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Something Positive 
31st-Jan-2006 01:44 am
Me: on Ferris wheel 2012-09-09
I should have been in bed hours ago, but I’m still up, and I have to say, R. K. Milholland rocks my socks. Something Positive is a funny webcomic, but sometimes it’s also literature. Here’s today’s comic, but if you haven’t been following it, you should first start here and read forward, and you might want to read this comic and the following two first for context.

If any of you out there isn’t already reading Something Positive regularly, you’re welcome.
31st-Jan-2006 11:58 am (UTC)
-I love the indicia gag in today's (1/30) comic: "My mother left me the most annoyed-sounding voicemail ever . . . I wonder why?"
31st-Jan-2006 04:00 pm (UTC)
That's not a gag. His mother no doubt did, given the recent storyline. Hell *I* am tempted to leave him an annoyed voicemail.
31st-Jan-2006 04:15 pm (UTC)
-The legal-and-contact stuff at the bottom of the comic is the indicia. (As found at the bottom of the first page of most older comic books.) RKM usually puts a one-line comment in there, usually funny (though often rather dark). This practice is generically an "indicia gag". My calling this particular comment a gag does not indicate that I think it's fiction, nor does it necessarily indicate that I think it's funny. I'm simply using a generic term.

(Though, in fact, I do think it's funny, and I think RKM put it there with the intention to amuse. So, it is a gag.)
31st-Jan-2006 12:03 pm (UTC)
I realize that most people feel don't feel this way (I swear, I know people who beat off to old SP strips, but I can't stand it. I enjoy Webcomics -- favorites include Dork Tower and PvP -- but Something Positive is, well, unimaginatively drawn. And in a medium that's at least 50% visual, that counts for a lot with me.

Granted, the humor often strikes me as contrived as well, but I could overlook that better if I cared more for Milholland's art (especially his excruciatingly bad color sense). Compared to PvP, which always looks like a million bucks, Sp looks like a Photoshop experiment that should have been kept from the eyes of others at all costs.

Hey, you (collectively) like the strip? Cool. I don't begrudge the guy his success, or others their tastes. Just wanted to demur on something that nearly everyone I know swoons over. Don't get me started on Harry Potter. :)
31st-Jan-2006 12:43 pm (UTC)
[...] but Something Positive is, well, unimaginatively drawn.
Fascinating. The quality of the drawing matters to me too (it’s why I can hardly bear to look at Dilbert, for instance), but the drawing in Something Positive works fine for me. (Unlike, for instance, the drawing in PvP. I wouldn’t call it unimaginative, but I don’t like it.)

My own colour sense is sufficiently terrible that I can’t comment on Randy’s, but the only fault in SP that I actually notice is that the language is sometimes off. (For instance, in one of the strips I pointed people at, Davan says “Goddamnit. If I knew parents were going to be such a heartbreak, I’d have never gotten any,” which would get said in real life as ‘If I’d known [probably, depending on the speaker] parents were going to be such a heartbreak, I’d never have gotten any.’ And sometimes the characters speak much more formally than I’d expect them to. But given that he does storylines like this one from time to time, he could have the characters say “where doth thee goeth” and I’d probably forgive him.
31st-Jan-2006 02:01 pm (UTC)
Huh. I don't like it (or am ambivalent about it; I'm still trying to decide) but for me it's the nature of the world. It's pretty bleak, and if I read it very long, I start feeling the same way. Admittedly, this may be because I stayed up one night reading the archive and overdosed, but that just wasn't very hard. I think he (Randy) has a nice sense of insight, and storyline, and can come up with beautiful zingers. But his worldview still disturbs me.

I do like Harry Potter, though. Yum, mind candy! :-}

3rd-Feb-2006 02:57 am (UTC)
Well, sure, there’s a lot that’s negative. But there’s also stuff that’s inspiringly beautiful. I think the cynicism-to-wonder ratio is just about perfect for me in a comic, but I certainly agree that it’s a matter of taste.

(I also really like Ozy and Millie, though, which is just about as sweet and cheery a comic strip as S*P is twisted.)
31st-Jan-2006 04:54 pm (UTC)
I haven't really taken to the handful of SP strips I've looked at either, but in my case it's less the art and more the sheer density of tiny crabbed handwriting in the dialogue balloons. Makes my eyes hurt.
3rd-Feb-2006 02:54 am (UTC)
That turned me off mildly when I very first looked at it. It didn’t take so long before I was grateful to him for giving me so much dialogue, though, just because I liked it so much. Like going back for seconds of something that’s really yummy. :-)
31st-Jan-2006 01:25 pm (UTC)
"if life is unfair, it was unfair in my favor"

That was roughly what my mother said when my father passed on at the ripe old age of 49. She got nearly 30 years with the love of her life...
31st-Jan-2006 02:31 pm (UTC)
I'd like to point out that it is best followed by Goats: http://www.goats.com/archive/
1st-Feb-2006 04:40 am (UTC)
Man, I used to read that religiously...
I can't believe she died! That sucks. Her and Coretta Scott King in one day... man... *depressed*.
2nd-Feb-2006 06:52 pm (UTC)
I was thinking the comment about the voicemail from his mother was also a casual way of letting readers know his mom hadn't actually died (since SP is sometimes has autobiographical plot elements). -Kala
2nd-Feb-2006 06:53 pm (UTC)
Ooh, might well be! That makes lots of sense.
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