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Web Comic Wednesday: Least I Could Do

Ryan Sohmer is a comic creator that I can't quite decide if I like or not. On the one hand, there is a strong argument for his comic “Least I could Do”'s central character Rayne Summers being a self-insert Mary Sue (a character too perfect to be interesting), and he can come off as a bit cocky through his comic, such as his current storyline where he-I mean Rayne, has an idea that everyone's sure will revolutionize the news industry, or when he implies that he's the only hard working guy in the entire web-comic industry.

But here's the thing, unlike characters like Ethan from Ctrl+Alt+Del, both Ryan and Rayne having redeeming qualities that make them bearable, and even enjoyable. Sohmer may come off as cocky, but in fairness he really is one of the busiest people in web-comics, currently running three of them at once.

LICD mainly focuses on the antics of Rayne Summers, a guy in his late-twenties going through a variety of real-life and exaggerated-real-life events with his friends. There is no real overarching plot here, just a series of mini-arcs.

The Good
Rayne himself is, as stated, a more likable version of Ethan. His antics, while wild and absurd, usually don't go too deeply into the realm of illegal or mean-spirited. More often than not, at least in recent years, we find out those antics have a greater purpose in trying to help his friends and their families. That's probably what actually makes him tolerable: his loyalty. Sure, Ethan may help his friends out if he gains by it...or he isn't distracted...or he isn't the one harming them in the first place...but Rayne's help seems to genuinely come from a place of love. He also developes as a character, starting as a one-note sex fiend and slowly figuring out the worth of his other relationships, especially with his young niece.

The other characters, while still usually foils to Rayne, actually have their own characteristics. Noel, Raynes best friend, is often the straight man, but has his own life with a marriage and children, as well as limits to his patience with Rayne. Mickey has to deal with being overweight, low-self confidence in the beginning, but he too goes through character development. Rayne's roommate Mike is depressed, lonely, but tries to keep a brave face and can still be funny when he needs to be.

There is some drama in the series, but its never as sudden or as jarring as in Ctrl+Alt+Del. When we find out (spoilers) Rayne has struggled with depression, the explanation makes sense with everything we've learned about him before. When we find out (again, spoilers) that Mickey's father was murdered when he was a child, its jarring, but there's less of a tone in the mood of the comic than you would think.

Finally, the scenarios seem more real (usually). Unlike Ctrl+Alt+Del where the problems and settings are fantastical, the problems closer to real-life are easier to connect with and actually care about. That has a lot to do with worlds more clever writing and infinitely more likable characters.

The Bad
The comic can be a bit preachy at times, especially on the occasions where Sohmer decides to write about world issues.
As stated above though, the biggest complaint made is usually about Sohmer's perceived arrogance and how it transfers into Rayne. I suppose once it was pointed out to me I started to see it, but to be honest its never anything too jarring for me. If you're really put off by things like that, I could see how you would not like this comic.
Likewise, if you're put off by constant sexual humor, start about halfway through the comic's run. At the start, that is literally the entire joke of the comic. Rayne likes sex. A lot. Again though, it gets better.

The Verdict
I'd suggest at least giving this comic a chance. If you're put off at the first few comics, hop into the archive and start from the middle, or latter third. If you still don't like it, well, I won't blame you, but I think most of you will find something to like here.