Forum    Members    Search    FAQ

Board index » A Duel in the Somme




Post new topic  Reply to topic  [ 57 posts ] 
 
Author Message
 Post subject: Re: General Discussion
 Post Posted: Fri Sep 10, 2010 6:42 pm 
User avatar
Has collected at least one unit
Offline
Joined: Mon Mar 22, 2010 12:49 pm
Posts: 993
Thanks for something extra to read for the last so many days!

I think it might have been too short to fully flesh out the characters. Kelso and Lorraine were both unlikable, and I had a hard time believing that Tom could be so socially inept in one panel and so competent in the next.

The art was consistent throughout, and matched the tone of the story.

_________________
Last edited by effataigus on Thu Jun 30, 2011 9:31 am, edited 239044 times in total.

  • Tip this post

    Make Anonymous
  • Top 
       
     Post subject: Re: General Discussion
     Post Posted: Sat Sep 11, 2010 5:30 am 
    User avatar
    Year of the Dwagon Supporter
    Offline
    Joined: Fri May 01, 2009 5:24 am
    Posts: 3447
    Ah. It all has only been "Zorro"'s imagination. The last page provides irrefutable proof.

    Team Kelso!

    _________________
    The whole point of this is lost if you keep it a secret.

  • Tip this post

    Make Anonymous
  • Top 
       
     Post subject: Re: General Discussion
     Post Posted: Mon Sep 13, 2010 8:56 pm 
    User avatar
    E is for Erfworld Supporter Print Book 2 & Draw Book 3 Supporter Year of the Dwagon Supporter This user has been published! Armored Dwagon Monthly Winner Here for the 10th Anniversary Has collected at least one unit This user got funny with a rodent Erfworld Bicycle® Playing Cards supporter
    Offline
    Joined: Fri May 01, 2009 3:45 am
    Posts: 825
    Hoax wrote:
    And another thing. I mean, I know these characters are all unlikable - but Lorraine is engaging in nothing less than corporate sabotage when she asks 'Zorro' to back up the data, replace it with a dummy flight sim and pack up shop. If you sabotage your employer I'll go to Aspen, and sleep with you. How odious. How depraved. Is this how she gets work for her company? She is, without a doubt, the quintessential whore.

    You know what - I'm gonna run with that idea. Lorraine is the pure portrait of a whore. She has no skills - she's the company's 'liaison' (get it?). She bribes both Zorro and Kelso with the possibility of sex. She gets free dinner from Kelso. She gets a free trip to Aspen from Zorro - plus the software he wrote.

    Of course, both Zorro and Kelso fall into it - but at least they have skills! Zorro is some hot shot programmer; Kelso is some hot shot pilot. Lorraine comes along and they're both like - "omg you have a vagina - how rare". But she does NOTHING. She just stands there. Kelso might have a secondary motive in wining and dining her - to get in good with her company - but Zorro has none. And she plays him, hard. Sure, she'll take a couple shots in the face at Aspen - but she managed to steal the code. And the lapdog programmer.


    I tend to agree with most of the above. I didn't like -- no, that's not strong enough, I actively disliked -- Duel in the Somme. I thought the characters were unlikeable and as you outline above, the "message" it sent was deplorable. And more than that, to the extent any resources whatsoever were diverted from Erfworld, I don't care for that decision, even as I simultaneously acknowledge that it obviously wasn't my decision to make. But IMO, the larger problem that has emerged from the decision is that it has highlighted and exacerbated the slow update issue for Erfworld. And I think we're seeing some of that come out in the relevant thread in the "Everything Else Erfworld" subforum.

    When it first started, I was originally planning to support the author by tipping Duel in the Somme, simply because I believe in his talent. Given my lack of enthusiasm for the project and in particular for its message, I think instead I'm going to either buy the Sluggy card game he designed or buy a gift tool membership for someone. Or something.

    _________________
    Here's my "Charlie as Hitler" Downfall video for Erfworld: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q-EA8xQOf_s

  • Tip this post

    Make Anonymous
  • Top 
       
     Post subject: Re: General Discussion
     Post Posted: Mon Sep 13, 2010 9:08 pm 
    Offline
    Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2010 8:36 pm
    Posts: 1
    BLANDCorporatio wrote:
    Ah. It all has only been "Zorro"'s imagination. The last page provides irrefutable proof.

