1. “The Lewis panel”?

    Ohhh, yeah, the Reply-All (Lite*). I think it’s just that her self-deception is so transparent. And that the revealed fault (some sort of pettiness) is one we all might be able to identify with.

    *It confuses me a little that the 3 or 4-panel strip is the original product and gets the simple “Reply All” name while the single-panel version gets the “Lite” modifier. That does make sense from the view that it is single panel so smaller. But the image is always larger in that version.

  2. Andréa, that clip is pretty amusing. Are you posting it as a response to a particular comic in today’s lineup? Or more like a “random comment”?

    I liked but was puzzled by the remark about putting in a “middle eight”. It wasn’t 8 units of anything, but I think they are applying a term from songwriting where it would be 8 bars, for what Americans seem to call the “break”.

  3. I got the repy-all but I’m surprised anyone would would find it more than wince-worthy. However hearing that it is a companion to a four-panel I suppose it’s acceptable as background accent.

    A middle eight in my understanding is the part of the song where the do a little divergence from the main the main theme. A guess that might be what “break” is too. Wasn’t familiar with either term until this year.

  4. I took the Bliss panel to be a sort of extrapolative near-future vision, where you can get rated for all sorts of surprising things — like being an Uber passenger. There was a rather nasty Black Mirror episode working out this idea.

  5. “Middle eight” = eight bars in music notation, or Section B of a 32-bar piece. Often the band will improvise this section, then somehow manage to come back together to finish the regular section.

  6. And I meant to mention the Bliss panel can be an example of how good draftsmanship can possibly distract from the foreground action. I enjoyed the artwork’s compositionbut I think the background started competing with the characters.

    The premise of the comic has the ring of a near-future dystopian novel, where citizens are tracked publicly by their score, sort of like China’s Social Credit System.

    But yeah, seemingly everything is rated these days, and you don’t want a low score…

  7. Grawlix, I’m glad you see the Bliss/Martin panel under a premise like the Black Mirror one I mentioned. I’m not familiar with the Chinese policy you mention.

    I also agree in your comments about the look. Here for comparison is the color version:

  8. What self-deception? She’s being completely self-aware as far as I can see.

    And how does revealing pettiness constitute a laugh-out-loud moment?

  9. Powers, we don’t have the moments just before this scene, and don’t know what she’s replying to exactly, but the manifest defensiveness suggests that she was put down, or at least felt that she was. But I don’t see much reason to doubt she genuinely believes this past occasion happened as she is relating it; even though objectively, or in other people’s eyes, it may not have been a generous moment on her part. Thus: self-deception.

    And why is it funny? Because she is not actually a terrible person, just a generally nice person with some weaknesses. So this scene of self-deception by her can be self-recognition for us reading it, and amusing in the observational mode.

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