Sunday, June 11, 2006

My Last FOOBiverse’s Journal entry

I was pretty happy the last one I did, did not have anything to do with funerals. I feel sorry for qnjones having to launch into it with the second week of that dreadful story. But at least Elly and John are out of the house staring at each other. The fascinating part about doing the FOOBiverse’s Journal is that you get the e-mail notification of everything posted there. During the week with Liz going crazy, the number of e-mails was staggering. But it is fun to go through them one by one and see the chronological order of the entries. Frequently it will be 3 or 4 by the same person commenting on different things. The other fun part is when people will make some comment on a Journal entry from days ago. There was one Anonymous poster who got into it with a regular poster and their argument went for days and days on the same Journal entry. The other interesting trend was that initially, people would say “Good job, howtheduck.” But after the very first week I got the post that said, “So. When is cookie coming back?” And then there were much fewer compliments. It was quite humbling. It made me realize that where cookie77 excels (contrary to cookie’s own opinion of herself as concentrating on dialogue) is that cookie is good at pointing out the parts of the strip that will spark conversation. The other thing is that cookie is freakishly consistent. This is first time I can remember her taking a break. I don’t think there are any other comic strip commentators that are as consistent as cookie. Even the Comics Curmudgeon takes days off. Anyway, I had my month. It was fun. But I am sick of panel-by-panel analysis. Until I go on vacation, I will probably go a different route.

Today on April’s Real Blog, it was the "aprilp_katje and howtheduck" show again. aprilp_katje upped the Mike ante, by having the press involved in his activities. That was a great launch off point for me, since it occurred to me that Deanna’s dad owns a chain of hardware stores, so Mike, by all rights, should be extremely well equipped and he very much isn’t. My Howard post stole liberally from eeknight’s FOOBiverse’s Journal snark about carpentry (need to give credit). Then Constable Paul Wright did a couple of legal quotes stealing from Toronto housing websites. After that, my favourite post of the day, was Jeremy Jones getting a sore neck from watching Eva teach April how to smirk, forcing him to stare at their breasts over and over again. Unfortunately, tomorrow’s strip is back to the gravesite. Hopefully, the salesman will provide some comic relief, although judging from the joke tomorrow it looks doubtful.


Blogger April Patterson said...

Aw, I so cringed back when that anonymous poster asked about when cookie77 was coming back. I know how much a drive-by like that can demoralize, even if others are praising you. FWIW, I thought you did a great job on Foobiverse, but you know that already! :)

4:21 AM  
Blogger howard said...

Thanks for the kind words. It is strange how one unkind word can undo lots of praise. I try not to get too undone by an anonymous poster, but it could have been worse. The Anonymous poster didn't say outright, "You suck!" or anything like that.

It must be tough to be in an industry (like making movies, for example), where there is a whole cottage industry devoted to critiquing your work. Imagine how Lynn would feel if she read the FOOBiverse's Journal or April's Real Blog? Of course, in Lynn's case, I suppose it would make more of a difference if she had anything to do with the current operations on her strip. We know Stephanie reads some of what we do, since we get those very obvious shout-outs occasionally. But I don't know how much of that she shares with the Lynnions who do the strip these days.

On the other hand, a lot of the stuff we critique are genuine flaws in the storytelling, like Mike's amateurish carpentry in Sunday's strip, or the inappropriate use of silhouettes, or the mysterious loss of body parts (which still mystifies me). A lot of movie critics go the same way, by saying, "If you can accept this giant plot hole, then you might like this picture." And also, a lot of people who work on something know when it is going wrong.

My sister's brother worked on the X-Men 3 movie in pre-production art department work before the production was sent to Canada to complete. When he saw the final product and discovered (a) the entire LA art department work was uncredited and (b) how many things got messed up in the final product he wrote a scathing e-mail to his sister, my wife pointing out all these flaws. But the thing was, when he was in LA working on the picture, he literally saw the movie get fouled up. (Fouled up is a relative term, because the movie has made a huge amount of money so far). He was witness to young 20-something Hollywood producers who were just saying things like, "Wouldn't it be cool if we..." And they altered the whole course of the way the movie ended up. So, my brother-in-law knew the movie was not going to be as good as the prior X-Men movies.

There might be Lynnions who say to themselves, "Burial plots for 2 weeks. You have to be kidding?" But they don't have the power or the desire to say to whoever decided that (Lynn, I guess), "Well that will suck." They may just have to grin and bear it. After all, how many art jobs does Corbeil have?

7:09 AM  
Blogger April Patterson said...


There are many horror stories of that ilk regarding the film industry. Hollywood is notorious for that sort of thing!

I can imagine being a Lynnion could be most frustrating. Though, as you say, it must be a better option than joblessness. ;)

3:42 PM  
Blogger howard said...

I have often wondered what the Lynnions plan to do after Lynn stops the strip in 2007. They have kind of set themselves up as a business to promote other businesses, but aside from that train company of Rod's, I can't tell they have that many customers. I don't know if they have enough to keep them employed.

3:52 PM  
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