Sat Sep 4 07:36:30 EDT 2010

a few more words on using too many words

Since we saw him last, Winston has posted a few more comics. Have they improved, are they at all better, is there even the faintest glimmer of hope that Winston realized the scope of the tremendous error he has been making, over and over, for the last five years?

Nope, nope, hell no, and maybe!

The message of page 524 appears to be "if you place a collection of stereotypes in a hopelessly contrived situation, you'll get a weakly humorous punchline that doesn't make a whole lot of sense in context. Hilarious!

Page 525 doesn't appear to have any punchline at all.

Page 526 is yet another installment in the saga of "attractive woman who is attractive ha ha isn't that funny." This page grinds along the by now well-worn, tediously unfunny path of these comics, but descends into a bizarre solipsistic nightmare, where the comic examines its own punchline in detail, and concludes... something or another.

Page 527 is actually a pretty good comic.

No joke.

It's still not great, but at least it's not punch-you-in-the-face terrible, like the rest of Subnormality. It's generically bland good, the faceless mediocrity that's still better than 99.9% of the internet, and is worth about ten thousand a year in t-shirt and book sales.

It really is a step up for Winston. I congratulate him.

He then pisses all that goodwill away with a metabloggy post apologizing for a delay in comics, (strike 1) and offering up a page from Tintin for people "missing their walls of text". (strikes 2 and 3, you're outta here!)

I fail to see what he was trying to do here. Obviously he was attempting to contrast criticisms of his own work by applying them to a recognized masterpiece of the medium, in the crudest, and least subtle possible manner; but typically this would be done with an example that didn't suck.

Look past the scrawl, and look at the actual page, and the first thing you see is lazy, lazy art. The character on the left maintains the same expression and position for all six panels, monologuing continuously, and telling, telling, telling, not showing. This page could lose two thirds of the dialog by just depicting the actions described, you know, with art. Like it was a visual medium, or something crazy like that.

But Herge took the easy way out. Using this as a shining example of best practices is like saying that all painters should all cut off one of their ears for their art. No, that was a mistake, because it was an obvious mistake on van Gogh's part, just like this is an blatant (on it's... face) error of Herge, though of lesser degree.

I find it curious that, despite Winston's frequent protestations to the contrary, his paying work never feature walls of text to anything like the degree Subnormality does. His posters, the comics he does for Cracked, they are all remarkably succinct.

This cannot possibly be the result of editorial fiat, indeed, Cracked is renowned for relaxed standards[*], and Jeff exerts very little influence over his partners.

No, what this means is that Winston really does know what is good. He isn't going to make a poster of a wall of text, because he knows it won't sell.

*: I'm saying this post is shitty, and should not have been published. That is the joke.

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