Re-read week 18: The Last Days of Summer 21 - Last

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Postby Bo Lindbergh » Tue Feb 05, 2013 3:48 am

"Norse" is fine. The thing you shouldn't call a Swede is "Norwegian". :P
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Re:

Postby oddtail » Tue Feb 05, 2013 3:54 am

Bo Lindbergh wrote:"Norse" is fine. The thing you shouldn't call a Swede is "Norwegian". :P


I can imagine. Then again, that'd be factually incorrect first, and insulting only second ;).

Plus, given the nations' respective histories, going the other way 'round would be at least as bad, probably worse.
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Re: Re-read week 18: The Last Days of Summer 21 - Last

Postby thebitterfig » Tue Feb 05, 2013 7:24 am

Eh, I guess I'd just prefer to check with the Swedes. If they don't care, well, mea culpa.
The notes of this paradoxalist do not end here, however. He could not refrain from going on with them, but it seems to us that we may stop here. - Fyodor Dostoevsky, Notes from Underground (trans. C. Garnett)
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Re:

Postby retrophrenologist » Tue Feb 05, 2013 4:25 pm

Bo Lindbergh wrote:"Norse" is fine. The thing you shouldn't call a Swede is "Norwegian". :P

You also shouldn't call a swede a turnip. They're completely different vegetables.
"I am the spirit that denies. All that you call sin and destruction-- or evil, if you will-- that is my proper element."
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Re: Re-read week 18: The Last Days of Summer 21 - Last

Postby Alice Macher » Sun Feb 10, 2013 12:16 pm

thebitterfig wrote:This is technically Penny shushing Nick, but it kinda also looks like she's asking us in the audience to keep mum. Given the syndicated style, it wouldn't surprise me if it was half-intentional. Not so much character self-awareness, but an extra layer of artistic awareness of audience.


Hm...I'm not seeing an audience acknowledgment, even on a secondary level of meaning, given that Nick is right there and Penny's looking at him. Nick's position, relative to hers, happens to have her looking nearly straight ahead, but then so are various characters in "The Belleville Interviews," and it's clear they're looking at McBell, not the reader (even by implication). Similarly, Penny, in the famous two-strip sequence from "Campaign Trail" in which Sara first drops the Agenny-shipping bomb, is clearly not looking at the reader; she's not really looking anywhere, but is just sort of "Uhwhajksglksd;skgsa;asj;???"

As far as other actual fourth-wall breaking goes, we do have a couple of cases in which an "imaginary" character both looks at and addresses the reader but not anyone in the regular cast's own "reality." The first is the "Irony Fairy" from "Second Looks," after Charlotte suggests pranking Katy-Ann for her "misrepresent[ing] God's love," and the second is Viggo Mortensen doing a "financial firm" commercial in the girls' washroom in "Awakening." In neither case is the reader-addressing character "really" there, as it were, such that the regular, realistic characters can see him. But those are still cases of acknowledging the audience.

Last, there's a moment that doesn't involve anyone looking at, or even acknowledging, the reader but is still fourth-wall breaking in that it references the fictional nature of the characters' world. In "Second Looks," we see God as a dinosaur (actually Snarky, the mascot of the late webcomics blog, Websnark) reading the very same strip as a Sunday newspaper comic.

I'm glad T generally avoids breaking the fourth wall, though. Unless it's done on an ongoing basis from the beginning, and is therefore part of the very nature of the comic (e.g. Checkerboard Nightmare) or of a specific character (e.g. Penny O'Brien, the one person in Out at Home aware she's in a comic), I usually find that sort of thing distracting unless it's done in a particularly original or clever way. (And as I said before, that doesn't apply to "leaning on the fourth wall" gags that make sense on two levels, both within the comic's own universe and as an acknowledgement of the audience. (E.g. "...comedy of errors? I don't do those anymore," which is both Aggie telling Sara she doesn't intend to fall for any more romantic misunderstandings and T assuring us, the readers, that there won't be any more wacky farce storylines like "Dinner for Six.")
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Re: Re-read week 18: The Last Days of Summer 21 - Last

Postby thebitterfig » Sun Feb 10, 2013 5:22 pm

Alice Macher wrote:
thebitterfig wrote:half-intentional


Hm...I'm not seeing an audience acknowledgment, even on a secondary level of meaning, given that Nick is right there and Penny's looking at him.


Probably right, even though I don't quite think the Penny/Nick angles are square, like she's shushing two feet to the right of him. And I guess what I meant is there's just something in the visual idiom of the gag-a-day style of syndicated strips which is less hostile to audience awareness. Maybe it goes the other direction. Because of the style that anything looking at the camera seems more audience aware than in the later strips, regardless of what the writer is doing.
The notes of this paradoxalist do not end here, however. He could not refrain from going on with them, but it seems to us that we may stop here. - Fyodor Dostoevsky, Notes from Underground (trans. C. Garnett)
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