Big Head Press Forum

Online Comics => La Muse => Topic started by: sehlat on March 20, 2007, 04:11:02 pm

Title: Latest Installment
Post by: sehlat on March 20, 2007, 04:11:02 pm
Can't say enough good about the last panel, except that the driver doesn't look nearly as cut-up as he should  for having his face pushed through his windshield. Susan protecting him?  Awesomely dramatic final moment to this week's segment. Thanks, people!

Keep it coming, please.
Title: Re: Latest Installment
Post by: Frank B. on March 25, 2007, 06:27:03 pm
Glad you enjoyed it.  Yeah, he could have been cut up more, but doing so might have masked the look of surprise on his face.  I might be able to get the art director for the story to comment on this.  In any event, keep reading, the story has many more, and bigger surprises.  This is just the first act after all.  And as always, be sure to tell your friends.
Title: Re: Latest Installment
Post by: sehlat on March 28, 2007, 03:43:08 pm
I can understand wanting to show the complete tactical surprise on his face. And he did look like a crash victim on the next page. I'm looking forward to the rest of the story and buying the whole thing when it hits print.
Title: Re: Latest Installment
Post by: nick012000 on April 03, 2007, 03:54:31 am
Frankly, I think she's one of the biggest Mary Sues of any fiction I read. Everything she does succeeds. Nothing anyone else can do can hurt her, and might wind up helping her. She has the adulations of the masses without even trying, and the people who don't like her are either jealous or members of the Shadowy Government Conspiracy.

Stories are built around conflict, and when the heroine is so utterly "perfect" it's impossible to really have any. Throw a challenge at her she can't simply magic away! Show antagonists who aren't utterly evil! Tone down the "the Left Wing is utterly right" rhetoric, too, while you're at it. You're treating it like a blunt club to beat the reader over the head with, and it detracts from the story. I'm surprised she hasn't started bitching about Bush yet.
Title: Re: Latest Installment
Post by: Frank B. on April 03, 2007, 10:48:07 am
Frankly, I think she's one of the biggest Mary Sues of any fiction I read. Everything she does succeeds. Nothing anyone else can do can hurt her, and might wind up helping her. She has the adulations of the masses without even trying, and the people who don't like her are either jealous or members of the Shadowy Government Conspiracy.

Stories are built around conflict, and when the heroine is so utterly "perfect" it's impossible to really have any. Throw a challenge at her she can't simply magic away! Show antagonists who aren't utterly evil! Tone down the "the Left Wing is utterly right" rhetoric, too, while you're at it. You're treating it like a blunt club to beat the reader over the head with, and it detracts from the story. I'm surprised she hasn't started bitching about Bush yet.

I understand where you're coming from, but please consider that we are still only in the first act of this story.  I assure you, there will be conflict.  Susan ain't Clark Kent.   The story is still building.  Be patient, and I think you may be surprised by the turns in the road yet to be travelled.
Title: Re: Latest Installment
Post by: aditantimedh on April 03, 2007, 10:53:40 pm
Oh, she doesn't need to bitch about Bush.  Bush is irrelevent to her.

And she's only a Mary Sue if you think she's right. 

Title: Re: Latest Installment
Post by: Frank B. on April 07, 2007, 10:25:30 am
Oh, she doesn't need to bitch about Bush.  Bush is irrelevent to her.

And she's only a Mary Sue if you think she's right. 



He seems irrelevent to me too.   ;)

Title: Re: Latest Installment
Post by: Scott on April 10, 2007, 08:30:10 pm
Speaking as art director, I try not to lean too heavily on artists. This is their story (along with the writer's) and I try to give them plenty of room to tell the story in their own way, and not nit-pick details unless I think it's really necessary. In fact, I did ask for a change to that crash panel -- the way it was drawn originally, it wasn't clear that the driver was coming through the windshield, instead of popping out the driver's side door.

