The Great Nitpicky Live Blog of El Goonish Shive
Myrmidon: This is reminding me of the days when I still bothered to read Dominic Deegan. Right down to the bland artwork, annoying female character who constantly wangsts over something no other character cares about, strawman versions of people the author hates in real life, and a gay character that we are constantly reminded is gay, as if the author is afraid we'll forget.
Goggle Fox: Does DD's token gay character also essentially never portray realistic feelings and attractions, suppressed or otherwise?
Noxilicious: Szark Sturz, DD's token gay character, started out as a promiscous bisexual murderer but eventually he realised he's gay for the self-insert Dominic Deegan all along and since their childhood so that means he cannot ever love women and also fantasises about brutally killing his girlfriend. Naturally nobody in the comic has a problem with that because Michael Terraciano has a blood-covered tits fetish (this is not a joke, check his very NSFW deviantArt account and you see this is not a joke). Then eventually Dominic gets a magic sickness, Szark sees him puke, and is so disgusted he doesn't want to shag Dominic anymore, instantly cured of his life-long infatuation. Yeah. There's also been that lovely little part where Dominic's little brother told Szark how he totally sees him as Szark the awesome swordsman and not as Szark the gay guy, nevermind the fact that whenever Szark is on-screen you only hear gay jokes. But hey, at least El Goonish Shive doesn't have any heroic rapists, right?
Mr AHR: What.
Goggle Fox: Looks like you're ripping on the wrong comic here AHR No don't do it! Save yourself!
AHR: I don't plan to. I nitpick EGS because it is ALMOST a good strip, but it is not actually good. As a result, a lot of my annoyance comes from lost potential and really bad mishandlings. DD sounds just all around bad.
Noxilicious: If you need any reason to hate the comic Dominic Deegan, it's that it a story-arc about how one character raped a little girl to save her and he's lauded as a hero for it. There was a lot contrived bullshit about how that one orc tribe considered women property of men so orphan girls are considered worthless and must totally be killed off immediately. So this one girl just has her parents killed right in front of her eyes and our heroic rapist decides to 'claim' her so she won't get killed off. You know, because they also check whether the hymen is broken to totally make sure and everything. Then post-rape the girl just runs the fuck away and nobody bothers to go after her making this whole bullshit completely pointless. But fine, we can see what Mookie is going for. He wants to create some moral ambiguity, you know, doing bad things with the right intentions. An excellent author could do some real magic, albeit very dark magic, with this premise. Mookie, however, is a hack. See, when it was first revealed that our heroic rapist is, well, a rapist basically every female character around got pretty fucking furious at him. I mean, if you found out one of your close friends is a rapist, how would you feel? But nevermind, they weren't actually angry at him, a demon poisoned their minds so they get angry at him. A FUCKING DEMON MADE THEM PISSED AT THE RAPIST AND THEY LATER APOLOGISED FOR BEING MEAN TO HIM. All the blame is subsequently put on the orc tribe. Admittedly blame does fall on them, but when it comes with the utter absolution of blame for the frickin' rapist, something just seems wrong. And as a final punch in the uterus, the rape victim eventually addresses our heroic rapist as her husband. I'm sure you see now why there are several dedicated hatedoms for DD and virtually no genuine fan community for it. But hey, I'm drifting from our original comic of discussion, so let's get train back on the rails. The rape victim, Melna, naturally grew up to be a man-hating radical feminist. Does that sound kinda similar to a character in EGS? I'm not sure if it has been revealed yet in the latest nitpicking update, but surprise surprise it turns out Susan is a man-hating radical feminist because daddy left her. Don'tcha just love how male authors apparently only see abuse and abandonment by men as the sole reason for women to become feminists? You know, as opposed to caring about silly things like equal rights and the abolishment of stereotypes? I guess I just haven't been sexually assaulted enough to be a proper feminist yet.
e X: Ellen's mental gender identity is one of the worst parts of the comic. She's introduced as Elliot in a permanent female body, but never acts like it, never talks about it, never angsts about it and the other characters never mention it. The one time it does come up is when it is explained away by giving her her own memories of growing up. My guess, she was planned as introduced, to keep both, male and female Elliot, but got taken over by Lesbian!!! and what Shive considers feminism in his writing.
Myrmidon: I came to despise Dominic Deegan before abandoning it, and even I think you're being kind of hard on it. Nevertheless, this thread isn't about DD, it's about EGS. Which has less oracles and orc rape. I think.
- First off, can we discuss the backwards message that is sent by having the single gay male in the comic being dressed up as a woman?
- And besides, the first panel's wording is far too verbose. He wouldn't explain the situation. He would just say "Are you done?" and Ellen could elaborate on it.
- Justin is a midget in the first panel.
- -_- The skinny dipping line is pointless. Why would she want to skinny dip? What purpose does it serve?!
- Of course. Why bother drawing backgrounds in the actual, you know, background? Let's just fill in in the pointless painting in the otherwise blank canvas.
- Why is she sleeping on the TV? Is like... A... Cat thing? I don't know. I'm honestly asking.
- You know, with the whole element of Susan supposed to be having a crush on Justin at this point in the strip, she certainly isn't showing it very well. She's treating him the same way she treats everyone else.
- Ah, yes, the old Dan Shive "Single Character Trait" flare shines through. Know what this lady's is? Here's a hint: It's the same as her daughter's!
- Her Mother is also a bit... Rude. And I get the feeling that this isn't intentional- that this is actual, serious dialogue.
- Good thing he put that gradient in the background. Otherwise the backgrounds would have looked empty.
- "I've Been In Susan's Boat"? As in, like, you were attracted to a girl, but found out she was gay? Huh. Maybe PTSD explains a whole lot about El Goonish Shive's content.
- I get that she was joking, but what was the joke? That she was sleeping on the TV?
- Also, considering that Susan has a high-end TV, it would probably be some kind of flat screen, which would make sleeping on it impossible, unless she, you know. Draped over it. MAYBE she was sleeping on a Rear-Projection TV, but those are generally lower-end Hi Definition T Vs, so I don't think Susan would have one of them.
- :3 I've seen AHR do that before. It's cute.
- Ah, yes. Here is the hamfisted drama.
- There is no reason for Susan to take off her shirt. Even if she thought it would make her "beautiful," there is still no reason that she couldn't be beautiful WITH a shirt on.
- What's the last panel supposed to be a picture of?
- And this says a lot about what Dan Shive thinks the definition of the word "beautiful" is. And what he thinks a true "woman" is.
- The first three panels of this comic are funny. I won't make any jabs at it. They are honestly an amusing bit of dialogue between Justin and his father. After that, though, when we hit the fourth panel, Justin explains the joke, and it all goes downhill from there.
- And does anyone else notice how Susan doesn't look that much different? The most noticable thing is how her eyes are opened all the way, and that's something she does by choice.
- There isn't so much a punchline here as there is a summary of the previous comic strip.
- That would hurt. It would feel like you were yanking at her hair. Either that, or AHR is lying to me every time she claims that I'm pulling on her hair.