Book 2 – Page 9

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Re: Book 2 – Page 9

Postby suryasm » Mon Nov 30, 2009 3:03 pm

I'm new so I'm asking, has anyone mentioned that Jack's outfit in Book 2 is remarkably similar to the outfit worn by Jack Nicholson's Joker in the first Batman movie? The only real point of departure is the cueball cane. Or am I just seeing things?
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Re: Book 2 – Page 9

Postby robak » Mon Nov 30, 2009 3:06 pm

Not all fan service needs to be about naked fools. So far there was far less bad writing in this comic (I havent found an instance of it) than has been proclaimed on the forums. Usually Rob knows what he does. Even the much bewailed one-upmanship at tBfGK turned out to be well within the story and rightly done. So let's just assume, in future this will still all make sense.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 9

Postby GobwinPie » Mon Nov 30, 2009 3:44 pm

Ytaker wrote:If he removes one of the characters, no more moments like that. He'd have to have something pretty big to fill the gap. I doubt he does. Good characters are rare.


Jack is one of my favorite characters too, but that's the result of good writing. Jack doesn't exist except as a product of the authors' minds, and if he is killed then someone else great may spring from that same well. I don't really buy the notion that an author that has created a few good characters is unlikely to have more within them.

Charlie and Jack are really the only especially good characters.


I'm fond of both characters, but I vehemently disagree with your characterization of the others which you don't like. ... but my rebuttals grew too long, so I snipped it. (Let's just say that I like almost all of those characters.)

I have noticed though that the only two characters you like are the remaining enigmatic ones. Will you like them much when their stories are fully revealed? If not, then they have a shelf-life, and you're going to need to trust a little more in the authors' ability to present future characters with interesting backgrounds of this comic has one too.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 9

Postby Ytaker » Mon Nov 30, 2009 4:38 pm

GobwinPie wrote:
Ytaker wrote:If he removes one of the characters, no more moments like that. He'd have to have something pretty big to fill the gap. I doubt he does. Good characters are rare.


Jack is one of my favorite characters too, but that's the result of good writing. Jack doesn't exist except as a product of the authors' minds, and if he is killed then someone else great may spring from that same well. I don't really buy the notion that an author that has created a few good characters is unlikely to have more within them.


I wouldn't say that killing the really good characters would help them create more good characters. It's easier to create a bad character than a good one

GobwinPie wrote:I'm fond of both characters, but I vehemently disagree with your characterization of the others which you don't like. ... but my rebuttals grew too long, so I snipped it. (Let's just say that I like almost all of those characters.)

I have noticed though that the only two characters you like are the remaining enigmatic ones. Will you like them much when their stories are fully revealed? If not, then they have a shelf-life, and you're going to need to trust a little more in the authors' ability to present future characters with interesting backgrounds of this comic has one too.


Minus the catalyst of Jillian, Jack, or Charlie, the characters are far less interesting. The best moments in book one, I'd say, were when Parson was sparing with Charlie. The vampires made everything more interesting, as they're more dark characters. Wanda didn't do much, character wise, in book one outside of Jillian. She seduced Stanley once, and gave him a suggestive backrub in her backstory. She was slightly interesting at the start, though most so when Stanley suggested she do the spell on her own, and interrupted her. She gave a mildly interesting convo on how Parson would do dark, dark things, which I would have found more interesting if she suggested what she had done in the past. I just find, for her, and others, that minus the exposition of what's happened, minus the mechanics, minus the artwork, that a lot of the characters, beneath it all, aren't that interesting. Shorter now.

Along with Stanley, Wanda, not particularly Maggie, Hippiemancer and Sizemore, Ansom, Stanley. They all have an interesting backstory that I want to know. Jack is interesting because his speech cuts to the heart of matters, because he talks of important things, because he says unique things, because I don't know what he'll do. Charlie is interesting because of his witty banter with Parson, his secrets, his power, his motives, the way he's probably tangled deep with everyone. I doubt either has a shell life.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 9

Postby Chevalier » Mon Nov 30, 2009 4:41 pm

Sometimes killing off characters we like is a positive thing. Bogroll's death is noble, and catalyzes Parson's distaste for actual war. Ah, but Jack is much more complex and interesting than Bogroll, you say. True. And thus his death could lead to much more complex and interesting storylines. Take George R.R. Martin's Song of Ice and Fire. He kills and maims major, likable characters left and right. It's often shocking, but it keeps the story interesting, and the deaths are usually necessary to open up storylines for other characters.