Besides, modern car windshields and windows are made with a type of glass that shatters in such a way as to minimize cutting of flesh coming through them.
Title: Re: Latest Installment
Post by: Leviathan on May 22, 2007, 08:14:24 am
I do have to say that Supermen and Superwomen don't generally make for interesting storylines...  She probably can't be killed.  She simply rewrites the people she wants to rewrite.  Her major limitations are ethical rather than built in.  Oh, and she does seem to be quite into the whole liberal thing.  Save the world because it won't do it for itself.  Even her sister can't really be used against her.  Someone tries to hurt sis to get at her, she'll just either "gentle" them or kill them.  And her sis doesn't seem to actually be power-free, she just decided to be a normal human.  It isn't established whether she is actually vulnerable or just plays the part so she can feel human and would actually "survive" it in one form or another if "killed".

As far as her being a Mary-Sue, one doesn't have to believe their character is always right to make them one.  They're just idealized wish-fulfillment  Many villains, who the author portrays as in the wrong, have the ability to suffer Mary-Sueism.  Whether one agrees with their character's point of view or not, even I have to admit that at some level I wish I had the power to change the world and set everything free.  Just because your views may not coincide with your character's, doesn't mean it isn't fulfilling vicariously the wish to have the ability to do what he or she does.

In many ways, she's the villain in my own philosophy.  She's a deus ex machina, come to remove the evil from the world.  To set everything "right".  She's an idealist with a lot of power, who aims to impose her ideals on everyone else.  To be the Policewoman of the World.  Even if she were to "save" the world, it wouldn't even be our achievement.  It would be her cheap parlour trick.  If she were to tip things the other way, she would be destroying our chance.  And by being The Superheroine, she makes people dependent on her without genuinely improving themselves.

I will say the story is engaging enough, and the artwork good.  The characters are interesting enough most of the time.  Just that characters like her have me eyerolling every time they just *poof* use a superpower to diffuse a tense situation. 

You know why I didn't like Star Trek: Voyager?  Beyond the bland, politically-correct, whitebread family-values characters?  They never really had any character or story-driven conflicts.  They'd just get into trouble XYZ, and generally figure out some technological solution to their predicament.  Trapped in the event horizon of a black hole?  Easy, release some particle whatevers to find the "hole" you made coming in.  Never mind that's not how an event horizon works.  The character is aging backwards through time?  Why yes, don't follow the natural conclusion and have it be the perfect end to the character...  Just have the doctor in one time period purge the chronoton particles from her.  Predict the Year of Hell?  Then when you get to it, do you actually play it out and have a season of real conflict and tension?  Naw.  A two-part episode where they make it Never Happen.  No real conflict.  Nothing that you're ever really nervous about because they'll always just figure out how to reverse the polarity on the gravometric sensors and make an inverted tachyon cascade reaction that'll collapse their warp field and let you escape.

To cite another example: the archetypal SuperBeing, Superman, didn't start out with that many powers.  Faster than a speeding bullet.  More powerful than a locomotive.  Able to leap tall buildings with a single bound.  The extra powers got added either as an expediency (the animators were sick of trying to show him hopping around) or to get him out of tough jams.  Eventually, they had to start de-powering him just so they could set some challenges again.  He never has to think himself out of any obstacles unless somebody manages to get a piece of kryptonite.  At which point it's "get away from, block, or destroy the piece of kryptonite."  There's no real storyline because you can't hurt him and it's not even worth trying.  Even when he dies, he doesn't stay dead.

Please, if you value the storyline?  Don't let LaMuse turn into that.  Any more than it, really, already has from the outset.  She needs something to actually strive against other than human stubbornness, and her own belief in her infallibility.
Title: Re: Latest Installment
Post by: aditantimedh on May 22, 2007, 10:58:54 pm
And your interpretation of "liberalism" is odd.  To impose one's will on people is not liberal, not matter how benign.  That's fascism, which has always been inherent in the figure of the superhero and the genre.

