General Discussion

Discuss the 24-page comic by Ben Bova and Rob Balder, Illustrated by Bill Holbrook.

Re: General Discussion

Postby StClair » Sun Sep 05, 2010 11:58 am

You can't tell me that the "Better guns" panel of page 19 isn't pure Schulz homage.
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Re: General Discussion

Postby BLANDCorporatio » Tue Sep 07, 2010 9:46 am

Wingmen. Playing for the German team. Showing off. Come on, Kelso, how much more can you tempt fate? Will you step out of the airplane and, while walking upon your sheer self confidence, taunt Zorro in the typical meanie-about-to-get-whooped way?

Anyway, Kelso! Kelso! Kelso! He's so unlikable that I hate Zorro instead.

EDIT: Oh wait, looks like Zorro's in trouble. I'm sure that'll change though, that's still Kelso tempting fate by having the upper hand in "Act Two". You don't want to have the upper hand in Act Two. Because it spells bad news for Act Three. Careful Kelso!
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Re: General Discussion

Postby Krennson » Tue Sep 07, 2010 5:14 pm

you know, historically, the red baron was shot down 17 days later, near that same location, while pursuing a novice canadian fighter pilot at very low altitude. The fatal injury was a single bullet to the chest, and the triplane was still in good enough condition for the red baron to make a controlled landing before he died.

while the cause of death was never proven, one of the preferred theories is that he was shot down by infantry rifle fire from the ground.

It would be perfect justice if the successful integration of the physics engine allows that same nameless infantryman to kill Kelso with a single round. I'm assuming that they didn't turn off AI infantry combat during their duel.
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Re: General Discussion

Postby DoctorJest » Tue Sep 07, 2010 6:05 pm

BLANDCorporatio wrote:EDIT: Oh wait, looks like Zorro's in trouble. I'm sure that'll change though, that's still Kelso tempting fate by having the upper hand in "Act Two".


I am pretty sure Page 1 shows how things are going to end for "Zorro" at least where this dogfight is concerned.
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Re: General Discussion

Postby BCCroaker » Tue Sep 07, 2010 7:32 pm

The Fokker Dr1 had structural problems and the Spad was a very well engineered plane (OK I Googled that info). So if Kelso pushes too hard, it could cause his wings to fall off. Or it may be best of three.
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Re: General Discussion

Postby Magentawolf » Wed Sep 08, 2010 2:12 pm

BCCroaker wrote:The Fokker Dr1 had structural problems and the Spad was a very well engineered plane (OK I Googled that info). So if Kelso pushes too hard, it could cause his wings to fall off. Or it may be best of three.


Now that is an outcome that I would have loved to see... Say Kelso's maneuvers might have worked in an off-the-shelf flight sim, but the physics-enabled TOBIAS ripped his wings off, or something.
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Re: General Discussion

Postby name lips » Wed Sep 08, 2010 3:52 pm

Awww... :( I was hoping he'd do better.

Maybe Lorraine will go out with him out of pity.
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Re: General Discussion

Postby Nihila » Wed Sep 08, 2010 7:25 pm

name lips wrote:Awww... :( I was hoping he'd do better.

Maybe Lorraine will go out with him out of pity.
Or maybe everyone'll realize that Kelso's being a total jerk, causing Lorraine to dump Kelso.
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Re: General Discussion

Postby BCCroaker » Wed Sep 08, 2010 9:12 pm

Perhaps the 3 main protagonists are in a management training VR and their actions are about to be reviewed......
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Re: General Discussion

Postby StClair » Thu Sep 09, 2010 12:13 am

Or perhaps it's like real life, where stuff like this just happens.
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Re: General Discussion

Postby name lips » Thu Sep 09, 2010 1:01 am

StClair wrote:Or perhaps it's like real life, where stuff like this just happens.

Yeah. Well that stuff happens to me every day, I don't need to read a comic that's just as depressing.

I want to see our hero somehow win with his own intelligence and talents. I'm still hoping it will happen.
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Re: General Discussion

Postby SteveMB » Thu Sep 09, 2010 7:47 am

name lips wrote:I want to see our hero somehow win with his own intelligence and talents. I'm still hoping it will happen.

