Official Discussion Thread, Issue 2: Game Over

Issue-specific discussion threads and reviews of Pride High. There are spoilers here, so read at your own risk!

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Official Discussion Thread, Issue 2: Game Over

Postby Verdant » Thu Nov 23, 2006 10:25 pm

The thread of this focus was originally on spoiler-free reviews. However, as of April 2007, the discussion has been opened to spoilers and speculation. Feel free to discuss any and all aspects of this issue!
Last edited by Verdant on Tue May 22, 2007 10:28 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Promstar » Fri Nov 24, 2006 3:59 am

I moved this from the other post

I liked it, but don't know if it was my addled brain but i got confused alot with it jumping back and forth well i think it kept doing that but im not sure?

And i liked Sister Bliss making an appearance in the last advert page :)

Well done again on Issue 2 and getting Tobias "Levity" to put his cool toys in :)
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Postby Verdant » Fri Nov 24, 2006 4:07 am

Glad you enjoyed it!

Originally the story was told linearly, from start to finish. However, I wanted to have as many pages as possible between leaving the infirmary and getting the fateful phone call. Originally it was only two pages separating those crucial moments and made the big decision seemed rushed. I also wanted to bookend the issue with Kid Mischief spending time with his mentor, rather than have it all at the end.

Levity's toys are awesome and would make great Christmas gifts for comic book fans!
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Postby The Hellion » Tue Dec 05, 2006 4:11 pm

Ok so where do I start? I loved it. There was so much to like. It had the romance, the drama, the action and even a bit of horror. It wasn’t mindless action or sickly romance or pointless drama or all out gore. It was a nice balance between the them. And the ending was both sad but also had elements of hope that were a nice bittersweet element.

I liked how we weren't totally sure who had died until that very last minute and it was a real blow when it finally happened. I mean, it sent ripples through the team on so many levels. You can see everyone will be effected and that it will in turn affect change to some degree or another.

What I really liked was the dimension added to KO and Beowolf in this edition, we saw they really could put their behaviour aside and act like real heroes. I'm also curious about KO's summer....hmmmm....anyway. I liked how there was a very small spark between Beowolf and Scotch Bonnet that makes me wonder if he has genuine feelings beyond simply physical attraction

Another excellent part of the story is how the narrative is restrospective, it builds up the tension with red herrings and “is s/he dead?” The artwork and colour are vibrant and well fitted to the storyline, it makes reading it a pleasure. Most importantly we’re really getting to see the characters and how they think. Jorge is clearly not always as cheerful and outgoing as people think, he has his darker side and he’s gaining dimension quickly. I’m hoping the rest of the team get the treatment in equal measure.

It was another great issue and the standards been set now (uh oh!) for the series. The stories are of course “super-heroic” but at the same time there are underlying universal issues that lie at the heart of the problems and trials in some shape or form.

Okay so I’m done gushing… :oops: Can't wait for issue three!
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Holy Suprise Ending Batman!

Postby Queerbait » Tue Dec 05, 2006 8:47 pm

I have to say that I thought Pride High #1 was a solid base hit, but #2 knocked it right out of the park! The first issue was notable for introducing the characters and setting the stage, but #2 is where the fun begins! I was completely enthralled with the story from beginning to end - and then had to read it again to believe it was true! For someone that's spent years absorbing every storytelling trick I could find, I was totally suprised by who actually died. Great job on the second issue. I CAN'T WAIT for #3 to come out!!!
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Postby Lizard Lad » Thu Dec 07, 2006 2:23 pm

Oh My

That is about what I have to start this review off with. Oh My.

Truth be told this book has taken a leap forward. The depth that has been reached for many of the characters has brought this book to the status of a long running piece. I actually felt pain for the situation. I could truly understand where the characters were. I just wanted to give them a big hug and tell them that all things heal in time and there we would be there for them.

