Monday, January 29, 2007

Silent Penultimate Panel Watch

Matt Gill has taken on the task of cataloguing every comic strip that "abuses the use of the silent second-to-last panel."

Buy doing so, he hopes to rid the world of a weak comedic device, and encourage more variation to the format. He posts a list of the daily offenders to his blog " The Silent Penultimate Panel Watch" along with a composite image of the panels in question. The silent collage makes for an interesting dadaesque tableaux of awkwardness.

Not all strips that contain a silent panel are deemed offenders, and these strips are often re-printed in full and an explanation is given as to why it is spared. In Matt's words:
A true SPP is part of a standard rhythm of joke telling in a daily comic. In the first panel or two says someone something preposterous or otherwise worth reacting to, then we have a silent panel while everyone reacts to what was said (at this point, you would see a bad comic actor saying "beat, beat, beat" to himself) and then you get the punchline in the last panel.

This level of commitment and attention to detail is commendable.

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