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Author Topic: [Trollbabe comics] Naked Sacrifice story  (Read 19160 times)
jburneko
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Posts: 1351


« Reply #45 on: January 09, 2004, 09:27:45 AM »

Quote from: Ron Edwards
What's very hard to explain is that I don't make any distinctions between "obvious" and "not obvious." You're not supposed to see this kind of connection, and you're not supposed not to see it, either. I'm interested in whether someone sees it, sure. But I'm not sympathetic either to (a) "I didn't see it so you failed" or (b) "I don't see anything so it must not be there."


See, this baffles me.  It baffles me in the same way that your assertion that Sorcerer was not a teaching text baffles me.  If the point isn't to make sure these things get across to the reader then what IS the point?

Jesse
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #46 on: January 09, 2004, 10:13:04 AM »

Hi Jesse,

My only point is that I like writing the comics (more or less as they are, although I'm learning about how I like them best), working with the artists, and posting them.

Whether someone else likes them is very much up to that person. Feedback of different kinds gives me food for thought, some of which might affect my later choices, and some of which might not. I do like getting the feedback and with any luck people enjoy knowing that I read it and think about it.

There isn't any other point, since they're free. Your only "obligation" (to use a rotten word for it), as I see it, is to decide whether the stories are fun enough to visit the page.

Best,
Ron
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Valamir
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« Reply #47 on: January 09, 2004, 11:18:04 AM »

Yup.  I can 100% appreciate that, which is why I've tried to avoid being overly critical of the comics, and wanted to make sure to point out that alot of my criticisms are just personal artistic differences of opinion.

However, I did want to make one small nudge of a comment here.

These aren't just comics.  They're Trollbabe comics.  And Trollbabe is a commercial product (soon to be one of even larger scale than previously).

That to me puts a slightly different spin on the purely personal and "isn't any other point" philosophy you note above.  The tie in to a product line makes things a little different.

I'm not sure you can expect the minds of the reader to seperate Trollbabe comics as an artistic exercise in personal comic experimentation, from Trollbabe comics as promo piece.  Especially when they are tied so closely together on the website.

I think alot of the criticism of the comics stems not from a deep artistic critique.  But rather from a violation of reader expectations.  We have Trollbabe the game and everything regular readers of this forum have read about the game juxtaposed with Trollbabe the comic which doesn't seem to have much, if anything, to do with Trollbabe the game.  

You may, of course, be completely indifferent to reader expectations in this matter, but I think its the source of a good bit of the dissatisfaction (or more properly -- not DIS satisfaction, but less-than-full satisfaction) with the comic.

I personally would like to see a much closer comic to game tie in.

I'd like to be able to read the comic and identify A-HA...that's Retta using an ally re-roll and succeeding but being discommoded.  A-HA the conflict in this comic was done at such and such scale which the conflict in the last strip was done at this other scale.

I'd much prefer the comics read like transcripts of actual play.  I think that's a fairly understandable expectation for readers to have given that the comic is published on a game site and promoted on the game's discussion forum.

YMMV, of course, but it might be something to consider as you seek to push Trollbabe to a broader commercial audience.
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #48 on: January 09, 2004, 12:32:36 PM »

Hello,

The mondo-big point I made in the GNS forum, with the excerpt regarding Lord Gyrax and Javenne-the-dragon, seems to be missed.

You can't tell anything about play from reading a story on its own. Since that's impossible, then writing a story in order to illustrate how play might be conducted is just pissing in the wind.

""But Ron, can't you use the atmosphere and style to demonstrate the atmosphere and style of a Trollbabe game?"

Nope. It's a comic strip of Trollbabe, which is to say ... well, let me put it this way. "Vampires," right? Now let's do a role-playing game about vampires, and say we come up with something like Vincent's Hungry Desperate and Alone, the only vamp game I've even remotely been interested in playing for the last fifteen years or so. We play it and it's all dark and angsty and grim.

Now let's do a comic strip ... and for some reason, it turns out to be layered with humor and lightness that comments on the darkness and angst. It's more like a satirical cartoon of the same subject matter than a re-enactment of the role-playing, and yet it doesn't just parody the subject matter either.

Why is that? Hell, I dunno. I don't control the "some reason" in the above paragraph. All the fiction I've written presents a weird combination of breezy and dark that has its own atmosphere and style.

The way I see it, if someone likes the strip even a little, it's value added to the website. That's where the game/strip connection begins and ends. As for expectations about that, I can only shrug.  

Best,
Ron
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James V. West
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« Reply #49 on: January 09, 2004, 12:59:34 PM »

When I started working on Black Wing I ran into this problem. I was doing comics which were supposed to be the inspiration for the game. But I'm still finding the voice of the comics, so how can I do the game until I find that voice? And when it's found, how can a game speak the same way? I'm of the opinion that it can't. All it can do is explore similar turf.

