A Deluge of Despair?

Filed in Webcomic review

(From Anywhere But Here. Click on image to see it full-sized. Side note – Jason pointed out how incongruous it was to say “I’m not going to spoil this for you by revealing the end” and yet have an image up that did just that. So… I’ve changed it. No, you’re not going mad. Yet. *grin* Rob)

I know as a writer what it is to have a story rewrite itself in mid-stream. I’ve had characters I intended on eliminating prove themselves stronger than I expect. I’ve had relationships I intended to sunder be able to withstand any trial. And I’ve had couples I expected to be together at story’s end drift apart; their passion burnt out and turned to ash.

Anywhere But Here has just gone through such a wildfire of storytelling. And once again, Jason Siebels has proven himself capable of not only holding the course, but of doing what turned out to be a week-and-a-half of mega-sized strips to tell this story.

Yes, you heard me right. The Tempest went for a week and a half, each day a full-sized strip. What’s more, it continued through the weekend, so in effect it was just over two weeks of comics, all mega-sized, each page easily four or five days worth of comics (well, except for the large-sized panels). This is just plain insane.

What’s more, we had double-sized strips a few times leading up to The Tempest. And pretty much the story has been fast and furious for the entire time (quite apt, considering the title of this storyline)… and a most unexpected ending. Which I won’t spoil for you.

Part of the problem arises because the protagonist and Chris are two entirely different people. While opposites attract, if you’re too different then it is difficult to remain united after that first blush of attraction starts to wear off. And Chris is a popular girl, while our protagonist is much more passive.

It doesn’t help that he’s haunted by the dreams of that French girl that he’s never met. No doubt he feels like he’s betraying her, cheating on her, when he’s with Chris.

I know what it’s like to be with someone who takes things much quicker than you’re used to. You can get swept away in the moment… or you can panic, and try to put the brakes on. But the problem with putting the brakes on too hard is you risk sending someone out the windshield. When you look at what happened… both of them are to blame. Chris took things too quickly, and took offense when he stopped. But he also needs to take the initiative, to accept her for who and what she is. And part of him can’t. Part of him doesn’t trust her.

And they’ve been together for six months. Okay, some of that time was during the summer break, and they weren’t with each other for that entire time, but still. Chris has every right to be pissed off, especially considering his conduct earlier.

So. Where will we go from here? I mean, things have gotten pretty serious.

And yet she followed him home after he called her a #%&(ing tease. She stood on his doorstep and they actually started to reconcile that previous argument. She does care for him. Otherwise it wouldn’t hurt so much.

Well done, Jason. I just wonder how many years of storyline you’ve just shaved off by having this happen now rather than what you had originally planned.

Robert A. Howard

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