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plarblman

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Oct 13 15 3:57 PM

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I don't actively follow this comic, but I think this is the perfect example of why this should be reviewed. I've been avoiding Willis and his work for the most part ever since I finished Shortpacked, but IMO Dumbing of Age is worse of the two. Why? Because it tries to have super dramatic moments such as a lesbian being chased by her gun-toting fundamentalist dad (which for the record had very little forshadowing so it feels really jarring), IMMEDIATELY followed by a Jurassic Park reference joke

If anyone is masochistic enough to take this up, you would be doing the internet a service.
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Gamma

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#1 [url]

Oct 13 15 4:01 PM

It seems terrible, though I'm not sure if I'm the right person to review it.

Also, could you add a bit more to why it's worse than Shortpacked? I was just wondering.

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plarblman

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Oct 13 15 4:46 PM

Shortpacked had its dumb moments but nothing on this scale. The worst drama you'd see in Shortpacked was relationship issues, not life-or-death situations. So by increasing the stakes, suddenly resorting to comedy feels even more out of place. Having this kind of tone whiplash is just frustrating to readers.

I can give more examples too. I remember Willis throwing yet another one of his tantrums when people pointed out that his way of conveying sign language visually made no sense, where he'd just draw Marcie's arms as blue ghostly outlines. It also has its share of incredibly obnoxious characters; whereas the political strawmen had been relegated to background customers in Shortpacked, you now have one in the regular cast through Joyce. There were also occasions when Willis complained that people were calling Sal and Becky selfish assholes who take advantage of their friends (when we're supposed to sympathize with them), or how Danny was erroneously called a "Nice Guy" (in the derogatory feminist sense of the word) for turning down sex with a girl.

Basically, it looks to me like it has all of Shortpacked's problems, but magnified substantially. I would review it, except that when I reviewed Shortpacked I put a colossal amount of effort in cataloging and summarizing its many problems. If I was exceptionally bored and had enough free time, I might consider covering DOA.

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SmashLampjaw

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Oct 13 15 9:09 PM

I read DoA for a while by choice (I wanted to see if Willis had calmed his shit down), and I'd be willing to review it, but I'd still like you (plarblman) to add to it. Specifically, I don't know much about Willis and you've done a crapload of research I'd like to avoid duplicating.

Last Edited By: SmashLampjaw Oct 13 15 9:35 PM. Edited 1 time.

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Long Tom

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#6 [url]

Oct 14 15 3:07 AM

SmashLampjaw wrote:
I read DoA for a while by choice (I wanted to see if Willis had calmed his shit down), and I'd be willing to review it, but I'd still like you (plarblman) to add to it. Specifically, I don't know much about Willis and you've done a crapload of research I'd like to avoid duplicating.

When I've done reviews, I typically let other, more knowledgable people on this forum add the biographies, if they know anything about said author of said webcomic

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plarblman

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Oct 16 15 8:44 PM

If you want to include me into the review, here's something I've been thinking over:

One of the reasons why I try to be thorough when looking throw Willis's work is because I'm trying to understand what his thought process is. I've seen him make mental leaps on more than one occasion that, to the ordinary person, makes no sense. But in his mind, it's perfectly reasonable and anyone who doesn't agree with him is either a liar or a bigot. He's also been writing strawman characters since the nineties; the only thing that's really changed is his political alignment and who in his cast are the strawmen. He also has a disturbing trend of completely misrepresenting real life people, from misquoting for nonsensical reasons to outright defamation. It's easy to simply dismiss him as an idiot or a koolaid-drinking radfem or whatever suits you, but I'm genuinely starting to think the guy's crazy. Like, clinically crazy. It's the only explanation I can come up with for the out-of-left-field rationalizations, and he already admits to being very poorly adjusted. Every single one of his comics always goes from comedy to drama even though the drama is always what causes his comics to fall apart. It's like he never learns. Seriously, I'm no psychologist, but I'm fairly confident that something's not right with his head.

Last Edited By: SmashLampjaw Oct 18 15 1:14 PM. Edited 1 time.

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SmashLampjaw

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#9 [url]

Oct 18 15 12:50 PM

plarblman wrote:
OK I don't know what happened to the links in that post, and it's not letting me edit it. Sorry for the inconvenience folks.
Fixed that for you. I can't even guess how you managed to piss off the software enough that it tried nesting link code inside of link code.

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Mazeter

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#10 [url]

Oct 19 15 3:35 AM

How can DoA not be reviewed yet? As people already pointed out in this thread, It's probably the worst drama I've ever read AND the author is batshit insane.