On another note, in the Green Goo Feud: Retta canals the goo so that it isn't a sticky mess anymore, thus, no need for goats to eat it. That's how she makes peace. I think.

And I didn't get that Aiga was the same troll that Tha kills. Aiga didn't strike me as a murderous troll for some reason. The one in Holy Trollers was more like a monster.
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Tim Alexander
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« Reply #50 on: January 09, 2004, 01:10:06 PM »

Quote

On another note, in the Green Goo Feud: Retta canals the goo so that it isn't a sticky mess anymore, thus, no need for goats to eat it. That's how she makes peace. I think.


I thought she just dammed it so they could control it. If they then steal the sheep the sheep can't feed because the goo isn't all over the place. I think Ralph's point about that maybe not stopping the conflict is pretty valid though.

Quote

And I didn't get that Aiga was the same troll that Tha kills. Aiga didn't strike me as a murderous troll for some reason. The one in Holy Trollers was more like a monster.


It was the headless bodies that tipped me. I feel like whether Aiga was a monster can go a couple of ways. Either the killings were somehow self defense, which I'm not keen on, or Aiga really was a murderous troll who just happened to be vegetarian. Aiga didn't eat humans, but she/he didn't mind killing them either.

On a final note, the one unfortunate thing about the comics and the game bearing little relation is that the game includes the characters and some of the scenarios dealt with in the comics. The plot for the circus strip is essentially mentioned in the Trollbabe text. The connecting lines are pretty strongly drawn, if obliquely.

-Tim
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Valamir
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« Reply #51 on: January 09, 2004, 01:13:25 PM »

Quote
You can't tell anything about play from reading a story on its own. Since that's impossible, then writing a story in order to illustrate how play might be conducted is just pissing in the wind.

""But Ron, can't you use the atmosphere and style to demonstrate the atmosphere and style of a Trollbabe game?"

Nope.


I don't think its possible for me to disagree with you more.  To the point where I understand what you're saying from a sentence structure perspective...but the words are absolutely devoid of meaning.  You might as well have typed this in cyrillic its so foriegn to me.

We're not talking about identifying premise here.  

Of course you can convey atmosphere and style in a story or comic.  That's what stories and comics do best.

Of course you can structure the action in a comic to align with the kind of action the game promotes.  Of course you can illustrate the resolution of that action in a way that mirrors the way the resolution works in the game (by highlighting the use of a magic sword if magic swords are important to the game, by highlighting the vampire drawing upon his inner rage powered by the blood of innocents if there's a rage and blood mechanic in the game, by having characters remember a spell and using it if rerolls from remembered spells are a mechanic in the game).

To suggest otherwise...I'm totally baffled and unable to even process the idea.


But as to your shrug...that speaks to the core point.  Its a promotional tie in to a commercial product.  I'll leave it to you as "Ron in the artists hat" to discuss with "Ron in the businessman's hat" and come to your own decision on priorities, of course...but if I were wearing the businessman's hat and I were about to launch a new commercial product, I'd darn well expect more than a shrug when I pointed out to the guy in the artist hat that the comic doesn't promote the product very well.  And maybe hopeing that people might like it a little and that would carry over in some way to the game...no.  Ralph in the business hat would not be satisfied with that.  Ralph in the business hat would want the comic to get people so excited that they promptly click the "buy now" button.  If it doesn't then it fails as a promo piece.  And if it isn't a promo piece it shouldn't be tied into a product and the rest of the seriel numbers should be filed off.

YMMV obviously, so don't take this as a lecture, just illustrating what my position would be.
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xiombarg
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« Reply #52 on: January 09, 2004, 06:08:55 PM »

No problem. So long as I'm opining on this thread, I'd like to mention two Sluggy Freelance stories in particular I'd like to point to as Trollbabe references: Fire and Rain for breaking out of the box, and the Punyverse Saga for use of about four panels, and, later, breaking out of the box as well.

Now, Pete has been doing webcomics for a long time, so it might be unfair to hold Trollbabe to someone who's been at it so long, but this lets you see where I'm coming from. Plus, even the very early stuff serves and an interesting model.
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greyorm
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« Reply #53 on: January 10, 2004, 08:26:27 AM »

I don't know, Ralph. I get what's Ron saying, and it seems pretty "non-cyrillic" and apparent to me. I also like the comic, though, as a comic, as a visual, creative exercise.
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Rev. Ravenscrye Grey Daegmorgan
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #54 on: January 10, 2004, 12:38:01 PM »

Hello,

Ralph, I can't help you with the cyrillic part ...

... but long ago, the Publisher-hat and the Artist-hat had a very big fight about this and the publisher is still nursing his black eye.

Best,
Ron
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