Avalon review in Sequential Tart

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Postby Foust on Tue Dec 04, 2001 1:07 am

Haha. Astonishingly ignorant of him. I mean, lesbians? Did he even read the archives at all?
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Postby Rob on Tue Dec 04, 2001 1:50 am

LOL. So should we send the summer 2000 strips as exhibit A? We could also point out the 200th strip gala thread. Or not. <IMG SRC="http://www.keenspot.com/KeenBoard/biggrin.gif"><P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>
There are a lot more interesting plots than that
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Postby Quasispace on Tue Dec 04, 2001 9:02 am

I don't think the person did much reading into any of the comics reviewed... From reading the review it looks like they just went over the storyline titles and read a couple of strips and spat out that review. Although this is coming from the mind of a fan of the work being reviewed, it just seems to be really superficial without any real work done to look at what's being covered.<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>It's very positive towards being a pre-teen girl in America who doesn't run off to get makeup as soon as possible, and doesn't run out and get a training bra simply because she turns 13 and is 'adult' now. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>Now personally I'd say that it's positive being a pre-teen, without needing to mention America. Since at the heart of the issue is not the actual events but the circumstances that initiate the sequence. Especially since Alice is Canadian...
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Postby Wildmartin on Tue Dec 04, 2001 9:02 am

Lack of research is highly detrimental when making a judgement on something, the reviewer should be ashamed of themselves for not digging into a story, a good idea would have been to post here and inquire for things she didn't know.<P>*Warning: nitpick*
If she were a real journalist as she says she is, then she wouldn't use the phrases at the begining and end of this quote: "I'm like, a real journalist or something." Like? Like what? Or something? You mean something along the lines of didn't pay attention in Writing 101. <I>Real</I> journalist, <B>hardly</B>. *scoffs*
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Postby Josh Phillips on Tue Dec 04, 2001 9:20 am

Well, I wrote 'em a letter. :-) With any luck it'll show up in their next issue. It basically just listed the various storylines in which the reviewer could find the themes she was wishing for (complete with URLs to eliminate any excuses. ;-) ). My biggest worry is that I'll look like I'm doing damage control for Avalon's image (pfft, what image? ;-) ), but whatever. It's been dealt with. Whee. :-)<P>I mean, as much as I sometimes enjoy reading negative reviews, I agree that this one just doesn't seem sufficiently researched. :-/ Nothing to get worked up over.<P>JOSH.
<P>------------------
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Postby Josh Phillips on Tue Dec 04, 2001 9:24 am

And because there weren't enough smileys in that last message:<P>:-) /:-. :-/ -(8#<P>JOSH.
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Postby Klaus Petersen on Tue Dec 04, 2001 10:47 am

Movie quote time: <A HREF="http://us.imdb.com/Quotes?0082517" TARGET=_blank>And of course, with the birth of the artist came the inevitable afterbirth - the critic.</A>
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Postby Josh Phillips on Tue Dec 04, 2001 11:13 am

I just found <A HREF="http://www.sequentialtart.com/geeksquad_1201.shtml">this review</A> of Avalon at a site called Sequential Tart. Overall, it's not too favourable... the reviewer remarked that the "high school boyfriend-girlfriend" theme was too prevalent. She gave examples of other themes that would be a lot more interesting in Avalon's setting... and I find it amusing that all but one of those themes *has* been featured in Avalon. I'm left to assume the reviewer didn't read too far back in the archive.<P>Oh well... I like reviews either way. :-)<P>JOSH.<P>------------------
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Postby Fool on Tue Dec 04, 2001 11:30 am

Maybe someone should do a review of the review and point out the reviewer's glaring lack of knowledge of Avalon?
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Postby Fool on Wed Dec 05, 2001 4:21 am

Sounds kinda like <I>History of the World part 1</I>.
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Postby Symok on Wed Dec 05, 2001 5:24 am

Hehe thats funny. I wonder what the review of Its Walky will be like...<P>Josh, you *will* post the reply in full when you get it, won't you? <IMG SRC="http://www.keenspot.com/KeenBoard/smile.gif"><P>------------------
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Postby K A H on Wed Dec 05, 2001 6:57 am

