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plarblman

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Dec 9 13 4:39 PM

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I don't know how many of you read Dr. McNinja, but I just read the last page posted, and it has to be one of the most shocking plot twists I've read in a long time. What I really like about it is that you'd never even think of it, but once you do it actually makes a crazy kind of sense.

If you don't know what I'm talking about, go see pg. 75 of All The King's Dirtbikes and All the King's Men. That's what I'm referring to. Without immediately spoiling, I'll simply say that it involves finding out King Radical's real identity - which was alluded to at the beginning of the chapter when we learn that King Radical is a title, not a name. If you haven't read the comic at all, well, at minimum you'll want to start reading some of the chapters starting from Space Savers. This is a twist that was 5 chapters in the making. That's how brilliant the writing in this comic is.

Last Edited By: plarblman Dec 9 13 4:42 PM. Edited 1 time

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#1 [url]

Dec 17 13 1:46 AM

It took someone long enough to put this post here and yes, I read the comic too. That plot twist was so well written... It almost makes you wonder if he already wrote the script for the twist 5 years ago.

It's almost guaranteed that most of us here on the forums, regardless of how many posts we've made, have at least heard of the masterpiece that is Dr McNinja.

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SmashLampjaw

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Jan 4 15 5:29 PM

I finally got around to starting this comic. It's fantastic.

I can see why nobody who's recommended it has bothered describing it, though. Any attempt to do so would make the comic sound stupid, not just because it's so easy to fail at this kind of humor, but because so many other have tried it and failed. I'm regularly surprised by the kind of stuff that this comic pulls off hilariously that would have gone wrong pretty much everywhere else.

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SmashLampjaw

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Jan 6 15 2:08 AM

That's fair. Random humor is prolific on the internet and most of it is awful. The comic teeters on the edge of going too random for me but manages not to. I have to wonder if a lot of the randomness originally started from people trying to imitate this comic and failing miserably.

I mean it all had to start somewhere, and most of the people I see doing this kind of shit aren't familiar with Monty Python's works (which I'd otherwise suspect).

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plarblman

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#5 [url]

Jan 6 15 9:35 PM

I think Dr. McNinja works where others have failed because 1. It's internally consistent and builds on itself, so that jokes turn into plot points and story arcs 2. It takes its most ridiculous ideas completely seriously, and 3. It's surreal, but never "random" in the sense that things happen just because. There's a warped logic behind it, but it's still logic nonetheless. The story remains coherent and characters develop convincingly, even when it involves dinosaur-riding banditos or Dracula's moonbase.

Last Edited By: plarblman Jan 6 15 9:40 PM. Edited 2 times.

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SmashLampjaw

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Jan 6 15 10:10 PM

I agree. It's that level of consistency that keeps it from going "lol i'm so random" for me and makes the surprises hilarious instead of jarring. Some of the spoken unexpected jokes are on par with The Tick.

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oddguy

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Jan 7 15 2:14 AM

I get that it's not as bad as the things that I label "Random humor", I just don't like it even if it's okay. I'm not saying it's bad, just that it's not for me. I don't really like anything related to Deadpool either for the same reason. Which is fitting because I think this guy writes for Deadpool now.

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Long Tom

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#8 [url]

Jan 7 15 4:02 PM

What works in terms of humor is cleverness.  You can have random humor, silly humor, dry humor, slapstick humor, and so on, but none of these genres work unless they have wit in them.  Some Monty Python sketches worked very well, such as The Ministry Of Silly Walks or Ypres 1914, but a lot of their stuff failed, too.  John Cleese had a good reason not to appear in the final season of the show.

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Breezy

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May 6 15 7:13 AM

I don't know about the dialogue, but the art is definitely looking weird. I've noticed it the most with Chuck, especially in today's last panel.

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Shan

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Nov 4 15 4:11 PM

Thanks for this topic, I first heard of and read this webcomic thanks to it and it's brilliant. The twist being talked about here was clever but I thought the real genius was how it was used later on, I completely didn't see that comic* coming. The current page is also something I didn't see coming either in the "guess who's back department."

* how the hell did I type that instead of what I meant?

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plarblman

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#12 [url]

Nov 4 15 7:40 PM

I'm still impressed by the surprises that are being pulled out now that the comic is being concluded. I have a working theory on what might be the final plot twist, but it's really nice to see previous plot elements be used this way to enhance the climax. 

As for the art, I've always thought that the linework might be a bit too thick for its own good, as it tends to swallow up the details on far-away shots. Maybe that's just happening more frequently.

Last Edited By: plarblman Nov 4 15 7:49 PM. Edited 1 time.

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Shan

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#13 [url]

Nov 4 15 7:49 PM

Well, the King Radical reveal was as good as promised, that's true. Full marks on how he was able to hide it in plain sight. As I said though, the next major reveal that was a stepping stone to, which was simply done through showing a close up of a character's hand, a pair of glasses and just one word was exceptional. Now I don't exactly remember what the context of the thing is from the current page as I write this but I think I get the gist of it. The fact it's going to lead to the return of someone who we thought was out of it, well I'm looking forward to it.

Also, I'd forgotten this joke but when I reread a chapter, the page with two frames, the one on the left with Chuck Goodrich saying it was the best sandwich he'd ever eaten and the one on the right reporting on it in a newspaper had me in stitches (probably again). That's what I love about forgetting a joke and then seeing it again.

