#481 – looks pretty stupid

Pretty dumb, huh? You might recognize the Mile-High Club and the Strong Female Characters from the work of fellow cartoonists Carly Monardo and Kate Beaton. We created these characters in a moment of freshness, and they've since revolutionized the entertainment world on its ass. Reminder: I'm doing a book signing party at Desert Island next Thursday, August 25 in Brooklyn. Info here.

50 thoughts on “#481 – looks pretty stupid


  2. Sean should probably step back from the yellow line a bit.

    1. you mean Will.

      1. I did mean Sean. Will isn't the one who's risking a sharp push in the back.

  3. I knew I recognized those strong female characters

  4. Hark A Vagrant & Octopus Pie. Two of my favorite webcomics. You guys should collaborate more.

    1. Hark! A Vagrant Pie.

      1. I am now dying to know what a vagrant pie tastes like. Or maybe I'll die if I find out, because I bet it's pretty grody.

  5. Phew, I hadn't seen Sean in a while now.
    I love that poster though. Strong women and such 🙂
    Keep up the great work!

  6. I like the slime dripping down the walls in Panels 3 and 4. Very atmospheric.

    1. it's probably a bit more human in origin

    2. Wow, good eye. I agree, but I wouldn't have noticed it if you hadn't pointed it out.

  7. Ah, Will, je t'aime. And I'll echo your request– Hannah, can you let Will kill Sean? Thanks.

  8. All I'm thinking reading the last two panels is: 'SEAN, GET ON THE TRAIN BEFORE THE DOORS SHUT."

    1. ehh he's taking the local, probably!

  9. Strong Female Characters the Movie! Featuring curvy and independent plot lines!

  10. I'm not sure who you were mocking, Sean or Will and Hanna? Because I think Sean is right ._.

    1. It is pretty funny, since "I'm so smart, commercials don't work on me despite costing companies millions of dollars that they wouldn't spend if the commercials didn't work." is pretty obnoxious, but all the context all points to Sean being in the wrong. And to be fair, he is pretty smug about it.

      1. Companies don't really make commercials to appeal to people who don't want something, do they? I thought they made them to appeal to people who do want something, but are unaware of it, or people who are undecided about wanting a thing due to lack of information.

        1. EXACTLY this. Though there's also the "I didn't think I wanted this but you know what, this ad makes it look really cool!" demographic, that's just good luck for the company, not what advertisers are truly hoping for.

      2. Just because something costs millions of dollars doesn't mean it is effective.

        Sometimes an ad is just… stupid. It wasn't trying to be stupid on purpose. It wasn't trying to catch you out by being so stupid that it makes people talk about it through its stupidity and be effective in a roundabout way. Sometimes a stupid ad is just so incredibly stupid and it will simply fail to convince you to consume whatever is being advertised. Sometimes a stupid ad will actually turn you off from the product.

        1. Didn't mean to imply that every single ad campaign was necessarily successful. But in most discussions about advertising, someone will insist that ads don't work on them, and none of their decisions are effected by advertising. Since advertising in general has to work, or else companies would have stopped pouring money down that hole a long time ago.

          Though I wouldn't really write off stupid advertisements as less effective. Advertising doesn't really work by logical argument. It is all emotional appeals and subconscious crap. For example, if you've read the book Buyology, they did a study about the effectiveness of Coca Cola and Ford's advertising in American Idol. Coke didn't run traditional ads, but paid American Idol to make their set red and white and have a lot of swooshes. Ford bought ads. Coke did a lot better at getting watchers to remember their product.

        2. Time to put my Major to work! The great thing about advertising expenditure is, you can write it up as a capital gain, because it is investment in your intellectual property! Intellectual property is worth what the market will pay for it, but if you haven’t tested its value on the market yet you can just claim it’s worth what you paid for it.

          In other words, as long as you never do any reality checking, you can claim that each dollar spent on brand development is a dollar gained in brand value!

          I sincerely hope intellectual property market mechanics have improved since I was in university, but can’t think of any stakeholders who would want them to.

    2. Well, Sean is being pretty smug and Hanna isn't really agreeing with him as much as ending the "debate" by agreeing with him. It's a tactic we use in our own circle of friends for our resident know-it-all. You can be right, but still be an ass about it.

      1. I totally agree.

        (But seriously, I know what you mean. It tends to work!)

  11. I was going to post a comment on how I thought the alt-text was lazy, until I realized that I would be doing exactly what you wanted me to. The ensuing aneurism knocked out two-thirds of my junior high education.

