Author Topic: Chapter 31: Discussion  (Read 27871 times)

Brion Foulke

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Chapter 31: Discussion
« on: December 09, 2011, 11:56:37 am »
This is the thread for discussing chapter 31.

Azure Priest

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Re: Chapter 31: Discussion
« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2011, 06:06:35 am »
... Wow, I'm almost surprised the audience laughed at that last part. I know I'd be hard pressed to laugh after hearing over 30 min of someone's life story.

Enkida

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Re: Chapter 31: Discussion
« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2011, 08:24:32 am »
Though my opinions about Maytag and her performance have not changed after the side story, we're less than 1 page into the next chapter, I don't think we need to start it with some hatin' guys.

What I am excited to see is how this latest cover will be coloured.  I think the costume design in this comic is great, for both genders, so I always get a little excited to see cover art that features fully clothed full body artwork.   ;D
2 kids = no more comics, but you can still find me doing BG portraits now and then

Jongarakun

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Re: Chapter 31: Discussion
« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2011, 08:57:58 am »
... Wow, I'm almost surprised the audience laughed at that last part. I know I'd be hard pressed to laugh after hearing over 30 min of someone's life story.

Yeah, same here, that part seemed a little forced.

Asyndeta

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Re: Chapter 31: Discussion
« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2011, 09:07:02 am »
Though my opinions about Maytag and her performance have not changed after the side story, we're less than 1 page into the next chapter, I don't think we need to start it with some hatin' guys.

Legitimate criticism and 'hating' are not the same.  And I agree it seems unlikely that an audience almost entirely comprised of strangers who came to be entertained would then sit and listen to an hour of a girl talking about her mental health problems.

ducky_worshiper

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Re: Chapter 31: Discussion
« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2011, 10:13:43 am »
... Wow, I'm almost surprised the audience laughed at that last part. I know I'd be hard pressed to laugh after hearing over 30 min of someone's life story.

Maybe the other performers are REALLY bad? =/

Jongarakun

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Re: Chapter 31: Discussion
« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2011, 04:18:19 pm »
Yeah, it is terribly unbelievable, but I'm not so bothered. Kind of fits in with the comic's kinda-cheesy older anti-hero comics feel. In any other story it would really stand out, but I don't think it's so bad in this one.

Kiran

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Re: Chapter 31: Discussion
« Reply #7 on: December 11, 2011, 07:02:41 am »
... Wow, I'm almost surprised the audience laughed at that last part. I know I'd be hard pressed to laugh after hearing over 30 min of someone's life story.

Maybe the other performers are REALLY bad? =/
Seems so...
Cause really listening to such life story we witnessed in chapter A is not something which would make me laugh in any way, that little sexual joke in the end may be just a little warm up for the rest of May's act here.

If that will be all then maybe May will win by doing the thing she did all the time, she established the connection with audience here through telling her life story, so they would remember her, and vote later, if all acts will be jokes, in the end you will remember than one rather serious story.

ducky_worshiper

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Re: Chapter 31: Discussion
« Reply #8 on: December 11, 2011, 04:05:18 pm »
I don't know if all the acts are jokes (and I know a lot of people have used the defense of "it's an entertainment competition not a comedy competition," but Maytag is a *jester* whose acts have always been about making people laugh), but either way, an hour of hearing her life story would make me want pretty much anyone else on stage. 

Brion Foulke

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Re: Chapter 31: Discussion
« Reply #9 on: December 12, 2011, 07:35:32 am »
Let me say this... I've been thinking about this a lot lately.  I am not a great comedy writer... there are other people who could probably write a much better comedy monologue for Maytag to recite than me.  But, IMO, to write a comedy monologue for Maytag that would come across as funny is basically impossible in comic book form.  Comedy monologues just don't translate to written form.  There's too much nuance in the way a joke is told that just doesn't translate to written material.

Which is why I decided that the best thing to do with her act is to "cheat"... you'll see what I mean by "cheat" in a couple of pages, if you can't already guess.

