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CTRL+ALT+DEL+ - Deleted?
November 23, 2012 4:52 AM   Subscribe

No more CTRL+ALT+DEL+. Tim Buckley is rebooting his Web-Comic. Interesting explanation of why in his blog post (scroll down to the Post titles Endings.
posted by lloyder (60 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
B^U.
posted by Gable Oak at 4:57 AM on November 23, 2012 [16 favorites]


Oddly enough, I don't care for the Player strips, which is what he wants to focus on. It will be interesting to see how this develops, but I did think that the ending was reasonably well done.
posted by Old'n'Busted at 5:01 AM on November 23, 2012


Didn't like it, myself. I don't see why Ethan had to be killed off - why not just stop using him? - and the plot was thin and far too dark for the lightweight general tone of the strip. And I can't tell you how sick I am of anti-human robots taking over the world.

Is this going to be like when John Allison decided to throw away his most popular character, go on a hiatus, come back as a duller series of stories, now about children, and was shocked that he lost some of his audience...?
posted by Segundus at 5:11 AM on November 23, 2012


Segundus: "the plot was thin and far too dark for the lightweight general tone of the strip"

If it weren't for these moments of bathos, and the audience's incredulous response to them, I would know nothing about this strip.
posted by idiopath at 5:38 AM on November 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh, man! This is the best lazy thing he could do! Hahaha.

A "Hollywood reboot" means same stupid storylines, retold with probably more words and jokes about the Wii U instead of the Wii.

I can't wait for Loss 2.
posted by graventy at 5:58 AM on November 23, 2012 [5 favorites]


It sounds like he just wants to be Penny Arcade.
posted by oddman at 6:10 AM on November 23, 2012 [8 favorites]


What a very, very strange explanation.

"... [E]ventually as I began to grow as a writer and wanted to try new things, I started to crash up against the boundaries of the characters and their established personalities ... I had grown as a writer, noticed ways to make the characters more well-rounded, deeper, but couldn't come up with any graceful way ..."

"... Ctrl+Alt+Del is going to refocus on being a primarily video game and pop culture comic strip ... The Players have become some of my favorite characters, and I'm psyched to bump them up to 'main characters of the comic' status ... [T]hey'll get a little bit more inviduality and personality, but that's where it ends. No long storylines. I'm not ever going to feel the need to answer questions with them such as 'How do these people afford video games? Do they have jobs? What are their hopes and dreams?' ..."

Did that read to anyone else as basically, 'As an artist, I am stifled by the fact that my characters, created when I was young, are not sufficiently well-rounded and deep. Therefore I am going to start over by completely and permanently eliminating any trace of depth and well-roundedness whatsoever.'
posted by kyrademon at 6:21 AM on November 23, 2012 [17 favorites]


I think his reason for doing this is perfectly valid. As he said, he's learned a lot in ten years that he wants to implement. The full cast will still be around, but The Players were what he originally intended Ethan and the human cast to be. Buy the books if you want the pre-reboot cast. I look forward to seeing what he does.
posted by Fferret at 6:24 AM on November 23, 2012


I stopped reading Ctl+Alt+Del+ a long time ago, so I don't really have a dog in this fight. However, I think it's great when webcomic artists take their art in new directions, whether they want to call it a 'reboot' or a completely different comic. Counterpointing Segundus I think Allison's work on Bad Machinery has been some of the best storytelling and art of his whole career (and I say that as someone who also loved Scary Go Round). I understand why it's not to some people's tastes, but that's OK! Scary Go Round wasn't to other people's tastes. I don't really understand either the idea that an artist has to cater to everyone, or that once an artist has a fanbase they can't ever do anything without a majority vote of their fans.
posted by muddgirl at 6:59 AM on November 23, 2012 [4 favorites]


That lead to becoming dissatisfied with the characters, and starting to feel stifled by them. That's not a place any writer wants to be. I had grown as a writer, noticed ways to make the characters more well-rounded, deeper, but couldn't come up with any graceful way for them to, let's say, have a sudden and noticeable personality change.

