It is done... not only is this review longer than the first PPGD review, it's also longer than the three reviews combined. And just as promised, no distractions this time. Now if you excuse me, I gotta rest for a while, I'm truly exhausted after writing this. Also, an apology for not properly responding everyone as I promised.
Well, my review has received both praise and hate, but I guess the general consensus is that I rushed the PPGD section just to watch Die Hard. I said it in the past, and I'll say it again, it was meant to be something trivial, I had no idea it would have such a negative impact, and much less that it would force me to do a second review. But seriously, think about it from my perspective, I just spent 4 straight hours in this review, you think I want to make the last, and perhaps the most important part of my review ('cause we all love PPGD) worthless? Lose all my credibility as a critic while I'm at it? In fact, if I had not written that Die Hard would start in 30 minutes, I doubt anyone would have a problem with my review, because all my points are still being addressed. I still find it odd that such a crucial part of the job depends on a robot with mental retardation, that the villains decided to execute their plan with Super Heroes in the conference, find Bell extremely boring in the fight, hate the fact that we can't focus only in Blossom or Dexter to save the audience some time, and especially the fact that we need a page where a M.I.B. agent gives the girls some glasses.
You do understand that this comic's update schedule means we have to warp some of the pacing to give people a lot of things per page, so each and every page has multiple things that can be sought out by the fans, right? If you look back, very few pages were dedicated to either transition or plot singularly. I can think of one outright boring page that everyone agreed was boring, but I knew about that as we went INTO the page. No, I won't say which one it is.
My point is with this, I'm going to note to you in your moment to moment critiques the lens by which I've made the decisions I've made + the decisions (as far as I can tell) made by Bleed himself.
But again, I believe I disappointed everyone with that last segment, so I have decided that the only way to compensate you all is to make a second PPGD review, "biggerer and betterer" than the previous one, and this time with no distractions at all, unless you guys consider music a distraction... oh, wait, I love this part of the song! Nahhh, just kidding, that's what I love about videogames music, it can be relaxing, and most of the time they lack of lyrics, so I can focus on what I'm writing. So, let's jump in, shall we?
I'm ready to suffer.
PPGD Second Saga Review
So the first saga ended back in September 11, 2005, with Olga in the remains of Mandark's base. Then Bleedman decided to make a segment called The Forgotten in 2006, but completely abandoned the comic to focus on Grim Tales (back when I liked it). We would not see another update until 2008, but things were different. This time, it wasn't Bleedman alone, he would receive help from a writer (BeeAre), and a talented artist with great coloring skills was also involved (Seiryuga), so things were pretty promising. However, this new update was about the Forgotten, the real PPGD storyline officially continued in March 15, 2009.
Right, and make note of all the characters and ideas that were already in the story, that I couldn't just post a news update one day that said: "These characters that I don't think are currently useful to the story? We're just getting rid of them." There's the second justification, and I'll be bringing it up with the first one, too. These points I'll make I will very rapidly refer to by number.
So it all starts with Dexter fighting that pink monster from the cartoon, again. Too bad he is no match for it, and even with all his weapons, he is pretty much doomed. But fear not, Blossom, Bubbles and Buttercup have arrived to save the day. I liked this page because it was a wise reference to the cartoon, hell, while Dexter is being consumed by the monster, he says the exact same thing he said in the cartoon (I think), so yes, I understand that most of the comedy in this comic is based on nostalgia and obvious references to the cartoons. So again, great start, I liked it, 5 pages I enjoyed. They defeat that monster, save Dexter from falling, and return to school, pretty simple, right?
Absolutely simple! This is justification three, nostalgia. So we see 1 and 3 here.
Another reason I liked the introduction of this second saga is because it sets the tone correctly, a lighthearted comic with all the cartoons we all loved back in the past. Oh... wait... Dee Dee died in the last saga, which was a pretty dark segment in the story. Well, still, it's a comic for all ages, and again, it includes all those cartoons we all loved in our childhood, so it sets the tone for the comic pretty well.
It does set the tone well--and you'll notice as it progresses, I have to keep evoking that tone.
I want everyone to look at this page: Link
Another great page because it's faithful to the source material, not to mention it saves us some time. Blossom is sitting with Dexter, Buttercup with all those girls, and Bubbles with Mandy and Gaz, so things haven't changed. Also, you can clearly see Billy and Ed, are they the center of attention? Of course not, they are only cameos in the page.
I would like to point out that this opening shot is not merely a demonstration of the tone and theme, but acts as an umbrella shot for the progression of this chapter--Dealing with normal life again, so we can build back to the intense stuff far down the road.
In the next page they introduce Olga, and judging by that cloud over her head, she's pretty pissed. Gaz and Mandy don't like her because she used to sit with them, and then abandoned them and became the best dancer at Megaville Elementary School. Bubbles is quite excited, and Olga offers her a chance to join her at the auditorium. At this point I still liked the comic.
So Bubbles forces Blossom to join her at the ballet try-outs. While she accepts (I mean, she tried out that ballet dress), Dexter isn't feeling to well, mostly because ballet reminds him of Dee Dee. It's a pretty sad moment because some scars never heal, especially when our family is involved. Just as Blossom and Dexter leave, Olga identifies him, and the lights go out. Is this a coincidence? I'll answer that in a moment. So Blossom and Dexter still want to leave, but Olga starts demanding for a genius to repair the lights, as they constantly go out. To be fair, I really didn't notice this the first time, I simply assumed that the lights truly went out, and Olga simply asked for help, which caught Dexter's attention and decided to act out of character and help her. When I wrote my first review, I wasn't aware that it was Olga the one responsible for the blackout and wanted Dexter's assistance. And yes, she is the one responsible for the blackout, because when she says that the lights are constantly failing, Bubbles says that the lights look pretty Ok, but Olga insists that's not the case, and they need someone's help. Not to mention you can see that huge exclamation mark on her head when she notices Dexter.