As I started the book I was ready for some prancing around, bit of play to follow up the events of the last issue. So many comic worlds they build you up only to never deliver the punch. Pride High is not that book. The death of a character to hit so soon and so hard is a masterwork of writing and drawing. I can say that I never would have picked who it was much less an actual death. I refuse to spoil, but the impact is there. I believe this to be a real credit to the writing of the book. Another part of this story is that I am now feeling so bad for another character. Yes I am leaving out the name, but this person was in so many was done wrong. Sure they are not very popular due to their extreme actions to Pride High, however they showed compassion and courage in the line of fire, and to me earned points entering them in to a special place in my heart for hoping to see some stories written around them. Sure that gives a big hint as to whom, but hey. Again, I think that is why I am really so impressed with the writing of these books. I really have to say this is so not the super heroes of the good and evil books. I really see a living breathing group of kids trying to do the best they can as events unfold. Truth is that an antagonist is now one of my truly favorite characters, and some of the heroes have a bit of dust on them.

All this and I do not wish to take away from the art. The words are only part of the way the tale is being told. The images created by the art are strong and can hit like a ton of bricks. The art certainly has improved from the first book. Though we were not treated to some more friendly cheeks, we were able to get a window in to a horrific set of events that likely will impact all the lives of these students for some time to come.

Great Work,
Now we just have to wait for issue 3.
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Postby Hollow » Thu Dec 14, 2006 3:06 am

Wow. Just.... wow. I'm not sure what else to say that hasn't been mentioned above. I'll stop here, but.... wow.
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Issue 2: Peri’s Review!

Postby Perihelion » Sat Dec 30, 2006 2:45 am

So much has been said already but most importantly I wanted to point out what I thought was most excellent. So many times when you have stories with strife between straight jock bullies and emotional gay boys they are perfectly polarized with innocent gay boys being victimized and dehumanized solely because they are gay and the jocks being icons of teen hetero hatred and violence. What I never see written about yet see all the time are the young gay guys treating all the straight jocks with equal prejudicial vehemence.

In Issue 2 we see a very hurt Jorge making huge assumptions and actually very intimately attacking his savior with his powers, powers that he could have used if he were intent on violating Kid Olympus’s mind, to find out what really happened. I use “violation” intentionally as Jorge’s injection of his poisonous feelings into Kid is clearly a mental rape intended to inflict pain and assert control over his victim.

I found the image of Kid Olympus holding Jorge after yelling that he was hurt especially touching. Here we can see, whether he would normally admit it or not, that he honestly cares for this fellow human being, so small and fragile, cradled in his arms.

In the hospital before Kid Olympus is attacked by Jorge we see further evidence of his humanity when he realizes Jorge was awake, he does not immediately snap up his straight jock defenses, that only happens after Jorge rudely demands what Kid is doing there.

Issue 2 was a great read and the even had more refined thru the whole book. With a second issue like this I can’t wait for the next!
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#2 Review

Postby taurenlegend » Wed Jan 10, 2007 6:49 pm

I enjoyed the issue, but here is some feedback.

The flashback and the last page were the best parts of the issue.

For a second issue I found the pacing to be slow. Issue 1 gave readers a reason to blast forward into the Battledome, but issue 2 slowed us down to a mellow pace.

The incorperation of IM and more pop-culture references are always fun and allow the readers a chance to relate on a different level. (i.e. I <3 U)

It seemed almost shocking the hear that Mindsweep had left the school. Losing the main "leader" character so early, or losing a main character at ALL seemed sudden.

All in all, I feel it was misplaced in the story arch but look forward to the next issue!



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Postby Chameleongirl » Wed Jan 17, 2007 9:50 pm

I got my copies of issues 1 & 2 in the mail today! Can I just say the quality of the comics is just fantastic. Excellent printers you picked.

I like the art, it doesn't seem to have the rough spots the first isue had. The colouring is great, very vibrant, and adding to the story. I love the fire effect used for Scotch Bonnet :)

I liked the non-linear sotrytelling. It saved the big shock point for near the end of the story, and having flashbacks would be natural - Jorge should be dwelling on what happened.
That said, Jorge did seem a little less broken up that I would have thought. Of course, he could just be repressing, it's been less than a week after all.
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Postby Deadeas » Thu Jan 18, 2007 8:11 pm

Once again, WOW! I loved the way the story was presented, and that was a big shock at the end. I can't wait for Issue 3!
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Issue Two Review

Postby WildAngel » Tue Feb 20, 2007 12:18 am

Well, issue two has given me a lot to think about. The issue, as a whole, left me wanting a little more from some areas while giving me a lot of greatness in other areas. But, isn't that what being a sophmore is all about?