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Fool:
<B>Sounds kinda like <I>History of the World part 1</I>.</B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>So it does! Ex<I>traor</I>dinary!<P>Back in the Dark Ages (1997-98) when I used to post to Usenet, a friend of mine - himself an online critic this days (his name's been mentioned on this site) - added an ASCII "Club of Obviousness" to his signature, a device which he said would be used for, obviously (pardon the pun), clocking people over the head if they displayed a stunning lack of perspicacity. The "club" was inscribed with the motto "Did somebody miss the point?" or words to that effect.<P>I'd say our article-writing friend here doesn't need to be hit with such a device so much as rendered half-unconscious. What part of the archives did she <I>read</I> if she thought "Avalon" was entirely about romantic entanglements? And besides, there have been HS dramas in the past that have addressed "serious" issues ("Tonight, on a very special <I>Blossom</I>...."), and I generally found them forced and preachy. (I'm not saying that I find the more weighty tangents of "Avalon" forced and preachy, because I certainly don't - whether he considers himself a hack or not, I personally would rank Sir Josh far, <I>far</I> above most TV writers! <IMG SRC="http://www.keenspot.com/KeenBoard/smile.gif">)<P>The fact that a good opinion should be backed up with research and indisputable facts is one reason I try to keep my opinions to myself - because usually they're about as well backed up as this article.<P>K.A.H.
Want proof of that last paragraph? You've just finished reading it.<p>[This message has been edited by K A H (edited 12-05-2001).]
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Postby Fool on Wed Dec 05, 2001 9:31 am

It'll take a Miracle to get her out of this mess!<P>*looks around for a horse to show up*
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Postby Sterling on Thu Dec 06, 2001 9:49 am

I started rolling around on the floor laughing right about here:<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>
I spend my days at school painting - not waiting to see if That Guy (tm) has a crush on me.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>I'm sorry if this sounds biased, by my thought processes ran something like this: "Oh, great. Another high-school arteest. No wonder she doesn't know WTF she's talking about." (Gender assumed from quote) And in fact, I'd say she read maybe a week of strips, tops. The week where Joe and Ceilidh hooked up.<P>Now, one has to wonder: what <I>will</I> she think when she gets to Roomies/Its Walky? Or CRFH?
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Postby Sterling on Thu Dec 06, 2001 9:51 am

I started rolling around on the floor laughing right about here:<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>
I spend my days at school painting - not waiting to see if That Guy (tm) has a crush on me.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>I'm sorry if this sounds biased, by my thought processes ran something like this: "Oh, great. Another high-school arteest. No wonder she doesn't know WTF she's talking about." (Gender assumed from quote) And in fact, I'd say she read maybe a week of strips, tops. The week where Joe and Ceilidh hooked up.<P>Now, one has to wonder: what <I>will</I> she think when she gets to Roomies/Its Walky? Or CRFH?
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Postby Klaus Petersen on Sat Dec 08, 2001 2:13 am

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Tori:
<B>...of course, I'm also amused that you guys didn't think I would read this apparently.</B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>No, I don't think that was foremost on anyones mind, the tone of the review certainly didn't leave the impression that you would do any such thing. I must also say that you are being more thinskinned than you can afford to be. But since you are here, I for one don't mind discussing this with you.<P>There's plenty of stuff on Keenspot and Keenspace that I can't be bothered with, even if I know that other Avalonites, or even Sir Josh, read those strips. If <I>I</I> was doing a review of such a strip, I would be mindful of the fact that the strip has attracted its readership for <I>some</I> reason, and my task would be to find out what that reason is. That's not to say I would leave my own views out, but they would feature a lot less prominently in the review. In order to do a review of Sinfest, for example, I would start by contacting Tatsuya Ishida to learn about the strips concept. Asking questions in the Sinfest forum would most likely not be as helpful, judging from what I've seen of it. But that's just me . . . your indifference may vary.<P>Off-line, sitcoms is another thing I can't be bothered with. I don't have cable, and I don't think I am missing out on anything. Nor is Avalon anything like the High School I went through, either. But, nevertheless, it resonates with me.<p>[This message has been edited by Klaus Petersen (edited 12-08-2001).]
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Postby Dusty on Sat Dec 08, 2001 2:42 am

