I like characters that I can understand in the webcomics I read. I don’t have to know every secret and hidden twist to a character, but I like a character that makes sense to me. That, at least in some regard, I can understand and accept as something more than random gibberish.
That concern of mine is what drives my biggest beef with Ctrl-Alt-Delete. This gamer comic is the subject of much controversy, from its quality to the artist’s behavior to its current foray into animation.
For myself? It’s a fine comic. I’ve enjoyed some of the stories, I like the art and the jokes are sometimes clever. I haven’t exactly been impressed with some of Tim Buckley’s behavior in the past, but I don’t always have to agree with an artist in order to enjoy their work. And I think if his animation is fun for those who watch it, awesome! More entertainment is a good thing.
But the main character of his comic, Ethan? Pisses me the hell off.
The character is a crazy video game addict. Period. The joke is that he has no connection to reality, and hence, acts crazy. Doesn’t think things through, doesn’t seem to understand how the real world works, and thus, gets into crazy hijinks and so forth. And the entire world seems built to accommodate him. It is infuriating.
It is not that a character who acts off the wall is inherently bad. The most recent Loserz does a good job of showing a character doing something random and batshit crazy, but it makes perfect sense. We can see Ben’s thought process, twisted as may be, that leads to the batshit craziness. It is good characterization.
Ethan’s craziness exists for one reason – to let more random zany adventures occur. Period. And because he’s the main character, and perfect, the world accepts him having no depth whatsoever. His boss is fine that he doesn’t actually come in and work, his girlfriend doesn’t care about his behavior, his best friend always forgives him after he burns their house down.
Call me crazy, but I just really hate Ethan.