Jeph Jacques's comics discussion forums

Comic Discussion => QUESTIONABLE CONTENT => Topic started by: jwhouk on 29 Nov 2011, 03:50

Title: You're A Good Man, Marten Reed
Post by: jwhouk on 29 Nov 2011, 03:50
So it begs the question (taken from the WCDT of November 28, 2011):

The QC <=> Charlie Brown topic seems to keep coming up in the WCDT threads recently. I can certainly see some parallels. It probably deserves a thread all of its very own. :)

So...

Marten Reed = Charlie Brown

Who else (and HOW else) is related in the QC/Peanuts "universes"?

It's an interesting thought, really. Jeph is the one who made the QC world, determines the fate of his characters and the world, really. He wields a graphics tablet of infinite power, yet when we see him, he is a tired, slightly sad man with no idea of the kind of destructive power he holds.

Jeph is ... Possessed by the spirit of Charles Schulz?

QC did start a couple years after Schulz died ...

Think about it. a philosophical, angsty, slice of life, humor-in-the-small-things comic that is very different from the way it was when it began, with a large and changing cast ...

Kinda geeked about the possibilities, really. The QC Holiday TV specials; a beer-sledding hill and arena with a snack bar featuring Coffee of Doom drinks and Secret Bakery pastries (and Midnight Hobo bourbon); a chain of "Psychiatric Help 5 cents" sidewalk booths featuring Dr. Corrinne; a hipster playland at an amusement park of your choice with employees running around in giant-head costumes of the QC characters ...

And, of course, Pintsize on the side of a blimp selling insurance.


Title: Re: You're A Good Man, Marten Reed
Post by: pwhodges on 29 Nov 2011, 04:28
Jeph tweeted only today:

Quote from: Jeph Jaques
My favorite quote about cartooning is from Charles Schulz: "Cartooning will destroy you, it will break your heart."
Title: Re: You're A Good Man, Marten Reed
Post by: ProfSciencePHD on 29 Nov 2011, 04:52
Tai and Marigold would definitely be Peppermint Patty and Marcie.
Title: Re: You're A Good Man, Marten Reed
Post by: jwhouk on 29 Nov 2011, 05:33
Actually I think Hanners would be closer to Peppermint Patty to Marigold's Marcie.
Title: Re: You're A Good Man, Marten Reed
Post by: AnAverageWriter on 29 Nov 2011, 05:42
Actually I think Hanners would be closer to Peppermint Patty to Marigold's Marcie.

Honestly?

Hanners is nothing like Peppermint Patty. I mean, I can see where the friendship allegory is, but... I think trying to shoehorn the cast into the shoes of Peanuts (with the exception of Marten) is a lost cause. They just don't fit together.

And I doubt Marten even owns a yellow stripey sweater.
Title: Re: You're A Good Man, Marten Reed
Post by: jwhouk on 29 Nov 2011, 05:43
"I just draw what I think is funny, and I hope other people think it is funny, too."

Title: Re: You're A Good Man, Marten Reed
Post by: Paranoid on 29 Nov 2011, 06:49
Here's an interesting dilemma: if you want to talk personalities and general roles, Linus and Angus are clearly counterparts IMHO.  However, obviously there are... 'complications' with that paring if you start getting into the specifics, as Lucy's equivalence to Faye seems pretty much undisputed.  I guess what I'm asking is, what kind of correlations do we feel are most important to us?  Personality traits or relations with other characters?  If it's personality then I vote Linus <=> Angus.  If instead we want to focus on relations then ewe, no! :-o
Title: Re: You're A Good Man, Marten Reed
Post by: Carl-E on 29 Nov 2011, 07:02
No, no, it's not that bad -- just replace the love/sex relationship of Angus and Faye with the brother/sister relationship of Linus and Lucy...

Please.  Replace it, before you think of another single thing.


Thank you for your time and attention.
Title: Re: You're A Good Man, Marten Reed
Post by: DSL on 29 Nov 2011, 07:19
Obviously a direct, one-to-one-to-one pairing won't work. There are enough broad similarities, though, for me to find this idea interesting. The humor-in-the-small-moment approach in particular, and the fact that characters are allowed to have contradictory aspects to their personalities. It represented " Peanuts" at its finest and it's what keeps me coming back to QC.

