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Poppy O'Possum

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WarpstarX The one. from S.C.
The one.
Dec 10th 2013 at 10:30:53 PM

There's not a thread about it yet, so here's one now.

I think it's pretty great. http://www.poppy-opossum.com/2013/06/11/a-story/

Hey.
AceofSpades Relationship Status: Showing feelings of an almost human nature
Dec 10th 2013 at 11:10:16 PM

Yes I like this thing. Very much.

WarpstarX The one. from S.C.
The one.
Dec 10th 2013 at 11:30:59 PM

I'm glad you do, I thought there'd be a page for it by now.

Hey.
AceofSpades Relationship Status: Showing feelings of an almost human nature
Dec 11th 2013 at 1:16:27 AM

You could always make it yourself. I've forgotten how.

ShadowHog from Earth Relationship Status: Healthy, deeply-felt respect for this here Shotgun
Dec 12th 2013 at 1:41:07 PM

Basically, take Webcomic.Poppy O Possum and make a very basic synopsis and trope list. Wiki Magic should take over from there.

edited 12th Dec '13 1:41:36 PM by ShadowHog

Moon
ShadowHog from Earth Relationship Status: Healthy, deeply-felt respect for this here Shotgun
Dec 14th 2013 at 11:42:26 AM

I went ahead and made a page for you. Still need to do the cross-wicking, though.

Moon
JHM Apparition in the Woods from Niemandswasser Relationship Status: Hounds of love are hunting
Apparition in the Woods
Jan 25th 2014 at 12:57:19 AM

I like this comic. I like it quite a bit.

...I am not good at starting these sorts of conversations. There are actually a lot of places to start, too...

I'll hide your name inside a word and paint your eyes with false perception.
FuzzyBoots from Outlying borough of Pittsburgh (there's a lot of Relationship Status: And they all lived happily ever after <3
Jan 28th 2014 at 9:21:42 AM

It's definitely a promising start. I like the idea of Possums being somewhat alien to the world due to their lack of magic, possibly explaining Poppy's abnormal strength and weight. And the fact that she was actually badly hurt, and largely won due to luck of the wrong underwear for the day, makes her much more interesting as a protagonist.

AceofSpades Relationship Status: Showing feelings of an almost human nature
Jan 28th 2014 at 6:30:24 PM

Also that she is willing to pull a cheap move because she's got a daughter and needs the money.

KlarkKentThe3rd Well, I'll be... from US of A
Well, I'll be...
May 25th 2014 at 11:47:38 PM

Just finished. THIS is how you mix the cute, the wacky, the feels, and the OH SHIT. I mean, there were way too much SUDDENLY SERIOUS plot twists, and that is a GOOD THING. Totally deserves the award for best webcomic of 2013.

My angry rant blog!
KlarkKentThe3rd Well, I'll be... from US of A
Well, I'll be...
May 26th 2014 at 5:36:29 PM

What surprises me is how very few people here care. There I was, thinking that quality = popularity.

edited 26th May '14 5:36:54 PM by KlarkKentThe3rd

My angry rant blog!
FuzzyBoots from Outlying borough of Pittsburgh (there's a lot of Relationship Status: And they all lived happily ever after <3
May 27th 2014 at 6:43:16 AM

I read it semi-regularly. I just don't really have much to say on it.

KlarkKentThe3rd Well, I'll be... from US of A
Well, I'll be...
May 27th 2014 at 7:35:31 AM

Not much to say... wow...

You should re-read the whole thing, with with a bit more attention this time.

My angry rant blog!
ShadowHog from Earth Relationship Status: Healthy, deeply-felt respect for this here Shotgun
May 27th 2014 at 10:08:39 AM

[up][up][up] I think you'll find what is most popular is frequently not particularly high-quality. (I'd name a few things in particular, but there's really no reason to complain about things I don't like in an unrelated thread, so I'll just leave it at that.)

And really, I'd be willing to talk about the comic if other people willing to talk about the comic were also doing so.

I do think moving all three updates to Wednesdays is a little too compacted; the author should really spread them out to MWF (or at least TWTh), so I get smaller updates more frequently rather than weekly triple updates.

(Also noticed the on-site comments section was disabled; that kinda sucks.)

edited 27th May '14 10:09:16 AM by ShadowHog

Moon
KlarkKentThe3rd Well, I'll be... from US of A
Well, I'll be...
May 27th 2014 at 6:16:53 PM

[up]People from 4chan came and ruined everything. You see, while a lot of his fans go there, you cannot control who reads your comic, who comes to your site, and what they say in the comments.

My angry rant blog!
KlarkKentThe3rd Well, I'll be... from US of A
Well, I'll be...
Jun 8th 2014 at 9:31:34 AM

Gosh darn it! Why aren't more people interested? There is enough story to sustain 50 Lackadaisy updates over the course of 10 years!