All that said, I like Jack, and I don't think Jack is dead yet, just because his "death" doesn't seem particularly memorable - nothing like Bogroll/Ansom, or even the RCC minor warlord deaths. Though a relatively early death for him wouldn't surprise me, given all the narrative possibilities that might result.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 9

Postby DevilDan » Mon Nov 30, 2009 5:18 pm

suryasm wrote:I'm new so I'm asking, has anyone mentioned that Jack's outfit in Book 2 is remarkably similar to the outfit worn by Jack Nicholson's Joker in the first Batman movie? The only real point of departure is the cueball cane. Or am I just seeing things?

I mentioned it before; a few others probably did too.

Ytaker wrote:
DevilDan wrote:Wanda can get as many casters as she wants into MK. But I doubt archons could survive the portal.


They had wands, and they were standing at Gobwin Knob's portal. I doubt they were random people. Not all casters carry wands, as we've seen. And yeah, they seemed to be doing hippie meditation.


I'm not even going to argue that you're assuming a lot about wands. I don't feel like linking to the page where it's mentioned that the portals are being guarded as a result of Parson's intrusion. Even ignoring those two important points, I could still plead that the sample is self-selecting: those who had wands or staffs would be the ones taking aim at Parson. Presumably a caster who, for whatever reason, couldn't threaten Parson would not have been, well, threatening Parson.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 9

Postby BLANDCorporatio » Mon Nov 30, 2009 5:45 pm

*cough*

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Re: Book 2 – Page 9

Postby Dr Pepper » Mon Nov 30, 2009 8:22 pm

suryasm wrote:I'm new so I'm asking, has anyone mentioned that Jack's outfit in Book 2 is remarkably similar to the outfit worn by Jack Nicholson's Joker in the first Batman movie? The only real point of departure is the cueball cane. Or am I just seeing things?


Only about 20. But more to the point, his outfit looks like what the real Joker wore in the mid 70's when he had his own comic.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 9

Postby Dr Quest DFA » Tue Dec 01, 2009 1:42 am

Count me in the Jack isn't dead boat. Too many narratives that need to be completed and I would think Jack's death deserves a bit more square inches.

A thought that occurred to me reading one of the other comments was that maybe they will need to use the dwagon express to send Jack back and it gets waylaid by Jillian (camping out along one of the expected paths). That would make for good tension and plot development as well as play into the title of this book (Love is a Battlefield).

Also count me in for the decrypted casters can also cast spells. I say this based on Ansom a few pages back telling the casters to mount up. We know Sizemore isn't at the front, being relegated to recreating razed cities. Maggie is certainly still at GK which only leaves Jack and Wanda. I really doubt Ansom would refer to Wanda as just a casters and I do not believe he was referring to the Archons since a) they aren't not casters even if they can produce spell like abilities and b) they do not ride dwagons so they would not "mount up". Strictly circumstantial but Rob is a devil with details.

Also, pretty smart of Ansom to order the flyers to the ground to avoid the long distance over head volleys. Kudos to him for preserving his forces. Also, form the last panel, it looks like Red/Scarlet and Wanda will be making a fighting retreat as the shocked stacks are regaining consciousness.

I am still happy with the art (though I wouldn't mind a close up of Red/Scarlet, just for vindication) and like the new format of text updates with the comic ones.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 9

Postby ftl » Tue Dec 01, 2009 2:27 am

Dr Quest DFA wrote:A thought that occurred to me reading one of the other comments was that maybe they will need to use the dwagon express to send Jack back and it gets waylaid by Jillian (camping out along one of the expected paths). That would make for good tension and plot development as well as play into the title of this book (Love is a Battlefield).


Wow, nice. Quite possible. I can't believe this hasn't suggested earlier.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 9

Postby DevilDan » Tue Dec 01, 2009 3:12 am

ftl wrote:
Dr Quest DFA wrote:A thought that occurred to me reading one of the other comments was that maybe they will need to use the dwagon express to send Jack back and it gets waylaid by Jillian (camping out along one of the expected paths). That would make for good tension and plot development as well as play into the title of this book (Love is a Battlefield).


Wow, nice. Quite possible. I can't believe this hasn't suggested earlier.

Except, why would they possibly want Jack? He may be good, but there're probably at least a few foolamancers of his level or higher.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 9

Postby Django » Tue Dec 01, 2009 8:14 am

[
Spot wrote:Well, to me, the whole horror aspect of movies like Invasion of the Body Snatchers was that people were being robbed of their free will or robbed of their "agency", and turned into mindless drones who followed pre-programmed centralized directives.

What I've observed, is that when people use the term "pod person" (a cultural meme that *began* as an obvious reference to Invasion of the Body Snatchers, but which now exists on its own), they (a) mean it in a derogatory sense, and (b) are referring not specifically to situations that exactly mirror
a 50-year-old book and movie (or it's 30-year-old remake), but more generally to situations in which someone loses their "agency" or loses their ability to exercise free will.

So... for someone to *lose* their agency and free will, one has to have actually have had free will in the first place.