First, I felt like I had missed a couple pages at the end of the first issue (or at the start of the second issue). Mindsweeper's death was just a bit too sudden for me. From a story teller's point of view (I have a bachelor's in theatrical direction), I feel that audienes weren't given enough time to fall for Mindsweeper's charm. Not enough was done to cement his bond within the group of character, or with the audience. While his role (as boyfriend, leader, eyes, etc...) were clearly established, the reader was not given the full opportunity to explore the emotional depth of the character. I found it odd that the most affectionate moments between Kid Mischief and Mindsweeper were reserved for the back covers. His overall depature had just left me wanting a few more frames just so I (better) understood the pain that Kid Mischief exposes us to later in the issue.

On the plus side, the art work really took off for the issue. It stood its ground in the time tested arena of comic books: the battle sequences. By creating a logical and moving narrative through still pictures, this issue earned a new degree of action comic book. On top of this, the writing effortlessly tackled a strong, fluid flashback sequence - a feat that many "pop culture" writers today still struggle with.

And let us be honest about the pop culture nature of "Pride High." As a comic book, it immediatly declares itself as a form of pop culture. However, through the narrative, we are constantly reminded of this fact. The ideal use of Instant Messenging as a communication form (although just a bit confusing for the first few lines of dialouge), along with several contemporary references and product placement (i.e. silken tofu) establish "Pride High" in today's contemporary world. Reader's are able to connect with these characters through their pop culture references. The use of the "I <3" is truly brilliant. The internet based fan base of "Pride High" is suddenly connected with the characters they are reading.....

The writing allows us to connect with these characters on so many different levels. We can emotionally touch on several of the characters. And now, by letting us share in the more light hearted elements of pop culture we begin to draw connections between the world of "Pride High" and world in which we all live. Perhaps we are not so lonely when Kid Mischief's world is so similar to ours. I almost kept waiting for Kid to bust out quoting Madonna or Will and Grace - just to puncuate this point.

I was greatly moved by the bond between Kid Mischief and his guardian. (First, I am very grateful for the introductory pages explaining who he was). In gay society we often must form our own family units. Family is often defined by those we develop love and affection for - not just those we are born in to. While I love my biological family dearly, I often find myself closer to those I consider my "gay family" (and although I"m going through some personal issues and am currently estranged from my gay family, I still love them deeply). To see this bond echoed through these two characters is greatly touching, and I hope that I am not the only person wishing that I had a loving guardian with whom I could have this bond.

I also think the entire sequence makes a great arguement for same sex adoption......send as many copies as you can to the Florida legislature - NOW!!!!! (On second thought, Florida's legislature may not fully understand what is going on....it could blow uo in our faces.....we don't need another "Seduction of the Innocent" being written in 2007).

I really want to talk about the loss of Mindsweeper in regards to ethnicity and the role of minorities within the mainstream. However, as I have warned some, I have a LOT to say about this topic. So I'm going to save it for another day, when my head is a little bit more well rested.
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Postby Sage » Tue Feb 27, 2007 8:17 pm

What can I say except: “cry, sniffle, accept, and smile?” As the story still is in its opening phase, one of our hero’s is in its closing. Poor Craig Newman was dealt the hand of death early on. This is the second issue and already it feels as if the foundations of Pride High were set in our hearts and minds as we read this action-packed (like seventeen spaced out pages of pure action!) piece of work.

In the last review, the writing was focused on. This time we must now give the art the credit that it deserves. While the first issue’s art introduced the indie-style of Brian Ponce that is Pride High’s (not so much shaky as unique) the second one follows it up with beautifully created scenes that beg the question: “How can Mr. Ponce top it with the same style?”

Let’s try to answer the question for ourselves first. As we can see, the style is a mix between classical American action comic and anime/manga. More emphasis is put on the American action it seems, considering the boys’ muscles are rather large for their age (with the exception of the Argonauts, who are actually super-strong) and their eyes are actually inked in all the way around. Their faces and bodies are rounded (and not full of points as can be seen in a lot of the anime/manga style) and the contours of the face are recognized with color and implied visual cues (rather than inked lines signifying a cheekbone or dimple).

