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  1. - Top - End - #211
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    Default Re: Blackwing's exposure to the rift

    Quote Originally Posted by Carlo View Post
    Please cite any source that claims that a new story must be added to qualify as a retcon.
    That was about interpreting your Wikipedia source, which talked about new stories being added between existing ones. IE Spiderman. That isn't what happened here.

    I disagree. When else has Haley "busted V's chops" like that?
    Haley spent the entire time Roy was a girl busting his chops over it. She also lies for entertainment and otherwise frequently.

    I never claimed any such thing, nor did any of the sources I cited.
    You are claiming this was a retcon because... it was a lie.
    Last edited by orrion; 2014-02-10 at 08:06 PM.

  2. - Top - End - #212
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    Quote Originally Posted by jere7my View Post
    In this case, I suspect Rich didn't plan this particular bit this far ahead, but not because I mistrust him—it's because it doesn't matter. The invisible familiar bit was a running gag, and Rich decided at some point to give the gag a bit of story weight by using it to mark Vaarsuvius's development. Now, the gag has run its course and become a distraction, so Rich is giving the audience a nod that the gag is over and Blackwing will be a regular character from here on out. It doesn't matter whether Haley's revelation is a retcon or not, because to this point Blackwing only had story significance for Vaarsuvius; everybody else's interactions with him were just further iterations of the running gag. Because it was a running gag, with people remembering or forgetting Blackwing as the comedy dictated, Haley's revelation can't create contradictions. Contradictions are only an issue for matters of story significance; comedy absorbs, ignores, or thrives on them. You get a "Wah wah wahhh" from the trumpet and move on.
    Exactly. The only reason you would consider this a "retcon" is if you thought that there was some sinister meaning behind the Order not acknowledging Blackwing - if you took it as a joke in the first place, it doesn't really matter or not whether Rich "always" intended that Haley was just trying to wind V up.
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  3. - Top - End - #213
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    Default Re: Blackwing's exposure to the rift

    Quote Originally Posted by Sir_Leorik View Post
    Just a quick nitpick: Roy's Bluff was to convince Belkar that there were Giants, not Ogres. And he Bluffed Haley that the Giants were Kings.
    Ahh, yeah, giants. I knew about the specifics of his bluff to Haley, but I generalized it to be snappier.


    And yes, calling it necessarily a retcon is silly unless you know for certain that Rich didn't intend for Haley to be kidding at first. You do not know that. I suspect that myself, but until he clarifies, we can't say it is a retcon for certain. If he intended it from the beginning, then calling it a retcon is, as others have said, like the end of Sixth Sense retconning Bruce Willis to have been dead all along.


    At this juncture, the only thing I think I can contribute is some sort of analysis as to why I feel it's clear this was intended as a joke. If you think this was a joke that also masked plot information, then sure, okay, maybe. If you think this was never intended to be a joke at all, then I strongly disagree.

    The seventh panel of #674 has Haley and Belkar point out two of the very few situations where Blackwing was actually present. If this is a Serious Comic dispensing Serious Plot Information that we're supposed to take Seriously, then this is a coincidence. They picked two random events out of the comic's run and hit the 1% target that is required to hit a point where Blackwing was present.

    Or, Haley picked one of the moments where Blackwing was actually around and she saw him (she's facing the right direction, after all) and brought it up specifically to razz Vaarsuvius more. This supports the fact that she's in the know more than anything else. Why would she pick that moment at all, otherwise?

    The three explanations are: Haley is purposefully busting V's chops, this strip is running off the Rule of Funny, or massive lottery-winning-level coincidence. Only on Giant in the Playground do people support the latter!

    Belkar's line is a similar instance, except that it's much more leaning in the direction of Rule of Funny than purposefully busting V's chops, since no one was there to see V face down the death knight but V. V could have told the others the story, but Belkar hardly pays attention anyway. Either's possible, though.

    Now, I remember hearing that #809 was not intended as a joke because V is not there to provide the humor from being exasperated -- but Blackwing is right there, being exasperated. If Roy and Belkar's ignorance in #809 was a plot point, why would Blackwing's response be "You are both ignorant cretins."? Would it not be "Why don't you guys believe I'm real?" or "Do you really not remember me?" Instead of asking questions, Blackwing accepts that they're just being dumb and gives a line to that effect. If it was supposed to be seen as critical plot information, and we were supposed to pick up on there being a reason behind their ignorance, he would not have responded that way. He responded in a way that signified it as Rule of Funny when there were many other ways he could have responded that would not have painted it like a joke.