Ansom, both pre-decrypt and post-decrypt operated largely as an automaton, with pre-determined instructions input on one end, then filtered through a simplistic black-and-white arbitrary worldview in the middle, and outputs shown through his zealot-like behavior... with no serious introspection, self-examination, or free anything ever having actually occurred in his behavior.

In other words, the only difference between Ansom and 90% of the people that you'll encounter tomorrow in real life, is that Ansom has zero upkeep.

Isn't that a major theme of the comic we're reading?


You read a different Book 1, didn't you?

Ansom had many small instances of lets call it character development in Book 1, such as when he sends the ground troops after Jilian out of worry or when he orders "the Hunt".

Perhaps you are falling into the trap of war, that in order to think as someone as your enemy you have to dehumanise them. It is easier to kill someone or even wish them dead if you think they are not human. However Book 1 did not fall into this trap. Both sides are very human and that is one of the great achievements of the author.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 9

Postby theseus2x » Tue Dec 01, 2009 9:48 am

I agree. Ansom, Wanda and the others mentioned here were all enjoyable in Book 1. Do I miss Charlie? Sure, but he'll definitely be back.

And I really like Jack. :mrgreen:
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Re: Book 2 – Page 9

Postby Dancing Cthulhu » Tue Dec 01, 2009 10:00 am

Ytaker wrote:
robak wrote:And which of those is bad writing?


It's not so much bad writing as, destruction of resources...


Perhaps, although in this particular setting decryption adds an interesting dynamic, as it lets a character die and not. For a character like Jack a death point would certainly open up a fork as I imagine there is compelling storylines available for him should he live or should he be decrypted (relationships, loyalties etc).

Django wrote:You read a different Book 1, didn't you?

Ansom had many small instances of lets call it character development in Book 1, such as when he sends the ground troops after Jilian out of worry or when he orders "the Hunt".

Perhaps you are falling into the trap of war, that in order to think as someone as your enemy you have to dehumanise them. It is easier to kill someone or even wish them dead if you think they are not human. However Book 1 did not fall into this trap. Both sides are very human and that is one of the great achievements of the author.


I agree, as I said earlier, I definitely don't see pre-decrypt Ansom as a pod person.

Sometimes killing off characters we like is a positive thing. Bogroll's death is noble, and catalyzes Parson's distaste for actual war. Ah, but Jack is much more complex and interesting than Bogroll, you say. True. And thus his death could lead to much more complex and interesting storylines. Take George R.R. Martin's Song of Ice and Fire. He kills and maims major, likable characters left and right. It's often shocking, but it keeps the story interesting, and the deaths are usually necessary to open up storylines for other characters.


I agree - I am not adverse to the deaths of major characters when done well, especially when it helps develop things like the setting and atmosphere (as it certainly does in Song of IaF). Erfworld is a world of war. A dangerous place, I can accept the might be times when a much liked character may fall (and be decrypted or not).

And I say that as someone who likes Jack alot along with Charlie, Maggie, Jillian and of late Trem - note I don't dislike any characters and pretty much like them all, just some more then others (and some a lot less, but not outright dislike), so I imagine sooner or later one I like will croak for good. Like Bogroll. He was such a champ.

DevilDan wrote:Except, why would they possibly want Jack? He may be good, but there're probably at least a few foolamancers of his level or higher.


Now that we've learnt Dirtmancers are rare and useful maybe they are after Sizemore :o

I doubt it though.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 9

Postby ftl » Tue Dec 01, 2009 11:37 am

DevilDan wrote:Except, why would they possibly want Jack? He may be good, but there're probably at least a few foolamancers of his level or higher.


Possible answers:

1) To deprive GK of an amazing caster of theirs.
2) Because Jillian wants to free Jack from the loyalty spells binding him to Stanley (remember, she vehemently believes that he can't possibly be working for Stanley the Worm without a heavy dose of them). Personal reasons, wanting FAQ's casters back.
3) To get a Foolamancer. Sure, maybe there's others out there in the MK, but Jillian doesn't have priveleged access to all of MK's casters. Maybe some would declare themselves to be a little bit cheaper for hire because they don't like Stanley, but maybe not. Besides, having your own is a lot better than continually hiring one out. And, then she wouldn't be dependent on Charlie for the casters.

In general, just because "there's probably a at least a few foolamancers of his level or higher" elsewhere in Erfworld doesn't mean that any of them want anything to do with Jillian or with the Great Western Conflict, or that even if they would be willing to have something to do with it that their price is reasonable. (And whatever it is, it's above just upkeep.)

I think "why would a side want to take GK's foolamancer?" is a fairly silly question - of course they would want to, if they get the opportunity.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 9

Postby theseus2x » Tue Dec 01, 2009 11:39 am

Proposal :

Right now, we haven't seen Sizemore at the battle, despite the fact that we've had some pretty good shots of the rest of the stack's composition.
Right now, we haven't been told Sizemore is at the battle.
Right now, we have no hard reason to think its Sizemore.

