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There's an undertone of obsession in the conversation. The URL of this comic is


The thing I did not like about this story, even the first time I read it back when I bought the book from you in the early nineties, is the resolution. The whole build up to it is artificial. Everytime when somebody mentions that the Green Knight stinks, it feels like it is tacked on afterwards, that it is not part of the story, and out of character for the person saying it. It is like you drew arrows pointing at the balloon, with a warning text saying: "Important!" (Yes, I do remember that Gnoe cartoon about the Great Gourm and his Wuks. The phrase "a real prick" always comes to mind when I see somebody on TV who is a little too perfect.)

A more natural way to introduce the stink would have been to have it play an actual role earlier on in the story.

There could have been a conversation with Kel for instance: "So why do they call The Green Knight 'Stinker'?" "Would you not rather hear why they call him the Green Knight?"

Or upon meeting TGK, you could have our heroes faint from the smell, just as a family of mice with cloth pegs on their noses is leaving: "I'll be at by bob if you deed be", and the husband at the back protesting: "bub hobey, bhy bon't you stay a little longer?" (Yes, I know, I stole that from Goscinny.)

What I did like was the surprise the Green Knight sprang on the Rogues, because it was captivating (pun not intended), and integral to the story. This part of the resolution follows naturally from what we know about the Green Knight, the working of his belt, and the world of Clwyd Rhan. The story would not have progressed as well without the surprise.

Also, why does Ragnarok conclude while jumping TGK that he is allergic to soap? He might have just gotten soap in his eyes and lost his head because of it, so to speak. That would have bought the rest of them time to flee, and would have saved you the trouble of coming up with a unnatural story arc.
Posted by Branko Collin
BTW, speaking of Gnoe, looks like he's still going strong:
Posted by Branko Collin
Good points all, although after 15 years I'm not sure what to do with them. It's true that I'm one of those writers who is better at setting up plots than resolving them, so you do get recurrent bouts of Stephenson syndrome in many of my stories. I'm trying to do better these days.
Posted by Reinder
Oh, I assumed that you would know this already. I don't have a solution either. Just keep chipping away at your scripting skills, that's all I can think of.
Posted by Branko Collin
To be honest, I don't have the same critical distance to the work that you have. Even when I look at it after a long break, my response is more along the lines of "cor, I couldn't draw for toffee" than "Hmm, that script could have been better set up."
Posted by Reinder
You could wear it as a bandolier I suppose
Posted by Arch9enius