    Again, I'm not currently arguing whether their ignorance stems from the rift's effects or whatever. I'm just trying to say that every instance of the party not knowing who Blackwing is is very much intended to be seen as a joke. Whether it's only a joke or not, well, debate as you will. Personally I don't think it's impossible for it to be a rift effect, but if it is, it is supposed to be a twist, because everything up to this point was very much written in the style of a joke.
    Last edited by The Linker; 2014-02-10 at 10:59 PM.

  4. - Top - End - #214
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    Quote Originally Posted by jere7my View Post
    Are you saying that that's a retcon? That's overly broad. The ending of The Sixth Sense is not a retcon.
    Obviously not, at least not by itself. The citations I linked provide a more complete definition of what a retcon is. I'm merely arguing that the addition of new context to reframe past events, rather than merely changing or erasing past events, can also count as a retcon.

    It really shouldn't need to be said that, obviously, the ending of The Sixth Sense isn't a retcon because, setting aside all of the foreshadowings for the twist, The Sixth Sense takes place within a single movie! Retcons are only possible, even theoretically, in serialized fiction like comic books and TV series.

    What determines whether a retcon is a retcon is authorial planning. If the author presents us with a hawk on page 50, and on page 200 they tell us that it was actually a polymorphed handsaw, it is only a retcon if the author didn't know on page 50 that it was going to be a handsaw. If the audience is lucky, they can turn back to page 50 and find the subtle clues that it was intentional—say, a character says "Well, I never saw such a hawk!" or there's a Hamlet reference on the page. If, on the other hand, it's a (bad) retcon, it might create inconsistencies that the audience can point to. Often, there's just not enough evidence on either side, and it all comes down to how much you trust the author. If you're doing "death of the author" analysis, it can be very tough to build a case for retroactive continuity.

    In this case, I suspect Rich didn't plan this particular bit this far ahead, but not because I mistrust him—it's because it doesn't matter. The invisible familiar bit was a running gag, and Rich decided at some point to give the gag a bit of story weight by using it to mark Vaarsuvius's development. Now, the gag has run its course and become a distraction, so Rich is giving the audience a nod that the gag is over and Blackwing will be a regular character from here on out. It doesn't matter whether Haley's revelation is a retcon or not, because to this point Blackwing only had story significance for Vaarsuvius; everybody else's interactions with him were just further iterations of the running gag. Because it was a running gag, with people remembering or forgetting Blackwing as the comedy dictated, Haley's revelation can't create contradictions. Contradictions are only an issue for matters of story significance; comedy absorbs, ignores, or thrives on them. You get a "Wah wah wahhh" from the trumpet and move on.
    I agree with most of this, more or less. I wouldn't say exactly that comedy can't create contradictions, but I see what you're getting at.

  5. - Top - End - #215
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    Default Re: Blackwing's exposure to the rift

    Quote Originally Posted by orrion View Post
    That was about interpreting your Wikipedia source, which talked about new stories being added between existing ones. IE Spiderman. That isn't what happened here.
    I'm honestly beginning to wonder if you're being deliberately obtuse. You appear to be selectively interpreting the explanations and citations I've provided. The operative sentence in the quote from Wikipedia is the first sentence:

    Quote Originally Posted by Wikipedia
    Some retcons do not necessarily directly contradict previously established facts but instead fill in missing background details, usually to support current plot points.
    which contradicts your earlier assertion that retcons only change or erase past events. The examples are just that, illustrations of this type of retcon. The requirement that this type of retcon requires the addition of "story", whatever that means, is a fiction that you invented. That I quoted this specific section doesn't mean that you're supposed to ignore the main definition of "retcon" provided in the article, namely:

    Quote Originally Posted by Wikipedia
    Retroactive continuity, or retcon for short, is the alteration of previously established facts in the continuity of a fictional work.
    Quote Originally Posted by orrion
    Haley spent the entire time Roy was a girl busting his chops over it. She also lies for entertainment and otherwise frequently.
    Poking fun at the resident straight man after an unexpected gender change is hardly equivalent to busting the chops of her oldest friend within the order for no apparent reason. And as I mentioned earlier, unlike #237, in #674 there was no indication that Haley was joking.

