not forget that up to recently Tedd has been the only guy her age she knew that wasn't already in a relationship or gay and things get a wee bit weird because you realise he was her only choice). Ellen and Nanase are together despite Nanase being ice-cold towards Elliot and Ellen being the clone of a dude who felt just as indifferent towards her.

The only reason Justin and Susan aren't a couple is because Dan wrote himself in a corner by making Justin the token gay guy. And even then the two get a make-out session and almost-sex in a future arc. Honestly? At this point I am afraid Dan will decide he must turn Justin straight so the two can get together.

Admittedly psycho-analyzing people based on their webcomics is just bad taste and manners, but I cannot help but get the impression he's just putting characters together because he hates the idea of people and/or himself being lonely so much that he has to Marge it up and make them a couple because dammit it's for their own good.

The idea he wanted to do solely lesbians is an angle I had not considered before. It worries me, because that almost seems to go further than I am willing to accept Shive being. As in, I assume that he's more intelligent than that.

I doubt it was anything intentional but something more sub-conscious. Like, he wants sexuality to switch around so that when you're in a relationship you can only be attracted to your significant other and any possible form of attraction to anybody else is immediately turned off. Because you see, it's not true love when you have perfectly normal physical reactions. Because when you turn around and look for one second because that guy or chick that pissed you was particularly hot you are already horribly cheating on your SO.

Needless to say it's a pretty naive view of love and sexuality, but if the comic I linked is any indication it seems that's the way Dan wants them to work in EGS. Naturally that would mean that Ellen stops being attracted to guys because she's dating a girl.

Either that or Dan just reallly likes lesbians so he retcons the bisexual girl into a lesbian.
Cakman 18th Dec 10
Goggle Fox:

I think that's another thing that annoyed me about the match-ups: inconsistency. As much as creating a character for the sole purpose of having them match up with someone else is a terrible idea, the fact remains that Nanase and Ellen randomly get together but Justin remains a single gay guy, and has been for quite a while now. How is he not frustrated by this?
Cakman 18th Dec 10

Because Elliot is his Twu Wuv so he's not allowed to even consider the possibility of trying to find any other guys his age.
Cakman 18th Dec 10
Ac Drawings:

^ He probably is frustrated but hasn't come u withaplot ful way to incorperate sucha love interest.

And I agree very much with your evaluation Noxi, though I must say I doubt Shive is that stupid as to try to make Justin straight for the sake of making sure he isn't alone.

Additionally, the single and only reason why I see Elliot and Sarah getting together at all in any capacity nigh the beginning was formula. He was (and from my feelings still is) the main hero type character who has their long time female friend character and like many stories before and after them with this setup, they get together whether the relationship or chemistry is logical or not, it just happens like that. It's bothersome. Poo thing, having to rely on such cookie cutter formula while barely starting out.

Everything else, however, is still an issue.

And now that I think about it, I think we've mainly focused on Justin due to lack of character he gets and he's gay, what of Susan?
Cakman 18th Dec 10
e X:

Wow, Noxi, you pretty much summed up my biggest problem with this comic in your first paragraph. Not so much the paring up of characters, but the lacking characterization justification for it. Non of the characters give me the feeling that they are together because they like each other, but because the plot calls for it.
Cakman 18th Dec 10

I had an inkling of that very rant when I was pondering the meaning of Shive's "Being single is not the same as being alone" Valentines day sketchbook, yet seemed to devote entire arcs and bases of personality to the idea of love, but it was not nearly as well thought out as yours was.

However, the Tedd incident, I could see it as going both ways. It is something I know happens in real life (not due to lack of physical connection, but emotional connection), but then again, there is more to an incident than just whether it is realistic or not. This definitely is something I must ponder for a while.

On the bright side, I am now excited for the reviewings of the upcoming strips.
Cakman 18th Dec 10

I never involve myself in conversation with you commoners due to laziness. But I read. I read.

As I see it now, there is only one solution: Someone needs to do a nitpicky liveblog on Misfile.
Cakman 18th Dec 10
Personally, I rather like #272 and #273. Gotta love rorschach(however it's spelled) handwriting. Well, I do at any rate. As for the 'sleeping on the floor' thing, I don't think Elliot has a bed big enough for them both to sleep in the same one. We see it more later on, and it looks like a single. As for him taking the floor, well...Ellen is in a way a guest, in a way, and it's just polite, isn't it?
KendraKirai 8th Feb 11