    Team Kelso!

    Heh.

    At first, I was about as confused and confounded as most of the people here. Then I read the series straight through, after which it made a bit more sense, but only a bit. Some quick notes...

    Radagast wrote:
    Plus the fight itself seemed a little unrealistic. A Fokker triplane has no hope of chasing down the SPAD, it's like 20mph slower. Yes it has the huge advantage in climb rate, but the SPAD also has a higher max altitude.

    He didn't have to chase down the SPAD. The Fokker had a vastly superior climb rate - all Kelso had to do was wait for Tom to engage at full throttle in a straight line, loop up, watch Tom fail to follow, then swoop down. Basically, Kelso took the SPAD's speed advantage out the window by leveraging Tom's inexperience and the Fokker's innate abilities. It was pretty good flying, honestly.

    Past that... it's an amusing story, at least to a point, but I'm not entirely buying all the ramifications of it. I just don't sense any chemistry between Tom and Lorraine; to be fair, I don't sense any romantic chemistry between Lorraine and Kelso, either. I don't think Kelso or KEI really lost anything out of this - they still get paid for ToBIAS, the rest of the development team is still intact, and though Tom's definitely going to be the brains behind CogNoTek's $14 million project, there's no sign that Tom's absence will prevent KEI from supporting their product. Considering how Kelso wasn't entirely fond of Tom, I'd wager he views this as a win-win, regardless of whether or not Lorraine actually went to the Bahamas with him or not.

    Basically, over 24 pages, we see an oaf of a "nerd herder" get paid, we see a good engineer get a better job, and, to make sure he actually accepts the job, we also see him go on a "date" with the company liaison. I think this story definitely could have used a few more pages to flesh out the relationship between Tom and Lorraine, if only so it didn't make Lorraine look like she was just heading to Aspen to seal the deal. Even so, it was still fun, if not exactly inspiring.

  • Tip this post

    Make Anonymous
  • Top 
       
     Post subject: Re: General Discussion
     Post Posted: Tue Sep 14, 2010 10:57 pm 
    Offline
    Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2010 10:26 pm
    Posts: 3
    Hoax wrote:
    And another thing. I mean, I know these characters are all unlikable - but Lorraine is engaging in nothing less than corporate sabotage when she asks 'Zorro' to back up the data, replace it with a dummy flight sim and pack up shop.


    I think you are missing a critical point. All Kelso wanted was a flight sim. In fact, the contract specified that a commercial flight sim be integrated into the system. Kelso had no interest at all in getting the physics engine patched up enough to deal with flying (as shown in the bottom half of page 6 and running onto page 7). All he wanted was to meet the contract by having a flight sim installed.

    So what happens? Tom puts in a lot of unpaid overtime to do it as it should have been done.

    Is what he doing right? Of course not. Then again, technically Kelso could have been held in violation of the terms of the contract for not meeting its specs. In that light, one could argue that Tom was just taking out a personal experiment that he had put in without permission and instead inserted what was supposed to be there all along. Of course this rationalization doesn't make his actions right, but it may show what was going through his head to rationalize it.

    As for the story - you don't expect deep character development in 24 pages. But it was a nice story that left me waiting for each update to see what would happen, and I got a chance to see Bill Holbrook's latest variation on his art, which I always enjoy.

    If you take it for what it was - a brief story of brains overcoming bullying, with the end not really being the start of a romance but the breaking of the ice that may allow romance to flower sometime in the future - it's very enjoyable.

    As for how some of the characters behaved at times or other nit picking - remember, IOACS.