    You are claiming this was a retcon because... it was a lie.
    No, I was not, which you would know if you took the time to really try to understand the argument that I'm making.

  6. - Top - End - #216
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Linker View Post
    And yes, calling it necessarily a retcon is silly unless you know for certain that Rich didn't intend for Haley to be kidding at first. You do not know that. I suspect that myself, but until he clarifies, we can't say it is a retcon for certain. If he intended it from the beginning, then calling it a retcon is, as others have said, like the end of Sixth Sense retconning Bruce Willis to have been dead all along.
    Calling what appears to be a retcon, a retcon, isn't silly just because one isn't 100% sure that the label is accurate. If it quacks like a duck, and all that. I'm perfectly willing to concede, as I already have previously, that I can't know for sure if this was an intended or unintended change, and I even admitted that I prefer the interpretation that it was intended. But I'm willing to call it a retcon because, on the face of it, that's what it looks like.

    The seventh panel of #674 has Haley and Belkar point out two of the very few situations where Blackwing was actually present. If this is a Serious Comic dispensing Serious Plot Information that we're supposed to take Seriously, then this is a coincidence. They picked two random events out of the comic's run and hit the 1% target that is required to hit a point where Blackwing was present.
    This doesn't logically follow at all. This is actually one of the reasons I interpret it as NOT a joke. How does it being a Serious Comic dispensing Serious Plot Information require that past events would be picked randomly? For me, the selection of these two specific events was a signal that Canon Is Being Changed. A joke, to my mind, would have been delivered in a punchier manner - the Order would have forgotten about Blackwing, Vaarsuvius would have been angry, haha so funny! That Rich took the time to underscore the contradictions introduced by the joke signaled that he was fully aware of them, which implied that they were being introduced for some greater purpose.

    Now, I remember hearing that #809 was not intended as a joke because V is not there to provide the humor from being exasperated -- but Blackwing is right there, being exasperated. If Roy and Belkar's ignorance in #809 was a plot point, why would Blackwing's response be "You are both ignorant cretins."? Would it not be "Why don't you guys believe I'm real?" or "Do you really not remember me?" Instead of asking questions, Blackwing accepts that they're just being dumb and gives a line to that effect. If it was supposed to be seen as critical plot information, and we were supposed to pick up on there being a reason behind their ignorance, he would not have responded that way. He responded in a way that signified it as Rule of Funny when there were many other ways he could have responded that would not have painted it like a joke.
    This is a decent argument, and one that I hadn't considered, but it ultimately boils down to a subjective interpretation of the comic. The "ignorant cretins" part was indeed funny, but the set-up, which again underscored the amnesia that appears to have been inflicted on the order, appeared to me as yet another effort at highlighting the contradictions introduced by the earlier "joke" in #674. And it was this by-then repeated highlighting of those contradictions that cause me to interpret the whole matter as more than just a joke, as I've explained previously. Blackwing's response is less important than what he was responding to in the first place, and his unwillingness to confront Roy and Belkar about their amnesia could simply be because it was too early in the narrative to address the mystery directly.

    Again, I'm not currently arguing whether their ignorance stems from the rift's effects or whatever. I'm just trying to say that every instance of the party not knowing who Blackwing is is very much intended to be seen as a joke. Whether it's only a joke or not, well, debate as you will. Personally I don't think it's impossible for it to be a rift effect, but if it is, it is supposed to be a twist, because everything up to this point was very much written in the style of a joke.
    As many others have remarked, with my full agreement, it's ultimately a matter of interpretation. For me, everything written up to this point is very much written in the style of NOT a joke.

  7. - Top - End - #217
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    Default Re: Blackwing's exposure to the rift

    Quote Originally Posted by Carlo View Post
    Calling what appears to be a retcon, a retcon, isn't silly just because one isn't 100% sure that the label is accurate. If it quacks like a duck, and all that. I'm perfectly willing to concede, as I already have previously, that I can't know for sure if this was an intended or unintended change, and I even admitted that I prefer the interpretation that it was intended. But I'm willing to call it a retcon because, on the face of it, that's what it looks like.
    If I'm not 100% sure on something I call it 'a possible retcon'. I don't call it a retcon and then spend several posts arguing for it being a retcon. I was pretty darn sure Geoff was responsible for keeping Ian locked up but I would never say 'It was definitely him' until it was proven.