The crazy merchandsing stuff was just me having some batshit fun ... But c'mon. You know you'd run outside to see a Pintsize blimp flying overhead, advertising ... well, there are sometimes Allstate ads on the QC site, but I think the certain forumites would prefer to see ... Geico?
Title: Re: You're A Good Man, Marten Reed
Post by: jwhouk on 29 Nov 2011, 07:26
Thing is, Schulz wasn't as arc-driven in his comics as Jeph is. Of course, Schulz was in his 70's and hadn't heard much about webcomics when he passed.
Title: Re: You're A Good Man, Marten Reed
Post by: akronnick on 29 Nov 2011, 07:39
The multi-episode story arc thing is relatively new phenomenon.

In '80s TV, the only shows in Prime Time that did it were the 10pm dramas. Sit-coms would only leave plot-points hanging if they were going to do a two-part episode, otherwise everything went back to the way it was at the beginning. (Much to the downfall of many a Mrs. Cartwright) Even action shows like Knight Rider, The A-Team and Dukes of Hazzard would wrap things up by the last commercial.

Today, almost every scripted show on television will have season spanning storylines.
Title: Re: You're A Good Man, Marten Reed
Post by: Carl-E on 29 Nov 2011, 07:45
You don't need to be a web comic to be arc oriented.  A lot of the syndicated dailies had arcs...

Just not Peanuts.  Although, there were occasionally short ones even in that strip.

Now, let's see...

Dale = Franklin (the only black kid in the Peanuts strip)

Hannelore = Sally (which fits really well with her being Charlie Brown's little sister, given Hannelore and Marten's relationship)

Dora = Peppermint Patty (the bossiness fits, and didn't Peppermint Patty always pretend she had a relationship with Chuck?)

Or maybe Padma - Peppermint Patty.  

Marigold = Pigpen (at least, initially)

Tai = Frida (come on, she is  pretty self-absorbed)

Sven = Schroeder (this is the "new" Sven, music & aloofness combined)

That's all I can think of right now.  
Title: Re: You're A Good Man, Marten Reed
Post by: Yarin on 29 Nov 2011, 07:46
No, no, it's not that bad -- just replace the love/sex relationship of Angus and Faye with the brother/sister relationship of Linus and Lucy...

Please.  Replace it, before you think of another single thing.


Thank you for your time and attention.

i didn't replace it now my brain is scared
Title: Re: You're A Good Man, Marten Reed
Post by: Coffee_Kaioken on 29 Nov 2011, 10:23
Jeph tweeted only today:

Quote from: Jeph Jaques
My favorite quote about cartooning is from Charles Schulz: "Cartooning will destroy you, it will break your heart."

I did say in the other WCDT that both Jacques and Schulz have suffered from depression and anxiety, as well.

In terms of success, popularity, marketing, etc. - Jacques can't honestly compare to Schulz.

In terms of characters that can be related to? I'm not sure if Jacques has Schulz beat in that department or if they're on par. I remember thinking to myself when first reading QC, "this is like Peanuts, but on the adult level." The thing about Peanuts was that both kids and adults could relate; with QC, you have to be a certain age to 'get it', as is with Scott Pilgrim. (I wonder if Bryan Lee O'Malley suffers his own mental issues)

Honestly, I've read other comics - Calvin and Hobbes, Garfield, Penny Arcade, Ctrl Alt Del, etc. - none of them really peak my interest the way QC has, and it's because of the same factor that Peanuts had going for it when it first made it's debut: character relatability. Most of the other comics at that time were bam, pow, sock' em, or just plain old goof. Li'l Folks showed us actual humans, in a sense.
Title: Re: You're A Good Man, Marten Reed
Post by: Carl-E on 29 Nov 2011, 11:41
You couldn't relate to Calvin? 

or  Hobbes? 


