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Author Topic: Skip Tracer is strictly better than The Order  (Read 699 times)

The Corinthian

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Re: Skip Tracer is strictly better than The Order
« Reply #15 on: 01 August, 2021, 03:31:12 PM »
The problem for me isn't that Skip Tracer is better (or worse) than The Order. It's that it's objectively worse than its most obvious Tooth antecedent, Night Zero.

Funt Solo

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Re: Skip Tracer is strictly better than The Order
« Reply #16 on: 01 August, 2021, 03:51:02 PM »
Kek-W (the name always evokes for me the Y-fronts of an alien with two penises...

This thread has already been worth it just for this.


I suspect Funt is playing with us to spark debate...

Guilty as charged, m'lud. Objectively measuring quality in the way I've suggested is probably impossible, and of course I was making a wider point about my two least favorite and relatively current, long-running strips. Why, just the other day someone said they hated Helium's art and I metaphorically spat my tea all over my keyboard - but then beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

I think I have a valid point in that (as others have pointed out as well), The Order does have some major barriers to entry - chiefly that in order (ha!) that I can fully enjoy it I would need to set aside time for both research and re-reads. Brink is also a dense, complicated story but I don't need to do those things to enjoy it.  With The Order, it feels like I am missing out, but with Skip Tracer it usually feels like I wish I had missed out.

I find both stories difficult to digest. Even though, on paper, one is strictly better: I prefer the other one. Ulysses is probably a good example - is it possible to enjoy it just as a standalone, escapist entertainment where you're not willing to commit a lot of effort in terms of both time and research?
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Magnetica

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Re: Skip Tracer is strictly better than The Order
« Reply #17 on: 01 August, 2021, 06:32:29 PM »
I don't disagree with Goosegash... but nevertheless, who has ever, ever, read anything by John Wagner and thought "this is a bit hard to follow, I'd better re-read the whole thing in one go when it's finished, just to figure out what actually happened."

Clarity is certainly not the only factor that determines the quality of a story or of writing, but it's not unimportant either.

Very much this.

The Order might well be “better” than Skip Tracer; it might have better characters, but the difficulty I find engaging with it, means it’s hard to tell.

Daveycandlish

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Re: Skip Tracer is strictly better than The Order
« Reply #18 on: 01 August, 2021, 06:45:09 PM »
When I saw Skip Tracer reappear I thought, 'Oh Christ, is that back again?'
At least with the Order I can admire Burns' artwork.

An old-school, no-bullshit, boys-own action/adventure comic reminiscent of the 2000ads and Eagles and Warlords and Battles and other glorious black-and-white comics that were so, so cool in the 70's and 80's - Buy the hardback Christmas Annual!

Leigh S

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Re: Skip Tracer is strictly better than The Order
« Reply #19 on: 01 August, 2021, 07:14:45 PM »
For me the question hinges on the same specific question for both strips:

Do I care enough to follow what the characters are going through in the plot?

ST sets the entry bar as low as possiible in terms of "shaking off" readers with plot complexity.

The Order probably takes it too much for granted that people have bought in to the ride.

The fact that for me, ST fails even with the lower bar means that I'd give the Order the win in a straight head to head, as there is still more of a chance that it is me not the strip.

Sean SD

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Re: Skip Tracer is strictly better than The Order
« Reply #20 on: 02 August, 2021, 03:00:47 AM »
I don't disagree with Goosegash... but nevertheless, who has ever, ever, read anything by John Wagner and thought "this is a bit hard to follow, I'd better re-read the whole thing in one go when it's finished, just to figure out what actually happened."

Clarity is certainly not the only factor that determines the quality of a story or of writing, but it's not unimportant either.

Very much this.

The Order might well be “better” than Skip Tracer; it might have better characters, but the difficulty I find engaging with it, means it’s hard to tell.

Yep agreed

The Monarch

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Re: Skip Tracer is strictly better than The Order
« Reply #21 on: 02 August, 2021, 04:26:27 AM »
I like the order.

While its not bison bad (though these last two weeks are pushing it nearer) Skip tracer has never been one of my faves

sheridan

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Re: Skip Tracer is strictly better than The Order
« Reply #22 on: 02 August, 2021, 09:43:49 AM »
"Ooh, Ulysses is a bit too hard to understand. I'd better stick to reading these Famous Five books instead, because at least I can follow what's going on."