I don't care too much about C+A+D because its humour is lacking, but I don't see why he couldn't show the changes in the characters' personality incrementally.
posted by ersatz at 7:01 AM on November 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Is a shame people don't have much love for CAD. Sure, it's not going to go down in history as a classic, but I personally enjoyed it as a bit of fun. I quite liked its relatively simple storylines that were ideal for when you weren't in the mood for the better quality but more serious webcomics. The vote for a storyline things that were done had their highpoints too.

I always found the Player characters, the violence and the sillies all a bit gratuitous, so I guess another comic drops off my list.

I do wish that the cast had had a bit of a better send-off though. This closing arc was rather sudden, fairly depressing and ended too sharply for my tastes. It's even more a pity as Ethan was just beginning to show signs of having actual emotions over the past few months.
posted by ElliotH at 7:15 AM on November 23, 2012


Is this going to be like when John Allison decided to throw away his most popular character, go on a hiatus, come back as a duller series of stories, now about children, and was shocked that he lost some of his audience...?

He may have lost some of his audience, but he picked up at least one new reader: me. Maybe it will be the same situation here.
posted by capricorn at 7:41 AM on November 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


OH NO YOU DIDN'T - Bad Machinery is far and away much better than Scary Go Round ever was.

Let's face it. John Allison's main talent remains with sheer whimsy and that's what he's providing.

Re: CAD, was that strip anything other than a Mary Sue and dumb gamer hijinks?
posted by pmv at 7:42 AM on November 23, 2012 [5 favorites]


some of the best storytelling and art of his whole career

He certainly succeeded in getting better control of his stories, but I think they were better when they were out of control. I still read and generally enjoy it, btw!
posted by Segundus at 7:44 AM on November 23, 2012


ElliotH - agree on the suddenness of the ending.

Will be interesting to see the tone of the new scripts, I quite liked the longer arc stories over the quick hit ones.

Also, not sure he's given a timeline of when he'll put the 1st of the new style comics out.
posted by lloyder at 8:02 AM on November 23, 2012


⌘-.
posted by flabdablet at 8:04 AM on November 23, 2012


Wow -- what? The last time I read CAD, the main character was a bit of a loser who played videogames and worked in a game store. I glanced at the "ending", and he's in some kind of alternate dimension shooting people.

That's...strange.
posted by ellF at 8:11 AM on November 23, 2012 [4 favorites]


I'm with ellF. Does the ending actually make any sense at all within the larger context of the comic? Because, as someone who was at best a casual reader of CAD and who hasn't read it in a long time, I look at that ending and find myself saying: "WTF?"
posted by asnider at 8:22 AM on November 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Miscarriages Reboots are often harder on the woman than the man.

He can reboot CAD all he wants, he's still going to be Tim Buckley.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:29 AM on November 23, 2012 [17 favorites]


The cast of CAD was left agape at the news.
posted by Rhaomi at 8:29 AM on November 23, 2012 [11 favorites]


Is a shame people don't have much love for CAD. Sure, it's not going to go down in history as a classic, but I personally enjoyed it as a bit of fun.

Buckley is a publicly unpleasant person, which probably doesn't help all that much.
posted by muddgirl at 8:38 AM on November 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


seconding pmv. John A knew what he was doing—he had already done the transition from one webcomic to the next with the Bobbins-SGR switch, and he was totally unafraid to get rid of characters who bored him (Holly and Gary Stu Rich). SGR was about crazy external action. BM is all about crazy internal action. One wordless panel of a frightened carny has been so much more interesting to me than eighteen panels of Shelley and Amy wearing next to nothing bantering about their sex lives.