So by admitting that I was wrong the first time, is my whole review wrong? Well, not exactly, if anything, it reinforces my point of how pointless this whole scene was. To begin with, it pretty much ruins the emotional tone of the page. Dexter is sad, but by having a character in need for a Boy Genius, he completely forgets about Dee Dee, about the tragic past. If that was the case, then why bother setting the sad tone in this scene and have Dexter just sitting there, waiting for Blossom? You might also think that she wanted Dexter for a certain task, maybe just to tell him her last name so that he made the connection between Mandark and Olga, but I can't help but think "what if?". Let's explore this scenario carefully, shall we?
Ah, now for my first defense. What you call pointless, I call tension-breaking. Dexter was sad, this is true, but Dexter in the original series goes out of his way frequently to get rid of bad feelings quickly by redirecting his attention. If you really want, I'll go out of my way and find you multiple times in the various episodes. So it's not only in-character funny reaction for Dexter, but it serves to develop Olga. Olga is capable of planning, she has insight into Dexter because of her insight into Mandark.
1. What if Blossom didn't go with Dexter to the backstage? How would Olga tell him her last name? Just shouting it while he is upstairs? Wait, I guess not, as it's plain evident that Dexter can't hear anyone. Seriously, look at Blossom's speech balloon when he is upstair, you can't read a thing, so it's obvious that Dexter wouldn't hear her.
Are we really going to consider what-ifs?
2. What if Blossom forgot her last name?
3. What if they weren’t in the mood of talking about Olga, and just focused in the lights and the science project.
"Fortunately" none of this happens, [/quote]
fortunately has nothing to do with a story--Deus Ex Machina is a way of not letting us get caught up in those details that would slow down the theme of the story, which was the tension of the girls' every day lives against a backdrop of the audience understanding that the stakes are being raised off screen.
But let's let you go on, so I can explain to you why your criticism here is still not an example of you actually thinking through the process of the story--the goals I've got to keep in mind even as I make each and every line for every panel of every page.
Olga, Blossom and Dexter go to the backstage and... wait? What? Oh yeah, that huge explosion, was there a bomb? Was Olga planning to kill Dexter by placing a bomb there? Wait, I guess not, she's in a very vulnerable position and could be caught in the middle of the explosion, unless she is planning to avenge her brother at all cost, but... ughhh... maybe I'm just putting a lot of thought into this, but seriously, that whole scene was just pointless from my point of view. Nothing happened and Dexter went out of character thanks to his ego.
Okay check this out: If Olga is capable of faking a black-out, she is also capable of considering information being withheld the right way. By telling Blossom, and not Dexter, she lets it come up more naturally for the two of them--and Dexter is doing a legitimate service, made apparent by the very explosion that you consider pointless. So we learn what Olga, Bubbles, Blossom, and Dexter are all doing in the "normal" point of their lives leading up to the big fight at the science fair.
I ask again, why bother setting the emotional tone if you guys are going to ignore it immediately, and why bother having Olga asking for Dexter?
because they're not the only characters in the story who have emotions or individual story arcs that need to be discussed. This is Powerpuff Girls D, Dexter is tied to Blossom, Olga is tied to Bubbles, and now we need to move to Buttercup. Olga wants to keep Dexter around, if she goes through the trouble of planning to keep him in an area where she can always access him, AND she wants him to naturally discover her to be Mandark's sister. Looks like she's pretty smart.
Just because we needed Blossom to learn Olga's last name? Then why bother setting the whole emotional tone to begin with? Because Bubbles looks like Dee Dee? Is this even relevant to the plot? Oh wait, I guess it is because Dexter makes a comment when Bubbles is fighting against those robot bugs in the conference, but if that's the case, is that even relevant to the fight? Did you guys were discussing back in 2008 - 2009 and someone came to the conclusion that it would be cool if very early in this second saga Dexter made a connection between Dee Dee and Bubbles, and then in the middle of the fight that would occur MUCH LATER he would make this connection again? WHY?!? What will this achieve?!?
See, most of your criticisms seem to be you not really being patient. Each question is questioning the motives of the characters as if the characters' motives are something that can just be summarized and wrapped up in neat tidy packages, but that's not how any story with compelling characters is ever made. Blossom needed to learn Olga's name so she could tell Dexter, the emotional tone was established because Dexter being sad that Dee-Dee is dead is a parallel to Olga's brother being dead. Dexter is making this reference to Bubbles in the present because this is a CHANGE from what happened when he made the connection earlier.
He's not sad, this time, see, he realizes in the midst of this stressful emergency that Bubbles being like Dee Dee is not a BAD thing, when it WAS, before. What changed? Several things, including his knowledge of first Olga as an idea, and then her as a person.
So, WHY!? WHAT WILL THIS ACHIEVE?!
Bubbles and Dexter being able to interact in the story in a new way, so that their friendship can introduce even more new situations to the story.
There. Question answered.
Ok, that whole act is finally over, we can finally proceed to a different segment, this time it's Buttercup and Jack in the Kendo class. Since I'm starting from zero again, I decided not to include any argument from BR in this new post, but I will make an exception this time:
Buttercup becoming MORE enamored by Jack is not a change? Buttercup realizing Jack looks like her father? And this is not in some way useful to approaching her character? Do people change really easily? Do you want the characters to, every two pages, kill off a character so we can have eternal bounding angst?
Enamored is defined like this: "To inspire with love; captivate". We all know that Buttercup has a crush on Jack, but we all see this as platonic, it will never happen. If you actually see this as a possible relationship for both characters, then yes, you are wrong.