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GabrieltheThird Anvilicious Relationship Status: Longing for Dulcinea
Anvilicious
Jun 9th 2014 at 4:09:19 AM

I read what was up since this was recommended by two webcomic artists that I normally follow in a span of few days. I wasn't left impressed. There's good core there to build on but thus far that might go somewhere but at this pace we'll never get there. Might check back in three years.

Furthermore, nothing in this felt unique. The concept of a mother as a main character is not that often done, at least in this context, but it hasn't really added much to the proceedings thus far and it's not the first time I'm reading something from that perspective. Then there's your standard magical racism and superpowers. It hits the right notes, sure, but for me at least it utterly failed to separate itself from the pack. We've seen the story of a muggle immune to magic powering trough magic users before. The super-strength vs magic concept isn't new either.

It also fails my standard "Justification for Furry"-test which probably no one else uses nor is it that important for me either, if the rest of the work is worth it, but aside from a few jokes here and there, there was no reason for these characters to be animals. You could replace all characters with humans with some superficial racial differences and the story wouldn't change. This too is something the work can fix later.

I did love the creation story, the art is good, the humor is consistent and it promises a well built world. There's potential here. Regardless, it simply failed to engage me.

edited 9th Jun '14 10:42:51 AM by GabrieltheThird

KlarkKentThe3rd Well, I'll be... from US of A
Well, I'll be...
Jun 9th 2014 at 5:27:00 AM

Can you recommend me something better then?

My angry rant blog!
FuzzyBoots from Outlying borough of Pittsburgh (there's a lot of Relationship Status: And they all lived happily ever after <3
Jun 9th 2014 at 5:31:48 AM

I'd argue that the latest arc made a little bit more use of animal traits what with the guard captain making good use of his prehensile tail and the octopus thief's lack of bones coming in handy, but I can also see your point there.

GabrieltheThird Anvilicious Relationship Status: Longing for Dulcinea
Anvilicious
Jun 9th 2014 at 11:58:48 AM

[up] I considered those two events when writing what I did, but in the end came to the conclusion that they were only isolated incidents, not yet common enough to establish their anthropomorphism as a core theme of the work. They are definitely a step in the right direction though, so continuing down that road would eliminate that complain of mine.

[up][up] Due to the limited nature of text communication I had a hard time interpreting that request. One way to interpret it would be to see it as confrontational, in essence asking "Well, what do you like then so I can tell you why you're wrong." That was probably not the intent though, I know I have a hard time sometimes with writing in a way that does not seem to seek to create an argument. This I bring up mostly to assure you that it was no my intention when writing out my opinion of Poppy to simply take a dump on something that someone else likes but rather to share my personal view, which in this case (and far too commonly, it seems) was somewhat negative. I see such sharing of opinions as the core function of these forums and it is also a way to structure my opinions for myself. After I've read or watched something I usually have a vague feel of it, by writing it out I consolidate it into an actual opinion.

The second way to interpret the question would be to take it at face value, which is probably how it was intended. Normally I probably wouldn't answer, seeing as I'd feel guilty about turning a thread meant to discuss a work into a recommendation thread for other works, but I think I'll do an exception in this case, as trough such recommendations I can clarify in what light I meant my comments on Poppy to be read and even to do so in a sufficiently meandering and roundabout way.

Considering the work that is the subject of the thread, I'll choose my recommendations from the same pool, that is narratively driven webcomics. This does limit the pool considerably but the two following works I can recommend with confidence. First is The Order of the Stick and second Gunnerkrigg Court. Yes, I feel sufficiently embarrassed to be recommending such mainstream works, but both of them are popular for very good reasons. OOTS is an excellent example of how to introduce an intricate and well written plot into a funny on its own gag-a-day style strip where as Gunnerkrigg exemplifies how you can take a some OK art and some basic vision and polish them until you have something brilliant. Both of these are such that I'd feel my life poorer if I had never read them.

If you're familiar with these works it's easy to object; comparing Poppy to such established, long running works is unfair. This is intentional. Both of the recommended works had notable amount of early teething problems. In the first installments of OOTS the art was hardly polished, even for stick figures, and getting the jokes required decent understanding of the subject referenced (Dn D rules). Gunnerkrigg had a fairly unique vision from the get go but as it progressed, the focus moved from simply "the strange stuff happening at my school" and while at the start the art was... stylized, it is now beautiful.

Early installment problems are very common when it comes to webcomics. This is most likely due to the self publishing aspect of the field, those creating webcomics are most often driven by passion and may lack in skill and professionalism, aspects which will come later with practice. Also notable is the lack of editors. I consider most of the problems I have with Poppy as being such that they're easily labelable under that heading. Like I said, it has a good base to build on. With time and work Poppy can develop into something that has more of a personality and unique vision. That happens all the time with webcomics. Thus I consider its main failing to be that it failed to engage me enough for me to be willing invest my time into watching it grow. This is the reason for my earlier statement, that maybe I'll check back in a few years. I might be blown away. I'm just not absolutely convinced it'll get there.