Shazam

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Re: Chapter 31: Discussion
« Reply #10 on: December 12, 2011, 02:54:28 pm »
Brion,

I wouldn't worry about it. If you were a great comedy writer to match Maytag you'd have a nice side job :)

Like others I found the set up and detailing of her being on the verge of schizophrenic to be anything but 'funny material'. It goes back to what I said at the end of the last chapter at not getting her approach. (I know I'd be staring at her after such a reminiscence much as folk rubberneck at disasters. It attracts attention, but isn't something you want to get closer to.) However, I'm happy to suspend disbelief for the reasons you stated and because 'it is the way it is' :P

I certainly enjoy the comic as a whole. If this reveal comes off awkward or people critique it a bit, it is likely because you set high standards with your storytelling. Keep on keeping on

ducky_worshiper

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Re: Chapter 31: Discussion
« Reply #11 on: December 12, 2011, 06:11:57 pm »
Brion,

It's really reassuring, actually, to know that you are at least aware that it's something to keep in the back of your mind.  I'm the worst person ever at trying to guess what's coming, so I am going to trust that you have a way to work it out without it seeming extraordinarily unreasonable.  I hope you didn't think that the criticisms were too harsh, and I totally have loved this comic since I found it.  I don't think I, or anyone, truly expected you to have some hilarious set for Maytag.  Like I said, I'm just thankful that you are a strong enough writer that you are able to acknowledge what your limitations are and to find ways to compensate for them in the story world (ie, letting her 'cheat' at the competition).  I look forward to seeing how you tie this up.

Thank you so much for this story you've posted online for us all to read.

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Re: Chapter 31: Discussion
« Reply #12 on: December 13, 2011, 11:35:19 am »
So she takes forever telling her life story in a contest that was supposed to be all about short performances and no one finally pulls her off the stage?
Ugh...

Jongarakun

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Re: Chapter 31: Discussion
« Reply #13 on: December 13, 2011, 12:20:00 pm »
So she takes forever telling her life story in a contest that was supposed to be all about short performances and no one finally pulls her off the stage?
Ugh...

The image of Maytag being pulled off stage with a hook, vaudeville style, is absolutely hilarious to me.

ipatrol

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Re: Chapter 31: Discussion
« Reply #14 on: December 13, 2011, 07:39:50 pm »
"anything that moves"?

Have you been reading tvtropes again? ;)

Also, I don't think its possible to have sex with an asexual reproducer, like starfish and some mollusks.

Azure Priest

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Re: Chapter 31: Discussion
« Reply #15 on: December 14, 2011, 06:39:06 am »
"anything that moves"?

Have you been reading tvtropes again? ;)

Also, I don't think its possible to have sex with an asexual reproducer, like starfish and some mollusks.

Well, not quite. She DID turn down Moss, TWICE, until he held her friends hostage.

However, that beings said. I LIKE the ending. It really has that "Maytag" feel to it, and provides an excellent, noble motive for wanting a show. It's not easy to form a relationship with the audience.

SAGG

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Re: Chapter 31: Discussion
« Reply #16 on: December 14, 2011, 03:29:11 pm »
Hmph. Who IS the pessimist that thinks Maytag won't go any farther?  ??? Jerk...  >:(

ipatrol

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Re: Chapter 31: Discussion
« Reply #17 on: December 15, 2011, 12:05:04 pm »
Hmph. Who IS the pessimist that thinks Maytag won't go any farther?  ??? Jerk...  >:(

I'm getting a more ominous vibe, like he's gonna do something to remove her from contention because she is a threat to him.

ducky_worshiper

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Re: Chapter 31: Discussion
« Reply #18 on: December 15, 2011, 07:55:12 pm »
Hmph. Who IS the pessimist that thinks Maytag won't go any farther?  ??? Jerk...  >:(

I'm getting a more ominous vibe, like he's gonna do something to remove her from contention because she is a threat to him.

He's one of the organizers.

Asyndeta

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Re: Chapter 31: Discussion
« Reply #19 on: December 16, 2011, 02:35:18 pm »
Which is why I decided that the best thing to do with her act is to "cheat"... you'll see what I mean by "cheat" in a couple of pages, if you can't already guess.