Also, after some time staring at the art (and noticing something like it in the first issue), Mr. Ponce brings the human concept of ‘ignore’ to the table. This can be seen when the main character is focused on something and the background (even characters in the foreground that are not being focused on) are more transparent. While subtle, this technique definitely makes for a more ‘real’ experience while reading. I mean, honestly, when someone is speaking to you and you blank out on them, they’ll feel less opaque too!

While the art put the comic in perspective of what to expect in terms of style and visual cues, I must say that I was simply fascinated with the action scenes (which I wanted to write about since I started this piece)! This has got to be the best damn thing since the realization that a circle could be drawn with a compass! The action is non-stop classic ‘POW’ ‘WHAM’ ‘BOOM’ with the modern twist of omitting the onomatopoeia. And just when you think you know what’s about to happen—BAM!—you get dropped into the laid-back setting of Jorge’s mind trying to piece together all that’s happened.

Trying to keep up with the time-frame is a somewhat dizzying experience—is he home? At the infirmary? In the battle?—but in the end, you’ll appreciate it as some closure (more than one type) is brought to the story with an unlikely turn of events.

The writing this time fell second to the art, as it did most of the talking (forgive the confusion). While it was still as magnificent as the first issue, it was JUST as magnificent as the first issue—meaning it kept at a constant high-level pace. The art on the other hand jumped an electron shell or two as it improved in the reader’s (that is to say my and hopefully your) eyes with more understanding of its style and its consistency.

Once again, this is just a quick stab in the dark about the style—maybe we can be graced by Mr. Ponce himself, who’ll reply to this and tell us what his inspiration was for the art and how he interprets his own style.
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Postby Verdant » Thu Apr 12, 2007 5:17 pm

Perihelion wrote:I found the image of Kid Olympus holding Jorge after yelling that he was hurt especially touching. Here we can see, whether he would normally admit it or not, that he honestly cares for this fellow human being, so small and fragile, cradled in his arms.

The Hellion wrote:What I really liked was the dimension added to KO and Beowolf in this edition, we saw they really could put their behaviour aside and act like real heroes.


Thanks! When I was first marketing Pride High, I didn't want to give away too much, and so a lot of people assumed KO and Beowulf were going to be one-dimensional, cardboard villains. I'm quite happy to have shown otherwise. But the Argonauts are not the only squad that has an axe to grind with Pride High. Just wait until you see Issue 4...
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The Second Issue

Postby ceteria » Mon Jul 09, 2007 3:00 pm

So....the second issue....

I was a little confused in the beginning, because it looked like someone was holding Jorge’s hand, but then we saw that George was on the other side of the room. Typo?

I liked the flashback scenes and how you connected them with blood. It made sense as to *why* there was a flashback in the first place. Which makes me happy :D Again, at first I thought that KO was in the room, but then I realized that it was another flashback.

So, Craig is dead now. I gotta say I was a little more than disapointed at that. I’m not as depressed as I thought I would be. The reason I believe this is so is because I didn’t really get to know Craig that well. The death happened far to early in the series and there was no chance to really form a bond with the characters. As one of the main characters, I should have been heartbroken when Craig died, but instead I was like, “Oh, ok. He’s dead now.” There was very little emotion in it, not because of the art (which was excellent) or because of the writing (which was heartfelt) but because of the timing and pacing. I feel like the whole thing was rushed.

Maybe I could be more empathic with Craig’s death if I could learn more about him. Fine out what’s important to him, what he liked to do, what changed him, why is he friends with these people, how did he meet Jorge, what drew him to Jorge, did he got through the classic trauma of all telepaths? I just feel like a side character died, not a main one.

I liked seeing Chip for the first time without his fur. He’s a cutie, isn’t he? :D

KO’s whole “whip of hades” and “bracer of hephastus” kind of reminded me of Wonder Woman, which provided extremely amusing mental pictures.

There was something different in the body language of Claire when Beowulf saved her. Hmm... Beowulf yelling “Claire” in the first issue + Flirtatous Body Language from Claire = possible future romance?

The ending was pretty good, and I liked the page dedicated to Craig. Though again, it only seemed to emphasize how very little we know of him and how we won’t get the chance to see him interact any more.

It kind of seemed like a short issue, and I kind of feel let down, because the first one was so great, but the second didn’t seem to come close to this one. Hopefully it’ll get better though!

Yours.

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