Daaaaaaaang...
Title: Re: You're A Good Man, Marten Reed
Post by: Border Reiver on 29 Nov 2011, 11:47
Looking at  both strips as a whole there are broad similarities - the first one that comes to my mind is the fact that I've seen and read 'em all.  The second being that the characters are truly engaging and well defined, but none of them are cut-outs, everyone is has more than one characteristic, and only rarely can you absolutely say what's gonna happen next.
Title: Re: You're A Good Man, Marten Reed
Post by: DSL on 29 Nov 2011, 11:50
Correct. One thing Schulz had going for him was a mass market ... Literally millions of people. Much harder to break in, what with syndicates and editors and other gatekeepers and all, but the end result for the folks who " made it" was to occupy one of a few slots with.a nationwide, even global, reach. First cable, then the web, led to fragmenting the audience; the whole nation doesn't listen to Arthur Godfrey or watch Johnny Carson or read For Better or For Worse anymore. Success for web material generally means a smaller, but more intensely loyal, audience.

And of course, I'm being facetious about the merch. Though I hope Jeph's one day in a position to buy a Gulfstream if he wants.
Title: Re: You're A Good Man, Marten Reed
Post by: Coffee_Kaioken on 29 Nov 2011, 11:53
You couldn't relate to Calvin? 

or  Hobbes? 


Daaaaaaaang...

Rephrase: Calvin and Hobbes is DEFINITELY enjoyable. There is some relatibility/relatability/however it's spelled, it's just not Peanuts or QC.
Title: Re: You're A Good Man, Marten Reed
Post by: LoveJaneAusten on 29 Nov 2011, 13:21
QC is nothing like Peanuts save for facile character analogies. Peanuts relies on the innocence and na´vetÚ of children to create the main conceit of the strip, and witty and insulting repartee barely makes an appearance. Sardonic humor, levied by one character against another, is not a prime function in Peanuts - the closest Peanuts comes is the "blockhead" refrain more common in the first three decades of the strip, but this lacks the back-and-forth banter fundmental to QC. Peanuts does not valorize invective.

Furthermore, a Venn diagram of the content of the two comics would look like a figure 8. Sex, relationship drama, working drudgery, parents, and all the topics belabored daily in QC are foreign to Peanuts. Similarities in the content are superficial and not meaningful in any way.

Even the character analogies are shallow. To say that, for example, Pintsize is like Snoopy because he occasionally confounds his owner is not a profound comparison.


The multi-episode story arc thing is relatively new phenomenon.

Multiple, episodic story arcs is by no means a new phenomenon in any media. The Orlando Furioso was published almost 500 years ago, and it contains several strings of characters and events playing out their plots simultaneously.


edit: The more I think about comparing the two comics, the wronger the comparison gets :-D
Title: Re: You're A Good Man, Marten Reed
Post by: DSL on 29 Nov 2011, 13:49
So stop thinking about it  and leave others to their fun.


 :-D


Title: Re: You're A Good Man, Marten Reed
Post by: Tova on 29 Nov 2011, 19:50
Certainly, they are two very different comics. However, I would guess that the common element that has made people draw comparisons between the two comics is that they feature protagonists that each serve as their comics' punching bag.

There are probably other analogies (e.g. Faye <=> Lucy), but as LoveJaneAusten says, they are fairly shallow ones - perhaps interesting to think about, but perhaps not too deeply (and we all know how these forums like occasionally to overthink things  :angel:).

I'd say that the red haired girl doesn't have a physical counterpart in QC - instead, she is Marten's goals (never seen, frequently longed-for, but never pursued directly).

That's all I've got for now.
Title: Re: You're A Good Man, Marten Reed
Post by: SomeCanadianWeirdo on 29 Nov 2011, 20:56
How about Marigold as Marcy?  Or rather Marigold is probably what a a Marcy conceived in the 21st Century would grow into, a sociallly awkward nerd girl.  I can imagine Marigold  and her equivalent of Peppermint Patty losng contact at some point, say one of them moving away, or even just going to a different junior high or high school than each other.  She never really makes another best friend like that, and as a result ends up being a loner who finds a life online that acts as a substitute for real world interactiions.
Title: Re: You're A Good Man, Marten Reed
Post by: AnAverageWriter on 30 Nov 2011, 00:12
How about Marigold as Marcy?  Or rather Marigold is probably what a a Marcy conceived in the 21st Century would grow into, a sociallly awkward nerd girl.

