Saturday, February 05, 2005

Stopover at Inverloch: I'm sorry, but my brain just rebelled...

Let me get this straight first. I like Inverloch. I think Inverloch has some of the prettiest art I've ever seen in comics. The artist here pretty much leaves yours truly in the dust here when it comes to colour.

I will admit though, as the story's been going on and on, the writing's been bugging me more and more. It's not that it's bad, it's imbalanced. The characterisation is fantastic, and I love the philosophical issues they try and bring into the comic.

What I've been aware that's been steadily becoming more and more of a problem is the plot. It's just everything is so friggin' coincidental. It's like the whole world and everything that's happened up to then revolves around the main cast and their problems. Which happens a lot in stories, I'll give you... Although they shouldn't, and yes, I know there is such a thing as suspension of disbelief. It's what I've been employing with most of my comic reading so far.

But the latest update just outright caused my brain to rebel.

Just so you know, spoilers ahead.

Now we have the main character, our cuddly cute Acheron, and the jaded bounty-hunter companion, Lei'ella. And then this thief bumps into Acheron on the street and pickpockets all his stuff, but Acheron catches him at it.

Here comes the unbelievable part: The thief simply admits it, and says because Acheron caught him, he has to serve Acheron for how long the item he attempted to steal was worth because of something called 'thieves code'. And because one of the items is 'priceless' it probably means forever... Excuse me?

I could start pondering what use such a rule could possible serve in the first place? Punishment? There are more productive ways of doing so, since this subservant thing is most likely to end up with pickpockets going extinct. (If you ever have been pickpocketed, you should know how mad the victim can get at the moment) While we're at it, if that was the case, why would anyone even want to follow such a code in the first place?

The only thing I can think of that it is indeed what Ms. Lei'ella herself was about to say before she was self-censored: It's either a load total of BS spouted by the thief, or it's just a very very convenient plot device to add another member to the 'party' because they needed a stealthy character.

Ugh. Like someone once jokingly told me over an IM session: "Damn you and your logic!".

I'll still read Inverloch for the art, of course. But Damn me and my logic indeed.


  1. I hear ya on this one.
    Thieves Code does sound kind of shady.
    Do they have a Rapist code? Or a Serial Killer's code?
    If I kill your loved one, I must serve you for eternity.
    Perhaps they were more chivalrous back in Fantasy times than we are now: The Noble Thief. Haha.
    Not that people didn't travel together ALL THE TIME in the old days. They didn't need some flimsy pretext. If you found somebody going the same way you were going, you tagged along so the robbers along the road didn't cut your throat. Maybe there's a Robber's Code, too. No Throat Cutting after Sundown.
    Sorry. Long Post.
    But, anyway, Good Point.
    Keep up the good work.

  2. I thought the "thieves code" thing sounded like bunk too. But at this point it seems a little too early to determine that it is NOT, in fact, just a load of BS the thief made up on the spot as an excuse to follow Lei'ella and Acheron around for whatever purpose. Maybe he was hired by some unknown party to tail them and gain their trust. Or maybe he just has a thing for elf chicks. At any rate, there are a number of possibilities, and I'm still willing to give the author the benefit of the doubt. :)

  3. I don't think it could possibly be anything then a load of total BS, really. Anything else wouldn't have a chance of holding water.

    But either way, I do think it reflects poorly on the intelligences of Acheron AND the thief.

    Acheron, as we all know is incredibly naive, although it borders on stupidity to unquestioningly buy the story. Then again... it's possible he saw through the laughable excuse and is just being cunning and deciding to play the deception game as well. Which would be a cool twist, though for pure-hearted Acheron, is a little out of character.

    Other the other hand, supposing Mr. Thief he has ulterior motives and wants to tag along does it seem rational to do so he does the following? 1) Mug Achelon 2) Get caught 3) Comes up with the 'thieves code' dohickey so he has a reason to tag along.

    Unfortunately this is a poor plan really as it would only work if a) Acheron notices and catches him b) Lei'ella doesn't behead him on the spot c) Acheron is gullible enough to buy his story d) Lei'ella is influenced enough by Acheron to allow it.

    And by his own admission I don't think getting caught was intended. Ultimately, it doesn't reflect well on Mr. Thief's intelligence that he can't come up with something more plausible.

    My opinion anyway. I'll happily eat my words if a few weeks on they pull off some stunning plot twist that explains everything to satisfaction.

  4. On this page:
    where the actual theft takes place I noticed 2 things. 1) The theif is lurking in the backround and takes special note of the direction they plan to travel, so probably he is following them.
    2) The thief bumps into Acheron's BACK while he is wearing his cloak with it's hood up. So he would have had to seriously disturb Acheron's clothing to reach either his purse or his pendant.

    Number 1 I think means that the thief did not intend to get caught but made up a story very quickly when he did because after being caught stealing from then it would be hard to continue shadowing them. Actually for a spur of the moment lie it's not that bad.

  5. The cast page says "Although he claims to be following Acheron due to the code of thieves, it appears he may actually have another agenda."
    (This message sponsored by the department of No Shit, Sherlock.)

  6. No shit, indeed.

    So far the main conflict of logic I see is this:

    1) If Mr. Thief was planning on following the dynamic duo all along, why risk it all by attempting to mug Acheron and drawing undue attention?

    2) If Mr. Thief's plan was to just mug Acheron (which I doubt anyone really thinks so), why purposely hang around at all after getting caught? One would think that immediate escape would be reaction to go for. Hanging around the people you have just attempted to rob is an open invitation for getting a cut-throat or at the very least, a whopping in the hind-quarters, excuses and spur-of-the-moment stories regardless.

    And as Bernard proved, there are definitely better ways of tailing someone than *cough* thieves code.

  7. Of course it's bunk. There's no such thing as a thieves code, it's a trick employed by thieves who want to use somebody :P

    Okay, so this is an old post, but I just thought I'd put in my point. I kind of get sad when people see my comic the wrong way :(

  8. Oh no worries. This is a rather old post.

    At that point in the story it did seem rather too transparent, too the point of being a bit ludicrous, but I think I've already written somewhere else on the blog about the current story explanation making a pretty good recovery about it being a trick.

    Personally, I still don't think it's that great a trick, and I'm surprised it worked, for reasons I've already stated. But hey, whatever works ;)

  9. Just to clarify, I get that it's supposed the be a trick. I just expected the trick to be a little more sophisticated... something that people would believe even if it wasn't a trick.

  10. Hey, um you might want to erase it. Becouse its really embarresing for you. If you still read it you would know it was a load of bs. And in fact you should have figured out a little bit later (when they get out of the town) that he was only useing them to get out. And then he decided to stick around.

  11. Pfft. My dear. I don't do "erase-and-pretend it never happened"s thanks. ;) That course of action I leave to others. If I'm wrong, it stays as a reminder that I can be wrong, but I don't believe in pretending I never make mistakes.

    Of which, I still stand by my point, because I see nothing "embarassing" about my point, since is still stands.

    And since it seems so difficult to get my point across, I shall attempt to simplify:

    1) Yes, I do know he was using them to get out. Do read the other post I had about this topic (you'll have to find the link, I'm too lazy to search for it now)
    2) What I have an issue with is the ridiculously flimsy excuse of a trick he used.
    3) And I have in issue with the fact that it worked when it goes against all previous indications of the two character's intelligence levels.

    I do understand and admire your loyalty to a comic you like, but do keep it mind not all criticism is automatically evil and invalid, just so you know. I don't write about comics I hate, only those that I think have the promise to do better.