    SYLerner
    "TGIF"

  • Tip this post

    Make Anonymous
  • Top 
       
     Post subject: Re: General Discussion
     Post Posted: Tue Sep 14, 2010 11:05 pm 
    User avatar
    E is for Erfworld Supporter Print Book 2 & Draw Book 3 Supporter Year of the Dwagon Supporter This user has been published! Armored Dwagon Monthly Winner Here for the 10th Anniversary Has collected at least one unit This user got funny with a rodent Erfworld Bicycle® Playing Cards supporter
    Offline
    Joined: Fri May 01, 2009 3:45 am
    Posts: 825
    Every tech company in the US is going to have a standard IP agreement with its employees and contractors, or else it will soon be an ex-tech-company. That IP belongs to the employer, and what Tom and Lorraine are doing is theft, with Lorraine arguably (and I am acknowledging this will not be a universally shared viewpoint) prostituting herself to facilitate it.

    I also don't really buy attempts to dismiss this as "just a comic." It's a literary work and the authors are obviously taking it seriously, so I would argue that I'm treating their effort with more respect than people who try to dismiss criticism along those lines. Literary efforts have characters, and themes, and send messages. I personally happen to believe this particular effort missed the mark in each area, but obviously YMMV.

    No offense intended to either you or to the authors. I actually think Rob is a brilliant writer, so I am going to just chalk this up to him being somewhat hamstrung by the original material.

    _________________
    Here's my "Charlie as Hitler" Downfall video for Erfworld: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q-EA8xQOf_s

  • Tip this post

    Make Anonymous
  • Top 
       
     Post subject: Re: General Discussion
     Post Posted: Wed Sep 15, 2010 6:12 am 
    User avatar
    Year of the Dwagon Supporter
    Offline
    Joined: Fri May 01, 2009 5:24 am
    Posts: 3447
    Having (a little) experience in a software-for-automobiles development company (a major one, as that character in that movie said), the IP thing that Ansan Gotti says is accurate.

    And irrelevant. I'm sticking to my interpretation that this is a story about Zorro's fantasy life- a simple uncomplicated fairy-tale where human beings are safely understandable and one dimensional.

    _________________
    The whole point of this is lost if you keep it a secret.

  • Tip this post

    Make Anonymous
  • Top 
       
     Post subject: Re: General Discussion
     Post Posted: Wed Sep 15, 2010 1:55 pm 
    Offline
    Joined: Fri Jul 30, 2010 1:56 am
    Posts: 7
    I'll change my stance a little bit.

    It is only a comic strip. Well, a portion of it acts as if its only a comic strip. The real problem with this thing is that it has an identity crisis. Side 1, the imaginative side, I'll call TOBIAS. Side 2, the unimaginative, hack, pulp, trash side I'll call KELSO.

    TOBIAS: Is pretty much all the action that occurs when Zorro is inside TOBIAS or discussing the math/physics of it. Pages 8-13 + 15 (Not 14, no way) and 19-22, well the first half of 22.

    KELSO: Is pretty much everything else, especially the product placement. Hello Travelocity, Starbucks, and (not really) Hooters.

    The TOBIAS section is deep because it concentrates on ideas. The KELSO is flat because it concentrates on, as BLANDCorp. said, 1 dimensional characters. The comic should have chosen whether or not it was going to be some trashy chic flic, or a more cerebral experience: because as it stands, half the intended audience will be lost/bored in the TOBIAS side, and the other half will be disgusted/bored with everything else.

    So, I was wrong to critique Zorro and Lorraine for stealing the code (btw, unpaid overtime is a reality in every field with a salary - also, Zorro wanted to do the work - don't throw me in that briar patch, said Brer Rabbit). I was wrong because it occurred during the 1-dimensional, unimaginative, hack, pulp, trash KELSO side.

    The only thing that the authors need to do is clean up some of the diction during the KELSO side. Every word over two syllables, or unknown by the average 8th grader, needs to be cut.

  • Tip this post

    Make Anonymous
  • Top 
       
     Post subject: Re: General Discussion
     Post Posted: Wed Sep 15, 2010 3:42 pm 
    Offline
    Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2010 10:26 pm
    Posts: 3
    I used to work in the software industry, so I am quite familiar with unpaid overtime. Sometimes, my unpaid overtime hours per week exceeded my paid ones :-( .

    As for reality, some of the contracts that employers have required me to sign not only clearly gave them full rights to anything I did at work, some of them also gave them full rights to anything I did on my own time and with my own resources, even if not at all related to the industry that the company was in.

