Home > Image Comics > PVP (2003 Series) #10

PVP (2003 Series) #10

November 8, 2004

Quick Rating: Very Good

When Skull becomes a genius, what’ll happen to the PVP staff?

Writer: Scott Kurtz
Art: Scott Kurtz
Cover Art: Scott Kurtz
Publisher: Image Comics

One thing that Scott Kurtz does a lot with his PVP comic strip is to take old stories that are used over and over again on sitcoms, in comics, movies and other media, and put his own twist. In this case, it’s the classic “dumb character gets smart” story.

While trying to pry a piece of bread from the toaster with a metal utensil (don’t try this at home, kids!), Skull the troll gets an electric jolt that suddenly turns him into a super-genius. When the lovable lug becomes an intellectual mastermind, his friends at co-workers at PVP find the tables turned, playing foil to him where he used to be their comic relief. With his friends drifting away, Skull starts to question of his genius is really worth it. This is a story that’s been told time and again, and characteristically, Kurtz points out and pokes fun at all these other tales he lampoons.

The second tale in this issue also borrows heavily from TV sitcoms. When Macintosh-loving Brent Sienna gives PC nerd Francis Ottoman an Apple iPod, an insidious plan turns into a case of mistaken identity and pure hilarity. Even when he takes on a well worn storyline, Kurtz has the ability to use his cast’s established characterization to tell the tale. Brent’s evil, narcissistic side and Francis’s addictive personality make them the perfect characters to use.

We get a quick bonus in this issue, two pages of Aaron Williams’s Full Frontal Nerdity. A comic focusing on gaming geeks, it wallows in territory already well-covered by comics like John Kovalic’s Dork Tower. The best thing about Williams’ strip are his rather unique characters, particularly Shawn, the gamer who lives far away and only interacts with his friends through his webcam, which somehow doesn’t limit his participation in the strip in the slightest.

PVP has really climbed the ladder of comic-strip comics, taking its place among the best of them. I love Liberty Meadows as much as anyone, but its perennial lateness has paved the way for Kurtz to claim the crown. This comic book is just pure fun, whether you’re a video gamer or not, because Kurtz manages to tap into stories and situations we’re all familiar with and somehow make them new.

Rating: 8/10

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