Eh, that doesn't fit Marcy at all. I followed the comics and even though she was mousy and had her glasses, she wasn't at all socially awkward. She just made friends outside of the "main" peanuts group; she has an extensive number of close friends in France, as well (she is fluent in the language).

She's smart, yes.

But socially awkward? No...
Title: Re: You're A Good Man, Marten Reed
Post by: jwhouk on 30 Nov 2011, 06:03
If you want a socially awkward character in Peanuts, there's always this kid (http://www.gocomics.com/peanuts/1971/07/21/).

"Shut up, and leave me alone!"
Title: Re: You're A Good Man, Marten Reed
Post by: Yarin on 30 Nov 2011, 09:51
On a side note there is a lot of m rated peanuts fanfiction out there most of it having to do with charlie brown murdering all his friends
Title: Re: You're A Good Man, Marten Reed
Post by: Kugai on 30 Nov 2011, 11:17
Funny, I always thought it would be Linus that would snap first.
Title: Re: You're A Good Man, Marten Reed
Post by: Coffee_Kaioken on 30 Nov 2011, 11:33
So stop thinking about it  and leave others to their fun.

Thank you. Seriously, what a fucking elitist comment that was before. Like QC doesn't have any of it's own conceit from time to time? I think a good deal of successful series have it sprinkled here and there.
Title: Re: You're A Good Man, Marten Reed
Post by: LoveJaneAusten on 30 Nov 2011, 11:42
Thank you. Seriously, what a fucking elitist comment that was before. Like QC doesn't have any of it's own conceit from time to time? I think a good deal of successful series have it sprinkled here and there.

I don't think you understood my post. It's not at all elitist to disagree reasonably, and I presented lots of reasons. Calling an argument elitist is a good way to display insecurity about one's own position.
Title: Re: You're A Good Man, Marten Reed
Post by: Coffee_Kaioken on 30 Nov 2011, 11:46
I don't think you understood my post.

You're saying Peanuts is nothing like QC. Which is one thing on it's own.

Quote
It's not at all elitist to disagree reasonably, and I presented lots of reasons.

With a sprinkling of clear snide as a nice finishing touch.

Quote
Calling an argument elitist is a good way to display insecurity about one's own position.

Accusing the other person of "insecurity" is the oldest trick in the book.
Title: Re: You're A Good Man, Marten Reed
Post by: LoveJaneAusten on 30 Nov 2011, 11:54
If you want to disagree with my position, feel free, but stronger arguments than "Elitist!" will help you out.
Title: Re: You're A Good Man, Marten Reed
Post by: Skewbrow on 30 Nov 2011, 12:21
I wouldn't call it elitist, but I confess that I had to refer to a dictionary several times before I was done reading LJA's post. Of course, this bit says more about me than about her argument :-) Also the points she raised are interesting. I don't remember the entire Peanuts series nearly as well as remember QC, so I cannot easily refute any of them. My excuse is that I read translated versions of most of the stories, so I constantly need to keep matching characters and names...

Yet many of us feel that there is a parallel. It may be that many of us simply grew up enjoying Peanuts, and now we are all enjoying QC, and pass the time pointing out and overanalyzing the common elements? May be there is more to it? Let's just enjoy the chat.

At some point Charles Schulz said something to the effect that he was most proud about coining the term security blanket. What do you think Jeph would be similarly proud of? I'm a little bit at loss here myself (just started thinking about it). Of course, only Jeph can give the definite answer, and that only later in his career.
Title: Re: You're A Good Man, Marten Reed
Post by: Carl-E on 30 Nov 2011, 12:28
OK, here goes;

In Peanuts, Schultz tapped into the fact that we all have been, and know, children.  

In QC, Jeph has tapped into the fact that we have all been (or are, or (in the case of the youngsters out there) soon will be), and know, twenty siomethings.  

Both comics are almost entirely about social interactions within these groups.  

Both comics have a wacky non-human instigator.  