Title: Re: Latest Installment
Post by: Leviathan on May 22, 2007, 11:04:57 pm
I look to the people given the label in modern times, and use that as my definition.  Once a definition is poisoned, I don't try to recover it.  I move on and find new definitions.

And "benevolent" fascism is honestly what is symbolized by most of the genre, yes.
Title: Re: Latest Installment
Post by: aditantimedh on May 23, 2007, 10:07:52 pm
Except that's still fascism, not liberalism.  The Neocons put the word "liberal" over it to discredit the word and diminish the levels of political debate and essentially kill off Americans' language choices for actual discourse.

if you believe it's liberalism, then you've bought into the Neocons' propaganda and rewriting of the English language in America.

If you believe liberals are trying to impose their will on ordinary Americans, reality does not back that up.

Title: Re: Latest Installment
Post by: Leviathan on May 26, 2007, 07:32:11 am
I consider myself a libertarian.  I do not use "classic liberal", because when people hear the liberal word they think of socialized medicine and envirofascism.  English is a living language.  It changes over time.  The neocons didn't rewrite liberal to mean the current form of the democratic party.  The democrats did that.  The neocons were the ones that turned it into a near-profane word, while eliminating the important (in my opinion anyway) differences between them and those they say they oppose.

Liberal has come to specify those people who are for government providing everything for us and keeping us safe from ourselves.  If you don't like what it is that is currently, generally, called liberal?  I suggest getting a new label so as to avoid confusion.  If the definition of fascist has become part of the definition of "liberal", it is easier to move onto a better word to define one's beliefs than to try and explain "I'm a liberal, but I'm for personal liberties and the ability to conduct my life as I see fit" every time I would try and define my beliefs as "classical liberalism".  Beat them at their own game, stop letting what has become their label apply to you if you don't in fact want to eliminate business (and most personal) freedom and tax the hell out of the nation.
Title: Re: Latest Installment
Post by: Rocketman on May 27, 2007, 07:54:24 pm
For a number of years when I tell someone who doesn't know me well that I'm a libertarian, they are often confused by it believing that I speaking about a variation of "liberal".  Understandable considering what passes for political science in public schools nowadays.  I frequently have to clarify by by saying that libertarianism is like being a "Jeffersonian Democract" if the anti-federalist founding fathers were alive today and founded a party.
  It seems to work.  :)
Title: Re: Latest Installment
Post by: wdg3rd on May 27, 2007, 10:22:50 pm
I just tell people I'm an individualist anarchist atheist.  They want to get an explanation, let the idiots look things up.

I've wasted too fracking much of my life explaining myself.  Those with faith in gods or government can do their own work for a change.

Somebody fix this damed thing.  It replaced F U C K I N G with F R A C K I N G.  Bolding it in this edit because it pisses me off when a machine edits my language (a human editor changing my words depends on the contract).
Title: Re: Latest Installment
Post by: aditantimedh on May 27, 2007, 11:16:59 pm
Except that taxation and state-interference has never been part of the definition of "liberal".  The Democrats who believed in those were not liberals at all, it was the Right that labelled them as such when they labelled the entire party as such.  I've never seen the Democrats as liberal at all.

The word is now meaningless in American discourse and to use it or argue about its meaning has become quite futile.

Title: Re: Latest Installment
Post by: Rocketman on May 28, 2007, 08:45:34 am
I don't think it was the conservatives that originally labeled the left as "liberals".  I think it was the fabian socialists who gave themselves that title because at the time which was around the time of the McCarthy era the words socialists and communist were nearly identical in the average Americans minds which were strongly anti-communist.  Jefferson called himself and his fellow anti-federals "liberal" meaning they were progressive in their beliefs from the royalist beliefs of their time.
Title: Re: Latest Installment
Post by: Leviathan on May 28, 2007, 09:55:18 am
Regardless, she can easily become the type of fascist, control freak typefied by the superhero genre.  Even if the goal is "positive", that she's forcing a sovereign being (much less many sovereign beings) to accede to it is frankly against my political philosophy...  Inform, demonstrate, or even allow people to basically bribe another people to make their country a better place.  But force is force whether it's subtle or not.

