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Friday, January 20, 2006

Penny and Aggie: writing is hard...

Posted by Nathaniel at 10:35 AM
ComicsI don't review webcomics. Webcomics reviewers have had a bit of a bad rap lately. But more than that, I feel it's relatively difficult to review something that isn't complete. But that's a debate for other channels. Right now, I'm commenting on something I saw on Penny and Aggie today. But this isn't a review. It's commentary. Remember that.

I'm a big fan of Penny and Aggie. I'm also a big fan of any project T Campbell touches. But even more than his projects, I'm a huge fan of T Campbell's writing.

I interviewed T Campbell and Gisèle Lagacé for the February issue of Zoinks!, so I'll leave it to you to read that article and see what makes T Campbell tick. I'm not going to talk about that here. Suffice to say, he can write just about anything.

Some people will argue that just writing isn't really a skill. Those people are ignorant. And if you read the current Penny and Aggie storyline, you'll see an example of excellent writing as it happens.

Culminating in today's strip. Penny highlights the one thing that makes popular girls dangerous. It isn't their blatant disregard for a person's feelings, and it isn't their flippant attitude towards those lesser than themselves.

It's ambition. And ambition makes a "number two girl" want to be "number one", and that simple fact hits Penny's own "number two's" like a basket of bricks.

I felt that was worth mentioning.

1/21/2006 2:03 AM: Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some people argue that "writing isn't a skill?" Who are these people? Drag them out into the light of day!

Sure, most webcomics are written and drawn by a single person...sure anyone who can draw a little is capable of writing for themselves. But writing WELL is a different thing altogether. Plenty of webcomics have crappy dialogue and crappier concepts. Oh and hollow, lifeless, stunningly dopey characters.

Good writers can remedy all of those failings. Writers create something from thin air. A lot of webcomics "cartoonists" could use a good writer. Then again a lot of them could use a decent artist as well...which of course would put them out of business entirely; but not everyone does good work (despite what their gaggle of friends and family tell them).

Just because you learn to write sentences in kindergarten doesn' make you a writer. Writing is about ideas, insight, and perspective. Things they don't teach in grade school.

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