Sunday, April 09, 2006

If I could be serious for a minute

What do we have this Sunday? It looks like only two:
Drabble by Kevin Fagan
Herman reprint by Jim Unger

Since I started this blog oh so long ago back in mid-March, I've gotten more attention than I ever would have imagined (or possibly deserve.) Thanks to Josh at the Comics Curmudgeon, who first linked to my blog, word has gotten out fairly quickly. I really appreciate all the visits, links, comments, and emails. Who knew that so many people cared about the comics?

Because mid-March was so long ago, my mission statement has been lost and a little muddled.
Anonymous wrote: "Can you explain why you write this blog? Why is it wrong to have a strip with a silent beat? This isn't rhetorical - I wonder what you don't like."

Well, Anonymous, first of all, I think it's funny. I collect silent panels, post them on a blog, and keep track of how many there are. To me, that's funny. It's possible I'm a little strange.

Why is the SPP wrong? It's not, really. On a case by case basis, some work, some don't. The funny/not funny ratio of strips with an SPP is probably the same as the funny/not funny ratio of all comic strips in general.

It's also sometimes funny to see someone slip on a banana peel. But imagine if every day, there was a comic strip that had someone slipping on a banana peel. It would get old quick. Even the funny banana peel gags would not seem as funny because of all the lame banana peel gags around it. (And maybe this isn't the best analogy. The SPP is a rhythm that sets up a gag, while slipping on a banana peal is a gag itself.) I'll try another one--how about the "talking bridge" in pop music? You know, like in Are You Lonesome Tonight when Elvis starts talking (baby, I wonder if... you're lonesome tonight.) There have been a lot of pop songs in the past fifty years that do that. Sometimes it works, a lot of times it doesn't. So imagine if one in five songs on the radio had a talking bridge. Even a master of the talking bridge like Elvis Presley would start to sound boring. When something is used too often it becomes a cliche. And cliches are boring.

Is the silent penultimate panel overused? To me the answer is... well, uh, yeah. I mean... just look at this place. There is at least one every single day.

Inclusion of a comic strip on my watch does not necessarily mean it's a bad comic strip. All of my favorites have shown up here--Peanuts, Doonesbury, Pearls Before Swine, etc. Don't be upset if I call out one of yours. It's just what I do.


Anonymous Adam said...

Well said!

9:23 PM  
Blogger The Matt said...

I don't know if it counts, but there is an SPP in today's "Cow and Boy". Of course, I love "Cow and Boy", so I'll promote it anytime I can.

7:55 AM  
Blogger Matt Guerrero said...

the first time I head the 'talking bridge' in Are You Lonesome Tonight' I laughed hysterically, and almost wet myself.
Matt! where's your Elvis blog?

6:21 PM  
Blogger Monty said...

Hey, speaking of Silent Penultimate Panels, you should check out this entry on John Kricfalusi's blog; it's basically about how great Don Martin is and the use of what John K. refers to as "pantomime panels" to add timing.

10:49 PM  
Anonymous Suzii said...

Marvin on Sunday was an interesting example of a strip that suffered from loss of the SPP.

4:38 AM  

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