It’s a little bit me

It’s not you, Sharknife. It’s me.

I’m just too old for you. We’re at different places in our lives. You must sense it too.

Sure, you’re stylish. Maybe you’re too stylish for an old codger like me.

Sure, I appreciate that you’ve chosen to appropriate a video-game aesthetic as a storytelling device. I love video games! I can see the craft and skill involved in pulling that off!

Maybe my tired old eyes just can’t absorb all this narrative invention, the kinetic action, the captured moment/screenshot qualities that drive the long, long, long fight scenes.

Okay, maybe it’s not entirely me.

Incompatibility takes two, and while you’ve got a lot going for you, I think most of it is flash. Tricked-out visuals only go so far when the characters are somewhat underdeveloped and the plot is kind of threadbare.

It’s kind of hard to talk frankly like this, because you’re so eager to please. You have energy to spare, but it all seems unfocused. There’s not much depth to you, and I know that’s a geezer’s criticism, but I’m not asking for too much. I just want a moment or two of consequence. I want the novelty to give way, even briefly, to some heart.

And the way you talk! You’re trying so hard to sound hip that you’ve circled all the way back to square again. Stop adding the letter “z” to everything! Stop randomly throwing words together so they sound manga-esque!

I’m sorry. This isn’t going how I’d hoped. Maybe we should just call it a night. You were never meant for me, and I shouldn’t hold that against you.

Don’t worry. I picked up the tab.

5 Responses to It’s a little bit me

  1. Dorian says:

    That’s a very accurate summation of my reaction to Sharknife (and Scott Pilgrim) as well.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Yeah I agree with everything you said on sharknife. I dont see what makes this book so special…

  3. Ian says:

    I loved the book but if it becomes inpenetrable for someone because that someone happened to be born a decade or two before the author that’s a major fault for the book. You shouldn’t have to be in the same age range of the author to enjoy his/her work.

    Although there is a part of me that likes that Sharknife is “our book” (that being people born in the early-80’s) there’s a part of me that’s guily about that as well.

  4. David Welsh says:

    I don’t think you have anything to feel guilty about, Ian. It’s an accomplishment that the book was able to speak so specifically to a certain audience. Whatever failings it may have had in terms of universality, it certainly reached the people it was designed to reach.

    It’s interesting that Dorian brings up Scott Pilgrim, which I actually loved. Whatever specific generational flourishes it had, it still managed to stay open, I think. But they’re very different books.

  5. Pata says:

    I’m sure most artists could have called Sharknife on this, but its biggest flaw is obvious from page one:

    Too much grayscale.

    The fights would be a lot cooler if I could just see what was going on.

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