    Quote Originally Posted by Carlo View Post
    This doesn't logically follow at all. This is actually one of the reasons I interpret it as NOT a joke. How does it being a Serious Comic dispensing Serious Plot Information require that past events would be picked randomly? For me, the selection of these two specific events was a signal that Canon Is Being Changed. A joke, to my mind, would have been delivered in a punchier manner - the Order would have forgotten about Blackwing, Vaarsuvius would have been angry, haha so funny! That Rich took the time to underscore the contradictions introduced by the joke signaled that he was fully aware of them, which implied that they were being introduced for some greater purpose.
    But why were they picked? In-universe, I mean. Why did Haley and Belkar pick those two events? You offer no explanation for the incredible coincidence that occurred that they picked those two events out of hundreds of others where Blackwing wasn't present.

    Again, it's an earth-shattering coincidence, Rule of Funny, or intentional chops-busting. You can advocate earth-shattering coincidence if you want, but at some point you you must realize when the odds are stacked against a certain argument.
    Last edited by The Linker; 2014-02-11 at 12:49 AM.

  8. - Top - End - #218
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    Default Re: Blackwing's exposure to the rift

    Quote Originally Posted by Carlo View Post
    This doesn't logically follow at all. This is actually one of the reasons I interpret it as NOT a joke. How does it being a Serious Comic dispensing Serious Plot Information require that past events would be picked randomly? For me, the selection of these two specific events was a signal that Canon Is Being Changed. A joke, to my mind, would have been delivered in a punchier manner - the Order would have forgotten about Blackwing, Vaarsuvius would have been angry, haha so funny! That Rich took the time to underscore the contradictions introduced by the joke signaled that he was fully aware of them, which implied that they were being introduced for some greater purpose.
    But--Wh--She is angry!
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  9. - Top - End - #219
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    Default Re: Blackwing's exposure to the rift

    Quote Originally Posted by The Linker View Post
    If I'm not 100% sure on something I call it 'a possible retcon'. I don't call it a retcon and then spend several posts arguing for it being a retcon. I was pretty darn sure Geoff was responsible for keeping Ian locked up but I would never say 'It was definitely him' until it was proven.
    A possible retcon then, if that's the terminology you prefer. I never argued that it was definitely a retcon, I argued that my use of the term was defensible, i.e. that it fit the definition. Others like orrion and Keltest were the ones who argued that it definitely wasn't a retcon, I suggest you take up your argument with them.

    But why were they picked? In-universe, I mean. Why did Haley and Belkar pick those two events? You offer no explanation for the incredible coincidence that occurred that they picked those two events out of hundreds of others where Blackwing wasn't present.
    The out-of-universe explanation seems sufficient to me. Nothing in the story is truly a coincidence, everything is crafted deliberately to a greater narrative, artistic, or comedic purpose. I feel pretty confident in guessing that not once did Rich ever roll d100 to assist in his writing.
    Last edited by Carlo; 2014-02-11 at 01:18 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Loreweaver15 View Post
    But--Wh--She is angry!
    Sorry, I must not have been clear. I simply meant that, to my mind, had Rich been joking, he would have glossed over the specific contradictions introduced by the joke, rather than highlighting them deliberately. He would have gotten to the punchline quicker, rather than wasting panels on an unnecessarily clunky set-up.
    Last edited by Carlo; 2014-02-11 at 01:20 AM.

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    Default Re: Blackwing's exposure to the rift

    I would also put forth that in the aforementioned seventh panel of #670, if it was supposed to be serious, Vaarsuvius would have brought up those moments. "Remember when I was a lizard and that raven chased me around?" "No, I don't think so." "But-- how--"

    That would be an infinitely cleaner way of showing it to be something serious, rather than showing Haley and Belkar getting absurdly lucky and presenting the equivalent of two needles in a haystack as examples. The joke is in the absurdity of picking two of the worst moments to try and defend their argument.

    That Haley and Belkar picked the moments themselves does nothing but undermine the seriousness of the situation. I can't emphasize that enough. It was the exact opposite of the correct way to show it as something serious that we should take seriously.

