One of the more common complaints I’ve seen so far (aside from the amount of
T&A midriff exposure) has been about J. Longo’s This American Strife, a “random gag” strip that people are finding unfunny. Like most commentators, I don’t think the strip is “ready for prime time,” but I noticed in the comment section (unfortunately, Zuda’s emulation of YouTube extends to this feature as well) that Longo posted a link to his blog “to advertise, explain and promote This American Strife.” The blog contains an entry which reveals that This American Strife got chopped up a fair amount by Zuda editorial: requiring changes for inappropriate content, cutting one screen into two (and rather clumsily — the “skeleton” panel and the “car crash” panel were apparently two halves of a single screen) and completely omitting the third page of the “J & Jesus” story. The first time Longo saw his work in its final form? On the web, at the NYC release party, after the site had gone public.
THEY OMITTED THE LAST AND FINAL PAGE OF THE JESUS COMIC. In the comic, I’m being handed a towel by the Savior and then—nothing. It’s bad enough that already complaint-comments are coming in about how disjointed ‘This American Strife’ is when it’s meant to have no continuity (particularly compared to all the other competitors). That page gave finality and resolution to what can otherwise be interpreted as offensive and I really feel that I should have been informed that the final page wouldn’t make the final cut.
Feels like a lot of balls got dropped here, by several parties:
“random gag”just random I guess strip nestled amongst fantasy serials and insufficiently distinguished from them
- a few head-scratchingly
obtuseoblique gags (see above, and below too I guess)
- the confusing decision to include both single-panel gags and multi-page gags
- and Zuda’s clumsy editorial hackjob (both cutting up one page into two, and cutting the last page out of a three-page strip — all, apparently, without consulting the artist).
Longo again: “To clarify, I did get an explanation which said the last Jesus page [of the Jesus story] was taken out upon the request of the higher-ups and god knows everyone below was scrambling to get Zuda off the ground with much bigger fish to fry.”