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Sterling:
<B>
Drop-outs have not so far been delt with, perhaps because all of our heroes are in reasonably good academic standing.<P></B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>Actually, even there we have Miss Morris dead to rights. Y'all will recall that Deidre dropped out of college. Not quite as serious as dropping out of high school, but still a significant issue that has not gone entirely unaddressed.<P>I will admit that the high school life portrayed in Avalon does not closely match my own specific memories (as much as I did love high school (go 'Toppers!)--a nationally ranked public school, so that I got the best of both worlds except for not having uniforms <IMG SRC="http://www.keenspot.com/KeenBoard/frown.gif"> ), but the <I>tone</I> of the comic still recalls the joy and misery of my late teenaged years, despite being nothing like them in <I>fact</I>.<P>On the other hand, in case Miss Morris returns, I think a small apology is owed her for the fellow above who called her a maniac for not enjoying Bruno the Bandit. While it is one of the strips I enjoy, not everyone is required to agree with me (although they would be better people if they did, obviously).<P>And, in fairness, I found the review of Bobbins to be excellent, and almost entirely in accord with my own view of the strip. <P>However, I must agree with all the other posters who have criticised Miss Morris's shallow research of some of the comics, especially Avalon, but also Alice (who, as has been mentioned, is from Canada).<P>------------------
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Postby Tori on Sat Dec 08, 2001 4:02 am

Thanks for being civil with me guys.<P> And yes, I realize that much of the time, I don't have a normal high school existance, (although I don't spend 50 hours a day on my classwork, and we do all have to take normal high school classes) but then, I had also kind of intended that statement to explain why I found it unrealistic to myself. <P> Usually, when I read a webcomic, I read backwards. I read the current storylines, and if I don't understand what's going on, I back it up to the point where I will. It may not make sense to you, or in a very linear comic like Avalon, but I've more than noticed that the early work of a webcomic (of any comic, or piece of art, for that matter) is not the best reflective on where that comic is today. Often times, the art style changes-some times dramatically so, or the theme will shift from what it was, to what it is now. For example, I'm reading CRFH right now, and the beginning strips are drawn pretty badly, and the characters undergo a major change right in the middle, from semi-normal people, to mutant freaks. I like the later work MUCH better than the early stuff. <P> I'm also trying to be much more fair than I was with Avalon-which I still don't like, but obviously lots of people do and I don't want to hurt more feelings like I obviously did here.

And yes, I do suffer from the horrible disease of forgetting about Canadians sometimes. I'll try harder next time. <P> As for contacting the artist to speak to them personally-we were taught that an art reviewer reviews what's there in the art, not the artist him/herself. Because the creator owes no explanation other than what's in the work. I'm trying to treat webcomics as if they were any other comic, or artwork, or story-where the reviewer may not have access to speaking with the creator, and the artwork should speak for itself alone.<P> That said, I remain, Tori.
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Postby K A H on Sat Dec 08, 2001 6:00 am

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Tori:
<B> The statement previous to that is me explaining why I think Avalon is an unrealistic portrait of High School, and that sentence was intended to frame what my reality of High School is. And that's all. </B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>Personally, my major quibble with your review was not with that statement (to be quite honest, I didn't notice it first time round). Perhaps the tone was not entirely appropriate, but, again, it was hardly my main complaint.<P>Rather, it was the shaky foundation on which your opinion appeared to be based. I'm no critic, and I'm certainly no expert at backing up my opinions with facts and research outside academia, where it's sort of expected of me, but it seems to me that if you're going to write a critique of something, it helps to do your homework.<P>And my impression from your review was that you had not read the archives fully. If, say, you read up to the first Valentine's Day storyline, then that explains your conclusion, but an explanation is not an excuse. If you're going to write an opinion of a book, you should read it from cover to cover, however distasteful that may seem; if you're going to write a review of a film, you should watch it from beginning to end, however tempting it is to get up and walk out. And if you're going to write a review of a webcomic, you should read the archives from Day One to the present. If you did so to write your review, you apparently did not read them carefully enough or, as has been pointed out repeatedly in this forum, you would have noticed that it addresses many of the issues you wanted it to address.<P>As for finding it an unrealistic portrayal of high school, well, I'm going to try to say this inoffensively, but it sounds as though your high school experience is far from typical! I went to a run-of-the-mill public school (American definition, not British definition) in Ohio, and I have little doubt that it's worlds apart from a nationally recognised school for the arts, not just in terms of academics, but in student life as well - I think it would stand to reason that students at a school for the arts are more committed to their work than students at a run-of-the-mill public school; if they weren't, they would hardly be justifying their place there. My sister is a first-year art major at Miami University in Ohio, and she spends as much as fifty hours a week on her projects. Geez, how would you find <I>time</I> to fixate on your social life if you have to spend that much time on work? Of <I>course</I> you're going to spend all your time painting, otherwise you'll fail! I'll say this, my sister's experiences have given me a newfound respect for fine and performing art students.<P>But, returning to the point, the fact is, what is unrealistic at one school is more realistic at another. Personally, I was also far more committed to my academic work than I was to my social life (to the point that I didn't <I>have</I> a social life and didn't even have a girlfriend until I was well into my second year of university), but goodness knows there were people in my class who fixated on their social lives. And not necessarily at the expense of their academic careers (although few, if any, of these people finished in the upper echelon of the class). And anyway, the characters in "Avalon" are not as single-minded as you appeared to think in your review.<P>Everyone's experience of high school is different. As such, people will identify with a given depiction of high school life to varying degrees - they may find it completely lacking in credibility, or they may find it completely true to life. I think my opinion falls somewhere in the middle. But it's still one of my favourite webcomics simply because I find the plot and characters fascinating and well-rounded and the art well-executed, especially considering the cartoonist is an engineering student!!<P>You're entitled to your opinion, naturally. But if you're going to publish it, at least do some research to back it up. Speaking as a scientist, I can assure you it's not only helpful, but necessary to maintaining your credibility.<P>And I'm sorry for the patronising tone of this post.<P>Oh, on an unrelated note, I'll probably be absent from the forum for the next month or so. Not that I expect anyone to notice, much less care. <IMG SRC="http://www.keenspot.com/KeenBoard/tongue.gif"><P>K.A.H.
And this post has probably destroyed <I>my</I> credibility.... if I had any.
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Postby Sterling on Sat Dec 08, 2001 7:03 am