Things do seem to be looking up for him....
Is this a real holy war, or just a bunch of deluded boopholes croaking each other?
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Re: General Discussion

Postby StClair » Thu Sep 09, 2010 10:53 am

name lips wrote:
StClair wrote:Or perhaps it's like real life, where stuff like this just happens.

Yeah. Well that stuff happens to me every day, I don't need to read a comic that's just as depressing.

I want to see our hero somehow win with his own intelligence and talents. I'm still hoping it will happen.

Considering that this has been billed since day 1 as a "romance", I admit that events will probably be bent to that improbable feel-good outcome, yes.

It's not completely implausible. The most realistic part is that everything else is just a noisy sideshow to getting the tech/the product to work correctly, by whatever (often unorthodox) means. Actually getting recognition for it, though, let alone "romance"? Pff.
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Re: General Discussion

Postby Ansan Gotti » Thu Sep 09, 2010 1:21 pm

BCCroaker wrote:Ah, I see - Lorraine is going to headhunt the chief geek at KE over to CogNoTek and cut out the subcontractor, leaving young Kelso in a really bad hole. (I haven't seen the whole story).


Good call.

My initial impressions are being solidified as well. Don't really like the jerky jock, the creepy nerd, OR the Machiavellian "liaison".

I'm sure she'll ride off into the sunset with the creepy nerd, though. She has 14 million reasons to, now.
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Re: General Discussion

Postby BLANDCorporatio » Thu Sep 09, 2010 4:37 pm

So "Zorro" gets the job, and Kelso gets the girl. Just as it should be. Zing!
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Re: General Discussion

Postby DHowett » Fri Sep 10, 2010 3:13 am

@24, all I can really say is: "..... WAT?!"

Simply amazing.
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Re: General Discussion

Postby Hoax » Fri Sep 10, 2010 12:36 pm

DHowett wrote:@24, all I can really say is: "..... WAT?!"

Simply amazing.


I agree. It would have been equally as probable for a meteor to come down and strike them both dead. It is truly amazing how the comic takes one of its turgid appendages and jabs reality in the eye. Just grotesque. "Take that reality!" *poke*
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Re: General Discussion

Postby hajo » Fri Sep 10, 2010 12:45 pm

I still don't understand why it is called "A Duel in the Somme" - nobody did fall into the river...

Shouldn't that be "A Duel at the Somme" or "A Duel above the Somme" ?
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Re: General Discussion

Postby Hoax » Fri Sep 10, 2010 1:17 pm

And another thing. I mean, I know these characters are all unlikable - but Lorraine is engaging in nothing less than corporate sabotage when she asks 'Zorro' to back up the data, replace it with a dummy flight sim and pack up shop. If you sabotage your employer I'll go to Aspen, and sleep with you. How odious. How depraved. Is this how she gets work for her company? She is, without a doubt, the quintessential whore.

You know what - I'm gonna run with that idea. Lorraine is the pure portrait of a whore. She has no skills - she's the company's 'liaison' (get it?). She bribes both Zorro and Kelso with the possibility of sex. She gets free dinner from Kelso. She gets a free trip to Aspen from Zorro - plus the software he wrote.

Of course, both Zorro and Kelso fall into it - but at least they have skills! Zorro is some hot shot programmer; Kelso is some hot shot pilot. Lorraine comes along and they're both like - "omg you have a vagina - how rare". But she does NOTHING. She just stands there. Kelso might have a secondary motive in wining and dining her - to get in good with her company - but Zorro has none. And she plays him, hard. Sure, she'll take a couple shots in the face at Aspen - but she managed to steal the code. And the lapdog programmer.
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Re: General Discussion

Postby Radagast » Fri Sep 10, 2010 5:34 pm

My reaction was just confusion... actually it was ok at first, because for some reason I thought there were 26 pages.

But no, it ended at 24... and what really happened? Basically, nothing.

Plus the fight itself seemed a little unrealistic. A Fokker triplane has no hope of chasing down the SPAD, it's like 20mph slower. Yes it has the huge advantage in climb rate, but the SPAD also has a higher max altitude.
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