Hey, wow, you're right, it won't work! So Buttercup became MORE enamored by Jack--right up until she finally realized how similar Jack is to the Professor. Now she's got to digest his teachings through another filter--the filter of her not being able to be enamored by Jack as she was because of how weird the similarity is.
Is this truly a useful approach for her character? It might be character development, there’s no doubt about that, but there are two problems with it, this was established in the first saga, we know all we need to know about these two and their “relationship”, and even if this is character development, it ends up being pretty unimportant because there’s a huge difference between “love” and “teachings”.
Buttercup's development can't happen efficiently--it's precisely because it's scattered that it fits Buttercup's brash handling of the world.
I believe you want to establish that what really matters is what Jack will teach to Buttercup, but this is not the best way to do it.
you're absolutely right, so i am glad i am not doing that.
So again, let’s analyze this scene, Buttercup is in the Kendo class, and beats the living shit out of every character present (Chowder, Jimmy, Flapjack), so Jack stops her, finds her attitude unacceptable, and demands Professor Utonium to go and talk with him. How is this supposed to teach Buttercup that being calmed and collected is a better solution than using brute force?
It doesn't--but Jack is a teacher in a school now, so he's got to follow procedure and get the parents involved. He's following the rules that a teacher WOULD follow. This is not strange.
How about Jack asking for volunteers to fight against him, Buttercup decides to fight against him, and she is no match for the man.
Because Buttercup at the time wouldn't be able to fight him, she was still crushing too hard. When the action dies back down now, I do actually plan to have Jack fight Buttercup in Kendo Class, at least briefly, but we were not and did not waste time making pages about this fight, because it didn't make sense for a school club, and the pages would be about Buttercup simply NOT fighting Jack, because that wouldn't teach her anything. Not while she had such a crush on him.
For additional evidence I submit Buttercup's crush on Ace of the Gangreen Gang in the actual show. Her crush made her attention and focus shrink, and only when a very large and obviously bad thing happened to her would she be able to rethink her emotions.
Jack then explains her all the flaws in her technique, and that’s it. Pretty simple, we just avoided watching Buttercup trying science and cooking because this is a direct message from her Sensei, and being unable to match her opponent’s skills, it is obvious that she has a lot to learn.
Jack's speech is actually said at the beginning of the class. At the end of the speech, he explains how he knows everyone will do well. The speech itself is being interlayed on top of what actually happened in the class, and how Buttercup was not fulfilling Jack's expectations.
Anyways, so Jack receives Utonium at his office, and I gotta be honest, did you actually expected us to think that Jack looking like Utonium would have an effect on Buttercup? It was a pretty intelligent reference, because both characters have lots of similarities, but other than that, it's far from important in the story, it's just a joke.
No, it's not. Sorry. I'm going to be focusing on that more and more, because Buttercup's crush has to be broken, and this is one of the major ways it's going to happen. Sorry! It's not just a joke.
So Bubbles is still in the ballet try-outs, and Blossom reveals Olga's last name, much to Dexter's surprise, and the chapter ends.
Perhaps I was a bit too harsh in my first review towards this chapter, so I decided to check the FIRST CHAPTER of PPGD and see what went wrong. To begin with, the first chapter establishes that the Powerpuff Girls are no longer in Townsville, which implies that a new chapter in their lives will begin. When they introduce themselves as Super Heroes, everyone laughs at them, so again, they aren't famous like they were in Townsville. Dexter introduces himself and fights against Buttercup. Being no match for him (mostly because he caught her off guard), Blossom and Bubbles help her and they start a fight. I guess Dexter is victorious, however, Jack appears just in time and tells them to stop this. Before the chapter closes, we get to see Professor X and Bell. Notice that they are in the roof, where no one can see them, and thanks to his overall evil design, and the fact that there is a giant armed robot with him, it establishes that they are the villains, and he has knowledge of the Powerpuff Girls. I may be giving Bleedman too much credit, but this is a great introduction because he presents the four main characters in the story, establishes a completely new setting with characters from different cartoons, and at the same time introduces the villains, both Professor X and Bell.
Okay, I suppose. I don't have much opinion on the very beginning of the story.
In this new chapter of PPGD, although faithful to the original first saga, it's pretty much the exact same. If I have to be honest, the only "important" aspect in the story so far is Olga's introduction, the rest is pretty much the same we saw back in the first saga, only a bit more boring because they gave a lot of focus to certain sections that didn't really deserve it, and we already know all the main characters, but again, this is only the first chapter, the calm before the storm. Pretty calmed... eh?
There is a difference, however, in establishing shots of characters, and establishing how the lives of characters change and develop over time. The changes are subtle and small at first, but they begin to shift the paradigm in a way that makes the cumulative effect much more drastic, and in my opinion, making the changes proceed in an exponential way makes every actual action eventually made more powerful, because the audience relates not with a simple caricature, but a complete personality that engages readers at multiple levels.
I'm sorry that you think it's JUST mundanity, but this comic has more goals than to be JUST exciting in terms of fights and actions. We're also dealing with the less epic scale (but equally important IMHO) of emotions and growth.
So, after almost 5 years, Bell finally appears! Applause!
So she's in the moon with Gir, and receive a message from Professor X. There's a giant sand clock, which Bell must activate. I guess they are testing a weapon, or maybe they are already executing part of the plan. Whatever the case is, this seems pretty important, Bell activates that giant sand clock with the voice command, hides, and we get to see a giant fucking explosion... or something. Whatever it was, it was pretty big, and then the sand clock disappears. Bell lost the space suits, and asks Gir to find them. We get a series of flashbacks that show how Bell really feels thanks to the fact that she lacks of friends. I thought Gir was more than enough... I don't know, maybe Mandark visited her or something when he was alive, and now that he is gone, she is truly alone. Would prefer a flashback of Bell with Mandark instead. Suddenly, Naga appears and offers his friendship, or something.
