[REVIEW] [LNH] The Tribulations of Kid Review #3

Saxon Brenton saxonbrenton at hotmail.com
Thu Sep 9 13:44:22 PDT 2010

On Wednesday 8/Sep/2010 Andrew Perron (pwerdna at gmail.com) wrote:
> "Ah, excellent. The cloud of Chartreuse Retcon Hour Story (harmful only 
> to title characters of review series) has passed.
Bwahahaha!  Okay, so it's a comic nerd joke.  Still hilarious.
Woot!  I get two reviews!  But that means I get subjected to twice as 
much scrutiny. 
On _Beige Midnight_ #1-4:
> "Where did Al-Qaeda Amerika originally show up? I know they were 
> mentioned as a hypothetical in the 9/11 issue of Limp-Asparagus Lad..." 
_Beige Midnight_ is their only actual appearance so far.  Looking back on 
it, I realise that I was 'parasitising' Arthur's miniseries.  I've used 
_Beige Midnight_ to advance/conclude two plots - the Al-Qaeda Amerika plot 
(although that can be carried on elsewhere, because AA can be used as 
a recurring franchise villain group) and the wrapup of the President 
Hex Luthor plot.
> "Reading the Al-Qaeda Amerika fight scene reminds me of some of the 
> international superteams from the ASH setting; I'd like to see some of 
> these characters get more ization. Also, am I the only one who's really 
> skeeved out by soul-damage? This could be a whole separate rant, but 
> suffice to say: it doesn't make sense to me, and really seems like it 
> should be a bigger deal than it's usually made out to be."
I think the soul damage is something I extrapolated from the mechanics 
of the In Nomine roleplaying game.  Moreover, the theme of the soul is 
one that I've had on the backburner from a *smegging* long time, because 
it's an important part of the question of self-identity of Senses Lass 
as an artificial being.  All that said, looking back I am a bit doubtful 
about the way that scene was presented: it starts at first principles that 
in a four colour comic book superhero universe all gods exist, and then 
gets a tad preachy with the rammifications.
> "ApocaLISP's scene feels a bit random. It reminds me of crossover chapters 
> where characters from other parts of the crossover would show up just 
> to remind you of what's going on over there, except, of course, that 
> there's no other story here. Is this a set-up for some slow-boil?"
Yes.  It was random weird sh!t dumped in because it seemed like a good idea 
at the time.  I don't think the motivation was to use it as padding, although 
given that I (explicitly) wanted to have the BLF overcoming a series of 
problems in order to built up their narrative momentum to 'earn' their final 
plot coupon (the genie lamp) that may be a matter of personal definition.
Whatever, it does come across like a description I once read for Marvel's 
_Secret Wars 2_: a crossover where the characters stand around like doofuses 
when the plot lines intersect.
> "(Tangent: If djinni are 'composed of smokeless fire', then why are they 
> so often associated with smoke? Clouds of smoke coming out as they appear, 
> wispy body parts trailing off...)"
No idea.  I suspect it may be simple inconsistencies in the way different 
parts of their mythology has accumulated.
On _My Father's Son_ #1
> "First, let's get the negative out of the way. The exposition isn't 
> worked in very well. Many of the paragraphs follow a formula: use one 
> sentence to describe what Slowpoke is doing/saying/thinking, and spend 
> the rest of them explaining why. Dropping in big chunks of infodump is a 
> Saxon Brenton trademark, but he's gotten better at integrating it into 
> the story over time. Here, though, it's not blended as well." 
Okay, I can't really argue with that.  However, I do have a question, 
because I'm not clear on the exact nature of the problem that the 
structure of those paragraphs is causing.
To summarise the situation as I understand it: even after all these 
years I *still* have a problem trimming the amount of information I 
put into my text.  I trim somewhat, but for a lot of the time I try 
to work around the problem by reworking the sentences until most of 
its in there but it reads okay because it *flows*.  (Although sometimes 
this is not enough and no amount of rewriting is enough to keep it 
from collapsing into a steaming pile of info dump.)  In any case this 
often makes my writing dense and even baroque.
With that in mind: Do you think the problem in this case is too much 
information in the text; that the amount of information in the text 
is okay but its straight out badly incorporated; or that the 
information paragraphs are placed so as to disrupt the flow of the 
story's action; or something else entirely.
I ask because I think I'm still close to the story.  I went and 
re-read it, and was easily able to pick out a number of paragraphs 
that have excat;y the recurring structural pattern you describe  
(oh noes!  my writing style has fallen into predictablity, and I am 
at risk of becoming a paraody of myself!).  But even with that done, 
I can't see any of thpose paragraphs as reading 'badly', 'awkwardly' 
or even 'ostentaciously wordy'.
Gosh, I'm all warm-inner-glowy now.  I think the main problem with 
originally finishing MFS was that the original second half (now billed 
as #2) is such a downer that I couldn't get motivated to write it.  I 
think I'll take another crack at it now.
Saxon Brenton

More information about the racc mailing list