Oh, and even if the word "liberal" has lost all its original meaning, you still knew who I meant when I used the term.  That is all that is really required in language: that the words map to a common territory of meaning.  Even if you disagree with it being an accurate definition, it's still a common definition.  I also don't like calling most of what we have in government under the label of "conservative" that either.  Liberal and Conservative have both been co-opted, and hold none of their original meaning anymore.  It's more likely to induce confusion as to the actual intent to try and reference anyone with the terms as they "should" be.
Title: Re: Latest Installment
Post by: Rocketman on May 28, 2007, 10:53:14 pm
Yes, under her control it could easily become a benevolent dictatorship.  When she "modified" those skinheads we can see that she didn't care about getting their permission before she began.   Good point.
Title: Re: Latest Installment
Post by: aditantimedh on May 30, 2007, 03:17:12 am
That's exactly the type of thing I'd like readers to notice about Susan's actions.

Title: Re: Latest Installment
Post by: Rocketman on May 31, 2007, 07:34:28 pm
The problem from the way I see it is where to draw that line.  I think that pretty near everyone would agree with Susan's actions concerning the modification of the climate in Africa but what about the AK-47s not having any effect on the people that were being shot.  Some would probably argue that that was a violation of individual rights (I kind of doubt given her liberal political beliefs thus far that Susan is a member of the National Rifle Association) and undoubtable more and more people will question her actions as she decides to carry her beliefs as far as she probably intends to take them.  If for example she decides to eliminate every gun on the planet not only is she going to have a very angry large group of people mad at her, she is also going to drastically increase the crime rate in the areas that she can't watch.  I believe that it's called the law of unintended consequences.  ;D
Title: Re: Latest Installment
Post by: aditantimedh on May 31, 2007, 10:37:14 pm
Ah, but she's not eliminating any guns at all.

Title: Re: Latest Installment
Post by: Frank B. on May 31, 2007, 11:11:11 pm
Ah, but she's not eliminating any guns at all.

Quite true.  But I think the reference to the "law of unintended consequences" is a very astute one in this case.

Title: Re: Latest Installment
Post by: Rocketman on June 01, 2007, 01:35:54 am
Frank:
     Judging from your last comment I believe I now know in what direction this story is going to be heading but I'm not going to say it outloud for the benefit of those who haven't figured it out yet.   ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: Latest Installment
Post by: wdg3rd on June 02, 2007, 09:56:59 pm
What, trivial stuff like thinking individuals from a 3D universe are ethically superior to an infantile (albeit powerful) twit from a 4D universe?  Hell, that was established even back in the first Star Trek series.  (Though Roddenberry's ethics were pretty childish themselves they were a step up from those of Trelayne and his parents)).
Title: Re: Latest Installment
Post by: Frank B. on June 02, 2007, 11:11:06 pm
Frank:
     Judging from your last comment I believe I now know in what direction this story is going to be heading but I'm not going to say it outloud for the benefit of those who haven't figured it out yet.   ;D ;D ;D

Nothing given away really.  You'll notice things have already, seemingly, not gone quite the way Susan intended.  There's a whole lot of story still to be seen in the grand story arch.  Stay tuned.
Title: Re: Latest Installment
Post by: Scott on June 04, 2007, 02:25:05 pm
With regards to the term "liberal": folks here should bear in mind that Adi was educated in Great Britain, where the term has a meaning closer to what we would call "classical liberal" than it does here.