Well, would Gir really be enough for a lonely kid with the power Bell has? I suppose it depends on the person, and since I'm writing this person, I say no. Ta-da!
Actually, I got a funny story in here. Decided to watch Seiryuga UStreaming, and he was reading my review while chatting with me. Well, at least the Sugar Bits and the PPGD review. I remember mentioning Naga as a Mary Sue pretty early in the review, so I was kinda of nervous about his reaction towards this accusation. Seriously, I even told him "sorry for saying that, didn't meant to offend you", and expected the worst. He was actually pretty nice, and while he defended his character, we had a good time discussing. So, is Naga a Mary Sue? I'll deal with this in a moment, we got a story to criticize in here.
Well, that's exciting!
So Naga introduces himself, is curious about Gir, and Bell immediately attacks him. Naga is behind her and praises her attack, but not before Bell attacks him again. Naga is once again behind her, unharmed, and finally presents himself. Bell doesn't cares about him, but he then gives her the lost spacesuit. She finally communicates with Professor X, Gir throws a rock towards Naga's head, but the rock just passes through his head, and Bell freaks out. Alright, now we can start talking about Naga.
So when the character was introduced, it received much hate from the fans, but why? Well, I can only blame it on his horrible introduction.
Funnily enough, this was insistence on both Bleedman and Seiryuga, and not great, I agree, but certainly not unworkable or horrible. And if Bleedman and Seir hadn't gotten so angry at each other, some of this chapter would have proceeded differently, potentially having Naga in more of it, beginning to explain some of his importance earlier than it has to be now because of Seir being "backstabbed" (as he puts it) by Bleedman. >_>
So weirdly, Naga is halfway to Justification 2, written in without me, as it were.
So Bell just activated this giant fucking thing in the moon, and is sad. The character appears out of nowhere, which is not a good signal, especially if we just happen to be in the moon, and despite the fact that he got attacked by Bell (a character who is far superior than Blossom) TWICE, he is unharmed. In fact, you could even say he is toying with Bell. Just read the dialogue:
Naga: That's awfully impressive, but don't you think--
Bell: HOW DID YOU DO THAT?!
Naga: I didn't...
"I didn't"? WHAT?!? How can you do that and at the same time don't... oh God, I need a beer.
Again, this universe is full of things that are strange and fantastical, and it really does look simply like that because it is not immediately explained to you, you are upset that it doesn't make sense.
A spin on justification one, here. If a character appears and does something, it's not likely that, if there are enough things going on, that an explanation will be immediately offered that is completely satisfying. Or, since this comic's been planned over years and years and years, not much of one at all, because it's not necessary--Bell as a character is more important here, and Naga is just another facilitator of her development, from sudden introduction to future subsequent actions.
Remember that there was a teaser with him and her on a broken tank in the snow? Something like that will still be happening.
So anyways, he introduces himself with quite a fancy title, something that might be important in the character's respective universe, but in here it's just some information I just don't care about, but I assume that by the fancy title he is royalty or something, and then gives Bell the spacesuit she just lost. Gir kicks a rock and this rock passes through his head, again, he is left unharmed. Can anyone please tell me a flaw in his character? Again, he can easily dodge Bell's attacks, is a pretty nice kid, and is invincible. "Invincible you say? Just because a rock didn't harm him?". Well, that's pretty much the purpose of the scene, otherwise, why would Gir kick the rock? Is he a ghost? Is he even real? Again, I wouldn't blame it on the fans for the lukewarm reception Naga received, and more in the way he was introduced. Why not have Bell like in a military base, checking the moon, we see a giant explosion and she tells her father that the device has been activated, then Naga appears. She doesn't attacks him, he simply introduces himself, Bell is forced to leave and that's it? It wouldn't establish so many positive aspects from Naga, you know, like in this teaser:Link
I'll say that he isn't a Mary Sue because at this moment, he isn't important for the story (at least right now), and his appearance is more like something random. But again, the character is way too perfect for his own sake, main reason almost everyone hated him back in 2010. I still don't like him, and seriously hope that in his next appearance he is toned down, and we can see him in a more vulnerable position. Don't want to sound impatient or anything, but at this point in the story I'm already bored, as nothing is really happening.
i hate to repeat myself, but you just sound too excited over what you expect this comic to be. If you were around before my joining the team, you'd be surprised to see that a few people on the forums before these, and in fansites for PpG all around the web in the day, also had your opinion, but that the vast majority of people's response to this particular critique is "just wait. it's a web-comic. it'll be explained as it goes on"
like, the consistency of this as an issue in your criticisms is what has previously made me not treat it very seriously, despite the obvious effort you've decided to put into it--you're not applying much in the way of critical thinking, and that's something that i like to do, even in my writing, like say for instance in comic script writing. yeesh. -_-
Oh, yeah, forgot about Bell's melancholy in the moon. Is this even relevant to the plot? While I offered a better solution towards those flashbacks which I just found odd, I can't help but feel that her character being sad was just pointless. Not only don't we explore this again, in her second and current appearance in the story, she's only there to execute Professor's X operation. He said something about Doomsday, so I guess it's pretty big. But I gotta stress, why bother developing a character if that won't matter in the story. I'm not even sure if you guys understand that even if you develop a character, it can end up as random and unimportant in the end. In fact, we could skip that whole emotional moment and introduce Naga immediately, and we wouldn't feel any difference. In fact, we could skip the whole operation in the moon, and I sure as hell wouldn't feel anything is missing in the plot.
Well, see, the more time you spend on a character, the more important that character should be, because that means the character is being your representative of the themes you want the audience to experience.
I believe that there's a TVTropes page on this, and of a particular sub-variation that works as a learning example of this. It's on how in video games if you character, that character is clearly more important than a character named "Town Guard #2".