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Shan

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#12 [url]

Oct 21 15 5:06 PM

I have to say that I do like the feature on the page called "Buffer Watch".

BUFFER WATCH Comics are currently drawn and uploaded through: February 11, 2016
 

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plarblman

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#13 [url]

Oct 21 15 5:32 PM

Is there a reason to make that many comics in advance? I mean I can understand the existence of a buffer, but four?

Also, I checked the about page and spotted a few things:

Joyce is autobiographical. 

Not terribly surprising.
I’ve yet to see someone use the term “strawman” correctly.  Use it stupidly, your post is gone.

Not surprising either. OK, how about this for size: Joyce basically took over the Strawman role from Sal in Roomies when you decided to convert from Christian Fundamentalism to Neo-Progressivism.

Last Edited By: plarblman Oct 21 15 6:05 PM. Edited 1 time.

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Shan

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#14 [url]

Oct 21 15 8:28 PM

Well, I am impressed that from about May 6th 2013, it seems to have been publishing a new strip every single day (even before that it had been 5 to 6 days a week for some time). Certainly not even close to Schlock Mercenary which has been publishing every single day since about mid 2000 though.

It's definitely going to be one hell of a buffer if nothing else. Had a look at a few strips but to be honest it's not something that interests me. I certainly don't envy anyone having to read it for consideration of a review either because of how much there is.

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SmashLampjaw

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#15 [url]

Oct 22 15 4:25 PM

Mazeter wrote:
How can DoA not be reviewed yet? As people already pointed out in this thread, It's probably the worst drama I've ever read AND the author is batshit insane.
It's a combination of things. It wasn't actually that bad at first. It kind of looked like Willis calmed the fuck down so the comic didn't look like it merited a review. If anything, it's main problem was the amount of time that it felt like had progressed was about one thousand times greater than the actual passage of time. Then it just kind of spiraled. I stopped reading it during a particularly stupid plot twist, and from what I've heard, it has continued to get worse.

Another issue is Willis is a bit of a repeat offender, with something of a record over here. DoA's review should be pretty close in quality/effort to his other trash and and overlaps/progressions should be noted.

I will get to this review when I can. It's not going to be quick as I have to re-read the whole thing and my time is more limited than usual at the moment. It's likely going to be a couple weeks before I have something presentable. On the plus side, there were a couple things I made mental notes about the first time I read it as things to mark as I go if I had to review it. I was originally thinking of building the [potential] review around a character/plot devolution timeline, with a couple charts. They would have been frustrating for me to realize I had to backtrack to research if I was reading the thing for the first time.

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breeze

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#17 [url]

Oct 22 15 8:31 PM

I joined purely to comment on this thread. I'm RELIEVED that other people find the latest storyline as idiotic as I do. I liked Willis's comics at first, up until Shortpacked! became Minority Bingo, and this latest arc on Dumbing of Age... Former fundie drops out of school, somehow ends up at Joyce's college, and they try to keep her stowed there. Her crazy dad shows up, WITH A GUN, and traipses around campus, effectively kidnaps former fundie, and instead of anyone like the police we get a fake, mentally unstable superhero. Who somehow does not go crashing off of the skateboard when she attaches it TO THE CAR, nor does the rope go burning through her gloves and leaving her wiping out on the road while the skateboard goes flying. Just... What? I thought no one had superpowers in this story?

I'm not sure I am skilled enough to write a review, but I am relieved that other people are reading this and going "Um, what?", as DoA's comment section is 99.9% praise.

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Shan

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#18 [url]

Oct 22 15 8:51 PM

Huge comments section too. I think each strip gets more comments than every single other webcomic I read put together - by quite a lot too.

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#19 [url]

Oct 22 15 9:45 PM

Willis has had a lot of time to gather readers.

_____________________________________________________________________

People have a common defense mechanism they employ to defend themselves from the threat of contrary viewpoints. This shield they wield is the act of dismissing such contrary viewpoints by arbitrarily undermining their validity.

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rhekyono

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#20 [url]

Oct 22 15 11:47 PM

Actually, this is even worse than I thought it would go. It's Candi drenched in gasoline squared, mixed in with references to Batman and Back to the Future which come across to me as being incredibly poor taste, given the tone before.

Funny thing is, it looked like in a few comics, Willis had learned (one of) his lesson(s), what with having Leslie and Roz actually arguing both sides of a subject with valid, if not actually as deep as he thinks, points. Even Joyce's religious upbringing was getting what I would call more respect than anything Shortpacked would give her.

Guess maybe I just wanted to see better, so we willed it in.

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