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Comic-Monkey Knife-Fight! [Jan. 19th, 2006|10:10 am]
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Well, I think balance is finally being restored a bit. Apophenia 357 is once again climbing upwards on the Webcomics Nation list of Top 100 Comics. It's also back into routinely listing in the top three of the top 10 daily Comics on Webcomics Nation.

For awhile everything was topsy-tervy. Night was day, black was white, up was down, and heterosexuality was a guy stuffed full of cock. Why? Because Mike Krahulik thrust the throbbing wang of Penny Arcade into the yeilding flesh holes of Webcomics Nation and sprayed his jizz all over Panel One.

This lead me to wonder, how fucking pretentious do I have to be to get Gabe to bukkake me?



I used to think that Eric Burns' The Adventures of Brigadier General John Stark was the polar opposite of Apophenia 357. Apophenia is a comic that is all illustration and no "writing" while John Stark was all writing and no "illustration". But then Panel One was suddenly thrust into spotlight when Gabe* pondered in his rant space on Penny Arcade wether it was a parody of pretentious artsy comics or a genuine example of pretentious artsy comics. When I saw Panel One I realized that it was the polar opposite of Apophenia. That comic genuinely has no illustration at all. John Stark at least has different croppings of the same photograph of John Stark. Panel One... well it's the old gag of the drawing of the polar bear eating marshmellows in a blizzard. It's nothing but text. Alexander Danner has a whole slew of other comics on his Webcomics Nation account but either he can't draw or he won't draw because he's strictly the writer and other people are the artists. That's cool though. Not everyone can do both, or do both well, and hell let's be honest, most people in the world can't do either. It's cool that Alexander has found a way to make a comic all on his own without employing any drawing skills. It's kind of an original approach. Usually writer-only artists resort to clip-art, cut-and-paste, or *shudder* sprite comics to bypass the need for an artist. Although I do recall someone doing the same thing many years ago with a comic that all took place in the dark so every panel was black with speech ballons.

So now it'll be Apophenia 357 vs. Panel One to determine the answer to the age old question, who would win in a comic-monkey knife-fight? Writer-monkeys or art-monkeys? I'm glad that Panel One came out of nowhere to take over John Stark's place in the comic-monkey knife-fight. I like Eric Burns too much to cut on his beautiful face with my monkey-knife. I don't know Alexander Danner at all so I can slash away with no guilt and let the red stuff spray. Of course he can do the same. So here we are now, two comic-monkeys circling each other in the ring while onlookers lay down thier dollar bills (or looney coins if they're Canadians).

Of course Mike Krahulik had to go toss the Panel One monkey a great big fucking sword which opened up a ragged bleeding wound in the Apophenia monkey. But then again, some people would argue that's only fair since Ghastly's Ghastly Comic did equip the Apophenia monkey with a big fucking Gurkha knife!

In any case, it looks like the Apophenia monkey has staggered to his feet, jammed a fist into the wound and has given a nice upward slash with the khukuri to the belly of the Panel One monkey which has caused it to take a step backwards. The Apophenia monkey does seem to be breathing hard, and it did lose an awful lot of blood. Where is the smart money being bet now?

*I've never known if I'm supposed to call him Gabe or Mike. It gets confusing when there's an artist/character association. I mean I usually refer to Fred Gallagher as Fred rather than Piro simply because I make a lot of fun of Piro and I want to make sure that when I do people, including Fred, understand I'm making fun of Piro the character and not Fred Gallagher the man. Of course I've never really made fun of Penny Arcade, or Gabe, or Mike so I don't know how to address him properly online. Gabe seems to be the standard but is Mike Gabe and Gabe Mike? It's easier when the artist has a pen name but isn't a character in the strip. There's no Ghastly confusion because Ghastly is me and there is no Ghastly in Ghastly's Ghastly Comic (except when Xom draws a filler strip). Speaking of Penny Arcade... this was seriously the funniest god damned strip I've ever read. The writing, the artwork, it all came together for me in one package that just made me howl (hey! maybe that's the deeper meaning of the strip, that when writer-monkeys and art-monkeys work together work together instead of cutting each other up in a monkey knife-fight they create something greater than themselves... nah... monkey knife-fights are awesome). That strip, to me, was Penny Arcade at its greatest. Of course I get something different out of PA than its typical reader does because, well, I'm an old man and I don't really get a lot of time to play video games. The jokes that are funny on a level that transcends gamer humour are the ones that appeal to me the most. That's not to say I don't find the gamer jokes funny, but it's the ones that have a funny beyond the gamer joke that really make me laugh.

And speaking of howling in laughter... the title of this Desiel Sweeties comic had me floored. The title was a work of art unto itself. If represented visually the title of that strip would be photoshop starburst-lensflared to such a magnitude that the strip presented below it would be almost completely obscured by its brilliance. I just loved the title that-fucking-much.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: squidflakes
2006-01-19 08:50 am (UTC)

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Yea.. I read some Panel One after Mike mentioned it in his strip. Eh.