If today's page is what you were referring to, it....didn't work.  One of the golden rules of writing is 'show, don't tell' but in an instance like this - where you're writing about a comedy performer but admit you yourself cannot write comedy - the rule is really more 'show or tell'.  In this case, if literally all we knew about this performance was Bob's feedback then fine, we all have an imagination, we can fill in the blanks.  But after I've read some of Maytag's monologue - with samples ranging from the unfunny to the downright tragic - I simply can't suspend my disbelief that far.  I can't think 'oh, well if this guy says it was funny then I guess it was?'  It's kind of an insult to the reader's intelligence to expect them to accept a character's word, particularly the word of a new character they don't know yet, when there's already evidence to the contrary.

Brion Foulke

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Re: Chapter 31: Discussion
« Reply #20 on: December 16, 2011, 03:17:10 pm »
Yep, this page is exactly what I meant by "cheat."  I realized that with a comedy act it's better to tell than to show.

"the rule is really more 'show or tell'"

But I couldn't do that in this case.  It had to be both.  Even if you say that the scene as it is "doesn't work," the alternative is to skip from her clothes being torn away to the moment she walks off stage.  I don't think I need to explain why this wouldn't work.  You need to at least see a few scenes of her up there, get a sense of how the show went, what she talked about, and how it ended in order for the narrative to make sense.

"But after I've read some of Maytag's monologue - with samples ranging from the unfunny to the downright tragic"

Hmm, look I don't think I'm a great comedy writer either... but I honestly think you're exaggerating here.  Think about it this way... if you were to take the monologue of any comedian, even someone as brilliant as George Carlin and write it down, a lot of the time it's not gonna seem very funny.  I don't think you can emphatically say that her routine isn't funny based on what is written on the page... and furthermore, it's not like I've shown you her entire routine.  In fact, you barely see any of it.  You see the very beginning as she starts to go into it, and you see a short scene from the end.  As that is the case, I don't think it's necessary for you to suspend any disbelief, as you don't have enough evidence to go on either way.

Jongarakun

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Re: Chapter 31: Discussion
« Reply #21 on: December 16, 2011, 04:21:49 pm »
Yeah, we saw her actual story, and not much of her performance.

Also, frankly, I gotta agree with the negative dude. Laughs or gtfo. Sorry Maytag.

Asyndeta

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Re: Chapter 31: Discussion
« Reply #22 on: December 16, 2011, 04:43:54 pm »
You need to at least see a few scenes of her up there, get a sense of how the show went, what she talked about, and how it ended in order for the narrative to make sense.

Not nearly as much as there was.  I know you aim for 'print comic' pacing but even reading the whole lot in one go, it dragged.

What would have been more effective is to have a much quicker run-up from this page to the end of the chapter - most of Maytag's explanation as to why she has two personalities could have been cut while losing nothing, because it's explained in the side story and then reiterated at the beginning of the next chapter.  We don't need to be told something three times; that ten pages could have been five.  Remember, she's fighting to keep the audience at this stage.  They don't know her, they have no reason to like her or sympathise with her, and by this point she's not even standing there naked any more.  The best way to keep them on side is by initially supplying as little information as possible, so it's not 'So I pretend to have two different personalities because I want to be liked - want to know how that happened?', it's 'So I pretend to have two different personalities - want to know why?'

Then after the first three panels of the next chapter, Maytag wraps up with a completely ludicrous punchline - it doesn't matter what it is - and there's a reaction shot of the audience utterly wetting themselves with laughter (as opposed to sound effects).  Then she can make a joke of the fact that nothing she's talked is inherently funny - maybe a deadpan 'I guess my scarring childhood trauma is pretty hilarious after all, it must be my delivery' (which also serves as a meta-joke for the reader, if you're into that sort of thing, since of course we don't know anything about her delivery).  Then chop the next two pages into one - show's over now, she shouldn't want to overstay her welcome after a challenging routine but she definitely is - and then we're where we are now.

