The Order of the Stick: Utterly Dwarfed
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  1. - Top - End - #121
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    Default Re: The Legacy of Dominic Deegan: The Unending Snark

    I don't really have a problem with the casual stuff.
    And if the wacky coincidences were limited to these parts, I would just groan about it, but not much more.

    I do however have a problem since in this entire plot line so far, the protagonist didn't really have to actively DO anything important.

    Looking for Dominic Deegan started from a random event, and the second page was also retrieved the same way.
    Sure, Snout searched for clues in the library, but it seems obvious that the library is a dead end and the pages from the mystery book will be the actual leads.
    Also, it made the library scene weird since we as the readers know about the importance of the page for the plot, but for Snout at this point it shouldn't have been more that a random event most people would just ignore.

    As for the plot-lines with the witch? Same thing, all the major points were a result or Snout walking around and things happen around him.
    Finding the witch? She came to his house.
    Finding the ship? He found it twice by accident, and a third time he could have noticed it if he wasn't deaf.
    Communication problems? No issue, it just happens that both the witch and the ship communicate with written language, and that seems to be a major part of their magic/tech. There is a difference between a witch manipulating ink so she can communicate with Snout, and a witch that accidentally DEFINED by the way to communicate.

    Other than researching in the library, every single action the main protagonist did was either dumb or pointless.
    If the nature of the wild zone was treated like the main mystery in shows such as "strange luck", "lucky man" or "Dirk Gently", that would have been different.
    But Dominic Deegan is the main mystery, and the wild zone luck is just taken for granted.


    Edit: Forgot to write it, but I was thinking about it real hard

    Regarding nitpicking, all I can say is this: You can ALWAYS find minor things to complain about like plot holes, design flaws, dialogues or whatever.
    In a good art, regardless if it's a book, comic or a TV show, it will drown in the other things, making it no more than a minor point even without mentioning that that's what it is.
    But in a comic where that's the only thing you can comment on even minor problems float to the top simply because there is nothing else besides that.

    The nitpicks are not as important to talk about, but if the actual criticism is being ignored anyway, I consider it fair play (as well as fun) if most participants can see the difference in priority themselves.
    Last edited by random11; 2019-09-10 at 04:37 PM.

  2. - Top - End - #122
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    Default Re: The Legacy of Dominic Deegan: The Unending Snark

    The problem is active versus passive protagonists. An active protagonist does things. A passive protagonist has things done to them. Without exception, the former always makes for a more engaging, entertaining story. Snout is the epitome of the latter.
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  3. - Top - End - #123
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    Quote Originally Posted by Celestia View Post
    The problem is active versus passive protagonists. An active protagonist does things. A passive protagonist has things done to them. Without exception, the former always makes for a more engaging, entertaining story. Snout is the epitome of the latter.
    Even in cases of passive protagonists, there is usually some sort of an active element (usually a side character) doing the actual job.
    "Inspector Gadget" and "Big Trouble in Little China" are the first two examples that pop in my head.

    Here, the passive nature that should lead nowhere is "fixed" by random elements, and I can't currently consider the wild zone randomness as an active element if non of the characters (as well as our knowledge of that place) make it seem like something unnatural that should be investigated.
    Nope, everything that happens can be shrugged off as natural while the real mystery is what's written on a random sheet of paper.

  4. - Top - End - #124
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    Default Re: The Legacy of Dominic Deegan: The Unending Snark

    So he is passive because the discoveries happened NOT due to his actions? I mean, he certainly did his best. He searched through the library, tried to help the ink witch as best he could, located the ship and let it know where to go, so on and so forth. he hasnt been sitting back and waiting on the plot to happen, he has been going out looking for it! He just failed in his activities for the most part.
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  5. - Top - End - #125
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    Default Re: The Legacy of Dominic Deegan: The Unending Snark

    Quote Originally Posted by random11 View Post
    Even in cases of passive protagonists, there is usually some sort of an active element (usually a side character) doing the actual job.
    "Inspector Gadget" and "Big Trouble in Little China" are the first two examples that pop in my head.