The protagonist of both comics are, by their own descriptions, wishy-washy (OK, Marten's never used those terms, but come on...)

Both comics deal on a regular basis with universal aspects of being human - insecurity, love, depression, friendship and angst, to name a few.  True, the Peanuts crew rarely uses such terms, but they're dealing with these things nonetheless.  There's way less sex in Peanuts, of course.  But most of the issues are still there.  

I dunno, these just came off the top of my head.  There are other comics that may cover the same territory, but it's the fact that all these are constantly running as subtext, with only occasional bubbles to the surface that really cement it for me.  

Just like in real life...


Skewbrow:  Worry hat? 
Title: Re: You're A Good Man, Marten Reed
Post by: Skewbrow on 30 Nov 2011, 12:37
Thanks, Carl-E. Perfect!
Title: Re: You're A Good Man, Marten Reed
Post by: DSL on 30 Nov 2011, 13:59
I admit, the tone of LJA's post ticked me off and I regret even the minimal response I gave ... If only because I didn't want to give it even that much attention and because I thought the main thrust of LJA's post was a straw man argument -- that there was an attempt to create an exact, character-for-character correlation between Peanuts and QC.
There isn't, of course, and it's silly to try, and I said so in an earlier post. But as some of you have argued beautifully, the theme is there ... Young-ish people trying to figure out the world and themselves, with the same "humor in the small moment" informing both strips. Also, early and late QC resemble each other about as little as early and late Peanuts, though for different reasons. But I said that already.
Then I was trying to have a little fun with my point, valid though I think it is. I don't intend to write a PhD dissertation titled "Parallels and Correlations demonstrated in Charles M. Schulz's Peanuts and Jeph Jacques's Questionable Content." But I did have to do something to get unstuck from my mind the image of  Pintsize on a blimp. (http://db.tt/oa13ZiAZ)
Title: Re: You're A Good Man, Marten Reed
Post by: Tova on 30 Nov 2011, 17:31
I'm a little bemused by the hostility towards LJA's post, who is perfectly entitled to his or her opinion.

I thought the main thrust of LJA's post was a straw man argument -- that there was an attempt to create an exact, character-for-character correlation between Peanuts and QC.

Ironically, I didn't think that was the main thrust, or even an implication, of LJA's post at all. Maybe consider whether you're constructing your own little straw man over there?
Title: Re: You're A Good Man, Marten Reed
Post by: DSL on 30 Nov 2011, 20:15
'Swhat I read once I got past the post's pseudointellectual, dismissive tone. We can disagree, that's fine. As I said, I wasn't going for academic rigor and am kinda disappointed (but not surprised) that a bit of fun took this turn.
Title: Re: You're A Good Man, Marten Reed
Post by: LoveJaneAusten on 30 Nov 2011, 20:54
I thought the main thrust of LJA's post was a straw man argument -- that there was an attempt to create an exact, character-for-character correlation between Peanuts and QC.

That isn't really at all what I wrote. You've posted twice now that you don't want to think too hard about this, but I don't think it's out of line to ask that you read what people actually post. Don't get a tummy-ache because someone disagreed with your premise!
Title: Re: You're A Good Man, Marten Reed
Post by: Tova on 30 Nov 2011, 21:08
'Swhat I read once I got past the post's pseudointellectual, dismissive tone.

I'm sorry to say that your tone is way more dismissive than LoveJaneAusten's ever was.

I agree with you on being disappointed in the turn the thread's taken, but perhaps not on who caused it.
Title: Re: You're A Good Man, Marten Reed
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 30 Nov 2011, 22:35
(moderator)
Ahem.
(/moderator)

QC does more wordplay, and I think Marten has more successes in life than Charlie Brown.
Title: Re: You're A Good Man, Marten Reed
Post by: akronnick on 30 Nov 2011, 22:37
That's only because Marten gave up sports when he was in grade school.

