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Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The Angst-O-Meter: Day 1

(From Ctrl+Alt+Del. Click for full-sized backhand.)

Time to play the game that's sweeping the nation: the Ctrl+Alt+Del Angst-O-Meter! I was going to post this yesterday, but Monday Night Football, and other TV-watching pursuits, largely monopolized my time.

In a sense, Ctrl+Alt+Del is becoming the anti-Order of the Stick. Whereas if I were to post every time OOTS prompted me to, I would post with every strip because it's just that good and entertaining, under normal circumstances if I were to post every time CAD prompted me to, I would post with every strip because CAD seems to want to send its characters even further into a tailspin with every strip. There's only so many ways you can say "CAD is descending into First and Ten Syndrome, just as people feared during the miscarraige arc" over and over.

Just look at everything Tim Buckley has put his characters through in the past two weeks plus: revealed Kate hanging out with another man, broke up Kate and Lucas almost out of nowhere, sold the store where Ethan works to Lilah's ex, and now Lucas just punched Zeke's head clean off. It's nothing Ethan hasn't been able to fix before, but this strip is important for more than Zeke's capitectomy. Lucas is in full-on angst mode here, fully dwelling on just how far down his life has gone in two real-time weeks. Remember when Buckley told readers that he wouldn't dwell on every moment of Ethan and Lilah's post-miscarriage anguish? Well, that sort of "woe is me" anguish is already starting to creep into the strip and I don't know if we like it.

At the same time, there's still a punchline in today's strip, and Buckley has put his characters through the wringer before, including once having their house destroyed as a result of a rampaging gone-mad Zeke. So for now, the Angst-O-Meter will start out at 58%. 0 means that every panel is a joke in itself, 100 is no-fun-at-all First and Ten Syndrome. The feature will continue until the Angst-O-Meter reaches 0 or 100, or until I can't take it anymore.

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