    If these were not jokes, there were better ways to write them, plain and simple. There is a better, more serious way to write any of these panels to deter us from seeing them as jokes. Since he did not choose any of those ways, and instead specifically chose the most comedic way to do it, I can see no other conclusion to come to than 'It was supposed to be seen as a joke.' Whether there's something hidden under those jokes, as David Argall is saying, well, I'm not getting into that. But the camouflage is most certainly humor.
    Last edited by The Linker; 2014-02-11 at 01:43 AM.

  12. - Top - End - #222
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    Wait, this is a thing people thought? That the Rift had some sort of memory-erasing effect about Blackwing, and not Xykon?

    Huh.

    Nope. It was a joke; an arbitrary reversal of the old status quo regarding Blackwing for humorous purpose. The only reason I revisited it last strip is because I'm ending it now, and Blackwing will interact more with the rest of the team. There was no serious plot reason for it, except maybe as another means to stall the V-tells-Roy-the-truth-about-what-Blackwing-saw conversation to the end of the book instead of the beginning. Though really, V's guilt was already doing that job well enough; this just headed off the corollary question, "Why doesn't Blackwing just go and tell Roy on his own?"

    Regarding the initial scene, my feeling was that Roy didn't remember because his own exposure to Blackwing was sharply limited, Belkar and Elan were goldfish-minded idiots, and Haley and Durkon were pulling V's leg. But ultimately, it was just a joke. A bit of silliness at the start of a new book that was fated to become really heavy later on. The fact that Blackwing only appeared when V remembered him was already a ridiculous contrivance with no given explanation, so switching it to another ridiculous contrivance is fair game as far as I'm concerned.

    The fact of the matter is that if I introduced strip #3 now, there would be a 30-page thread discussing the likely cosmic ramifications and obvious plot importance of V's disappearing familiar. But sometimes, stuff happens because I think it's funny or interesting and I don't worry too much about logic or consistency.
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    Thank you for the clarification, Rich!

    Sorry there needed to be clarification, Rich!
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    Default Re: Blackwing's exposure to the rift

    Quote Originally Posted by orrion View Post
    The Oracle actually does wipe memories. I'm literally laughing at the irony here - the one time a memory wipe is confirmed to have occurred in the comic you're flat out ignoring it. It's baffling.
    Reread my comments. I deal with the memory wipe several times. The basic point is that it is a partial wipe of the facts of what happened while in the valley. Despite what is said, Roy & Durkon both remember facts besides the questions and answers. In particular, they would remember Blackwing's question and answer, which means remembering the bird.

    Quote Originally Posted by orrion View Post
    If by "gymnastics" you mean "not turn around," then yes, Roy would have had to do that to avoid seeing him in the woods. Roy was talking to Haley when Blackwing appeared and then the comic ends. Next one starts with V taking shelter under Roy and, again, Blackwing is behind him. There's no indication of how much time passed or in what direction(s) they went.
    Actually we see Roy is walking at the start of 179 and has moved from Haley to Belkar, so some period of time, during which by your theory Roy must always face away from Blackwing, has passed. This quickly becomes a very difficult gymnastic feat as we are dealing with two moving objects

    Quote Originally Posted by orrion View Post
    How? Elan wasn't there in comic #3, he was tied in a tent when Blackwing was scouting the bandit camp, and he wasn't on panel at any point in 178 or 179 while V was a lizard. And the party was basically ignoring V while he was a lizard and Elan isn't smart so it's highly dubious to think he'd have made the connection between V and the raven.
    This is what I mean by deriving facts from conclusions. You start with the thesis that Blackwing is only seen when V thinks of him, and when the evidence suggests he is seen at other times, you reject the evidence. The more logical system is to reject the thesis when it does no match the evidence.

    Quote Originally Posted by orrion View Post
    The better explanation is that Blackwing went to enjoy the tea party by himself, possibly because he was feeling ignored. Also, there's no evidence that Blackwing appears when other party members remember him. Only when V remembers him.
    Now for starters, there is no known way for Blackwing to learn of the tea party, other than by Elan. So we are back to saying Elan remembered Blackwing. More painful for your theory, it says that Blackwing was active when V was not thinking of him, which negates the idea that he was only active when thought of.

    Quote Originally Posted by orrion View Post
    It is not "evidence" to say that an ongoing story will have an element at some point from the billions of other stories that have been written.
    Of course it is. It may not be very convincing evidence, nor very extensive in what it shows, but it is evidence.