    Here, the passive nature that should lead nowhere is "fixed" by random elements, and I can't currently consider the wild zone randomness as an active element if non of the characters (as well as our knowledge of that place) make it seem like something unnatural that should be investigated.
    Nope, everything that happens can be shrugged off as natural while the real mystery is what's written on a random sheet of paper.
    With Inspector Gadget and Big Trouble, while the "main" characters are passive, they both still have active characters driving the plot (Penny and Wang Chi, respectively). Part of the point of those stories is that we're, essentially, following the side kicks who do nothing instead of the main heroes. They switch up the formula without sacrificing quality. It's that old adage: you have to know the rules if you want to break them. If you want a passive main character, you have to understand why active characters are innately better so that you can do it correctly. I don't think Mookie has either the insight or talent to pull it off.

    (Another great example of passive lead done right is Fight Club.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Traab View Post
    So he is passive because the discoveries happened NOT due to his actions? I mean, he certainly did his best. He searched through the library, tried to help the ink witch as best he could, located the ship and let it know where to go, so on and so forth. he hasnt been sitting back and waiting on the plot to happen, he has been going out looking for it! He just failed in his activities for the most part.
    And how is that better? No, I'm seriously asking here: how is a character who fails to be active in any way better than one who's passive? Sure, Snout is trying to drive the plot, but ultimately, nothing he does matters. All his actions are for naught, and the plot just progresses on its own without him. Unless Mookie is intentionally trying to portray Snout as worthless (and I seriously doubt he is), then it's still poor writing.
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  6. - Top - End - #126
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    Default Re: The Legacy of Dominic Deegan: The Unending Snark

    The expressed criticism is over the protagonist being passive, but I think the problem is that subsequent scenes have little connection. There is no discernable flow to the comics - no solid backbone to which all the ideas, places and characters can be attached to.

    Granted, it is too early to tell much about the plot in general, but some narrative flow should be there already.

    With active protagonists it is much easier to build that flow through their motivation and actions that follow. If we see the action through protagonist's perspective, but they are not the ones driving the plot, it is difficult to keep the coherence of the story. It can still be done: for example the focus could be on internal turmoil of the main character, but there has to be something solid connecting all the scenes.
    In a war it doesn't matter who's right, only who's left.

  7. - Top - End - #127
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    Default Re: The Legacy of Dominic Deegan: The Unending Snark

    Our favorite DD character is back!

    The Friday fake cliffhanger

  8. - Top - End - #128
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    Default Re: The Legacy of Dominic Deegan: The Unending Snark

    I know the dude likes to sleep naked, but he could at least lie on his clothes. I can't imagine a rocky cave floor is comfortable. I doubt the clothes would do much, but they'd at least be something. And I still don't understand how a guy with a tail is supposed to sleep on his back.
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  9. - Top - End - #129
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    Quote Originally Posted by Celestia View Post
    I know the dude likes to sleep naked, but he could at least lie on his clothes. I can't imagine a rocky cave floor is comfortable. I doubt the clothes would do much, but they'd at least be something. And I still don't understand how a guy with a tail is supposed to sleep on his back.
    You see, his back has mutated into a mattress.
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  10. - Top - End - #130
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    Quote Originally Posted by Celestia View Post
    I know the dude likes to sleep naked, but he could at least lie on his clothes. I can't imagine a rocky cave floor is comfortable. I doubt the clothes would do much, but they'd at least be something. And I still don't understand how a guy with a tail is supposed to sleep on his back.
    He graduated from the school of hard knocks obviously.
    In a war it doesn't matter who's right, only who's left.

  11. - Top - End - #131
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    Default Re: The Legacy of Dominic Deegan: The Unending Snark

    Quote Originally Posted by Celestia View Post
    I know the dude likes to sleep naked, but he could at least lie on his clothes. I can't imagine a rocky cave floor is comfortable. I doubt the clothes would do much, but they'd at least be something. And I still don't understand how a guy with a tail is supposed to sleep on his back.
    Especially a tail like his, which does not prolong his spine but protrudes from his back at about the height of the kidneys.



    Look at some anatomy skeleton picture and pay attention to where the tailbone is.
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  12. - Top - End - #132
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    Update

    Back in the beginning of the comic, I expressed my disbelief that this experiment of a deaf main character will contribute anything to the writing style since there are many ways around it.

    Unfortunately I was right, but I never imagined how bad it will be.

    Third character in a row that "talks" using magical ink, and this one doesn't even need to be nearby!

    So the only innovation we get from this comic is square boxes instead of speech balloons.

  13. - Top - End - #133
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    Default Re: The Legacy of Dominic Deegan: The Unending Snark

    I was so impressed with today's page of Star Power, but then I saw this. Without any exaggeration or hint of irony, this is absolutely the laziest plot device in the history of storytelling. This is like the golden path in the Fable games but somehow even more insulting. Any chance of this comic not being garbage has just flown right out the window and straight into a wood chipper.
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  14. - Top - End - #134
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    Default Re: The Legacy of Dominic Deegan: The Unending Snark

    And to think I had such hope for a deaf protagonist.
    Quote Originally Posted by Celestia View Post
    The British conquered the world in search of spices and then decided to use none of them.

  15. - Top - End - #135
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    Default Re: The Legacy of Dominic Deegan: The Unending Snark

    Quote Originally Posted by PraetorDragoon View Post
    And to think I had such hope for a deaf protagonist.
    That's what you get for believing in Mookie.

  16. - Top - End - #136
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    Default Re: The Legacy of Dominic Deegan: The Unending Snark

    Eh, I'm enjoying it for what it is. A very dumb, very shoddily built, very slow rollercoaster with no loops and barely any bumps. Or an on rails shooter where the game shoots for you so you don't have to feel bad about missing. Or a very strict guided tour where you have no choice but to be dragged along the pre-set path and can't stop to examine anything or do anything outside the very narrow limits of "walk to the next spot."

    Those are all fun, right?
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  17. - Top - End - #137
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    Default Re: The Legacy of Dominic Deegan: The Unending Snark

    Am I the only person who didn't realize those pages were the property of the ink witch? I just thought it was like, two random things going on at the same time. So... Plot development I guess?

  18. - Top - End - #138
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    Default Re: The Legacy of Dominic Deegan: The Unending Snark

    Remember when DD entered the mind of his enemies and then defeated them because he was HUGE on the mindscape because he was just smarter than them? This strip gave me some flashback.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kornaki View Post
    Am I the only person who didn't realize those pages were the property of the ink witch? I just thought it was like, two random things going on at the same time. So... Plot development I guess?
    If you hadn't said so, I wouldn't have understood it.
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  19. - Top - End - #139
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    Default Re: The Legacy of Dominic Deegan: The Unending Snark

    Quote Originally Posted by Kornaki View Post
    Am I the only person who didn't realize those pages were the property of the ink witch? I just thought it was like, two random things going on at the same time. So... Plot development I guess?
    The very first page of the comic shows the first page flying out of the ink witch's hand as she lies unconscious.
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  20. - Top - End - #140
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    Quote Originally Posted by Celestia View Post
    The very first page of the comic shows the first page flying out of the ink witch's hand as she lies unconscious.
    The problem was that this revelation had zero impact on Snout, as if he already knew everything was connected.
    Actually, he already assumed that was the case back when he wrote in his journal, despite having zero evidences that this is the case.

    Oh well, I guess that doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things we have to deal with here.

    Basically, we now have the magic version of Mitch, that just happens to communicate by writing.

  21. - Top - End - #141
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    Default Re: The Legacy of Dominic Deegan: The Unending Snark

    Update

    "And before you ask"?
    He didn't seem to be very interested in this knowledge when the witch was right there...

    I guess that if I don't expect anything like a plot, tension, or coherent story, I can at least enjoy the ride of random things happening.

  22. - Top - End - #142
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    Quote Originally Posted by random11 View Post
    Update

    "And before you ask"?
    He didn't seem to be very interested in this knowledge when the witch was right there...

