LNH/REVIEW: The Tribulations of Kid Review #7

Andrew Perron pwerdna at gmail.com
Thu Jan 12 04:44:10 PST 2012

On Tue, 10 Jan 2012 05:49:13 +0000 (UTC), Adrian J. McClure wrote:

> On Jan 8, 11:04 pm, Andrew Perron <pwer... at gmail.com> wrote:
>> He passed a sign labeled "Doldrums". Everything was gray. And tired.
>> And boring. And pointless.
> I've been there, all right. Of course right now my new semester is
> starting out, so I wish my life was a little more boring...

I'm just surprised no one seems to have noticed the reference yet!

>> Reviewing: Journey into Procrastination #1: "Preludes and Distractions"
>>            by Adrian J. McClure
> Oh hey, I've got an official review now!

You do!  Woooooooo

>> "Ah.  I won't pry, then." At this point, Kid Review was fairly sure he
>> was under Fairy Host Rules, and that made asking questions a very bad
>> idea indeed.
> The storyline this issue was actually pretty great. I'm a sucker for
> anything involving Faerie, and there were a lot of evocative
> descriptive passages. It's an interestingly different style from
> anything I've seen from you before.

Why thank you! ^_^ Note that they're not really fae.  There's a fairly
explicit hint as to what they actually are, if you know what to look for,
and what (and *which*) they are is obvious if you know what the original
Letters Page Dimension storylines were parodying.

>> "...hm." He shrugged. "Well, lately, I've found that criticism of
>> single issues flows better for me when I go through them line by line.
>> I've been experimenting, lately, in combining this with the more
>> traditional review format.  I'm hoping that it will allow me to give
>> feedback in a timely yet thorough manner; I know I've been lagging on
>> both, lately."
> This worked really well. It allowed you to combine the liveliness of
> your response posts with the more coherent thought of a "proper"
> review.

Excellent!  Just what I was hoping for, and it's quicker and easier to
write to boot.

> I'm curious if you ever read any of Guttertrash before it was deleted.

I don't *think* so - maybe an issue or two at some point, but none that I
remember.  I can't find it on Google Groups, so I'm not sure of when it was
posted - did it get deleted from there too?

> I read a couple issues back in the day. The one I remember involved
> heroes and villains who were appearing from another world, and it was
> a magazine interview with a man who was making furniture from their
> skin. Or something like that. I've always been both jealous that I
> could never come up with anything as screwed-up as that, and glad I
> could never come up with anything as screwed-up as that.

Huh.  Yeah, doesn't sound like the kind of thing I would've read anyway,
back then. >.>;

> Abhay Khosla
> is still out there, he's written some entertaining and thought-
> provoking blog pieces but he might get mad if someone linked him to

Why so?

>That's part of what interests me so much about Jenny Everywhere. She's
> lived a lot of different lives and played a lot of different roles, so
> she's not your typical adventure hero. She can often bring surprising
> perspectives to her role. This makes her challenging to write, but
> very rewarding when I can pull it off. It's also why most of the
> pieces I've written with her to date are character vignettes or setup,
> rather than complete stories. (This one is both--the situation with
> Cardinal Dracula, you'll notice, is never resolved.)

Indeed, I can see why.  Still not sure how I'd use her - most likely in a
team setting.

> This particular character beat, I now realize, was inspired by one of
> the few pieces Jenny Everywhere's creator ever wrote for her in a long-
> ago round robin: http://www.penciljack.com/forum/showthread.php?40568-Story-Round-3&p=470149&viewfull=1#post470149

...hmmmm. o.o I like it!  But I think yours did a bit better job of
establishing the difference between the situations.

> That aspect of her character is actually based on me. I still
> sometimes slip into self-insert fanfic daydreams, which can get
> bizarrely elaborate and complex. Sometimes I end up mining them for
> actual story ideas. Maturity, who needs it?

Interesting.  I often have daydreams about explaining some aspect of
modern-day society to a figure from the past; sometimes just a normal
person from that era, sometimes someone like Lincoln or Tesla who affected
that aspect.

> Also, I was writing this
> story in between bouts of trying to do things that were actually
> useful, and I based it partially on my reluctance to work when I could
> be writing. Of course, when I do have more time to write, I don't want
> to...

Naturally. @.@

>I came across a blog entry a
> while back talking about My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic and
> worldbuilding in cartoons in general, which I sadly can't find now,
> which discussed Barbie as a character. The writer discussed how Barbie
> is a better character than something like Strawberry Shortcake,
> becuase she doesn't have a context that limits her and can basically
> take on any role, but that's also why there's no notable Barbie TV
> show. 

Ah, yes.  As Mark Rosewater says, "Restrictions breed creativity." It's far
easier to work within defined parameters than it is to start with a blank

That said, I don't think being free of a context makes Barbie a *better*
character.  For one, it doesn't make what characterization she *has*
recieved any less bland.

