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Now this is a tradition I can get behind.


(From Achewood. Click on the thumbnail for full sized motivational message!)

I don't spend enough time talking about Achewood. That's not really surprising, mind. I don't spend enough time talking about 80 or 90 percent of the stuff I need to talk about. But Achewood's on that list. And the pity of it is, there's nothing else quite like it, so it needs to be talked about.

Today's Achewood is 'straighter' than most. And it's funny, which is a bonus. But it's also a good exercise in characterization. On the one hand, there's Ray -- who's exactly the sort of person who'd inaugurate "Fuck You Friday." When Ray and Roast Beef began their inexorable domination of Achewood (in the old days, it was far more about Philippe, Cornelius Bear, Todd the Squirrel and the like), I wasn't very fond of Ray. But Ray grows on you. He gets under your skin. You figure out what's bluster and what's genuine, and you learn to appreciate him. Also, he went to Hell for a while, and met a blues man there. That's Ray for you.

But there's also a momentary glimpse into Pat's psyche. I'm reminded of the South Park Christmas episode where the boys had to travel to Canada and got stuck essentially in the Wizard of Oz. Their nemesis was Scott. And, in the words of their Canadian Guide. "Oh no! That's Scott! He's a dick!" And that was justification enough. "Watch out for Scott! He's a dick!" Well, that's Pat in a nutshell. He typically ends up on the run from the law after shooting a friend of his. (Mr. Bear got it last time.) He's demanding and shrill and annoying. But they accept him. That's just Pat. He's a dick.

And there's a little bit of vicarious wish fulfillment going on, too. I wish I had the nerve to tell telemarketers "no, fuck you." And, since it's Fuck You Friday, maybe I will.

Anyway. This strip may not be typical Achewood, but then they're never typical Achewood, are they? So go read the strip. You'll like it.

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Comments

But. Scott being a dick is continuity established in the April Fool's HBC Movie of the Week, "Not Without My Anus." Which featured Kraft Dinner restaurants. (Well. "Kroff Dinner," but who cares.)

Mmmm... Kroff Dinner....

And yeah -- Scott was established as a Dick there (and I believe showed up at least in passing in the theatrical movie), but that didn't change the core fact that you have to watch out for Scott -- he's a Dick!

I absolutely love Achewood. It's great stuff.

Also, as I read more of your content here, I think I'm going to have to stop by more often. Great commentary on webcomics.

I have thirty-one packets of Kroff Dinner cheese in the kitchen. Possibly thirty-three; I'm not sure. And a jar of Kroff peanut butter. We flip-tops need to calm our nerves regularly.

Not disputing the core fact of needing to watch out for Scott (as you know, any attempt to get from the Atlantic Provinces to Ontario runs a serious risk of Scott collision), but I'm just finding the choice of dickstances curious.

Not my cup of tea. Achewood reminds me much of Kochalka's works, and indeed of a great deal of the strip-comics one used to find in Heavy Metal.

That is, not only do they not make me laugh, they make me feel sick.

This strip is an exception; there's something about the character's appearance that makes it seem like the statement he repeats isn't personal, or even emotional. It's just a calm, cool, "fuck you." "The sky is blue with grey clouds. Fuck you." That, at least, is enough to make me smile.

But going through the strips immediately beforehand... one strip is info, no pressing content. One strip (the newspaper clipping) is incomprehensible- it's sort of like what Andy Kaufman might have been like if Kaufman did non sequitur material without the absurdity, outrage and controversy he brought to his act. The others... I see where the joke was attempted, and to me it clunks.

This makes me wonder what I'm missing about Achewood that others see and enjoy. (Probably the same thing others see and enjoy in Kochalka's works- I can't stand the stuff.) It's definitely not the type of humor I work with; in fact, by the general rules of humor I work with when I write, it's either not humor at all or humor done very badly. Obviously there's something I'm not seeing, some purpose I'm not privy to, some common experience I lack that leaves me on the outside looking in.

'Cause although it is remotely possible that Eric would fall in love with crap, I don't think he would fail to recognize it -as- crap. (See also: Annie.) Eric thinks it's quality stuff; therefore, I'm just not on the right wavelength.

Still, I'd feel better if there were folks out there besides me loudmouthed enough to say they -don't- like Achewood... *politely*...

I think of Achewood more as a character-driven than a joke-driven strip. The first 10 or 20 times my friends linked it to me I didn't get it at all, I looked, I shrugged, I closed the window. Then one day I had one linked that I really liked, enough that I started from the beginning and read it all the way through in 2 days. When I started to actually care about how much Roast Beef's life sucks (or at least how he thinks it does), and the other characters' individual situations, it grabbed me and wouldn't let go.

Kris, you're not alone. I also fail to see the humor in Achewood... except for in every damn strip which gets put up here on Websnark. I was smiling broadly at the "I Am Capable of Wonderful Things Doll" for instance.

But whenever I try to start reading it (always from the start, which may be my mistake) I get bored about twenty strips in, and quit.

So, feel better! You're not alone. :)

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