[REVIEW] The Tribulations of Kid Review #1

Andrew Perron pwerdna at gmail.com
Sun Mar 1 18:22:47 PST 2009

On Sun, 1 Mar 2009 23:48:52 +0000 (UTC), Lalo Martins
<lalo.martins at gmail.com> wrote:

>quoth Andrew Perron as of Sun, 01 Mar 2009 17:05:59 +0000:
>Can't wait for someone to review this.

It's the ciiiiiiircle of feedback!

>All right... thanks for the review :-) even though I got a better idea of 
>how you feel about the series from previous emails, but the review raises 
>a few good points I'll keep in mind.

Interesting.  I thought I was being way more detailed here!

>It's a though balancing act though :-) part of the fun of writing in a 
>shared playground is referring to stuff other people (or yourself) wrote, 
>sometimes long long ago, and part of the fun of reading it is feeling 
>very smart because you caught that little obscure reference the author 
>inserted there, or understood that other thing's context without having 
>to go check the wiki.

This is a good point.  The goal, for me, is to have the references
there but unobtrusive, to the point where they're invisible if you
don't know them but still interesting if you do.

>I still prefer to leave a few things unexplained.  Like, when there are 
>LNH (or villain) cameos, I don't bother telling you who the character is; 
>I'll assume you're generally familiar with LNH characters.  

Makes sense, especially in a series like 58.5, where continuity is
built into the very premise (that it's behind the scenes of an another

>And the thing 
>with Footnote Girl and Footnote Cybergirl, it's almost a minor subplot in 
>itself, but you have to have both read a lot of LNH, and followed 
>Infinite Leadership Crisis, to fully appreciate it.

It helps that Footnote Girl is pretty self-explanatory (the LNH even
has a superhero that provides the footnotes!), and the idea that she
has a robot duplicate is easy to pick up.

>In the end, I'm pretty happy; I set out to write this as an exercise and 
>a learning experience, and this was one of the things I think I'm taking 
>out of it.  I'm not going to claim I mastered the skill, but I believe I 
>reached a level of balance that's, well, good enough.

You've definitely gotten better.

> If anything, it's more the opposite; what I do oppose and dislike 
>(and that's something the LNH hasn't been guilty of, which I like) is the 
>annoying tendency for all change to be illusory.  As much as Arsenic was 
>one of my favourite characters in recent history, I really appreciate the 
>balls and the dramatic strength of "dead means dead".

It's true, and Vaughan is one of the best in the business when it
comes to this.

>On a secondary level, one of the goals is that the characters shouldn't 
>feel safe to you (the reader).  When you're reading a story, you're not 
>sure things will, in fact, turn out all right, because historically, they 
>haven't always.  If anything, you know I'll pull Bonnie out somehow, but 
>everyone else is fair game.  That helps you suspend your disbelief a 
>little, er, higher, and appreciate the story more.  IMHO.

And, as I mentioned, it does help.  Hmmmm, maybe I should kill
somebody off. >->

James: Oooooh, can I go through a spiritual journey and come back with
awesome cosmic powers?
Casey: Yes, because your parents totally wouldn't dismember me if that

>That said, re Smiley: guilty as charged :-) generally I try to show at 
>least some emotional (or sometimes other) consequence when someone dies.  
>You could argue, in the case of Smiley, I did show one: denial.  The way 
>it happened was so stupid, her friends refused to talk about it.  But I 
>didn't really explore that in the story.  And the reason I didn't was, I 
>think, valid on-panel and off-panel; they were, after all, rather busy at 
>that point.

Mmmmm, thing is, the way it was written, it felt less like "denial"
and more like "Oh, that's horrible.  So, Chinese for dinner?"  

>In this fourth and (hopefully) final stage of writing 58.5, I no longer 
>feel the need to constrain the line count.  It was a worthwhile exercise, 
>but now the only goal is to finish the story, so I'll do that to the best 
>of my ability, without any other kind of artificial limit.  That MAY mean 
>I won't have to force myself to make this kind of decision anymore :-)

Fair enough! ^-^

>In the subset of comments regarding narrative traits proper, all 
>reviewers picked up almost only on things that I had actually thought and 
>made a conscious decision about.  Sometimes that decision was wrong, and 
>sometimes I even changed it after reviewer input; but the fact that they 
>were mostly my decisions, right or wrong, makes me feel a little good 
>about the whole thing, about my plot planing and overall... hmm... 
>preparedness?  Or something.  :-P  (Clearly not that well prepared to 
>write this paragraph tho.)

Interesting point of view, and makes sense.  Better to have
consciously made a decision about something than to have had it
flapping about beyond your control.

>One funny thing about those skipped issues is that I do still want to 
>write them at some point, and I think of them this way, as something that 
>I may still get back to.  If I do, you'll get to see what happened to 
>Laran (kind of Tom's request in fact), and maybe know Dawg and Smoke Ring 
>Girl a little better.

Wait, Laran isn't around anymore?  Man! @.@

>> "One extra note on this: All these deaths made the fake-out of
>> Blackbird's death in issue #43 much more believable.  Well-done."
>Thanks, as I said above, that was part of the goal.  Here's hoping you'll 
>enjoy Stuff.org.

As long as it doesn't result in Bandwagon Chick lining her wagon with
thumbtacks and renaming herself "Hair Shirt".

>> "A few other comments and complains: Blur has recieved next to no
>> characterization, and I'm still not quite sure what his deal is.
>One of the few things I didn't plan on or decide, it just happened, 
>mostly because I lost interest in him but not enough to get rid of him 
>for good :-P  I feel kind of guilty about it...

Give him a "How to Write" and have some other writer adopt him?  I bet
Saxon would be happy to. << >>

>> Also,
>> the Xinerama Brotherhood plot was introduced in the first issue, but
>> took a long time (issue #40) to actually go anywhere.  In and of itself,
>> I don't really mind, but I wish we'd have had a bit more reminder of it
>> in the meantime."
>Guilty and, again, unplanned.  The plan on Cannon Fodder's side was 
>always, introduce the threat, forget about it for most of the series, 
>work him up as a bad-ass, then bring the threat back.  But I don't think 
>I did it well.  As you said, a sense of dread from the threat hanging 
>over our heads would probably have worked better.  I did try for a few 
>issues, I just couldn't maintain it.  (Maybe the line count working 
>against me once more?  But that's a bad excuse, if I was writing an 
>actual comic I'd have a page count.)

I'd just have, I dunno, some of the possible effects shown.  Maybe
have them travel through a newsgroup the Xinerama had already

>> "Oh, and speaking of Ultra-Mobile Dawg... seriously, what was with the
>> way he talked?"
>Ghetto Ebonics, Net.ropolis dialect.  (Yes, Ebonics has dialects, 
>apparently.  The version spoken in NY (our universe) is very different 
>than that from LA or Miami or, even, Washington DC.  Or so I read.  Since 
>Net.ropolis supposedly moves around, I composed their dialect mostly by 
>picking Ebonics terms at random from every other area...)

The problem is, it really felt like a mishmash, and thus, like a
stereotype.  I'm pretty sure that wasn't your intent. ^^;

>Note to self: if I do get back to the skipped issues, add Dawg's "how to 
>write" to the very first one.  Not that people will want to write him, 
>what with him being, you know, dead, in present continuity, but then 
>again, "present continuity" means different things to different people, 
>and very little to most of us.

A dream!  A hoax!  An imaginary story!

Andrew "NO .SIG MAN" "Juan" Perron, totally going to have every
neglected character in LNH history in his epic Elsewhirl,
"Constitutional Monarchy Come".

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