It's not a neo-con smear. Gradually, over a period lasting roughly from the 1890s to the 1950s, "liberalism" gradually look on more and more characteristics of what Brits would call fabian socialism, or, if you will, pluralistic fascism. I trended away from a focus on individual rights and more towards "group rights" versus other groups -- workers versus owners, blacks versus whites. women versus men. The term is still very murky and can mean various things depending on context -- concern for free expression rights and legal due process rights are generally considered "liberal" but so also are restrictions on free expression (e.g., college speech codes) intended to accommodate ethnic minorities, or combat corruption in politics.

In the past, American liberalism strongly defended individual (justly acquired) property rights against a state that would infringe upon them, for almost any reason. In modern times, liberalism is quite ready to impose itself on people's property rights in pursuit of a wide variety of goals -- poverty relief, redress against social inequalities, education, "management" of the economy.

Usually when I hear the term "liberal" in an American political context I mentally substitute the term "social democrat" and usually it fits pretty well.

From what I understand of Adi's thinking he's not a libertarian but he does appreciate individualism and his philosophy is too nuanced to admit to conventional labeling. Just read the dang story, and draw your conclusions when it's finished.

Title: Re: Latest Installment
Post by: aditantimedh on June 04, 2007, 03:18:31 pm
Cheers, Scott.

Title: Re: Latest Installment
Post by: Rocketman on June 05, 2007, 11:31:33 pm
Scott:
     Concerning your last comment, a word to those who are unaware of this might be that the party of Jefferson was originally referred to as the "Republican" party while the party of Hamilton and Washington was the "Federalist" party.  The original "Republican" party about the time of Andy Jackson became the "Democractic Republican" which morped into the modern "Democractic" party.  The Federalist party broke into two factions prior to the American Civil War mainly over the issue of slavery with the anti-slavery side becoming the "Republicans".  Most of the people who read this are probably aware of all of this but I added it for the benefit of those who aren't.   :D
Title: Re: Latest Installment
Post by: Frank75 on August 12, 2007, 09:02:51 pm
I also think she's way too much Mary Sue. (And a spoiled bitch, too.)
Title: Re: Latest Installment
Post by: Rocketman on August 13, 2007, 11:34:21 pm
I'm not sure that I understand the "Mary Sue" comment.  Is that like "Miss goody two shoes"? Also are you talking about Susan or Libby?  Libby I think would qualify but Susan wouldn't in my opinion.  :P
Title: Re: Latest Installment
Post by: aditantimedh on August 14, 2007, 12:03:01 am
If Libby's a Mary Sue, she's a very unhappy one.

And who writes miserable Mary Sues?

Title: Re: Latest Installment (August 13)
Post by: Markku Tuovinen on August 14, 2007, 06:02:26 am
Page 70/139: "illegally committing nuclear disarmament"... that's a bit of an empty letter, since the nuclear armament was committed illegally in the first place: the governments of USA, Soviet Union, UK, France, China, India, Pakistan (and North Korea) didn't ask anyone, even their own citizens, whether they want to give these governments the power to thoroughly destroy the civilization. And even if the people in the 1940's gave their assent, they had no right to lock all future generations under the shadow of the bomb.

Self-defense is a natural right; mutual assured destruction is a crime against really, really many people. Righting this particular wrong cannot be illegal.
Title: Re: Latest Installment
Post by: aditantimedh on August 14, 2007, 02:07:56 pm
It's illegal in the eyes of the parties who initiated it in the first place.  The term was chosen for its double layers of irony.


Title: Re: Latest Installment
Post by: Rocketman on August 14, 2007, 06:07:47 pm
Your right Markku as far as it goes.  There's what should be and there's what really is.  One thing that really ticks me off is that the United States right now is arming with small arms and even some big ones the country of Lebanon which just prior had been considered a "terrorist" country.  Paid for with your and mine American tax dollars.  Appearently they are no longer considered to be a threat, but just try to talk our elected leaders into giving or even selling those same full auto weapons without severe restrictions to law abiding tax paying american citizens who only want to shoot them.   >:(