We have returned to Earth, and both Jack and Utonium have decided that it would be the best if Buttercup takes care of Courage. Again... why? The only important piece of information I got from this whole scene is when Blossom tells her sisters that Dexter was a different person after they met Olga. This actually is something pretty important, because, while you ruined a pretty emotional moment back in the auditorium, this could easily fix it by not making it a flashback, and actually have a scene where Blossom leaves Dexter at his place and he leaves without saying "bye" or anything. I mean, at least I find it more important than Buttercup being forced to watch over Courage. Ironically, the fans also find themselves as a part of Buttercup's punishment because we are forced to see her in ridiculous outfits, trying a new hobby in order to calm her stress. Couldn't Bleedman just try some fanart of this and post it in his DeviantArt, and keep it separated from the main plot? I gotta stress, why is this important to the plot? Other than the fanart, can anyone take this seriously? At this point I'm actually getting pretty impatient because all the story elements introduced seem to be highly unrelated to each other, and overall unimportant.
Why is it important? Justifications 1 and 3: Unreliable schedule means even the more boring parts of the story have to be explored in an entertaining way so that fans continue to visit the site for regular updates; nostalgia from these characters' actions in their actual shows.
This is a fan comic. A nice fan comic. But it's still a fan comic. So we're satisfying the demands of the audience by having funny things happen as well as having dramatic things happen. I'm sorry if that seems boring to you.
Also, character development, and the setting up of getting all the characters where they need to be when they need to be in a natural and smooth way.
I'll keep in mind in the future that you would prefer a faster feel to the progression of different story arcs. I'm not sure what your demographic is though, lol.
I would like to remind you though, that if you're bored because of the action happening also, that really, your main problem with this comic lies in your ability to deal with the horrendous stretch on the pacing because of the infrequent updating.
Again, I'll have to carefully explore one of the moments I hate the most in this second saga, the picnic in the beach. So everyone thinks it's a good idea to go to the beach and relax, you know, because they couldn't do something as simple as this Link
You hate this because presumably it's pointless, right? You don't get a satisfying result, right?
Oh no, if you thought the first chapter of this new saga was slow, just wait for this! I think this is the right moment to talk about Olga, because at this point I'm actually tired of her. So I talked with Seir, and he told me that including Olga in this saga was essential, something I agree with. Why is she essential you ask? Well, at the end of the first saga, you can clearly see her in the remains of Mandark's base, so it pretty much establishes that she will have an important role in this second saga. The main problem with this is that her character has nothing to offer in this story. She is just a talented dancer, THAT'S IT. She doesn't wants to avenge her brother, so far they haven't attempted to make a love triangle between Dexter, Olga and Blossom, so again, why have her in the story? Just because she appeared at the end of the first saga? Well, if that's the case why not put some thought into her character? I said it in the past and I will fucking repeat it, you could literally replace Olga with any other character from any cartoon, and it would have little to no impact in the story. So what if we skip Dexter's emotional scenes after he learns her last name? Do those scenes have an effect in the story?
Why is she essential? She was put in before I was here, so I had to use her. That's justification 2 again.
Nothing to offer? I disagree with that, especially considering I actually know what will happen. 8D
So far, we haven't attempted the love triangle. So far. Why have her in the story? Because I had to have her, and now I am making her work in a way that I think a lot of the fans will like.
Teran, I don't want to be a dick, but I'm pretty smart. I put some thought into her character. It's a little insulting to me, see, that your main problem is that the story is slow, so you have questions about the story that would be answered by just waiting and seeing. that's really the thing i've taken away so far: try to figure out what to offer you and people like you on each page so you can retain your patience in the future. :\
No, she couldn't be any other character, because she was Olga when Bleedman put her in. She can't turn into another one magically unless Bleedman wants to go back and edit every page and line of dialogue with the exact same injokes and justifications and likes and dislikes and presidpositions and--No, it has to be Olga.
We won't skip Dexter's emotional scars, emotional scars are a potential part of what makes the scenes you like (presumably faster paced scenes) as gripping and tense as they are.
Yes, those scenes do have an impact on the story. Just not as much of an immediately obvious visual one as of today.
Has anyone watched Ricky 1? It's a pretty lame parody movie of Rocky (duhhh), you can actually see the AVGN review in here Link
But if you are too busy having a life, I will resume the whole review to you, it's a horrible movie with many cheap jokes and that most of the movie has nothing to do with Rocky. Now, I'm not saying that this comic is horrible... well, I hate it this second saga, but by no means I'm saying it's the worst thing I've seen in my life.
Anyways, near the end of the movie, it finally starts resembling Rocky, we finally get a training montage, a fight, hell, there's even a theme song. But at this point, I no longer care about the movie, I gave up a long time ago (quoting the AVGN). I can pretty much see myself in his position, because at this point, I no longer care about Olga. You can blame it on the slow updates, but the real flaw is how horribly paced this story is
no, dude, the update schedule is what controls the pacing. i'm not kidding, bleedman has literally told me to try and make each page interesting in its own right, and i understand why: because updating only a few times a month makes a normally paced story abysmal when presented in the same format that we've got.
So we compromised, and have come up with something that is moderately entertaining on each day of its release, so that despite the stretch of the pacing, people can enjoy it day by day.
It's really short-sighted of you to not even try to grasp the notion of this.
and how they decided to make the story long and quite fucking boring. Oh, and because I'm saying "fucking boring", I don't mean it as a personal offense, but I like to express myself this way.
you like to express yourself in a personally offensive way. I see, that's never going to be misinterpreted by anyone. -_-
Hell, most of the first part in my review lacked of any swearing, I need a fucking break! Perhaps the worst thing in this trip to the beach is that we don't receive any closure, was there any purpose to it?
yup! sorry, but bleedman and dmajor and even seiryuga since he was still around at that point all agreed that we shouldn't offer too much closure on that scene since it was mid-way through the chapter with not enough structural room to focus on the other characters if we really went through with it. Too much going on with everyone to give it too much focus!