    1. Sorry for not spending more time on today's alt text. Please let me know if you catch me slacking off again!

  12. I love Strong Female Characters. Those bitches are rad.


    1. WOo! I just got my book too! =D
      (only took 7 days to get to T.O.-Canada, awesome!)

      I had actually forgotten I'd signed up for it at TCAF, 'cause it's been over 3 months, and I'm a patient Canadian. BUt Wow! what a surprise pick-me-up to find in my mail!

  13. Spotted the Beaton "film" poster and got very excited at the idea of an animated feature, but then realized it will have to remain a wonderful fiction. It's like mind-splicing Chuck Avery with Germaine Greer – can't happen, but the idea is powerful.
    What a great episode of Hark! An Octopus Pie!

  14. I was going to comment on Will screaming "LET ME KILL HIM" as he enters the subway car, but then realized that likely isn't a rare occurence. Either for Will, or for the subway.
    Also: There seems to be a problem with the website, Meredith: Nearly the entire background is black, and I had to highlight the comments to read them. The links & ads seem to have been moved around, too.

  15. Dude, I had a conversation EXACTLY like this a few days ago. Except we were talking about those new Slim Jim commercials…Which are stupid and promote gender stereotypes.

    I remember "strong female characters", that was some funny stuff.

  16. I like how you confined Will's speech bubble to inside the train to illustrate where he's at when he says it. Part of the text is missing just like how you would only hear part of his sentence as he's walking away.

    Sometimes movies are so ridiculously stupid you have to watch them. Since the beginning of society people have invested in entertainment that exists solely for novelty value. I wouldn't be surprised if Hanna ended up seeing the movie herself, after reading of her short-lived infatuation with the Shaggs in Who Are Parents. Or maybe she sticks strictly to the eclectic.

  17. Sean, Sean, Sean. Is this how you make money now? Standing around ironic subway ads telling people how dumb they are to create a 'buzz'. You used to be so cool. #noyoudidnt

  18. Hannah, wise beyond her years, knows the only way to get out of That Goddamn Monologue by Really Smug About Rudimentary Marketing Knowledge Guy, besides graduating high school.

    Hitting Puget Sean will only squeeze more opinions about Freudian imagery and soap flakes out of him, however satisfying it would be.

  19. I would very much like to own that button down Sean is sporting, but he can keep his opinions to himself…

  20. Oh, Sean. That arts degree was just wasted on you, wasn't it?

  21. Jeez, why is Will being such a dick?

    1. Because Sean is being kind of a dick, himself.

  22. I am lmfao at the folks hating on the Sean character, who may be a smug db – but also happens to be correct. Some commentors seem to think WIll is the "good guy" because the character is supposed to be handsome and a hip black market job and inner pathos and shit – but he's spent most of his life (at least the part of it that we've seen) fronting – angry and afraid and blaming others for his own cowardice. I hope he grows up to be a better human (there have been signs of that aplenty), but right now he's still just another twentysomething bastard.

    1. yeah, Will isn't necessarily meant to be right either. Glad people are noticing!

    2. The exact characteristics you highlight are exactly what makes Will a great character, though, and why I'd side with him over someone like Sean in a heartbeat. Then again I don't think Sean is really meant to be anything more than a cypher anyways (at least most of the time), so if Will killed him the Octopus Pie world would keep turning and nobody would miss a beat.

      Will on the other hand is a strong dynamic character and showcases the comic's strength in terms of fleshing out and developing members of its cast. Of course he's not perfect. That's why he's so revered by readership (I'd wager, at least, since I can only really honestly speak to why I like him). He's complex, he grows, he changes (maybe more than any other non-Eve in the whole cast)…sure, he's kind of flipping out over something not worth flipping out over, but that's part of why I like him. You have to take the bad with the good.

      It's not a question of Will being right where Sean is wrong (he's not, he's just being pedantic).

  23. Sean is clearly a shadow marketer. Maybe I'm paranoid, but I think I see shadow marketing all the time. Or maybe there is really no such thing, and advertising is self perpetuating, which I think might be what this comic is touching upon.

  24. Am I real? Does Nike or Puma validate me? Does Pepsi endorse me? Could I be making money off my mental vacancy by renting out space to over stressed academics who need space to store their trivial thoughts on spagghetti-os? Am I a space man?

  25. Everything Will says in anger is just so revealing about his "true" personality. I love it.

  26. Hannah's face at the panel bottom left. WIN!

  27. I wonder what Eve and Hannah will be doing during the Hurricane? Will they evac or say fuck old Bloomy and ride it out .

  28. Reverse psyche, huh? Kind of makes him look smart for being dumb, don't you know?

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