    Quote Originally Posted by orrion View Post
    The "book" will already be online before it's printed.
    only a technical point. Online readers suffer the same appeal.

    Quote Originally Posted by jere7my View Post
    I suspect Rich didn't plan this particular bit this far ahead, but not because I mistrust him—it's because it doesn't matter. Contradictions are only an issue for matters of story significance; comedy absorbs, ignores, or thrives on them. You get a "Wah wah wahhh" from the trumpet and move on.
    Sometimes. But you are assuming the lack of story significance here. And here we routinely mix story significance and comedy.
    And a flaw is still a flaw, even if it on a trivial matter. We want to avoid it.

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    Default Re: Blackwing's exposure to the rift

    David you appear to have missed a post.
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    Default Re: Blackwing's exposure to the rift

    I was wondering when the Giant might come to cut down that tree. Hopefully, this will serve as a reminder that sometimes, "a joke is just a joke, even if some people doesn't find it funny".

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    Default Re: Blackwing's exposure to the rift

    Quote Originally Posted by Loreweaver15 View Post
    David you appear to have missed a post.
    Nah, it's just the Rift erasing his memories of the Giant. It's gone meta!

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    Default Re: Blackwing's exposure to the rift

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodin View Post
    Nah, it's just the Rift erasing his memories of the Giant. It's gone meta!
    Memories of who? The author? I'd think if the author of the comic liked to come on this forum and post his thoughts on fan theories, I'd have noticed by now.

  19. - Top - End - #229
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    Default Re: Blackwing's exposure to the rift

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    Nope. It was a joke; an arbitrary reversal of the old status quo regarding Blackwing for humorous purpose.
    Well, poot.
    Okay, I was wrong. I think that makes my record 1-1-2.

  20. - Top - End - #230
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    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Blackwing's exposure to the rift

    Dear Giant,

    Thanks for the clearing it up.

    I just want to say something, as a lot of discussion on this thread has been couched in terms of the joke not working or not being funny.

    For me, I found the #674 and #809 jokes extremely funny. In fact I found the panel with Blackwing telling Roy and Belkar they are ignorant cretins was (and still is) one of the biggest laugh out loud single panels so far in this book. Thanks for the funnies!

    (Just in case the thread was reading too much like no-one thought the joke was funny.... )

    Quote Originally Posted by allenw View Post
    Well, poot.
    Okay, I was wrong. I think that makes my record 1-1-2.
    Congratulations: you win a consolation prize of your choice for being able to admit getting it wrong. The internet needs more people like you!
    Last edited by DeliaP; 2014-02-11 at 07:56 AM.
    Geez, what is it with that guy and needing to figure out all the fiddly little details?

    I know, right? It's called "Suspension of Disbelief"...
    Quote Originally Posted by Everyl View Post
    Some speculation turns out to be accurate, some doesn't. I'll deal with it the same way I deal with all other speculative theories I read and/or come up with: by continuing to read the comic, and enjoying it whether the speculation turns out to be right or wrong.
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  21. - Top - End - #231
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    Daemon

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    Default Re: Blackwing's exposure to the rift

    Durkon pulled V's leg!!! That's mean and I can't see Durkon doing that to V. Maybe Belkar but not V.

  22. - Top - End - #232
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    Default Re: Blackwing's exposure to the rift

    Quote Originally Posted by Sunken Valley View Post
    Durkon pulled V's leg!!! That's mean and I can't see Durkon doing that to V. Maybe Belkar but not V.
    Ah, but Trigak would totally bust on V's chops.
    Geez, what is it with that guy and needing to figure out all the fiddly little details?

    I know, right? It's called "Suspension of Disbelief"...
    Quote Originally Posted by Everyl View Post
    Some speculation turns out to be accurate, some doesn't. I'll deal with it the same way I deal with all other speculative theories I read and/or come up with: by continuing to read the comic, and enjoying it whether the speculation turns out to be right or wrong.
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  23. - Top - End - #233
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    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: Blackwing's exposure to the rift

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    Wait, this is a thing people thought? That the Rift had some sort of memory-erasing effect about Blackwing, and not Xykon?

    Huh.

    Nope. It was a joke; an arbitrary reversal of the old status quo regarding Blackwing for humorous purpose.
    Thank you. This particular epileptic tree has been in need of pruning for almost three years!
    Farewell Durkon! May you merit to enter Valhalla and share a drink with your pa!