There might be a purpose to it, but in the current circumstances, I doubt it has any effect on us. Seriously, we are in the middle of a fight, so what could we achieve by finally closing (2 years late) this part of the comic? The love triangle they teased on that poster? Wait, is the story actually going to continue AFTER the conference fight?
Yes, it is.
So Mandy and Bubbles are discussing different versions of what truly happened in the beach, leaving the audience wondering, and then Dib appears. He asks for Bubbles' help because Gaz is out of batteries. I can only assume he was responsible for this, and now is paying the consequences of it. But fear not, XJ-9 is here to rescue the day. She gives Gaz a pair of batteries, and Bubbles uses expository dialogue to explain the audience XJ-9's role in this universe. While this is something acceptable in both movies and comics, I still find her introduction way longer than it should be (seriously? a robot version of Bubbles?).
Bleedman wanted to draw it, so he did. Jenny is a character that a lot of people like, and wanted brought back from before I was brought on, so we did, and we got a lot of people who were excited that they got to see her. :)
So Bubbles is incredibly excited because it appears that Jenny is world famous, and invites her home. I guess I judged her introduction unfairly, as it serves as an excuse to present Mrs. Wakeman, and at the same time they explain that she is being honored, which pretty much sets the whole conference conflict. But I insist, did XJ-9 needs an introduction?
and i insist, yes she did, because she is popular with bubbles. Bubbles, by the way, is representative of a large part of Bleedman's audience, excited kids seeing their favorite characters from different TV shows in one story. It also makes them sad when Jenny gets mind-controlled.
Literally, her only purpose in the story is to be used as a gate so that all the bad guys get an entrance. No, she does not need an introduction.
If it were true that being a portal was the only thing she'll do in this story, you'd be right. Since it isn't, you aren't. Sorry.
Especially if this conference is to honor Mrs. Wakeman, I mean, it's kinda of obvious that Jenny would be there for her mother, so seriously, what gives? You want to make her role a bit more tragic? For a character you just introduced? O...k?
Jenny is a very popular character. She's just under the Rowdyruff Boys on the list of characters that the fans asked to see again. So I've given her a bigger role that does not END as the portal on the stage. Since she has more to do, she got an introduction.
Seriously, she’s just a plot device, even if she survives this whole invasion, she shouldn’t have an introduction, at least not this long, and much less in Megaville Elementary? How about a proper introduction in the conference, while Wakeman is being honored? I… I just… ughhh… why?
Look, I hate to break it to you, but every single character is a plot device. They are all collections of emotional analogs that audiences respond to by relating the emotions that they feel with the ones ascribed to these characters.
We like having fun moments in the story, references, gags, the like. This story is not just a singular dark thing. It is also capable of being light and interesting. Not exactly slice-of-life, but maybe situational comedy and nostalgia.
You really don't seem to get how stories on the internet these days don't always follow the conventions that have come before them, and it isn't always a detriment to the experience as a general trend.
Again, I said I was going to avoid quoting BR, but I'll make a second exception.
a sound rule that you feel you have to break whenever you finally find something specific enough to articulate against.
The ballet, the science fair, Buttercup's cooking, all of these things were picked by design to offer the characters different thematic reasons for attending this big science meet. That's what the chapter was doing--setting up the characters' positions at this meet.
I don't want to sound rude, but did we seriously had to endure ALL THAT to set the characters in this conference?
Yes. Yes, we did. Each circumstance we find the characters in that allows us an opportunity to play with them, and thus provide more individual page material for the readers, is a circumstance we will generally exploit.
Guess I was wrong in the end, these stories were truly related in the end, too bad that it took over a year to place them in here, and in the end, all the stuff we saw has nothing to do with the fight itself.
Nothing? Are you sure? Bubbles can dance now, which ties into Dexter seeing her again. Dealing with Olga has made it so that Dexter seeing Bubbles as another DeeDee is NOT a bad thing. The strain between Dexter and Blossom that has appeared has brought a general malaise over Blossom, and it will only intensify as the story proceeds. Jack complemented Buttercup before the fight, and then Samantha attacking him made her go to begin fighting again. Rather than no progress being made, a baby step was made of Buttercup trying to determine for herself what it meant to fight--Fortunately, with Jack owning one of the robots, she has permission, as it were, so she doesn't actually have to be that graceful. That's good, because that means we still have more than one story arc for Buttercup after the fight.
Olga and Bubbles on the dance troupe were central from Olga mentioning that the dance troupe existed. Like. Oog. I'm on my vicodin, now. It's kicking in literally as I write this. Suffice it to say, plenty of it has to do with the fight--the presentation of comedy might feel to you like a slowing down of the pacing, but to people who want to enjoy each page to the fullest, the extra stuff serves as a speed up, not a speed down. You'll notice how we position dialogue bubbles in some pages can be muddled or slightly fucked with sometimes? That's because of compromises I've made with Bleedman when we can't seem to make certain structural positioning of the dialogue work. Thankfully that's a rare snag. The worst one is funnily enough in the opening Dexter vs the Pink Monster segment.
And shit, if the parents of these characters are hosting the event, why not save us some time and have their kids assisting the event because their parents told them to? You know, instead of placing all these highly unrelated stories in the same place for no apparent reason other than "it works!".
If the apparent reason is "it works!", then all the angles OF it working work, too. The decision that we made was to give some "down-time" on the adventuring aspect of these heroes after the fight with Mandark, to return it to the school-life theme, only this time, we'd actually explore that, with lots of implications of things going on behind the scenes, like a LOT, a LOT, and I mean a LOT of kids to young adult mediums, from live-action dramas to anime. Exploring the mundanities of life as you apparently see them is not always mundane to people who have respect for how the characters reflect the emotions they might feel in their every day lives, despite having super powers.
