Geeks of the Round Table

Geekasaurus Mike is a proud affiliate of Geeks of the Round Table at


Web Comic Wednesday: Crtl+Alt+Del

Oh Ctrl+Alt+Del comics, what a rocky relationship we've had. When I started reading you, I thought you were great. Your characters were funny, your jokes were funny, Chef Brian was funny, it was just an all around funny thing.

Then something happened. I don't know what it was. Maybe I grew up a bit, maybe my tastes changed. More than likely, however, you stopped making jokes and started your string of “serious” plots right out of a junior high notebook.

But you know what, Ctrl+Alt+Del? You've gotten better. No, I still don't like you as much as I did when I was 15, and I doubt I ever will, but you've ditched your overcomplicated cast of characters and your only semi-competent grasp of creative drama, and gone back to making jokes. Is it only a matter of time before you decided to “expand” the characteristics of players 1-4? Probably. But for now, you've reached the lofty goal of “there are worse time wasters you could do.”

Okay, I've rambled on about this enough. Ctrl+Alt+Del is a webcomic by Tim Buckly, and at its start was about a pair of gaming roommates (lamp shading their own “originality” from time to time) as they talk about video games and the turns the industry is taking. Okay, so this sounds like dollar-store Penny Arcade...and it was...but then things get a little hairy.

Ethan, the standard “crazy but apparently considered “lovable” in universe” character becomes smitten with a girl named Lilah, who is, for reasons utterly beyond me, smitten in return. This is where the drama switch gets pulled. If you follow the web comic world in the slightest, you know what happens. They get married, Lilah gets pregnant, and completely out of nowhere a miscarriage ensues. Because drama.

There are other characters, such as the relatively straight-man archetype Lucas, the sentient and sapient x-box he created named Zeke and their mysterious and rarely-seen third roommate Scott, but at the end of the day, the story mainly falls down to Ethan who, to be honest, isn't terribly interesting. He's random, kookie and operates under what can only be defined as 'insane troll logic', and while that amused me to no end at 15, I just find him annoying now. Lilah and Ethan don't have terribly much personality either, they're mostly just foils to Ethan.

The Good
When the comic decides to make jokes, it can be at least passable. Your time is still better spent reading Penny Arcade, but they're not all that bad.

The best thing to ever happen to this comic was the decision to completely lose its “main cast”, and just goes to using the Players (a group of characters named Player 1, 2, 3 and 4) for commentary, or using actual game characters to lampoon the flaws in the work itself. Again, they're decent.

The Bad
I've heard a lot of rumors about Tim Buckly, but until I get verifiable reports telling me they're true, I'm not spreading them here. Besides, we're here to talk about the comic itself.

First off, the lack of effort. Buckly has made videos showing how he makes Ctrt+Alt+Del, and they are maddening. He as a set of angry eyes, a set of lazy eyes, a set of hopeful eyes, and he just clicks and drags them over to the blank face for that scene. Wow. Just wow. The same goes for every facial feature and plenty of the background.

Second, as I none-too-subtly stated above, the drama isn't really well integrated into the story, or all that well thought out. It seems that Buckly will just decide that there's been too much fun for too long and pull the drama lever, throwing in the most horrible thing he can think of completely out of left field.

The Verdict
I've said it already. The recent ones are okay, but seriously, just go read Penny Arcade. It's a better use of your time.