I don't have time for another webcomics continuity, and I am unfamiliar with Tim Buckley's rep, but I wish him well.
posted by infinitewindow at 9:13 AM on November 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


asnider: "I'm with ellF. Does the ending actually make any sense at all within the larger context of the comic? Because, as someone who was at best a casual reader of CAD and who hasn't read it in a long time, I look at that ending and find myself saying: "WTF?""

The story arc started when he was raising a Kickstarter to become Batman. The time machine that sent him into the "robots have taken over the future but you don't actually ever see this army of robots" is powered by butter and waffles.
posted by ShawnStruck at 9:13 AM on November 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


Maybe if he hadn't been long afloat on shipless oceans things would've turned out differently for him.
posted by item at 9:24 AM on November 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Two years ago my ass. Is that why the penguin arc was a zillion months long, and he abruptly ended last years Wintereenmas arc with a 48 page .pdf of Ethan sitting around a warehouse and smelling some girls hair?

At least I got to see Buckely admit to some faults and see Ethan shot in the face AND covered with blood and crying, and the B^Universe blow up. It was definitely something.
posted by Snyder at 9:30 AM on November 23, 2012


I stopped reading him somewhere around the miscarriage strip. Not because of the subject matter so much as because it felt like unnecessary drama, and his reaction to people saying so was, to put it mildly, blatantly insane.
posted by Archelaus at 9:50 AM on November 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Well at least he actually ended it if that's what he thought he needed to do (pokes Chris Onstad furiously, then apologizes, then starts the cycle all over again.)
posted by Navelgazer at 9:58 AM on November 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


I guess CAD occupies the same headspace for me as User Friendly, because after clicking that link I was genuinely confused as to why this ancient Linux cartoon was ending with some low-rent Dr. Who bullshit.

I still kind of wish that were the case.
posted by Shadax at 10:02 AM on November 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Except that as far as I know Metafilter didn't unwilling write a shitload of CAD.
posted by Navelgazer at 10:07 AM on November 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


User Friendly was just a bunch of dumb one-off jokes. The guy was so desperate he scraped Metafilter for material, and stole a really dumb joke I made when anyone could have written something better.
posted by dunkadunc at 10:13 AM on November 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e60JlM6ZXHc
posted by Quart at 10:16 AM on November 23, 2012 [6 favorites]


Thanks to this thread I learned of the existence of the Bad Webcomics Wiki, which has criticism of Ctrl-Alt-Del so scathing that I am genuinely horrified.

I get that it's their "thing," but jesus.
posted by ErikaB at 10:31 AM on November 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


It made me very, very happy to search the Bad Webcomics Wiki for "Achewood" out of morbid curiosity and get a result of "Page Not Found."

Damn straight.
posted by Ryvar at 11:03 AM on November 23, 2012 [8 favorites]


Sometimes I think content creators cling to their older creations because they're safe, endlessly rehashing them, when they should be really doing new things. This is one of those times. Just do something new. If you've grown and changed as a writer, good. Start fresh. Challenge yourself.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 11:05 AM on November 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


Bad Webcomics Wiki makes good points, but mostly, and ironically, tries way too hard. Most of the people they mock got their start making something they did to dick around, but then because of the Random Internet Gods attracted an audience. If you did something you yourself thought was half-assed on the internet, and got a ton of fanmail about it, requests for merchandise, and people volunteering to have money thrown at you, what would you do? If it ain't broke....

I visited a number of pages there reviewing webcomics I'm not generally fond of (Dresden Codak, VG Cats) and left feeling more appreciative of them, just from the lengths the editors went through to try to make them look lame. Their main criticism of VG Cats wasn't that it's an obsessive collection of inside jokes aimed squarely towards an insular community who will laugh if you say POKEMANS, but that all its strips were one-offs, and the characters sometimes make goofy faces.
posted by JHarris at 11:16 AM on November 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


"These characters I created ten years ago are too constraining now that I've learnt something about writing. So I'm going to start doing lots of stuff about even MORE constraining characters, and drop occasional chapters of longer stuff about modified versions of these constraining characters."

