Los Angeles 11

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lirvilas
30th Jun 2016, 10:00 AM

edit: Accidentally posted early. I appreciate your comment, Nef.

Tona finally gets some payback for MSV's earlier excursion into her trailer.

Also, she violates the terms of her probationary period.

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ProfEtheric
30th Jun 2016, 10:57 AM

1. Violation shmiolation. She's earned this. Everyone (with a few exceptions) has been pissing on her from a great height for a long time now.

2. MSV has had some SERIOUS payback coming on several fronts for a long time. I am SUPER happy that Tona is in on this.

3. Broken English, cleft chin, working on the side of Sonja's personal army... is your card the King of Spades?

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lirvilas
30th Jun 2016, 12:05 PM

1. Tona got the jump on these yahoos. Let's see her go up against someone worthwhile--or let's see if Aegis even lets her get the chance.

2. MSV has two major characters, one guest character, and six other recurring characters. Aegis has two guest characters. Any guesses as to who is going to be suffering the majority of casualties? I mean, really? I have a whole side comic based on them!

3. Is difficult to say, now that kill order signed on nosy reporter.

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Rd Ashes
30th Jun 2016, 3:09 PM

1. Rule #1 is Don't mess with Tona.
She can take them.

2. Clean up time.

3. Have you thought of a way to incorporate your cards into your comic a bit more?

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lirvilas
30th Jun 2016, 4:05 PM

@RD:

1. Armed with an assault rifle, unconstrained by any rules of engagement, and channeling the "bad one", Tona is quite capable of going all Predator on the hapless. But here she just wants to get home to her baby.

2. I forgot, Aegis does have one recurring character (Agent Elektra). I'll have to see if I can get her killed.

3. The cards are at best a decorative flourish that might see some play on a future cover.

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ProfEtheric
30th Jun 2016, 6:44 PM

Re: 3

If "nosy reporter" gets home, good luck getting to her through Captain Happy, his whole gang of Smilies, an old Cold Warrior with plenty of experience dealing with Russians AND who has "family" contacts (Semetelli, in this case), and said reporter's bestie who also happens to be a homicide detective as well as being the daughter of said Cold Warrior. Rumor has it that a federal agent who may or may not be attached to a secret government-funded ops team (which may or may not be headed up by someone Agent Cannon has been searching for and who may or may not have served with the lovely Ms. Zehm) has a crush on "nosy reporter".

Yeah, yeah. All-encompassing world-building and all that.

Just saying. It's hard to hit everyone's favorite reporter in her hometown.

(Sorry. My insomnia kicked in.)

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lirvilas
30th Jun 2016, 8:31 PM

@Prof: Oh that cuts it--the next interlude will be based in AB. "Logistics Integration" needs a new front office clerk... send me some resumes with great customer service skills!

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jamie59
30th Jun 2016, 11:06 AM

She's just got to wipe them clean before she drops them.

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lirvilas
30th Jun 2016, 11:34 AM

I somehow doubt that Tona's gonna be dropping them biscuits anytime soon.

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Rd Ashes
30th Jun 2016, 11:34 AM

There's a whole lot of 'splaining to do in this comic right now.

Also, never underestimate Tona.

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anonymous coward
30th Jun 2016, 3:21 PM

Tona armed with the fearsome M249 is far more scary than Tona armed with two generic (Beretta?) pistols she just looted.

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lirvilas
30th Jun 2016, 3:43 PM

They're Glock compacts or subcompacts; she's the kinda dirty girl who'll pull your holdout piece before you can.

Anyways, it looks like Aegis has something to say about her being armed with anything deadlier than a pencil sharpener.

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anonymous coward
30th Jun 2016, 3:22 PM

If this is where Tona dies I would salute your chutzpah, but many of your readers would be screaming-mad about it.

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lirvilas
30th Jun 2016, 3:59 PM

Is this the world that Game of Thrones has wrought? Where the audience howls for the blood of the players, with all the subtlety of a lynch mob lusting after a fresh snuff film?

I'd have more sympathy for Martin's trash if his victims characters died just like real medieval persons died--from childbirth, from illness, from accidents, not like a hundred tired retreads of Richard III.

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anonymous coward
30th Jun 2016, 5:45 PM

I don't have much interest in the works of G.R.R.M. My hunger for killing off developed characters with substantial focus-time stems more from women in refrigerators. It's about disgust with the lazy tradition of plot armour versus cannon-fodder tiers of character immortality. Summoning extras and minor characters to do all the dying instead of the main characters cheapens death, and is an overused cheat for presenting false danger, false drama, and false morality.

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ProfEtheric
30th Jun 2016, 6:29 PM

Want my bold prediction for how this plays out? Tough. I'm giving it to you anyway.

If anyone dies in this fiasco, it's Sonja. And I think lirv might just have the guts to do it.

@ lirv: I suppose I'm deranged, but I'm gonna have to call... :)

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lirvilas
30th Jun 2016, 8:01 PM

@AC: OK, let's be real for a second.

This is Volume 4, with Volume 1 coming over a dozen years ago. Am I going to be making comics in another twelve years? Yes. Would I like to see some familiar faces in my panels then? Yes. Do I think even one of you "loyal" commenters is going to be there with me?