Extraordinary powers do not necessarily mean constantly extraordinary days.
Jenny is there, Bubbles is her fan so if Jenny told her to go, I can assure you she would. The Science fair is being hosted in the same place, so it also makes sense that Blossom and Dexter assist (notice that this was established when the second saga started), and Buttercup could be there, just chilling. Instead... we got this...
A complex and interconnected weaving of the dramatic tension between the various stories that are all as valid as one another with a minimal compromise of the details of that dramatic tension while at the same time providing humor and nostalgia interspersed between the subdued progression of the narrative that is ultimately satisfying to thousands upon thousands of people.
So Samantha is in the conference with Gir, obviously planning something. I insist, a crucial part of the plan depends on Gir? You know, a robot with mental retardation who usually screws everything up?
You really don't think that Gir's relationship with Bell could help? Or that all these villainous types, half of which ARE robots, and the other half of which are scientific geniuses, couldn't be altered or adjusted in some way to be more reliable? Do you really want me to SLOW DOWN THE NARRATIVE MORE AND EXPLAIN HOW GIR IS LESS OF AN IDIOT? Seems counter intuitive to your other claims.
And the villains are counting on him to put that device on Jenny and activate a portal which will be their entrance? *sigh* Whatever. So the portal opens, and these giant robots and Bell are the first ones to exit it. They immediately attack everyone. No negotiations, no nothing, that robot shot missiles straight at the audience for no apparent reason, I guess they are allowed to shoot first and ask questions later. You could also say that... wait a second... is that Mimi? What the fuck is she doing in this comic?!? Ahhh fuck it, I have more important things to look at than just a mindless cameo.
Cameos are fun! Hooray!
As I was saying, they attack the audience immediately, no negotiations or anything. Some robot yells that the Cluster needs both Victims, Slaves and Food. But it is obvious that they must use a smaller version of the Sand Clock Bomb for... something. I gotta stress, imagine that the whole moon sequence never existed, would it have an effect in the story so far?
The moon sequence, if it had never happened, would mean that this fight would never happen. The bat robot guy reminds Bell that she was on the moon, so she knows that the bomb works. Dr. X's conversations with Bell on the moon confirm with this that the bomb on the moon was a test, and that this bomb is being used for its actual purpose.
So. Yes. It would have an effect.
I'm still wondering what's the purpose of that device, not to mention they could use some expository dialogue of how they already used it in the moon, saving us some time. To this moment, Bell's melancholy and Naga's appearance are so unrelated to the story, it pains me to think those scenes were actually written in a script and in storyboards.
Well, they have a purpose, and are useful, and have done their job, so. It doesn't pain me, and I'm a guy who is on narcotics for pain, so I think I can speak with some knowledge on that.
A comic is a visual medium. You try to not make the story as verbal as it is visual. That means what you show and what you DON'T show.
I shall now number the subsequent questions.
1 Also, I gotta stress, why do it when all these characters are present? 2Professor X is aware of the Powerpuff Girls, so why not do it a day before the conference?3 Is that a bomb?4 Will it explode, killing all the humans in here?5 Then why plant it when there are so many factors that could interfere in this moment? 6Are they going to steal something? I ask you the exact same question. 7Was it a coincidence and they had to do it the exact same day?
It distresses me that you're so insistent about figuring out the plot like this, because a comic as a visual medium explains words slowly, but okay, sure, I'll try and give you some plot answers here, even though I don't think that you are being very balanced in your criticisms to insist upon both answers and action--exposition and heightened tension are usually, not always sure but usually, separate parts of stories, and this story does not try to make major exception yet.1
Bad guys with confidence can be subtle while they're not being subtle. Dr. X (not professor, that's the marvel character lol) has sent them in because they were going to get into a fight, and if you know you're going to get into a fight, you shoot first. Han Solo Rule Number One. Notice the big beetle robot cracking a hole in the door, and the army of MIB who show up to fight him and Bell.2
Give the heroes targets to save, and cause a distraction.3
Yes, of sorts.4
It will explode. Automatically assuming instant death for EVERYONE? :[5
Because by following through at this time, Dr. X is implicating that he's aware of every single one of those factors. Is he right? 6
Samantha and Bell have stolen some things, but the major intent of this attack is to distract from the detonation of the bomb.7
No, it was not a coincidence. They did it on this day specifically because XJ-9 was there, and once they had her, they could shock and awe through the portal and cause trouble very quickly, letting Bell go with the Beetle downstairs even as most of the problems are upstairs.
Then how about this? Kidnap XJ-9 or get another robot who can also open the portal, start the invasion in another place expecting little to no resistance so that the Super Heroes leave the conference and fight the Cluster over there, and have Bell fight on her own in the conference against the M.I.B. agents, in the end, they are no match for her. But for whatever reason, no thought was put into this, and they decided that we needed this huge battle. Great job Professor X, you sacrificed being a good father for this, and forgot the most important part of it, EXPECT NO RESISTANCE AT ALL!
you started this paragraph with "how about this?" Well, to answer you: No.
Secondarily, I put a lot of thought into it, stop fucking saying that, thanks.
So. Yeah. Dr. X has so far, done exactly what he's aimed to do. So your sarcastic complement can be taken unironically. :\
So Bell and that robot guy are talking, and Olga hears their conversation. They notice her presence, and the Cluster robot, or whatever he is, is about to kill her. I guess she wasn't a villain after all, but again, this proves that I'm correct, and her character is just unnecessary in this story because she has nothing to offer.
Now, earlier, you said you needed to vent. I've not been mean to you up until this point. Once again, there is a single point in your post where we go from you actually reviewing and being respectful to you deciding that you're going to drop the level of discourse.