Buh?

Man, if I was in his position, I'd be like, fuck these characters, I'm done with them, I have OTHER STORIES that I want to tell. But then again I really don't seem to think in terms of open-ended series; all my projects have endings.

I guess he's really a fan of the regular ad revenues that having a popular strip with regular updates gives him. Which, well, I can see that being appealing. Paying rent is nice.

now shut up and get back to working on your own obscure, irregularly-updated graphic novel, Peggy.
posted by egypturnash at 11:21 AM on November 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


As a long-time reader of Penny Arcade and gaming forum rabble-rouser, I am getting some strange satisfaction from this. The adult in me wishes him well, though.
posted by michaelh at 1:54 PM on November 23, 2012


Love Bad Machinery but I'm incredibly frustrated that there's no way to buy the books from previous serieseses. I'm TRYING to throw money at the guy, but it just doesn't sink in.
posted by DU at 6:05 PM on November 23, 2012


I thought everyone was supposed to hate this guy?
posted by delmoi at 6:21 PM on November 23, 2012


ElliotH: " The vote for a storyline things that were done had their highpoints too."

I was following along at that point, and I'm pretty certain the SA thread had conclusively proven that those votes were completely faked. Or at the *least* super-inflated.
posted by graventy at 6:28 PM on November 23, 2012


Quart: "http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e60JlM6ZXHc "

Ooh, nice, yet more of that there bathos I was refering to.
posted by idiopath at 6:33 PM on November 23, 2012


I kinda get where he is coming from though. Making jokes with the same characters day after day must be *hard*. I mean, 10 years is a long freaking time. I can't blame him for ending the comic, even if I wasn't particularly a fan of the ending. Sometimes you just run out of ideas, and I've seen talk for ages that CAD was declining for years and years now, isn't it to end it before it gets really terrible? I mean, the best is to end it at the height, but that is hard, since everything is going well. I don't blame him, and look forward to seeing what he does next. I may or may not like it, but I'd hate to watch CAD become repetitive and boring.
posted by Canageek at 6:38 PM on November 23, 2012


It made me very, very happy to search the Bad Webcomics Wiki for "Achewood" out of morbid curiosity and get a result of "Page Not Found."

Did you try looking under "Post-2008 Achewood"?
posted by strangely stunted trees at 6:56 PM on November 23, 2012


1st leaked CAD reboot strip.

{HAMBURGER}
posted by ShawnStruck at 7:48 PM on November 23, 2012 [5 favorites]


ShawnStruck, the face on the Watermelon there reminds me of Mister Hoppy.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:43 PM on November 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Why is this reminding me of For Better Or For Worse?
posted by jenfullmoon at 12:48 AM on November 24, 2012


webcomics I'm not generally fond of (Dresden Codak

Wait, what?
posted by MartinWisse at 3:20 AM on November 24, 2012


It's easy to say why something sucks. Far more difficult - and yet far more useful - to say why something is great. It's also more difficult to be funny in praising something compared to bashing it.

The Bad Webcomics Wiki is a great example of this. Great webcomics are indicated only by their absence from the archives. And even then, it's not clear whether it's because they think those comics are great, or they just haven't gotten around to them yet.

I don't think CAD is so horrible. It's not my thing personally, but a lot of people apparently like it. Granted, the author has acted poorly in many situations, and seems in some ways to be a genuinely unpleasant person. But surely no worse than many other popular webcomics and webcomic authors.

Take xkcd for example. The internet loves that comic. (I like it too, not that that's relevant to my point.) But the artwork is literally stick figures. And if you want bathos, well.

But people are willing to overlook these bits, because they understand xkcd as a body of work from a human being who is interesting though flawed. And they accept that some of Randall's comics are better than others, because he's a human being, not a comic-generating robot.

Yet for whatever reason, the internet just can't extend the same courtesy elsewhere.