Unless you start seeing a "donate" button on these page, I will continue producing for an audience of one. And as you can already tell from all the damn fetishes shoved into these pages, I give myself what I like.

@Prof: I count you as one of the fickle. Prove me wrong.

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anonymous coward
1st Jul 2016, 4:00 AM

You don't need my permission to do your comic the way you want to, and you know it. I wouldn't expect someone to perform their hobby to amuse other people more than themself, unless that is specifically what they like and/or want. I just think that narrative causality and plot armour is usually taken too far. I'll even qualify that by saying you're doing far better than many with that problem by having Holding Pattern show negative consequences for protagonist choices in Let it Return.

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lirvilas
1st Jul 2016, 5:26 AM

Well, I do appreciate your comments, both here and on other works, but the "kill the protagonist" pitch can only go so far with producers who are more in love with their characters than with producing a coherent plot--i.e. the overwhelming majority of webcomics producers.

Prime example: Tona deciding to not only assist her psychotic kidnapper of an ex-boyfriend, but to indulge in a multi-state rampage on his behalf... yeah, no matter how much PTSD flashback-to-Iraq hand-waving bullshit I pack in here, there's no way that makes a lick of sense. That's the original sin of "Height of Summer" (Volumes 2-4) and Holding Pattern was an attempt to excise some of that crime (as well as lapse into some serious exploitation).

When I whine to Prof that I need to up my game in my writing that'll probably result in going away from my leads for a while, because yes, you're right, for real suspense everything has to be risked, everything has to be in play, and generally speaking for this modest medium, it never is.

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Guest
2nd Jul 2016, 10:06 AM

@lirvilas: Thank you, I appreciate the opportunity to practice my brevity and clarity.

Plot armour is so common for a big list of reasons, many bad, some fair, and a few of them are respectable. Some of the better ones are easier identification with characters, helping the audience understand what's going on, sustaining character development and relationship development arcs, and comedic semi-invulnerability. The fair ones include difficulty creating and managing a cast of distinct and consistent characters, fanservice giving the audience the characters they want, and keeping things simpler for casual readers and new interest partway through series works. Some of the bad ones are even defensible, like a creator indulging their Mary Sue because they otherwise wouldn't be interested enough to create.

Plot armour does conflict greatly with seriousness, suspense/vulnerability, and realism, though.

@ProfEtheric: You may be right, but does limiting casualties make the work better? Consider the appeal of schadenfreude, and the pornography of death and disaster. Sometimes we all just want to watch it burn.

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lirvilas
2nd Jul 2016, 5:47 PM

On a completely unrelated note...

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anonymous coward
3rd Jul 2016, 12:24 AM

Thank you for the link.

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ProfEtheric
5th Jul 2016, 5:53 PM

In return, I ask this: does killing a character necessarily make the work better?

IMHO, the work is better if the work is better.

And yes, I DO work out death scenarios for my OCs, and I DO ask who's making it out alive in any given scene...

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Call Me Tom
30th Jun 2016, 3:39 PM

Awesome.

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lirvilas
30th Jun 2016, 5:01 PM

Well... we'll see just how dynamic I can get this sucker.

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Centcomm
30th Jun 2016, 6:49 PM

Thinks are not looking up for Tona here. Hopfully it will get better! Great work!

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lirvilas
30th Jun 2016, 8:06 PM

If by "better" you mean "more violent" then yes.

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Stever
30th Jun 2016, 8:40 PM

Oh dear, she's in a tight spot now.

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lirvilas
30th Jun 2016, 8:57 PM

I'll draw you a tight spot

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sigpig
30th Jun 2016, 8:53 PM

Let's just hope that she's not violating her probationary period while being ON her period...

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lirvilas
30th Jun 2016, 8:57 PM

Silent for ages and THIS is how you return?!

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Rd Ashes
1st Jul 2016, 5:09 AM

LMAO

Sig for mayor!

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lirvilas
1st Jul 2016, 5:30 AM

Of Toronto!

heh

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VanEzzania
30th Jun 2016, 11:29 PM

I actually like that pose that Tona is doing.

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lirvilas
1st Jul 2016, 5:35 AM

Thanks, but it's not mine.

If you as an artist are using Senshistock, then you need to.

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Spelledeg
1st Jul 2016, 5:06 AM

Tona looks more than a little unhinged here. There is definitely going to be violence.

Dare I say, the sort with the flashbacks we saw in Holding Pattern? and Let it Return?

I think there may be, there's so many people all at the same local but in different areas and holy crap it's gonna bust when and if they all get together.

Current predictions are one named character dying or getting severely injured. I don't think that named character is Tona though.

Also, Lir. This pacing on this page is beautiful. I like the repeated lines and adding to the confusion and tension.

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lirvilas
1st Jul 2016, 5:45 AM

I think Tona's a little frightened of what she knows she can do. I would hope that she doesn't get a hold of a machine gun in this state because then people gonna die...

Thanks for the compliment on the pacing! My next work (whenever that is) will be a hell of a lot more scripted.

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MadJak91
1st Jul 2016, 8:03 AM

Kinda lame of them to reveal it like that. The correct way is to say: "Understood. Let's get going, Miss."
Neh.

Also, is "double cross" OK?

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lirvilas
1st Jul 2016, 8:43 AM

Not every MSV agent is as unquestioning and as perfect as Chuck! Some must be scrubs!

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