PS. I absolutely refuse to proofread this.

PPS. If you want actually some useful recommendations that everyone has not heard of already (yet still by no means obscure), you might want to look at PS238 (Superpowered elementary schoolers. Well written. Both spoofs and uses classic superhero story conventions), The Nonadventures Of Wonderella (Occasionally the most hilarious thing on the web) and Paranatural (Another webcomic still in its relative infancy and in that respect comparable to Poppy, but I found the writing both funnier and more unique. Very meta. Actually that applies to all of these. Apparently I have a type.)

PPPS. Sorry. Just in general.

edited 9th Jun '14 2:39:38 PM by GabrieltheThird

KlarkKentThe3rd Well, I'll be... from US of A
Well, I'll be...
Jun 9th 2014 at 2:35:37 PM

[up]All I meant is that I was very confused when someone called Poppy a "so-so" story. I read my fair share of "serious" literature, as well as enough "funny" comics, to have a good grasp on what makes a "good" comic story.

What did Poppy do wrong to earn such a low score from you?

My angry rant blog!
GabrieltheThird Anvilicious Relationship Status: Longing for Dulcinea
Anvilicious
Jun 9th 2014 at 3:39:34 PM

You are a brave man, asking further questions after that wall of text. Never end a sentence with a question mark when you're around me. I suppose I should expect nothing less from a fellow Third.

Since talking things to death is firmly in the "Likes" column for me, I suppose I can expand further.

Asking what Poppy did wrong is the incorrect question though. Because one of its strengths is that it did very little wrong (there are individual things I could easily nitpick but you can nitpick just about everything). Poppy even does an OK job at doing most things right. But for me at least, it basically did nothing Right. With a capital R 'n stuff. The way that leaves you impressed and going "Now that's the way to tell a story!"

For me, Poppy felt very derivative. Part of that problem is personal, of course. I have read and watched quite a few things and I can't help but judge everything new I experience in the light of those earlier experiences. Someone coming to Poppy with newer eyes might be far more impressed. Still, one has to accept that everything new created is simply piled on top of everything that already exist and to have an impact it has to differentiate itself.

Especially with Poppy this felt a very serious a stumbling block. I just couldn't find a single fresh idea in it. Plucky, down to earth mother doing everything and beyond for her progeny? Hardly a new archetype, though not commonly in the lead. I already commented on the bit about magic immune muggle fighting magicians. There's a bunch of stories about those, especially in shonen, which, granted, is a different genre, but the concept is still well explored. Starting with the protagonist arriving into a new city with its own social order and then upsetting it? Been there, read that. Wacky comic relief side character? Ditto. Deeper plots and scemes buried in the background of a fairly laid back, comical setting? Dozen of those out there, though not nearly all well done. Newcomer entering a fighting tournament? Done to death. I actually really liked the creation myth, but it was a very literal creation myth. Those are a trope on their own.

Now, we all know that Tropes Are Not Bad. It's what you do with them. That's the problem here, 'cause O'Possum just doesn't. Everything is played more of less straight, meaning it has no voice of its own. It's just a pileup of commonly used plot and character elements. To that add the following: It's funny but it isn't that funny. The art is good but it's not exceptional. Finally it doesn't seem to update all that consistently and the latest pages are black and white, so add irregularity to the pot.

All that doesn't make it in bad. I don't consider it to be. At its core Poppy O'Possum is, in my not so humble opinion, OK. Or so-so, as you put it. Middle of the pack. Which, when it comes to fiction, isn't a good place to be. Because that place will bury you. Lets hope it manages to spring out of there. The core components are present, it just needs a proper edge.

edited 9th Jun '14 3:56:50 PM by GabrieltheThird

KlarkKentThe3rd Well, I'll be... from US of A
Well, I'll be...
Jun 9th 2014 at 4:00:42 PM

[up]So, basically absorbing too much fiction during one's life hurts, and stops you from enjoying new works. You know too much, and now you see that nothing is ever new. Everything has been done. This is the end. TV Tropes has ruined your life. You lose. Insert another coin.

edited 9th Jun '14 4:01:54 PM by KlarkKentThe3rd

My angry rant blog!
FuzzyBoots from Outlying borough of Pittsburgh (there's a lot of Relationship Status: And they all lived happily ever after <3
Jun 9th 2014 at 4:04:48 PM

:) Naw, just a matter of that it didn't tickle his fancy. From what he said, there are other works that cover the same things, and they're better, at least for him.

KlarkKentThe3rd Well, I'll be... from US of A
Well, I'll be...
Jun 9th 2014 at 11:56:16 PM

[up]Nice job peacefully ending a fiery INTERNET argument, Mediator tongue.

edited 10th Jun '14 2:14:44 AM by KlarkKentThe3rd

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