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The Great Nitpicky Live Blog of El Goonish Shive
Strips 661-670 (The Great Idiot Party of 05-06)
- Hey look in the third panel! They all have the same expressions. That's how you show off those character chops, by mono-emotionalizing everyone.
- I've also come to realize that these characters no longer have foreheads. I reserve the right to call them super deformed moŽ. I mean, Shive wants to learn how to draw and tries really hard, but then uses templates that make me wonder if he knows how to draw people. You don't need to have everything perfectly proportioned. You just need to know how the joints and everything in them work.
- And judging by those fantastic side mouths, I don't think Shive knows anything about basic face work.
- Also, I think it also shows in his emotions. Look at those last two panels. That is not how you do subtle emotions. That is how you do lazy emotions.
- Also also...why is Hedge allowed in his netting clothing?
- She sure is surprised to see her grandfather. I mean, I dunno, it's an innocent enough line, but it's very long and clunky, and makes me wonder if Shive has ever spoken these lines aloud to himself.
- Also, thank you for telling us who is asking a question in the penultimate panel. I get the funny feeling the name was not initially needed until you drew it that way.
- That bed perspective is...odd. It looks like his head is in front of the pillow. Not actually on it.
- Show, Don't Tell. We all know it. We all know that it's a hack move. We all know it's in this comic. If you don't see it, I am not going to explain how Grace saying she is not up to bubbly par is not emotional at all, and horrible writing because it's not shown at all, because to explain all of that would just be redundant.
- That first panel, by Shive standards, is nicely done. So, to make for it, he made the rest solely gradienty.
- Ugh. STOP SAYING BUBBLY.
- Also, it's interesting to note the last time "damn" was used in such a dramatic context, was when Grave went all "I MUST KILL MYSELF SO EVERYONE CAN LIVE!".
- I think it's very telling the difference in tone the story will be.
- Honestly...I don't know which one was worse.
- I think the party arc should have been BEFORE the painted black arc. I think the tone would have been much more suited, and there would be a reason Justin and co would want to join in on a rescue mission after they had legitimately become friends with Grace. Plus, Nanase would be all lesbiany with Ellen, making the moment when Nanase "dies" slightly more emotionally grabbing. Slightly.
- Also, Cerebus Syndrome would not be so bad there. We could have the japanese slave girl hanging around during the party arc, or something to that extent, thus putting the later memories at a different date, and not make her so confusingly put in the PB arc...
- But, that's just what I would do.
- Fun fact, if you go by the first part of each section, this is the first page you see to have "good" artwork. The last one being this page.
- And yet...
- It's so...
- Lacking in backgrounds.
- And it's cramped.
- WHY ARE THE PANELS SO SMALL.
- Wouldn't have noticed if you didn't point it out, Shivey.
- And if I HAD noticed, I am pretty sure...
- Well, ok, I would have yelled at you for it.
- But people who actually enjoy your story would be willing to forgive you for it.
- Plus, what I really want to ask is...what layout?
- There was...a chair?
- I guess?
- A couch.
- OH! There is a hallway between Tedd and Grace's rooms!
- Also...I'd comment on how stereotypical, grating, painful, and unrealistic the two dudettes are in this here strip...
- But I don't think there is enough spitfire in the world for me to convey my annoyance.
- I'm guessing it's the stairs that caused the WTF-inducing house changing.
- Instead of the previously shown lay--
- Hey look. Stairs.
- So I guess the lack of the potted plant?
- And once again, we see all of Shive's effort went to that beautiful staircase, and thus the rest have barely any backgrounds, or sparkly circle backgrounds.
- Why did the wrinkles on Ellen's shirt in the first panel disappear in the second?
- Why do only the girl's shirts seem to have wrinkles?
- And no, Elliot's shirt being black-with-white-spots is not an excuse.
- So...does Grace keep the windows closed at all times, or does she just avoid them?
- And thank you for telling us yet again how Grace is feeling.
- Sweets make everything better for your emotionally unstable problems!
- Also, once again, one too many panels with dialogue to explain a bad joke rendered worse by being, well explained.
- Ellen. Whatever you are doing in that first panel, stop it now.
- Elliot, your mouth is incredibly lazy in the first panel as well. It should be ashamed of itself.
- Good to know average every day slouching and standing positions result in a gratuitously arching back.
- Grace's face annoys me in the third to last panel. It looks so...not smug...
- Like she's just waiting for a punchline.
- A punchline that sucks.
- At least there are consistent backgrounds the entire time.
- At least.
- Although...in the last panel...Elliot is just kinda levitating, ain't he?
- Plus, why is there a bulletin board in the penultimate panel?
- He masturbates.
- Also, Elliot in the last panel turned into a japanese character, humor wise.
- The japanese have a nasty habit of explaining what the character does, as if it somehow makes it funnier.
- It doesn't.
- The Japanese are WRONG.
- Also, as someone who has their own fetishes and sexual fantasies, it's common courtesy to not expose your fetishes and stuff to the unwilling. I mean, you wouldn't want to wear a leather unitard to the workroom, just because it turns you on. Same principle here. Tedd is so lacking in basic social skills, I just see tragedy. Not hilarity.
- I dunno about you guys, the house looks the same to me. White.
- Hahah. Lets laugh at Grace's hypocrisy!
- OK, everyone tends to sway when it comes to video game alter egos but...
- Eh, not even going to bother. If she had been super bad at this game because she refused to kill goombas, I'd have been annoyed too.
- Moral of the story?
- Don't make punchlines so damn obvious that they have blazing lights on them.
- I think this would have worked better as a background event. Shive actually does make this a background event later, and while it's still not great, it's a lot better than this strip.
- Dammit Shive. Don't reference Hitchhiker's in your titles. It makes me feel unclean. Especially since the title has nothing to do with the strip.
- A box of curtains and all white. At least the curtains have wrinkles on them. They'd have to, otherwise they'd look like walls.
- You know, I honestly have nothing to say to this. It's typical boring blah.
- It's just...another punchline in an endless sea of punchlines. NO MORE PUNCHLINES.
- JUST TELL ME A FRIKKING STORY.
- Well. Thank you.
- So, here we see more telling, not showing.
- We get no instances of Ellen really acting withdrawn, except for an extreme outburst of telling us she felt awkward. Bleeegh.
- So we get tell tell tell tell.
- And retcon retcon retcon.
- For those of you who don't remember, Tedd and Elliot were apparently the "parents" of Ellen, because that is how asexual reproduction works, you see.
- Tedd was the father, Elliot was the mother. Only now Magus here, yes his name is Magus spoilers, is calling himself the father. So he made Tedd do that. RETCON!
- So, why did he want Ellen to do that?
- Beats me. He wants to be human again, and apparently being transparent will not stop him from being shot by a green V-5 beam.
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