Oh internet, I feel that I will never really understand you. Sometimes you put things on the Hate List that don't really belong there, and I just don't know why.
posted by ErikaB at 10:50 AM on November 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I knew someone was going to catch my Dresden Codak comment above. I've tried to like it. Sometimes it does have a good strip (usually a one-off). It doesn't appeal to me. It's not that it's bad, it's just not what I'm into.

I know this is sacrilege, but I'm the same way about Girl Genius.
posted by JHarris at 11:52 AM on November 24, 2012


(I think it has to do with a certain minimum level of smarm about the writing.)
posted by JHarris at 11:56 AM on November 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


But people are willing to overlook these bits

There are people who "hate on" XKCD. XKCD sucks, for example - even more pointlessly in-depth than Bad Webcomics Wiki. Personally my feelings for XKCD and CAD are pretty similar, although I think Monroe is sometimes admirably ambitious in a way that Buckley has really never been. Monroe also handles criticism better, which makes me want to hate on his comic less.
posted by muddgirl at 1:01 PM on November 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Randall Monroe can occasionally tell a joke well, which is something that B^Uckley never learned.
posted by Pope Guilty at 2:49 PM on November 24, 2012


What, this isn't wacky and hilarious? (Be warned: LOLviolence)

Remember folks, these are the "characters" he wants to use as the mainstream of the strip. (There is the violent one, the violent one, the slightly less violent one, and the ditzy violent one. Guess which one the woman is.)
posted by Snyder at 3:34 PM on November 24, 2012


But people are willing to overlook these bits,

I don't like XKCD, I think it's smug as hell, even if Munroe can execute. Same with Dresden Codak, with added fan service while getting snitty about fan service, or Questionable Content, which I find boring and twee, and more of a delivery of advertisements for t-shirts than a comic, but at least Jacques has a good sense of humor about what he does and his characters and seems like an all right guy.

There are countless other comics out there too, like "Least I Could Do," "MegaTokyo," "Moon Over June" or "U.S. Angel Corps," that are unbelievably shitty and should not be looked at by anyone, and while they are justifiably hated by all right thinking people, they don't attract anti-fans like CAD.

The reason that Buckley and CAD (and, Michael Terracino w/ Dominc Deegan,) get such a following is because they hit the sweet of spot, not just of bad art and writing, but of ego, an inability to accept criticism, a lack of any real effort in improving themselves, and incredibly inappropriate and poorly handled changes in tone, like a miscarriage in your video game comic or a heroic rapist in your pun-laden fantasy comic, for starters.

CAD just isn't a bad comic, it's a comic that is bad in nearly all respects someone can interact with it, and it not only doesn't get better, it gets worse.
posted by Snyder at 4:13 PM on November 24, 2012 [7 favorites]


Oh and this.
posted by Snyder at 4:34 PM on November 24, 2012


Terracino is also a terrible person; if memory serves, he tried to write a rape as the morally correct choice and didn't understand why people were quite rightly jumping up his ass about it.
posted by Pope Guilty at 9:57 PM on November 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


I don't often say this, but;

Meh.

I've never meant it as strongly, either.
posted by Aquaman at 8:53 AM on November 25, 2012


UPDATE: Buckley has made a "coda" strip to the previous "the end" strip because... well, I have no idea. On Twitter, several other webcomickers have gathered to laugh their asses off.
posted by oneswellfoop at 7:55 PM on November 26, 2012


Kris Straub, Mike Krahulik, and Scott Kurtz talk about why Tim Buckley is a terrible person and cartoonist.
posted by Pope Guilty at 2:17 AM on November 27, 2012


Pope Guilty: "Kris Straub, Mike Krahulik, and Scott Kurtz talk about why Tim Buckley is a terrible person and cartoonist."

Man, when you're too terrible a person for those guys...
posted by ShawnStruck at 11:25 AM on November 27, 2012 [3 favorites]


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