Brion Foulke

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Re: Chapter 31: Discussion
« Reply #23 on: December 17, 2011, 05:06:09 am »
What would have been more effective is to have a much quicker run-up from this page to the end of the chapter - most of Maytag's explanation as to why she has two personalities could have been cut while losing nothing, because it's explained in the side story and then reiterated at the beginning of the next chapter.

It's redundant for a reason.  You're forgetting that the side story is a book exclusive... it'll be taken down from the website.  Reread it with that in mind and tell me if you still think it drags.

Then after the first three panels of the next chapter, Maytag wraps up with a completely ludicrous punchline - it doesn't matter what it is - and there's a reaction shot of the audience utterly wetting themselves with laughter (as opposed to sound effects).  Then she can make a joke of the fact that nothing she's talked is inherently funny - maybe a deadpan 'I guess my scarring childhood trauma is pretty hilarious after all, it must be my delivery' (which also serves as a meta-joke for the reader, if you're into that sort of thing, since of course we don't know anything about her delivery).  Then chop the next two pages into one - show's over now, she shouldn't want to overstay her welcome after a challenging routine but she definitely is - and then we're where we are now.

Sorry, but that doesn't really work for me.  First, in your version it's implied that the audience is laughing *at* Maytag... that's the *opposite* of what this scene is supposed to accomplish.  Second, if she acts clueless as to what they're laughing about, it implies that she's been telling her story in an overly serious manner.  That actually *does* undermine the credibility of the judges when they claim she did a good job of keeping humor through-out the act, much more than anything I wrote.  It also makes her seem like she's not really in control of the audience.  Third, to cut those two pages into one is to rush the scene too much, in my opinion.  It plays better the way it is with a little page long speech by Maytag wrapping up the scene.  If you rush this scene too much it will lose any of the impact it was supposed to have.
« Last Edit: December 17, 2011, 05:26:39 am by Brion Foulke »

Kiran

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Re: Chapter 31: Discussion
« Reply #24 on: December 17, 2011, 05:32:13 am »
To be fair if we would cut the extra chapter A story out, and just concentrate on last page of chapter 30 and then first pages of 31 it makes sense, since we didn't witness her telling the story just we got a narration of the scene where the judge says that May managed to sneak humor into it, and who knows it was funny, if in last part May uses her standard sexual jokes, then she could use it for whole time in the story, and by telling her personal story she got the real connection with the audience at what she aimed for, who aside of laughing at her jokes, had to be captivated by the story itself a little.

But I would agree with Bob here, it's a comedy club, so who makes the audience laugh more and longer wins, so in my understanding if there were performers who beaten May in this field, she shouldn't win, but it looks the story in form of Clay will turn this around about something grasping real connection with audience and not cheap laughs so May will win/get into another round.

Enkida

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Re: Chapter 31: Discussion
« Reply #25 on: December 19, 2011, 01:32:30 am »
I agree, without the side story this whole "But it's NOT entertaining" discussion could be moot because it would be easier to suspend disbelief.

That being said, I waited a few days, came back and read the developments, and feel my initial assessment was fairly right:  wait a little for more than 1 page, and the author will justify the story somewhat.  Whatever you think about Maytag as a character, I think how her show is being dealt with by the judges is fair.  Thanks for "saving" it back into believablity, Bryon. :)

Edit:  this opinion will change if the last guy on the judge panel overrules the other critic by saying "well, even though it's a comedy club, this was more entertaining, so let's let her stay in"

I would believe that this performance could earn her an independent supporter for her show, or have the winner of the show give over the title (and cash) for her instead.  I would not believe this performance could allow her to win the contest itself.  That would relate more to my main critique, "everybody loves Maytag!  Maybe a little too much!"   :P

Still waiting eagerly to see what Bernadette is doing, though.  And what Crest and Suspira are up to.  And Moss and Fata Morgana.  And even Bloody Mary!  All of these people are keeping me much more engaged that Maytag is.  *hops from foot to foot eagerly*
« Last Edit: December 19, 2011, 01:36:37 am by Enkida »
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maddhopps

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Re: Chapter 31: Discussion
« Reply #26 on: December 19, 2011, 10:58:34 am »
There is going be three winners, so May doesn't necessarily need to win first place to get her own show.