Since you've done this, I now feel no obligation to not join you, since, you know, I mentioned earlier that my vicodin kicked in midway through this response. :D
I've already fucking said she isn't unnecessary and has plenty to offer, and to hold your fucking horses, so we'll move on.
Ironically, I found the April's Fool prank you guys pulled on us way more interesting because at least if offered a new perspective and challenge to the characters. Much to my dismay, it was an actual prank, and the story continued.
it's funny because that one is also completely my idea, so, apparently it's just me being inconsistent since i can write great and bad things.
Why have Monkey in this fight? His appearance didn't change the tides of the fight, and to makes matter worse, he accepted that robot's challenge in the sky, so again, why is Monkey relevant to the fight? Oh, wait, it isn't.
Are you seriously continuing this "critique" on an ONGOING story? I didn't really mind some of your critiques on chapter 7, because there's been a cushion of pages to let the internal time of the comic progress, but this is getting a little ridiculous. We're still IN the story. Bleedman has specifically told me, honest to God, not to worry about pressing the pace down. He's said to me, make each page important, and don't worry about how many pages it takes to get to a certain point.
Now, believe me, I know that I have to try and get him to adhere to a sense of pacing, but sometimes I do agree with some of his statements, because you to judge the audience for every single new thing done. That's how storytelling works.
I mean, the referential humor especially clues you in that this comic's sense of humor and style are evolving and not consistent because of the update schedule, man. And it's not even THIS comic, it's every one of Bleedman's comics. On one of the LATEST Sugar Bits comics to date, there is a smart phone that has joke Apps that take up a lot of the page, for the sake of humor. Were the actual jokes a success? That's something that will vary by opinion, but the very presence of a smart phone is a sign that these comics evolve with the times.
Your criticisms are still off base, man, sorry, and as I continue further, you're getting, again, less and less patient or forgiving, and thus less useful as a critic. You said you'd sit down and take your time, but you got bored and emotional and decided you would speed through it and start yelling FUCK THIS and FUCK THAT.
Gets a little difficult for me as one of the people under scrutiny to take this whole thing as seriously as you perhaps ORIGINALLY intended it.
Notice that Dexter carries Olga and refuses to let her go, I can only assume something happened in the beach, but again, is this going to change the tides of the fight? Two more than vulnerable humans with no super powers trying to escape while the Super Heroes try to stop the villains. Why not focus on the Super Heroes?
Because normal people with emotions are easy for an audience to relate, and because we have to keep moving along different perspectives for different parts of the story.
So this fight is pretty boring because we still have no idea who the main character is. Wait, all of them? What?!? I've said it in the past, why not focus on a single character's perspective, in this case, Blossom?
because the name of this comic is Powerpuff Girls D, so all three girls must necessarily be represented--and beyond that, characters who tie into the individual girls have to be given time too, because they matter to the girls! Yeesh.
The fight starts, she immediately fights Bell, saves Olga, follows Bell, and the plot advances at A MUCH MORE ACCEPTABLE PACE.
I see. Notice how little the characters have to decide in this time.
Instead, we need to focus on Samantha against Jack, Monkey, Dexter, Olga, even Bell. Don't you guys know what priorities are?
Yes, I do, and they take priority once a character has made a decision. Don't you know what an ensemble cast is?
Oh, and I love how all the stuff that happened before the conference is completely irrelevant and far from important.
more like it's what made all this stuff happen at all and thus has all been leading up to it in a satisfying way because we understand the actions that caused all the various things and ideas to come together the way we did.
So Blossom gets a pair of glasses, Bell also steals those glasses, Buttercup goes against her senseis advice and decides to use brute force against that giant robot thing, and at this point I already gave up in the comic, I'm watching it more like an obligation. You know, like with the Star Wars prequels, you just want them to be over, you've been scammed twice, so why not just fucking end with it.
No, you don't have to read this comic, okay. You can just fucking stop, if it really is that bad. You're not being paid to watch this comic. You're not being paid to participate in these forums. I asked you to participate because I wanted real criticism, comparative advice, not a list of how you don't like it because you're bad at grasping the entire medium of comics. :\
Ughhh... Craig McCracken, Phineas, Ferb and Isabella cameos, a horrible, horrible joke of Courage trying to guide the scientists to a safe place. Do I even need to explain why I hate those pages?
well, i guess not, but then i won't know why, i'll just have to guess because you think the humor is bad, when a lot of people think it isn't bad, and that you making this statement about how you hate something is just as useful as this entire lower half of your "critique" has become.
So Courage decides to stay and fight the bugs, Bubbles rushes to help him. Dexter and the scientists try to open the door, but nothing happens, so Dexter needs some "muscle" in order to open it, and goes for Bubbles, and that's the story so far...
And so you fucking stop without a conclusion. This is you venting about how you see things you don't like. It started out okay. I listened, I was like hmm, there are some concerns here. But nope. Once again, you got ambitious and then tired and anything that was good about this became garbage.
I recommend that if you'd like to try again, you should take breaks and not lose steam and focus midway through just to finish it. You don't have to, of course, but as you can see, I tried to meet you on a lot of your concerns until you once again decided to stop typing with any real goal but to complete it.
This is the part where you go "lol the comic is impacting my behavior. haha. ha. woo..."
Sorry, man, but again, you're typing a lot of stuff, but without a cohesive and compelling point, and if you were trying to obfuscate the issue by just typing a shit ton, i'm diseased, so i have all the time in the world to counter-breakdown your breakdown, if you really think that the latter part of your post should be included legitimately. :\
in conclusion, i still disagree, and find this post disturbing in how similar it is to the previous one, only instead of Die Hard, it's "I JUST FUCKING NEED TO FUCKING TYPE LIKE THIS, FUCK!"