Dead Baby Penguins Make Me Sad

I think I’ve got it all figured out: PVP is basketball. That’s the big connection they’re going to make at the end of the series. I think I’ve won the Internet now.


When I worked for a newspaper, we covered all kinds of issues. Everything from gay marriage to abortion to gun control. Still the thing that got people the write the most impassioned letters to the editor was basketball.


People feel very passionate about there entertainment. More passionately than they often feel about important stuff. An example of this passion is this new blog that I found via a link from PVP about PVP called PVP Makes me Sad by The Fake Scott McCloud.


I was intrigued. PVP has never made me sad. In fact no comic has ever made me sad. Well except ones that were suppose to, but I don’t think that is the kind of sad the Fake Scott McCloud is talking about. No matter how much I dislike a strip, I’m still pretty happy that I’m reading comics and not working so I keep going.


I checked out the blog to figure out how some one could be sad and reading comics at the same time. After some hard core journalistic about-page reading I learned that he was sad because in his mind, PVP isn’t as good as it used to be. I can understand that. When things I used to really like stop meeting my expectations, I too feel sad.


I’ve read a few of Mr. Fake McCloud’s posts. They are actually pretty insightful. He analyzes PVP extremely deeply and maturely on an fairly regular basis. He makes points on everything from the art of a particular frame, to characterization, to pacing, to plot development. Everything I read I felt was a valid point, even though most the time it was something that I would never had noticed or thought about if he hadn’t pointed it at.


It is this “I never thought of that” effect that I makes me suggest this blog for anyone looking to gain a deeper understanding of comics in general. If all you’re going to do is flame for or against PVP, don’t bother going to this site. It’s already got plenty of people who are already doing that. However, if you’re a comic creator I would recommend reading through a few of his critiques. It’ll offer an excellent look into the mind of a picky and passionate reader. You can learn a lot from this kind of criticism, especially when it’s of some one else’s work so that your feelings don’t get hurt.


There is one thing about his reviews that bothers me quite a bit. He offers “better” punch lines. Writing humor is hard. Second guessing humor is easy. Humor is such a personal and subjective thing on both the part of the presenter and the receiver that it’s impossible to have a “best” joke for any particular set up. Also a good comedian tells jokes that are crafted by them for them. If another comedian (cough cough Carlos cough) steals those jokes and “improves” them, it usually doesn’t work.


It’s especially dangerous with a daily comic strips like this when the punch line may play into a plot point the creator has planned for the future.



1 thought on “Dead Baby Penguins Make Me Sad

  1. Thanks for the link, and the kind words 🙂

    I’m glad you enjoy the blog. I am deliberate in my attemps to remain objective. One thing the web comic fan base often lacks is objectivism — I’m not saying people Need To Listen because I’m Right, but it’s possible to offer criticism without getting personal.

    I will take your comments re: second guessing humor under advisement, thanks for that.

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