I think it should be pointed out that they are performing at a theater and not a comedy club. Not saying this isn't a comedy competition, since the few other participates we've seen have been comedy acts, but nothing presented in the story says that is the only thing acts have to be.

edit*
Can't believe I missed them calling it a comedy club in the latest strip. I assumed from the Chapter 29, Page 7 strip that it was a more multipurpose theater.
« Last Edit: December 19, 2011, 12:08:23 pm by maddhopps »

Azure Priest

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Re: Chapter 31: Discussion
« Reply #27 on: December 21, 2011, 07:19:52 am »
I agree, without the side story this whole "But it's NOT entertaining" discussion could be moot because it would be easier to suspend disbelief.

That being said, I waited a few days, came back and read the developments, and feel my initial assessment was fairly right:  wait a little for more than 1 page, and the author will justify the story somewhat.  Whatever you think about Maytag as a character, I think how her show is being dealt with by the judges is fair.  Thanks for "saving" it back into believablity, Bryon. :)

Edit:  this opinion will change if the last guy on the judge panel overrules the other critic by saying "well, even though it's a comedy club, this was more entertaining, so let's let her stay in"

I would believe that this performance could earn her an independent supporter for her show, or have the winner of the show give over the title (and cash) for her instead.  I would not believe this performance could allow her to win the contest itself.  That would relate more to my main critique, "everybody loves Maytag!  Maybe a little too much!"   :P

Still waiting eagerly to see what Bernadette is doing, though.  And what Crest and Suspira are up to.  And Moss and Fata Morgana.  And even Bloody Mary!  All of these people are keeping me much more engaged that Maytag is.  *hops from foot to foot eagerly*
Crest and Suspira are in the audience actually. Moss and Fata Morgana are getting "free" lodging and meals by stealing Maytag's identity and paying for their purchases with illusory coins. Bloody Mary was last seen hunting bandits and eating them. She may still be doing so, at least until the phalanx finally catches her. Bernadette, well she's done going down memory lane with an old flame (we hope). Actually, I'd like to see what MELTER is up to. He promised "thin man" to capture Maytag. He can't just be sitting around idly.

Kiran

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Re: Chapter 31: Discussion
« Reply #28 on: December 21, 2011, 12:10:25 pm »
There are important things to cover, how other(Crest,Suspiria,Regina) will react to May confession, we can assume May will be given that position so she would need to stay here for a while, also Bern should have some important resolution of finding her father and also the whole deal with Polly, maybe some move in Crest/Suspiria situation, and of course there's also the guy who need to kidnap May for Thin Man, and Fata with Moss playing up May reputation here and there.
Not mentioning Bloody Mary and maybe some other deadly Thin Man creations showing up...
There's so many interesting things to cover.

Also Christmas strip update:
A) orgy
B) no orgy
C) become Saiyan (lol Crest)

:D

Can I hope that next update/s we will get other characters Christmas wishes in similiar maneer?

Azure Priest

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Re: Chapter 31: Discussion
« Reply #29 on: December 26, 2011, 07:18:11 am »
There are important things to cover, how other(Crest,Suspiria,Regina) will react to May confession, we can assume May will be given that position so she would need to stay here for a while, also Bern should have some important resolution of finding her father and also the whole deal with Polly, maybe some move in Crest/Suspiria situation, and of course there's also the guy who need to kidnap May for Thin Man, and Fata with Moss playing up May reputation here and there.
Not mentioning Bloody Mary and maybe some other deadly Thin Man creations showing up...
There's so many interesting things to cover.

Also Christmas strip update:
A) orgy
B) no orgy
C) become Saiyan (lol Crest)

:D

Can I hope that next update/s we will get other characters Christmas wishes in similiar maneer?

Yes! You are all MY FOOD!