As of this point, based on current information, Dirtamancers seem more valuable in cities than in battle, at least according to "traditional Erfworld military philosophy" followed by Stanley and Ansom. (Wanda would only know better if Parson pressed her.)

As for the text updates, it would be far easier for Sizemore to press Janis' agenda from GK than from the field. (IMHO)

Can we hold all speculation that Sizemore is at the battle until we know more?

Just a thought... its a weird thing that keeps coming up.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 9

Postby Ytaker » Tue Dec 01, 2009 11:46 am

DevilDan wrote:
I'm not even going to argue that you're assuming a lot about wands. I don't feel like linking to the page where it's mentioned that the portals are being guarded as a result of Parson's intrusion. Even ignoring those two important points, I could still plead that the sample is self-selecting: those who had wands or staffs would be the ones taking aim at Parson. Presumably a caster who, for whatever reason, couldn't threaten Parson would not have been, well, threatening Parson.


I'm assuming that every caster doesn't have a wand on them? Given that they are the only casters we've seen with a wand on them? Vast assumption. Since there are eight, it may be that there is one from each class.

It doesn't say that. They don't talk about the portal after he leaves. As such, both of your points are not important.

There were no other casters in the grove, that we saw. And why could a caster with no wand be unable to use their attack magic on Parson?

Dancing Cthulhu "Perhaps, although in this particular setting decryption adds an interesting dynamic, as it lets a character die and not. For a character like Jack a death point would certainly open up a fork as I imagine there is compelling storylines available for him should he live or should he be decrypted (relationships, loyalties etc)."

Decryption doesn't count as death. That wouldn't be bad.

"Sometimes killing off characters we like is a positive thing. Bogroll's death is noble, and catalyzes Parson's distaste for actual war. Ah, but Jack is much more complex and interesting than Bogroll, you say. True. And thus his death could lead to much more complex and interesting storylines. Take George R.R. Martin's Song of Ice and Fire. He kills and maims major, likable characters left and right. It's often shocking, but it keeps the story interesting, and the deaths are usually necessary to open up storylines for other characters."

Yeah, but in the book, you can just skip over the boring bits, as I did. And there are a lot of boring bits. Too many of his characters are flat and one dimensional, stereotypes with a minor quirk attached. The only ones I liked in one... Arya, Sansa, Tyrion, and Jon Snow. I pretty much disliked/hated/didn't care for everyone else, and read it because he wove an awesome world and he was good with swords. In terms of characters, because he leaps around so much, I rarely had any idea who anyone was, which helped. Him killing off the good characters wasn't particularly an attraction for me, in the first novel anyway. Because death is easy for him, and because his characterization is weak, it didn't feel that dramatic when people died. There are other ways to open up storylines.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 9

Postby BLANDCorporatio » Tue Dec 01, 2009 11:48 am

Django wrote:You read a different Book 1, didn't you?

Ansom had many small instances of lets call it character development in Book 1, such as when he sends the ground troops after Jilian out of worry or when he orders "the Hunt".

Perhaps you are falling into the trap of war, that in order to think as someone as your enemy you have to dehumanise them. It is easier to kill someone or even wish them dead if you think they are not human. However Book 1 did not fall into this trap. Both sides are very human and that is one of the great achievements of the author.


Spot most likely uses "pod-person" Ansom to refer to his strong convictions in the superiority of the Royal mandate. He's not the only one on the forums thinking that Ansom was a bit stuck up, which resulted in lots of (imo undeserved) Ansom-bashing.

However, whatever attribute can describe Ansom now, post-decryption, also applies to Ansom, pre-decryption, and vice-versa: Ansom lost nothing in terms of character by being brought back. Precisely because Spot and I DON'T fall into the trap of war, it looks to us that the Decrypted are not sub-Erfworlders.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 9

Postby theseus2x » Tue Dec 01, 2009 1:24 pm

Can we hold off on arguing about wands, and just go on the assumption that the Magic Kingdom would be very, very, VERY hard to attack?

After all, the way Erfworld works, if it could be taken (relatively easily), someone would have done so already and (presumably) captured all those casters.

Damn. Helluva upkeep there....

Anyway, what wands can or can't do is irrelevant. MK is hard to take. Period.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 9

Postby decius » Tue Dec 01, 2009 1:38 pm

I'm in the "Jack wants Treminis to think that he's dead, so that Treminis will make decisions based on inaccurate information." boat.

Specifically, I think that Jack will veil a seige-heavy stack of infantry as fliers, and attack Treminis at the capital.

Seriously, Jack is a foolamancer. Can you trust anything you see about him?
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