    Having been badly burned by that when I (along with a few others) invented the stay-on soda can lid while at Ga. Tech (the application for admission included a forfeiture of all IP rights while you were a student, it was part of a class assignment, and all the money went to the school - not even giving me a waiver of the out-of-state tuition surcharge), I was insistent that these "we own your brain" clauses were removed before signing.

    So the theft of IP would almost have been criminal in real life, despite it not being what was requested or speced in the the contract.

    But we get to do things in comics and fiction that we could never do in real life.

    Simcha-Yitzchak Lerner
    "TGIF"

  • Tip this post

    Make Anonymous
  • Top 
       
     Post subject: Re: General Discussion
     Post Posted: Wed Sep 15, 2010 4:53 pm 
    User avatar
    E is for Erfworld Supporter Print Book 2 & Draw Book 3 Supporter Year of the Dwagon Supporter This user has been published! Armored Dwagon Monthly Winner Here for the 10th Anniversary Has collected at least one unit This user got funny with a rodent Erfworld Bicycle® Playing Cards supporter
    Offline
    Joined: Fri May 01, 2009 3:45 am
    Posts: 825
    sylerner wrote:
    But we get to do things in comics and fiction that we could never do in real life.


    Sure. But to the extent it harms realism or implicates issues relating to morals or message, there's a storytelling price you pay for that.

    _________________
    Here's my "Charlie as Hitler" Downfall video for Erfworld: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q-EA8xQOf_s

  • Tip this post

    Make Anonymous
  • Top 
       
     Post subject: Re: General Discussion
     Post Posted: Thu Sep 16, 2010 5:49 pm 
    Print Book 2 & Draw Book 3 Supporter This user is a Tool! Year of the Dwagon Supporter This user was a Tool before it was cool This user is a part of Erfworld canon! Pin-up Calendar and New Art Team Supporter Here for the 10th Anniversary Has collected at least one unit Erfworld Bicycle® Playing Cards supporter
    Offline
    Joined: Mon Oct 12, 2009 11:17 am
    Posts: 193
    I've just read the Ben Bova short story and it gives quite a different slant on the software and Lorraine; she doesn't agree to do anything as a result of the duel, she's a Kelso employee who wants to get out and she had already decided Tom was the man for her. There just wander off into the sunset to start up their own company - a lot of people have had an idea while working for somebody else and followed up on their own. Also it was written in the '60s, when a lot of things were different.

  • Tip this post

    Make Anonymous
  • Top 
       
     Post subject: Re: General Discussion
     Post Posted: Thu Sep 23, 2010 1:33 am 
    Offline
    Joined: Sat May 02, 2009 11:00 pm
    Posts: 5
    sylerner wrote:
    <snip>... (along with a few others) invented the stay-on soda can lid while at Ga. Tech... <snip>

    Simcha-Yitzchak Lerner
    "TGIF"


    I just want to say bless you for whatever part you played in the invention of the stay-on soda can lid.
    It's a comfort to know my daughter will never badly cut her foot on a discarded pop-top lid as I did once as a kid.

    I'm sorry you weren't compensated in wealth, but if gratitude has any value to you, there are millions of parents out there
    who, whether they think about it or not, owe you a debt of it.

  • Tip this post

    Make Anonymous
  • Top 
       
     Post subject: Re: General Discussion
     Post Posted: Sun Sep 26, 2010 5:18 am 
    Offline
    Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2010 10:26 pm
    Posts: 3
    BCCroaker wrote:
    I've just read the Ben Bova short story

    Where can I find the short story?

    Thanks!

  • Tip this post

    Make Anonymous
  • Top 
       
     Post subject: Re: General Discussion
     Post Posted: Sun Sep 26, 2010 1:44 pm 
    Print Book 2 & Draw Book 3 Supporter This user is a Tool! Year of the Dwagon Supporter This user was a Tool before it was cool This user is a part of Erfworld canon! Pin-up Calendar and New Art Team Supporter Here for the 10th Anniversary Has collected at least one unit Erfworld Bicycle® Playing Cards supporter
    Offline
    Joined: Mon Oct 12, 2009 11:17 am
    Posts: 193
    It came in the PDF of the comic that I got for contributing to the project.
    I don't think you'll find it elsewhere in that form because at the end Ben Bova wrote:-
    This story was inspired by “The Perfect Warrior,” published
    in Analog in May 1963 and later incorporated into my
    1969 novel, THE DUELING MACHINE.

    sylerner wrote:
    BCCroaker wrote:
    I've just read the Ben Bova short story

    Where can I find the short story?

