Because my dad told my mom he feels disconnected from me when I don’t post on here, an Eric Burns(-White)-esque comeback.

(From The Order of the Stick. Click for full-sized rebirth.)

Despite what some forumites have thought, I never believed Belkar’s little encounter with Malack was in any way leading to the former’s death; it seemed like it would be too anticlimactic for me. The sequence itself hasn’t been particularly well-done; I feel like Rich has been a bit rusty since his return from thumb-injury-forced break (the first strip back from it was at least the second time in recent memory OOTS‘ penchant for metahumor worked against it), and while I’m normally willing to put up with Rich’s nonexistent update schedule these comics have been too mediocre for me to put up with just one or two a week. Belkar’s vow in the previous comic seemed overwrought and irrelevant, and Malack’s realization in this one similarly seems to come from out of nowhere (even if it might be a reference to a previous comic I’ve forgotten).

I think most people felt – certainly I did – that whenever it happened, Belkar’s death would be the climax of a thread of character development stretching back throughout the book and ultimately reaching back to his conversation with Lord Shojo. But while Belkar has gone through some character development, it hasn’t been much more than what’s described in that post, and that may have been intentional; after all, having “something to fight for” may have only had the effect of changing the nature of Belkar’s assholery. As such, I think I wouldn’t have had as much of a problem with this sequence if Malack had actually been a threat to Mr. Scruffy, yet it seems like it’s a big part of the point of the sequence, and of Malack’s character, that he doesn’t really have a beef with Mr. Scruffy or Belkar. If anything, this is more a result of Belkar being too quick to jump into a fight he can’t win, especially when neither of them really has a reason to fight the other.

I also continue my exasperation regarding Rich’s penchant for confirming¬†wild forum theories, and the notion that Belkar would become some sort of undead was the ultimate wild forum theory, one that was extant in various forms as far back as the oracle’s “last breath” prophecy. Yet here we are, and I’ll admit it will be interesting to see whether Belkar becomes a full-on servant of Malack’s, or will remain free-willed enough, and retain enough of his previous personality, to continue adventuring with the OOTS in undead form. (Given Malack’s thought process in the previous comic, it may well be both, at least in the short term.)

Of course, if Belkar does continue adventuring with the OOTS, we do still have one more death prophecy to potentially permanently reduce the OOTS’ numbers…

Was… was Marten originally going to ask Tai to join him?

(From Questionable Content. Click for full-sized exit, stage left.)

By the middle of last week, I was fully expecting to write a post expressing my severe trepidation at a storyline that would clearly serve the purpose of teasing a Marten/Claire relationship, which I’ve already gone on record as opposing. Besides teasing a relationship that would make me uncomfortable on multiple levels, it’s also becoming abundantly clear that Claire is the new intern that’s becoming most fully integrated into the larger QC cast, which I suppose is better than if it were Emily, but which I’d be more comfortable about if it weren’t for Claire’s secret.

I’m a little more okay with it since it looks like Marten and Claire are probably in primarily for some Wacky Roadtrip Hijinks(tm) that would more happen to them than in any way involve the relationship between them; at the most it would probably serve to highlight Claire’s personality and little beyond that. That’s not to say we’re entirely out of the woods yet; besides the potential for a road trip to serve as a “bonding experience”, there’s also the potential for Claire to be mistaken for Marten’s new girlfriend left and right at the wedding itself, and the mere fact this is the next storyline Jeph is putting Marten and Claire through is not a good sign for his thought process regarding their relationship being the same as mine. I’m hopeful that even those two possibilities could be used to further Claire’s storyline down the track I thought and would prefer it go down, especially since this is a gay wedding, but I will certainly be reading this storyline guardedly.

(Hey, cut me some slack, this is my first real webcomic post of the new year. I still haven’t caught up with what’s happened in Homestuck since, what, the very start of Act 6 Act 5? Let’s just say my Comic Rocket/Archive Binge experiment is… not going as well as hoped, though it may actually produce better webcomic reviews than I otherwise would produce.)