Five Goes to Smugglers Top is the best that Blyton ever came out with!

Dandontdare

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Re: Skip Tracer is strictly better than The Order
« Reply #23 on: 02 August, 2021, 10:00:48 AM »
The Order may be a little confusing at times, but at least it's interesting. Skip Tracer seems like nominative determinism to me - It leaves no trace in my memory and I often just skip it. I don't feel like I know or care about the characters or the world, it's just a generic hard man in a generic sci-fi dystopia. I have trouble remembering what's happened as soon as I turn over the last page.

Barrington Boots

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Re: Skip Tracer is strictly better than The Order
« Reply #24 on: 02 August, 2021, 10:07:29 AM »
The problem for me isn't that Skip Tracer is better (or worse) than The Order. It's that it's objectively worse than its most obvious Tooth antecedent, Night Zero.

Excellent comparsion this, Skip often reminds me of a less good version of Night Zero. I think Paul Marshall could draw a good Tanner.

I think The Order has started to meander a little, but it's got better characters, lovely art and a much, much better plot. It does take a reread every once in a while but it's so worth it.
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Proudhuff

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Re: Skip Tracer is strictly better than The Order
« Reply #26 on: 02 August, 2021, 03:31:35 PM »
it's just a generic hard man in a generic sci-fi dystopia
Yep, and the one time it threatened to do something different, it doubled down on tropes:

- Fridging the woman
- Having the male lead dream about his ex, where she’s skeletal and crumbles before him, asking don’t you love me anymore
- The child gets stolen by the bad guy
- The lead wakes up in a torture situation
- The bad guy monologues


There is potential for something original here, but the only thread that exists there would be for the lead to actually look after his baby and watch her grow—taking a cue from The Mandalorian. My guess—and I hope I’m wrong—is that she will be ditched (probably left with a previously never mentioned relative or something) by the end of this series, to revert it to status quo.

That about sums it up for me. While The Order seems to be a sprawling, timey-winey epic that has continued passed its natural conclusion, something I find 2K doing a fair bit now, aiming for the TPB market?
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Dog Deever

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Re: Skip Tracer is strictly better than The Order
« Reply #27 on: 02 August, 2021, 10:35:51 PM »
I lost the thread of Skip Tracer more than The Order, nothing about it left any impression.

With The Order, being 'difficult' does cause some issues with clarity, though I don't find it absolutely crucial to enjoying the strip- I like the general mad stramash of it all, though shorter gaps between runs would certainly help. And I'll never tire of John Burns art, so that's always going to help suck me in- I also don't mind having to quickly swot up on the previous run with a hasty reread because it is a pleasure to look at

Skip Tracer just got really dull- like others, it reminded me of Tanner but not as good, and the Zero stories weren't that great anyway. I quickly found myself just as lost with it from arc to arc as I couldn't recall anything from previous runs- this experience isn't entirely different to 'being unable to follow the story', but there is no incentive to try to pick it up. I'm also not a fan of the art- Marshall's art is always very competently done but every bit as bland as the story it depicts here, also I find the colours fairly uninspired/ uninspiring. There's just no way in for me with Skip. I don't hate Skip Tracer, it's worse than that- I am coldly indifferent to its existence. Sometimes I dip into stories I actively dislike just to reaffirm my dislike, but Skip just gets skipped now.
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The Mind of Wolfie Smith

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Re: Skip Tracer is strictly better than The Order
« Reply #28 on: 03 August, 2021, 12:53:36 AM »
ulysses has a completely undeserved reputation for unreadability. it's about the epic heroism of getting through a normal day. it's about how people who don't overly think things actually think (clue, we don't think grammatically or especially coherently, not to ourselves). accept this one conceit and then it's a breeze. it's about you. it's about me. it's about epiphany. mainly it's about empathy.

the order, on the other hand, appears to have no discernible empathy whatsoever, not between its cast, and certainly not with the reader. i don't mind studying a comic - the payoff and humanity that rewards a good brow-furrow through a grant morrison story, for example, is rich and satisfying. but i find that a studied read of the order only reveals that there really isn't much underneath except needless complexity. the stunning work of john burns suggests a heart in the story that isn't really there.

at least skip tracer does what it says on the tin. and however cheesy it sometimes gets, at least there's a hit of gfd early days nostalgia in it. it's quick. it's fun. it's very, very okay.