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plarblman

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#14 [url]

Nov 4 15 7:56 PM

The golden object was from the flashback chapter just prior to Radical becoming president. There's still a few plot threads that I'm intrigued to see, such as the fact that Frans knows what McNinja looks like unmasked, the Ghost Wizard's curse, and that scene back in Futures Trading where Doc saw himself being surrounded by the feds. Those will all have to come up at some point.

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Shan

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Nov 4 15 8:01 PM

Thanks. It's all something I definitely don't mind reading again to remind myself of all the details I've forgotten or even buying in print. You're right, there's definitely some things that still have to be mentioned, given his form so far I have no doubt he'll do so. Then there's his name, that has to come into play in some fashion before the end too, even if we never actually find out what it is (just like on Doctor Who).

One of my other favourite gags, the scowl on Dr McNinja's face after he gets the explanation from Old why he chose Old as a name. That plus the fact his parents are so disappointed *because* he became a doctor. Due to my personal circumstances, I still find that hysterical.

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SmashLampjaw

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#16 [url]

Nov 4 15 10:38 PM

I've been a little concerned about the art lately. There are dips in quality. The Nasaghast has been particularly flat this chapter.

.

plarblman wrote:
There's still a few plot threads that I'm intrigued to see ... and that scene back in Futures Trading where Doc saw himself being surrounded by the feds.
That might have already happened, when he was arrested off-camera.
.
Shan wrote:
One of my other favourite gags, the scowl on Dr McNinja's face after he gets the explanation from Old why he chose Old as a name. That plus the fact his parents are so disappointed *because* he became a doctor. Due to my personal circumstances, I still find that hysterical.
I cracked up when his mother was teared up while talking to Old about how he isn't a doctor and is a good ninja.

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Shan

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Nov 10 15 7:37 PM

Turns out there's a Chuck Goodrich in our world that works for NASA.

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/themis/auroras/bio_goodrich.html#.VkK3TbcrLIU

"Chuck Goodrich is the program scientist for the THEMIS Mission. He is a discipline scientist at NASA Headquarters in the Science Missions Directorate Heliophysics Division focusing on Earth's magnetosphere and upper atmosphere.

Goodrich joined NASA Headquarters in February 2008 from Boston University, where he maintains his appointment as research professor and co-director of model coupling for the Center for Integrated Space Weather Modeling. In this role, he has developed a system-wide understanding of the challenges in modeling the solar-terrestrial system from the sun's surface to Earth's ionosphere.

Goodrich is the author of numerous papers on solar-terrestrial science, and he has received NASA Group Achievement awards for his contributions to the Voyager and International Solar Terrestrial Physics missions. He is a leader in producing animations to show the interaction of Geospace magnetic fields and plasma. These animations have appeared in Newscasts, NASA broadcasts and IMAX films."

Well, I think that confirms we're the lame boring universe they refer to in Dr McNinja, if there was any doubt. Not Chuck, even in our universe, he's got an awesome important job; it's just that he's not fighting zombies and dinosaurs, in fact he's not even getting to go into space himself.

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SmashLampjaw

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#18 [url]

Nov 10 15 9:16 PM

Shan wrote:
Turns out there's a Chuck Goodrich in our world that works for NASA.

stuff
... well. Holy shit.
.

Shan wrote:
Well, I think that confirms we're the lame boring universe they refer to in Dr McNinja, if there was any doubt. Not Chuck, even in our universe, he's got an awesome important job; it's just that he's not fighting zombies and dinosaurs, in fact he's not even getting to go into space himself.
In fairness, none of the other Chucks went into space prior to a catastrophic event.

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Shan

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Nov 10 15 11:20 PM

I'm not knocking him at all. I have no doubt our Chuck Goodrich is quietly working to keep us safe and he's so successful, he doesn't even need to go into space. Prevention is better than cure as they say, he's not even letting the events that lead to the catastrophe ever happen. I like it that way. I like living in our lame unspectacular world free of catastrophes and crises (and zombies and dinosaurs). As the supposed Chinese curse goes "May you live in interesting times". Though it's thought the Chinese never actually said this, what's more likely was something along the lines of "It is better to be a dog in a peaceful time than a man in a chaotic time", which to be honest sounds more like what we'd expect an ancient Chinese philosopher to say anyway. Chuck Goodrich is one of my favourite scientists, along with Omar Hurricane who is a physicist working on bringing usable nuclear fusion to reality.

On the subject of names, there's a webcomic listed in the wiki here called Cheshire Crossing. I saw it was written by an Andy Weir. I thought there's no way it could be *that* Andy Weir and after some searching, I was about to amend the entry to read "Not that Andy Weir" but just before I did so, there was this still nagging doubt. So I plugged all the terms into the one search, and guess what? It *is* that Andy Weir. Author of the book The Martian starring Matt Damon and directed by Ridley Scott. It's a good book IMO too.

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Shan

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#20 [url]

Nov 17 15 1:12 PM

"Hello!
The real life Chuck Goodrich at NASA is absolutely the wildest coincidence that could have possibly happened (Considering the fact that his whole deal is that he's this multi-universe hero, and it turns out our universe has one too... CRAZY). I was not aware of his existence at all prior to writing the comic character.

I did contact him once, hoping to get him to write an intro to one of the books or do an interview or something, but I never heard back.

Thanks so much for enjoying the comic!
-Chris"

and

"Oh sure! Yeah, go right ahead and relay that message along. Hello forum! Thank you for reading! :)

And your thoughts on the real life Chuck are very interesting and fun!*

Best,
Chris"

*referring to the content of the post above, which I sent him minus the bit on the Martian, plus a request to post his email here + a suggestion of a Chuck Goodrich/Omar Hurricane team up.

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