    Thanks!

  • Tip this post

    Make Anonymous
  • Top 
       
     Post subject: Re: General Discussion
     Post Posted: Thu Nov 04, 2010 9:23 am 
    Offline
    Joined: Sat Jul 04, 2009 9:02 am
    Posts: 38
    Got my (signed) printed copy in the mail yesterday. Thanks, Rob! (and Ben, and that other guy ;) )

  • Tip this post

    Make Anonymous
  • Top 
       
     Post subject: Re: General Discussion
     Post Posted: Wed Nov 09, 2011 3:36 am 
    User avatar
    E is for Erfworld Supporter Year of the Dwagon Supporter This user is a Tool! Has collected at least one unit
    Offline
    Joined: Tue May 10, 2011 5:01 am
    Posts: 193
    I liked this project a lot, I even supported it, since it involved two people whose webcomics I read. Reading the original short story, I thought Rob had improved it considerably, but learning now it was written 40+ years ago I have some more respect for Ben Bova as well :)

    I think the characterizations are nice, and not really too unplausible. Sure, you can get worked up about plenty of stuff if you want to (OMG the protagonist made a super-awkward advance - CREEPY! OMG Lorraine didn't immediately and harshly denounce the various advances, OMG Lorraine played on sex to get her way, OMG they both did something illegal to the subcontractor's company etc. etc.) but I don't think less than perfect characters need to come in the way for a good story.

  • Tip this post

    Make Anonymous
  • Top 
       
     Post subject: Re: General Discussion
     Post Posted: Sun Apr 10, 2016 5:21 pm 
    Has collected at least one unit Here for the 10th Anniversary
    Offline
    Joined: Sat Mar 12, 2011 11:59 pm
    Posts: 383
    <Blink>

    Ben Bova? THE Ben Bova?

    I grew up with his books. He's one of my favorite authors. I thought he died years ago -- I did not know he was still around and writing.

    Ohh -- "What does Lorraine want?" -- ROFL!

    And, as someone who has been there: "The way it's specced? No problem. The way it should be done? ..." God, that was too accurate. And a testosterone latte would explain so much of what I've seen over the years. How long ago was that line written?

    Meanwhile, the idea of a simulator spending more power/attention to areas of attention, and abstracting out the rest? That's current thinking, heck, that's what people who are looking for proof that our universe is a simulation are trying to find -- things that actually behave differently when we do or do not pay attention to the results (with some "interesting" results coming out of quantum mechanics as a result) -- and this short story was written _When_?!?

    ... And, all those dolls on panel 1 of page 18. Gotta be at least 50 of them :-).

    And, of course, even though the two full-immersion seats are the primary interface, ordinary terminals can be used. Of course the whole team is watching.

    And yes, the whole maneuverability of the Barron's plane. Wonderful stunt tactic on page 21. Too much arrogance on page 22.

    And a wonderful ending on the first three panels of 24.

    The ethics of panel 7 on 24 -- while it's _technically_ within the contract, ... ahhh, bleep, I've done something close to that myself. Pot, Kettle.

    _________________
    (Bet limit: -180, Aug '16. Bal: 0.)
    "We will fire the unhappy until morale improves!"
    It really speaks to how awful RVC's plan is that immolating himself first would improve the odds of success.

  • Tipped by 1 person!
  • Tip this post

    Make Anonymous
  • Top 
       
    Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
     
    Post new topic  Reply to topic  [ 57 posts ] 

    Board index » A Duel in the Somme


    Who is online

    Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests

     
     

     
    You cannot post new topics in this forum
    You cannot reply to topics in this forum
    You cannot edit your posts in this forum
    You cannot delete your posts in this forum
    You cannot post attachments in this forum

    Search for:
    Jump to: