The Webcomicker

Who watches the watchmen?

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Oh... NOW I get it.

The payoff, from Count Your Sheep

Sometimes, I just want to grab the world by the throat and strangle it for not properly recognizing real talent. How is it that a strip like Momma can be running in newspapers while Adrian Ramos toils in obscurity?

Ok, well, not COMPLETE obscurity, but still. The dude ought to be a millionaire by now. Count Your Sheep is consistently one of the funniest, most heartfelt, and all around most enjoyable strips that I read on a daily basis. It's won so many webcomic awards it's hardly worth counting anymore. And yet, it doesn't even have a printed collection out yet, and is only running a suboptimal CafePress store for merchandise. I mean, dude. Where is Keenspot on this one?

But I digress. The point of this post is to comment on the recent "storyline" in Count Your Sheep which consisted of a bunch of riffs on Beatles songs. The strips started around here, and continued, with a few brief interruptions, until yesterday. And I've got to say, I wasn't really a huge fan. In fact, a few days ago I considered putting up a post here to the effect of "Ok, Adrian, we understand that you like the Beatles. Give it a rest already." There was at least one really groundbreaking strip in the bunch which was eloquently summed up on Websnark, but overall it was just a bunch of bad puns, which frankly aren't really Ramos' strong suit.

What I missed was that interspersed in the punny jokes, we were slowly learning the backstory of Laurie and Marty, how Ship became involved in Katie's life like he was in Laurie's, and how Laurie struggled with both the loss of her husband and having a brand new baby at the same time. And then we see how the Beatles are interwoven into all of this. We see that while Laurie may not be a big Beatles fan, Marty really liked them. Then we see that Laurie is trying to find a way for Katie to connect with her deceased father. And finally, in the strip I posted above, we see the payoff. Laurie uses the Beatles music as the connection between Katie and her father. If Katie learns to love the Beatles like her father loved the Beatles, then maybe she'll get some understanding of what kind of man he was, maybe she'll even feel like she knows him a bit through the words of the songs that meant so much to him.

I don't know why I didn't see it coming. I read back through the strips in the archive and I'm amazed that I didn't. And now when I read through those same strips, they seem like such a clever and well-crafted way to tell a story, rather than simply a series of bad puns. There's a layer of depth there that could never have been achieved by simply telling the story outright. And that's pretty amazing.

Bravo, Adrian Ramos. Bravo.


At 9:39 AM, Blogger wj said...



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