Really, it isn't that funny, witty, intelligent, or deep. My money is on the Apophina monkey and always has been.
From: alexanderdanner
2006-01-26 01:07 pm (UTC)

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Panel One isn't really meant to be any of those things. It's just a little writing exercise that gives me a way to test out ideas that either aren't good enough or aren't fully developed enough for me to use in my more serious efforts. Basically, it's just a sandbox for me to play in.
[User Picture]From: squidflakes
2006-01-26 02:30 pm (UTC)

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That's good to know, as people who are only reading Panel One would be prone to judging the rest of your work by that standard.

'Course, its hard to expect someone to put up a disclaimer 'Warning:Sandbox'

It also doesn't help when someone represents the above sandbox as that thing I said "funny, witty, deep, ect."
From: alexanderdanner
2006-01-26 06:51 pm (UTC)

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Just to clarify a bit, because I think it was diengenuous for me to say it isn't intended to be funny--I do try to make it entertaining, but only for the sake of entertaining myself. Personally, I find a lot of humor in taking an absurd, even dumb idea and playing it completely straight. I had no expectation that many other people would be with me there. Though, apparently more people enjoy it than I anticpated.

As for the "Warning: Sandbox" -- the funny thing is, the description below the comic that got me called out by Gabe/Mike for pretention was meant to be exactly that: a warning not to take the comic too seriously! Admittedly, it was badly written, due to my writing it while over-tired, but still, I found that funny.
[User Picture]From: squidflakes
2006-01-27 08:32 am (UTC)

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I'm definately guilty of not getting the joke. Strange that, I like jokes, jokes are funny. ;)
[User Picture]From: ghastlycomic
2006-01-27 08:25 am (UTC)

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How do you keep the neighbourhood cats from pooping in your webcomic?
From: (Anonymous)
2006-01-27 09:45 am (UTC)

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I don't apparently! But that's okay-- it gets me lots of readers.
From: alexanderdanner
2006-01-27 09:49 am (UTC)

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That was me.
[User Picture]From: aberranteyes
2006-01-19 09:01 am (UTC)

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hey! maybe that's the deeper meaning of the strip, that when writer-monkeys and art-monkeys work together work together instead of cutting each other up in a monkey knife-fight they create something greater than themselves...

That's certainly the not-so-deep meaning of this little sequence.

nah... monkey knife-fights are awesome

The one does not preclude the other.
[User Picture]From: ghastlycomic
2006-01-19 09:07 am (UTC)

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It was that very sequence of strips that came to mind as I typed that run-on sentance.
[User Picture]From: aberranteyes
2006-01-19 02:07 pm (UTC)

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Great minds think alike (to which I usually add "but where does that leave us?"; <lj user="thessalian" replies "And fools seldom differ").
[User Picture]From: ghastlycomic
2006-01-19 03:47 pm (UTC)

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"Fools seldom differ"
[User Picture]From: aberranteyes
2006-01-21 06:01 am (UTC)

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That's what thessalian usually says when I quote that adage (in fact, I first heard it from her). I actually tried to say that after the semicolon, but (now that I actually look at my comment) I guess I must've forgotten to close a tag. Hence my "oops" icon.
[User Picture]From: nikki_nmt
2006-01-19 03:13 pm (UTC)

Apophenia 357

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I personally can't read Apophenia 357 on a quasi-daily basis... Because there is not text, I basically need to wait till you're done with a chapter then I go through it all at once.

I don't know how many other "readers" are like this, but we are out there, and may not necessarily show through the statistics.
From: alexanderdanner
2006-01-26 01:21 pm (UTC)

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Is it okay if I root for Apophenia in this little knife-fight we're having, or does that spoil the fun?

Seriously, Panel One is just a toy for me to play with while I'm mulling of ideas for better things. I never expected it to garner more than a handful of readers, and it wouldn't have if not for Gabe/Mike. Not that I didn't enjoy seeing it climb the charts, but I really felt rather guilty about it climbing past so many comics that are clearly far better, Apophenia included. I even considered taking Panel One down entirely--it's certainly not the work I want to be known for--but kept it up mainly because it's now a good tool for me to cross promote my other stuff.

To answer your question above--I can't really draw. I toyed with it when I was younger, and probably could have become at least competent if I had worked at it, but I just never had the same passion for it that I do for writing.

That said, I will be playing a bit more with visuals as it moves along, though most of what I'll be doing will be closer to design than illustration. You can see the very small beginnings of my first attempt in the strips running this week.
[User Picture]From: squidflakes
2006-01-26 02:33 pm (UTC)

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Its perfectly ok to root for the other monkey. Betting however, is illegal.
[User Picture]From: ghastlycomic
2006-01-27 12:00 am (UTC)

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Who gets to keep the money if both monkeys take a dive?
From: alexanderdanner
2006-01-27 01:19 am (UTC)

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I think then it goes toward sending in an angry gorilla who doesn't even *need* a knife. Gotta keep the audience happy!
[User Picture]From: ghastlycomic
2006-01-27 08:23 am (UTC)

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I can see the angry gorilla standing there now shouting "Are you not entertained? Are you not entertained? Is this not why you are here?"
[User Picture]From: squidflakes
2006-01-27 09:06 am (UTC)

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That would be the fight promoter.
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]From: ghastlycomic
2006-01-28 03:41 am (UTC)

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Bweeeeeheheheheheheheeeeee! Love it!