December 22nd, 2010

Snarky Candiru2

Thursday, 23 December 2010

I guess we were all a bit too early in declaring the end of the new-ruin era over; that's because Lynn simply HAD to make sure that Christmas Eve's strip (the one I'd linked to originally) actually appeared on Christmas Eve.

Panel 1: As our story continues, it's Christmas Eve Night at the Pattermanse. Dainty Doll-Boy looks on as Eyeless Elly cleans out the fire place; it should be noted that she's putting the logs on a piece of newspaper that she's got her back to. This becomes important later on.

Panel 2: She sweeps the ashes into a dustpan; as she does so, Mike and Lizzie's silhouette admire her handiwork.

Panel 3: As she prepares to empty the ashes into the garbage can, she declares "There! Everything's all clean for Santa!"

Panel 4: This cheerful conclusion proves a tad premature; that's because Lizzie is playing with the soot-covered logs and getting dirty. As expected, Mike smiles and Elly is gobsmacked.

Summary: That's because it never seems to occur to Elly to do anything the easy way; she's all the time gotta be making more work for herself. Watching her complain about having no time to herself is almost as traditional as watching Kool-Aid Nation not being able to tell Lynn's failed attempt to imitate her original style with the genuine article. We can readily tell that when this appears in the next collection, it'll have a big-ass asterisk appearing next to it to indicate that it's a first-run strip but they won't. What they'll do is what forworse expects of them and share "funny" stories that remind me of this British PSA.

Moral Event Horizons in the Foobiverse

TV Tropes defines a Moral Event Horizon as

Named for
the boundary around a black hole from which there is no escape once crossed, this trope uses the black hole as a metaphor for evil; the Moral Event Horizon refers to the first evil deed to prove a particular character to be irredeemably evil. Note the word irredeemably. This is distinguished from Kick The Dog not so much by the extreme of evil deed (though obviously the severity of said deed is relevant) as by its demonstration of permanent evil; as in, the first evil deed whose role in the story is to tell us they will always be as evil as they were upon crossing this, or worse. Note that this does not mean their morality is always decreasing after crossing this; a character can cross this, then become much more horrible than they were when they crossed it, then become just a little better than they were after THAT, but definitely no better than they were upon crossing the Moral Event Horizon; otherwise, it was not a Moral Event Horizon in the first place.

And while I wouldn't necessarily characterize anything going on in the Foobiverse as "evil", I can easily take this concept and apply it to moments where characters became irredeemable; that is, the point after which they can't ever come back and be truly sympathetic again, due to their character being intrinsically linked with their earlier bad behavior.  For example:

Deanna may have hit this point when she arranged to have a fake wedding and deceived her parents, or, failing that, where she oops'd Mike on their honeymoon.

Liz may have hit this point with the "WAIT" strip, followed by her sudden bout of homesickness mandating her move back to her parents'.

Mike may have hit this with the fake wedding above, or, possibly, even earlier with his reaction to Deanna's car accident.

Anthony, of course, has "Wait for me!  Promise me you'll wait!" although it may have come even earlier.

So where's your point of no return with these characters?