What makes this strip different from all other strips?

A year and a half ago, the most challenging food preperation I faced entailed boiling water.

Since then, I have made an effort to develop skills pertaining to preparing actual food, with relatively pleasing success.

Last night I took on an experiment in producing latkes, a typical Jewish food that are currently a few months out of season. (As they are often prepared for Chanukah in December.)

Latkes are similar to hashbrowns, and are essentially potato pancakes. Good stuff – one of my favorite foods, hence my desire to learn how to cook them.

The attempt last night was an unmitigated failure.

I burnt the first batch. Then the smoke detectors went off. Moments later, the stove caught on fire.

Round 2 went no better, as I drowned the latkes in oil and produced something resembling an ancient and primordial ooze.

At long last, I managed to produce 4 specimens of perfection, complete with shimmering, golden-brown cover and the beautiful smell of cooked potatoes.

The taste? Like the very souls of the damned.

So, my cooking failures aside, the latest storyline in Gossamer Commons also deals with Jewish holiday foods!

I’ve actually been enjoying some of the banter and jokes in the strip of late. Possibly just due to getting all the references, but in general it has simply been good fun.

This is unusual, because I tried the longest time without success to really enjoy the strip. I mean, the premise was great, I was already a fan of Eric Burns, I loved the artistic stylings of Greg Holkan

But it just hadn’t really clicked. The layout of the art didn’t quite work, the pacing seemed difficult to adjust to, and some of the characters just threw me off – like Trudy, who kept coming off looking like someone’s hipster, gambling grandma.

Which isn’t to say I deplored it – there was enough there to keep me coming back. I loved the introduction of Malachite and the entire first interaction between him and Keith was intensely good stuff in every way.

Lately, though, the comic as a whole has been working pretty well for me, and going back through the archives, the rhythm of the series flows a whole lot better, and I didn’t even realize how much I liked a lot of the old art until it was gone.

But in the end, its really the Passover jokes that have won me over.

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2 responses

  1. Yeah, this joke cracked me up, and I tried explaining it to my Dad. But, of course, any time I want to share a Gossamer Commons joke I end up having to explain the premise of the whole strip. Curse that Eric Burns!

    However, when I first saw the title of this, I actually thought it would help me with my homework. I belong to my university’s speach team, and I wanted to do a communication analysis on webcomics and on the review community that has been growing up around it. The problem, of course, is that whenever I brought forth one concept, the coach said “Well, how is that different from any comic?” and whenever I brought up another, I got “Well, you can do that with anything on the internet? What is unique about webcomics?”

    Sadly, I could never find an appropriate answer to why webcomics any different from comics as a whole or from anything on the internet. Since you’re the expert (I also couldn’t sell it on the point that this is a new area of critical analysis, with new un-PHD-ified critics providing the groundwork for studying the medium), maybe you can, if you want to take up the challenge. I think that there’s something there, but I can’t find what it is.

  2. Well, as recompense for my misleading title… I’ll do just that. Stay tuned!

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