> One thing I've wanted to do is build up some kind of mythos with
> recurring chracters who exist in different roles across her different
> lives, but I've never been able to pull that off properly.

Hmmmmmmm!  Well, if you wanted to do LNH, LNH20, and LNHY versions, say...
(Plus possibly some of the other imprints on here.)

> Besides the above-linked piece by Steven Wintle, I recommend reading
> the original discussion threads from Barbelith where she was created,
> which can be found on theshifterarchive.org. Of the original Jenny
> Everywhere stories, the ones I liked the best were the two written by
> David Barnett: My Bloody Valentine and The Death of Jenny Everywhere,
> which did explore a lot of her POV and her nature as the Shifter in a
> very relatable way. I'd recommend the stories written by Nelson
> Evergreen (Name's Not Down and Hostile Takeover) as well, they're not
> the best writing-wise but he was the first artist to draw Jenny and
> his version is still in my mind the definitive one. And the SecondLife
> machinima webcomic Jenny Everywhere's Infinite: Quark Time (http://
> www.quarktime.net/) shows a lot of promise.

Very good then. @. at v

> I wrote a bunch of different stories for Ficly back in the day. Some
> of them are part of story chains that went nowhere or just garbage,
> but many of them I'm still very proud of. Working within the 1024-
> character limit really helps me sharpen my writing and the format is
> well-suited to expermientation. 

Ah, the limit I didn't know about.  Interesting; I've been wanting to do
some drabbles lately...

> There are a bunch of other stories I and other
> people wrote about Jenny Everywhere, which can be found here:
> http://ficly.com/tags/Jenny%20Everywhere But the piece which was my
> and many others' favorite of what I wrote is this one, probably the
> only non-genre thing I've ever done: http://ficly.com/stories/26160

D'oh. XD

> Oh, and while I never interacted with him (the time I was writing for
> Ficly more or less coincides with the period I more or less completely
> forgot RACC existed) one of the other writers there is Chris
> "Robotech_Master" Meadows of Team M.E.C.H.A. fame: http://ficly.com/authors/robotech_master

Ah, neat!  Have you read his "Paleo E-Books" articles?

>> "...hm.  This makes me think of the ideas I had, early on in the LNH20
>> thread, about the characters finding out that their world had only just
>> come into existence..."
> That does sound interesting... if I write a cascade issue in the near
> future, I may explore that a bit.

I was thinking that having a new Jenny just pop in would have the others up
in arms.

>> But, hell, this was done in TWENTY-
>> FOUR MINUTES.  It's not only good by that standard, it's *exemplary*."
> I didn't write it in 24 minutes exactly, as Scott Eiler pointed out,
> but I did try to write it in one sitting.

Eheh, yeah.  Still good. ^^;

> Back in the day I used to
> write on several boards where I wrote for chain stories/cascades where
> I wrote pieces in one sitting, and this actually included some of my
> best work. Of course, a lot of it was just utter garbage. But in
> general I find that I have to struggle with overthinking things, which
> is both a strength and a weakness. Writing in that kind of ecstatic
> instant-story mode, when I'm more or less at one with my subconscious
> mind and I don't have to worry too much about big-picture, is the most
> fulfilling for me when I can manage it.

I've written some of my best stuff like that, including The Stars Are Just
and Looniverse Y #7.

> (LNH20CP #5 was also written
> like that. I had the battle scene blocked out in my head beforehand,
> but the scene with Ultravac, Andrea and Mother Time, which was the
> best part of the issue, came to me on the spot.)

It really was!

> The problem is when I'm working within a larger context some kind of
> big picture inevitably does emerge. Then I find I have difficulty
> reconnecting with it as the story progresses and get frustrated. I had
> a pattern in the past of dropping story threads just when they started
> to get interesting. I've reached the point now where I'm starting to
> have that kind of fatigue with LNH, so I'm doing my best to push
> ahead.

Yeah, I know that feeling.  Personally, I tend to deal with it by switching
to a different project, as I'm sure you've noticed...

>> She nodded, slowly. "yes.  and i'm afraid he's going to try and save
>> him."
> Oooh, cliffhanger!

*dun dunnnnnnnn!* Aw yeah.

>> Andrew "NO .SIG MAN" "Juan" Perron, really has to do a 24-minute story
>> before the deadline.
> It could be an issue of Kid Review that reviews one of the 24-minute
> stories!
> AJM, even meta-er!

Hmmmmm... nah, I want to give time to give the thing I'm reviewing its due.
(Also, oh shit, better get it done.)

> Oh, and I only just realized the "Letters Page Dimension" is a
> callback to one of wReam's early LNH stories. Heh.

Actually, it's based on early issues of Limp-Asparagus Lad - after it went
from limited to ongoing series, I believe.  Saxon officially gifted me the
dropped storyline, and I'm running with it.

Andrew "NO .SIG MAN" "Juan" Perron, though I'd totally give it back if

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