  24. - Top - End - #234
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    Default Re: Blackwing's exposure to the rift

    Quote Originally Posted by David Argall View Post
    Reread my comments. I deal with the memory wipe several times. The basic point is that it is a partial wipe of the facts of what happened while in the valley. Despite what is said, Roy & Durkon both remember facts besides the questions and answers. In particular, they would remember Blackwing's question and answer, which means remembering the bird.
    Why are you still posting about this? The Giant just shot your theory down.

  25. - Top - End - #235
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    ClericGuy

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    Default Re: Blackwing's exposure to the rift

    I'm glad I waited until now to comment.

    At first, I actually kind of agreed with the original idea that something might be up with Blackwing, but after reading this thread and rereading the relevant strips, I decided it was probably just a joke I didn't appreciate the first time. Certainly when I realized that it was Roy that drove it originally, and that from his point of view, everything he said made sense, the possibility of being metaphysically significant dropped a lot. Especially because Blackwing had no trouble interacting with new characters.

    More to the point though, in light of the Giant's comments, how well do we really know Durkon? I've just gotten my copies of NCftPB and W&XP's (already owned the others; last time I tried to buy them, they were sold out), which led to some serious comic-rereading. I can't help but feel, after the reread, that Durkon's death and vamping lead, in some people's minds, to a very human tendency to---eulogize Durkon. He was a good guy before, but bland as he seemed, there was much more to him than just Lawful Good. The fact that he egged on V in his treatment of Belkar should prove that he was no saint, even then.

  26. - Top - End - #236
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    Default Re: Blackwing's exposure to the rift

    Wow, how epically ninja'd I was. I won't erase this whole post, though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by orrion View Post
    When I say Rule of Funny trumps everything I'm referring to the Giant himself. I don't have time to find the quote right now, but there was one where he listed the "order of importance," if you will. If I'm remembering correctly, jokes topped the list.

    Whether you agree with that is something else entirely.

    You are correct in that the Giant probably won't sacrifice everything for a joke. However, that's a 2 way street. It's equally unlikely that the Giant would take a series of events that were clearly jokes and turn them into a significant plot point when it makes the story suffer. The inconsistencies with this theory do just that.
    Give me the context, then I'll have something to argue about. Until then - I'm not contradicting the Giant. I am saying the thing that is true: the Giant won't sacrifice everything for a joke.

    I agree with the conclusion, that this is most likely not about rift exposure and that this was a joke, but not with the arguments. The arguments are so horrible I've taken the risk of confusing everyone by arguing against my own point.


    Quote Originally Posted by The Linker View Post
    While no webcomic's story has enraptured me to the point where I've purchased all the books, a calendar, and a friggin' fridge magnet like Order of the Stick -- I think this one instance where people are just thinking too highly of him. Or simply misrepresenting his chain of importance in regards to rule of funny vs. plot coherence.

    The simplest and most plausible explanation, to me, is:

    #674: "Hey, it'd be pretty funny to have everyone forget Blackwing just like V spent the rest of the comic's run forgetting about Blackwing."

    #943: "I want to integrate Blackwing into the party more. Hmm... for Haley, I'll include a throwaway line where she says she was just kidding before. Elan... hah, I could just say he actually forgot. I'll throw something together for Roy and Belkar later, maybe."

    No matter what reason you think the party ignored Blackwing before, Haley saying something about why she was acknowledging Blackwing now needed to be done. He can't just give no explanation, or that'd be even weirder. This was a quick and easy explanation that -- to most -- didn't raise any questions. It's just a couple panels that serve like a switch between 'Blackwing is ignored by everyone' to 'Blackwing is treated like an actual character now.'

    The joke that they were all denying Blackwing's existence also makes it easier to justify why Blackwing wouldn't, say, just tell Roy what he saw in the rift. It allows Blackwing to serve as someone for Vaarsuvius to talk to who won't tell the rest of the party anything -- even the really important, relevant-to-their-quest stuff.



    I believe that he was referring to the fact that you present 'the characters did forget' and the 'the characters are playing a joke' as if the answer could not be 'some of them forgot and some of them are playing a joke.' Which is exactly what happened (when you take the latest strip at face value) with Haley and Elan.
    I don't think it was anything like a retcon. A retcon requires ignoring some of the previously established points. Merely finding out things about the past is not a retcon, is not bad writing, and is in fact a huge part of the plot of most books. This is what the whole detective genre is built on.