Apologies for the assumption - you obviously have much more knowledge of what's involved with art than the kind of arteest I had to spend three years of high school Dealing With. (Apparently, I wasn't the Right Kind of geek)<P>(And its effigy, though we prefer lynching in these parts.)<P>As KAH said, if you're basing your judgement on what a realistic high-school experience is on what you've been through, that might be a bad idea. I have spent some time in "nationally-ranked" private schools, and didn't enjoy any of it. (And learned more in public school, not less) The social life there was very different from that in the Canadian public school system, which is what Avalon portrays.<P>Avalon is not an accurate portrait of high school life, no. Such a thing would be deadly boring and take up far too much of Josh's already-strained time. Instead, it takes several prevalent factors and focuses on them, attaching more importance to them for the sake of the audience than they actually have. (Though, given that they are Canadian, the importance of hockey probably isn't exaggerated. <IMG SRC="http://www.keenspot.com/KeenBoard/wink.gif"> )<P>You may want to take note of the fact that Josh skips an awful lot of time in the life of his characters. What we're seeing is only a small slice of their existance.<P>Our main problem with your review was that you had seemingly not read the archives. Avalon has delt with parental devorce (Joe's father has run off with some girl and the Bradley parents aren't exactly an ideal marriage), homosexuality (quite a bit in the first year or so, less since then), and high-school pregnancy (Umm... I don't know... Maybe the entire Deirdre story arc?).<P>Drop-outs have not so far been delt with, perhaps because all of our heroes are in reasonably good academic standing.<P>So while Avalon does deal with boyfriend and girlfriend issues, it is definitely more varied than most in this genre.<P>Now, if you want a much more... unusual take on high school or junior high, I can provide a suggestion or two...<P>------------------
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Postby Klaus Petersen on Sat Dec 08, 2001 7:11 am

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by K A H:
<B>And this post has probably destroyed <I>my</I> credibility.... if I had any.</B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>Huh? K A H, if we have not heard from you by January 8th 2002, I will demand that somebody organizes a search party!<P>Merry Christmas, and a happy New Year!
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Postby Stig Hemmer on Sat Dec 08, 2001 9:07 am

Tori Morris...<P>You wrote a criticism of Josh and other web artists.<P>Now we have written a criticism of you. Deal with it. You might even learn something from the experience.<P>------------------
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Postby Fool on Sat Dec 08, 2001 10:46 am

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by K A H:
<B>But it's still one of my favourite webcomics simply because I find the plot and characters fascinating and well-rounded and the art well-executed, especially considering the cartoonist is an engineering student!!</B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>It's not really that surprising.
ERTW, after all.
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