    I guess that if I don't expect anything like a plot, tension, or coherent story, I can at least enjoy the ride of random things happening.
    The witch was barely conscious long enough to ask for help, let alone be questioned on what was going on.
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  23. - Top - End - #143
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    Default Re: The Legacy of Dominic Deegan: The Unending Snark

    How would the spell even know that the witch was unconscious or that Snout might ask about it? Like, did the witch specifically program in the knowledge that she had been unconscious and then deliberately refused to program in an explanation? This just makes no sense.
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  24. - Top - End - #144
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    Default Re: The Legacy of Dominic Deegan: The Unending Snark

    Isn't the sequence of events

    Witch makes spell
    Witch falls unconscious
    Snout starts finding pages
    Snout finds the witch

    The spell probably saw every event we've seen in the comic

  25. - Top - End - #145
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    Default Re: The Legacy of Dominic Deegan: The Unending Snark

    Quote Originally Posted by Kornaki View Post
    Isn't the sequence of events

    Witch makes spell
    Witch falls unconscious
    Snout starts finding pages
    Snout finds the witch

    The spell probably saw every event we've seen in the comic
    The witch didn't lose the pages until after she fell unconscious. They were blown away in the wind, like we saw on the first page. I'm assuming she made this spell after being picked up by the ship. Maybe it healed her, or maybe she just woke up on her own. Either way, it's the only explanation that fits the timeline of events.
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    Default Re: The Legacy of Dominic Deegan: The Unending Snark

    I seem to remember a contingency spell in a medallion Sigfried's lover wore when she and Cutter (?) went to look for something in the desert and had an accident in a cave. Or maybe it needed someone to activate it.
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    I thought Tom Bombadil dreadful but worse still was the announcer's preliminary remarks that Goldberry was his daughter (!), and that Willowman was an ally of Mordor (!!).

  27. - Top - End - #147
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    Quote Originally Posted by Celestia View Post
    How would the spell even know that the witch was unconscious or that Snout might ask about it? Like, did the witch specifically program in the knowledge that she had been unconscious and then deliberately refused to program in an explanation? This just makes no sense.
    "Spell"? You mean the magic AI? That's just how it works. It's name is probably Sitch. And it just knows it. or it's a pre-recorded message.
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  28. - Top - End - #148
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    Quote Originally Posted by Traab View Post
    The witch was barely conscious long enough to ask for help, let alone be questioned on what was going on.
    I think I mentioned it before, but it should have been the first question for various reasons:

    1) Assuming the ship is looking for her, the best way to locate it is to backtrack to where she came from

    2) If she was hurt by someone, it's important to know any possible detail about them, so he will find ways to signal the ship and not the other team.


    Sure, it's possible that she is too hurt to answer, but at least show that he TRIES to ask and fails, especially if you want to shove the "I know what you want to ask" line later.


    ---

    Regarding the timeline and the rules of magic, my advice is not to bother with it.
    It's pretty obvious that there are no consistent rules or care for details, so every second we invest in it is one second more than Mookie.

    I sometimes try to "patch" events to make the scenes more logical, but given what I've seen so far it's a lost cause.

    (I still reserve the right to do it if I'm bored, it's a waste of time, but it's not like it's a time I could have used to cure cancer)

  29. - Top - End - #149
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    Default Re: The Legacy of Dominic Deegan: The Unending Snark

    Quote Originally Posted by Kornaki View Post
    The spell probably saw every event we've seen in the comic
    Everything in the character saw every event we've seen in the comic. Mookie does not distinguish between author knowledge and character knowledge.

    For example, Snout guessed the Ink Witch's name right because he's written by Mookie, and Mookie decided the Ink Witch would be called "Ink Witch" instead of something else. Or Snout cares about this "Dominic Deegan" story thingy because he's written by Mookie and Mookie decided everyone cares about Dominic Deegan.
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  30. - Top - End - #150
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    Default Re: The Legacy of Dominic Deegan: The Unending Snark

    Quote Originally Posted by Celestia View Post
    The witch didn't lose the pages until after she fell unconscious. They were blown away in the wind, like we saw on the first page. I'm assuming she made this spell after being picked up by the ship. Maybe it healed her, or maybe she just woke up on her own. Either way, it's the only explanation that fits the timeline of events.
    Don't think that works either.

    Assuming the spell was directed at Snout (probably because it's the only person she knows in the area), why not use a simpler communication spell explaining the situation and THEN create the AI magic?
    She has no way of knowing he is interested in the DD pages, and just assumed a person will go on a quest after she blew up his house.


    The best alternative I can think of, is that she created the spell while resting in his house, expecting to use it herself with Snout's assistance.
    Before she had a chance to explain the ship took her, but the page with the spell remained in the area of the blasted house.

    I guess the cave and the house are close to each other?
    Hard to tell because of the sudden appearance of the danger zone of dangerous things.

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