(From PVP. Click for full-sized waiting room suspense.)
When I first pulled up this comic, the screen cut off right below the two-week-old headline, “Yes, We’re Serious”, making me wonder if this storyline was the PVP equivalent of what’s been happening over at xkcd, with both creators writing real-life medical scares into the comic. But no, it turns out it’s just another Scott Kurtz rant about how stupid newspapers are and how he’s the Certified Webcomics Genius(tm).
In any case, this storyline has been treated nothing like what xkcd‘s been doing (although xkcd has hardly been above making light of the situation). This storyline spun out of a bit where Brent was unable to cope with beating his dad arm-wrestling (a match Brent challenged him to after his dad opened a pickle jar for him and said he had “artist’s hands”, suggesting Kurtz flip-flopped a little here), hugged him, then saw him have a heart attack. The preceding comic to this one involved Brent blaming himself and worrying that he’d killed his father… and a little devil walking by and walloping him with a chain. If Brent’s worries prove founded – especially if it’s in Friday’s comic – I wouldn’t be surprised if people start having flashbacks to another webcomic medical scare: Lilah’s miscarriage.
That said, in this comic, I do think the slowly darkening panels and Brent’s visible regression in age is a nice, if subtle, touch.