    And it was not "just" a joke, which is why the "Rule of Funny" arguments irritate me so much.

    V forgetting about Blackwing initially, beside being a joke, established an important point about this character: V doesn't care about other living beings all that much. V is ignorant to the point where ve doesn't remember vir own familiar, the only creature in the world that's unfortunate enough to rely on V's attention span to remind vir of himself.

    Several next iterations of meeting Blackwing establish that the raven is not OK with it and doesn't think it's something natural that always happens and is nothing to fret about (refuses to speak Common, prefers hunting a random lizard to finding out where his master went, gladly testifies against his master in a court, refuses to protect his master in combat).

    The continuation of the gag is about V finally facing the consequences of vir ignorance. Ve has finally remembered about Blackwing, but because of vir ignorance no-one else remembers him, even though they should. A boy crying "Wolf!" is met with disbelief when the real wolf happens. It is played for laughs, but it is a lesson to V.

    And now? Now is the interesting part: as V has stepped on the road to redemption, he started earning forgiveness. Turns out his past screw-ups were not as bad as they seemed; not everyone forgot Blackwing. This one "horrible atrocity" is let slide.


    And the fact that this chain of events is lined up so perfectly makes me pretty confident Rich has planned this from the start; maybe not in details, but the whole character arc was conceived beforehand.


    The argument that several people having different reasons for the same behavior is contrived, but that something is unlikely doesn't mean it won't happen... well, it defeats itself and says everything there is to say on the matter. I'd just like to add that it's in no way unlikely.

    And Belkar, personally, was playing prank not just on V, but also on Roy, which explains his reaction to Blackwing when he appeared before them. Roy is even funnier (from Belkar's point of view). And Blackwing's irritation? Comedy gold. Well, either that or Belkar forgot. Forgetting is not implausible and not unlikely.

    What's pretty goddamn unlikely is that there was a bird all along with the party and Roy never noticed it. It is what actually happened, but it's implausible and difficult to believe. Which serves to further establish that V's level of ignorance, while probably normal to DnD players in our world, is in no way normal or common or acceptable in-universe.


    Oh, and the reason why I don't think there will be a rift explanation? Because it invalidates the part of V's character arc this presents. It's not V's fault Blackwing stared into the rift; in fact, this was one of vir more heroic points (aka balls of steel paladin style). Blackwing being forgotten has clearly been presented as V's fault; if we nullify that, we nullify the lesson of that scene, and saying that Rich doesn't write his story for lessons is like saying you've never read a single post of his.
    Last edited by Liliet; 2014-02-11 at 12:58 PM.
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  27. - Top - End - #237
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    Default Re: Blackwing's exposure to the rift

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    The fact that Blackwing only appeared when V remembered him was already a ridiculous contrivance with no given explanation, so switching it to another ridiculous contrivance is fair game as far as I'm concerned.
    I think the "I was pulling V's leg" joke doesn't work so well because it's a far less ridiculous contrivance than the original (and I suggested a suitably-ridiculous alternative - that the OOTS subsequently forgot that they forgot - upthread). But whatever, misfires happen.
    Last edited by blunk; 2014-02-11 at 02:51 PM.
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    Default Re: Blackwing's exposure to the rift

    {{scrubbed}}
    Last edited by Mark Hall; 2014-02-12 at 04:34 PM.

  29. - Top - End - #239
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    Default Re: Blackwing's exposure to the rift

    Quote Originally Posted by David Argall View Post
    {{scrubbed}}
    You don't listen to any of the other comments, so what difference does it make that lots of other people are willing?

    The idea that the Giant only spends his time doing 2 things - posting on the forum and writing comics - is hilariously dumb. Quite presumptuous of you to comment on that, too.
    Last edited by Mark Hall; 2014-02-12 at 04:35 PM.

  30. - Top - End - #240
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    Default Re: Blackwing's exposure to the rift

    Quote Originally Posted by David Argall View Post
    {{scrubbed}}
    They didn't "need" anything, David, they worked fine as jokes on their own. 943 just brings the joke to a formal close.

    Also, where do you get off telling Rich how to spend his time?
    Last edited by Mark Hall; 2014-02-12 at 04:36 PM.
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