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Paypal presents: a double dose of Narbonic!

(From Narbonic! Click on either thumbnail for full sized RPG action! (subscription required))

So, remember yesterday when I extolled the virtues of Irregular Webcomic putting a permanent link URL right on its front page? And expressed yearning that the Manley sites would do the same? This is because the Manley sites use a somewhat... arcane... archiving method. Not arcane as in ancient. Arcane as in "eldritch knowledge that one cannot intuit sitting on the home page." But this is actually no big deal, because it's actually slightly easier to cope with Modern Tales, Graphic Smash and the like -- the first 'archive' page you go to actually contains the last block of strips, including that day's, so boom. One click, cut and paste. No bigs!

Only... yesterday, I tried and my subscription didn't work.


So, I did some digging, and discovered that because I changed my backup credit card information on Paypal (I had to -- the old ones expired), all of my Paypal subscriptions got zapped. So, no more subscription to Modern Tales, no more Serializer.net, no more American Elf, no more Graphic Smash, et cetera et cetera et cetera.

Well, no bigs. You just resubscribe.

Only Paypal wouldn't let me. Or anyone. Paypal, this whole past several days, has apparently been hosed.

So, because by personal policy, I don't snark stuff I can't link directly to (with exceptions based on the fact that it's my policy and I'll break it if I want to), I couldn't do a Narbonic snark yesterday despite wanting to give them money and despite being able to see the strip I wanted to snark... because I couldn't intuit the archive page I would want to link to.

Today, the sub went through. I did a Year Sub instead of a monthly this time, so this shouldn't come up again for a long time, damn it. Of course, there's all those other subs to do, but they'll wait until I snark something on them, mostly because I'm lazy.

So. I still wanted to talk about yesterday's Narbonic, but I thought today's Narbonic reinforced the point I wanted to make in the first place, and as they're on the same archive page anyway, you're getting them both. I feel justified -- I just paid these folks thirty bucks, and besides, it's advertising. And if Shaenon Garrity doesn't like a double-snark, I suspect she'll make that known. Comedically, more than likely.

The reason I wanted to do yesterday's strip was triggered by Iris's smile in panel four. It occured to me that I really, really liked that smile. And it hit me how much I enjoy the expressiveness Garrity brings to her characters. There is a very big difference between having a style, and having only one face you can design. Garrity's characters are distinctive. Dave doesn't look anything like Mell, who doesn't look anything like Helen. And that distinctiveness also shows up in minor characters -- the gamers around the table are individual. Some look similar to others, but not exact, without being cumbersome. Contrast that with, say, Megatokyo, which has gorgeous artwork but there's not much difference between any of the female faces. Or a number of other strips. I don't mean to pick on Megatokyo just because I enjoy it. Though, admittedly, I do enjoy it.

The other side of this reinforces the snark I did about Gav Bleuel's artwork. Garrity hand-draws everything in Narbonic, including shades and fills. I love this style of drawing, and it also means that every panel is unique. So even though we're seeing conversations between Dave and the same people, there is a dynamic feeling to them that cut and paste strips can't match. These people are moving, shifting their hands around, leaning forward and back, flipping their hair. They're doing nothing 'active' (I've sat around a lot of RPG tables in my time. These are not aerobic affairs), but you can't call the conversation passive. It's not just word balloons floating in space over art you can safely ignore after the first panel. It's body language.

And that's something no other static art form can match.


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Hmmm... Clicking the thumbnail doesn't show the comic for me, just a login screen...

And then I look at the text nder it and it says subscription required. Erm, oops?

No oops. That's what the (subscription required) note after the "click on the thumbnail" bit means. ;)

You can see today's comic just by clicking the "Narbonic" link underneath it, though.

So that's why my GS subscription renewal failed! I also had to change my backup credit card on PayPal. Luckily, I was already on a yearly renewal, and so far only subscribe to GS, so it was a one-time fix to correct.
Of course, between your constant plugging of Narbonic, my desire to catch up on Odd Jobs (which I followed back in it's KeenSPACE days), and the fact that No Stereotypes has intrigued me since I first learned of it, my eventual subscription to MT is a question of when rather than if.

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