(From Ctrl+Alt+Del. Click for full-sized pocket lightsabers.)
Okay, forget what I said in the last few paragraphs of my Ctrl+Alt+Del post earlier this week. While this feels awfully short for a CAD storyline (though I suspect it will continue as a strictly KOTOR-centric manner), for the moment it looks for all the world like Buckley, after briefly teasing actual conflict between Ethan and his friends, has swiftly swept away all hard feelings with a perfunctory apology and settled all differences as fast as possible, treating this as no more than a momentary speed bump. This isn’t quite on the level with Lilah dumping Christian out of the blue, but it is qualitatively similar.
Honestly, I’m getting increasingly exasperated with Ctrl+Alt+Del. Despite the interest in this storyline I espoused in my last post, I found myself dreading reading Friday’s comic – perhaps because I had read Wednesday’s comic and knew something like this was a possibility, perhaps because interest in the storyline couldn’t overcome the reticence to invest I mentioned in my last post. But beyond that, while I continue to hold that Buckley’s art has improved over time, I think I’d actually prefer a little “B^U” compared to the ugly faces made by Lilah in the second and third panels and Ethan in the last one.
I wonder if exasperation with Ethan’s plot immunity is worsened by having to read the comics one at a time, and thus actually feeling any suspense Buckley builds up. I didn’t feel Ethan was particularly Sue-ish when I was reading my original archive binge back in 2008, but this little trick, while not as bad as the Christian incident, I think actually gave me purer feelings of anger and sadness, like I was more legitimately screwed by this resolution than that one – my reaction to that resolution was partly motivated by what others thought of CAD, while my reaction to this one is more relevant to my own feelings. Perhaps backing this up is the account of the Webcomic Overlook that CAD was actually reasonably popular, even among Internet opinion-mongers, back in the early to middle part of the last decade.
On the other hand, I wonder if I’ve changed as well – if I require a story of Order of the Stick-level caliber to get me invested in it. I was rather quick to dump Sluggy Freelance from my RSS reader when the new story arc started, and I may have a general frustration from having to get involved in a story. The flip side of that is that I may be a little more forgiving of humor comics this time around than in my previous go-around (I’ve already said some words of praise towards xkcd in that vein). I may know for certain after completing my Darths and Droids archive binge.
Though I have added a new story comic to my RSS reader, even if only taking Sluggy‘s place. More on that later.