Charlie Brown is still trying in that field of endeavor.
Title: Re: You're A Good Man, Marten Reed
Post by: Coffee_Kaioken on 01 Dec 2011, 00:58
Look, obviously QC is not a replica of Peanuts. I do personally think it's fun to compare the two. It's obvious premise that there will be as many differences as similarities. DSL is being apologetic but I honestly don't think s/he was entirely off base to get a little offended by LJA's post - I'm not irritated with LJA's point so much as I am irritated with the tone. I don't like to have to reference a dictionary several times in order to understand someone's post. It's a COMIC. I'm not going to pour fancy language or high-class intellectual thought into my posts, and when someone comes along using that combined with negatives to talk about how Peanuts lacks all these amazing things that QC has, that's going to set off irritation. I quite frankly don't care what it says about me.

Quote
I'm sorry to say that your tone is way more dismissive than LoveJaneAusten's ever was.

... please tell me I'm not the only person who 100% disagrees with this. If people see DSL's posts as the dismissive ones over LJA's, that's a serious problem in my eyes.
Title: Re: You're A Good Man, Marten Reed
Post by: Tova on 01 Dec 2011, 02:05
None of the replies I really want to make will win me friends with the mods, so I'm done here.
Title: Re: You're A Good Man, Marten Reed
Post by: pwhodges on 01 Dec 2011, 02:26
Folks, just play nice!  It's not hard.  The idea of this thread was a bit of speculative fun.  As it happens, I think (like LJA) that the mismatch between the strip makes any comparison moot - but if other people want to play this game, fine, why should I mind?  It is easy enough simply to ignore it if it's not your thing.
Title: Re: You're A Good Man, Marten Reed
Post by: Tova on 01 Dec 2011, 02:33
Look, I couldn't agree more. Don't you think, though, that it would be a touch bewildering if someone turned around and called your post "fucking elitist" because you used fancy, intellectual words like "speculative" and "moot"?  :roll:
Title: Re: You're A Good Man, Marten Reed
Post by: pwhodges on 01 Dec 2011, 03:01
Two people have expressed their views in a somewhat incompatible manner; this is unfortunate, I guess, but I can ask for them to remain good-mannered about it.  However, if people are going to start taking sides and making the thread seem to be about posters' personalities rather than the comics, then things will have gone too far, and I'll lock the thread.
Title: Re: You're A Good Man, Marten Reed
Post by: jwhouk on 01 Dec 2011, 06:07
I do not, at any point, think that Marten IS Charlie Brown. First of all, he has way too much hair.

However, there are enough similarities between the QC cast and the Peanuts cast to be noticeable. It's not a perfect correlation, of course - I don't think there's anyone who fits 5 47962, for example.

It is fun to contemplate which Peanuts characters the QC cast remind you of. If it's not fun for you, fine. No one's gonna make you go out and buy "The Gospel According To Questionable Content" or get a t-shirt with the word "*SIGH*" on the front.

Personally, I would hope that Jeph would have even 1/10th of the success that Schulz had over his 50 years of creating Peanuts.

Title: Re: You're A Good Man, Marten Reed
Post by: TinPenguin on 01 Dec 2011, 09:42
No one's gonna make you go out and ... get a t-shirt with the word "*SIGH*" on the front.

But you totally should because Sigh are an awesome band. :-D
Title: Re: You're A Good Man, Marten Reed
Post by: jwhouk on 01 Dec 2011, 18:30
No, because he had an older sister named 3, and another sister named 4.


(Or something like that...)


(EDIT: Double checked. (http://www.gocomics.com/peanuts/1963/10/01) Yes, I'm a Peanuts nerd. DO NOT JUDGE ME.)
Title: Re: You're A Good Man, Marten Reed
Post by: jwhouk on 02 Dec 2011, 15:54
Irony: the temperature outside this morning here in the Great North Woods was... 5.
Title: Re: You're A Good Man, Marten Reed
Post by: Coffee_Kaioken on 07 Dec 2011, 06:21
No, because he had an older sister named 3, and another sister named 4.


(Or something like that...)


(EDIT: Double checked. (http://www.gocomics.com/peanuts/1963/10/01) Yes, I'm a Peanuts nerd. DO NOT JUDGE ME.)

Oh my god, thank you so much for this link. I'll have to save this for after finals when I have a few weeks to kill...