Filed in Webcomic review

I must admit I’ve not really enjoyed College Roomies from Hell over the last couple of years. The shift to darker storylines without comedic breaks just doesn’t work for me. Part of this also lies with the fact that even “comedic” stories can suddenly take a turn for the darker, as the death of Mike Green revealed. This is perhaps ironic considering how much I normally enjoy dramatic storylines… and perhaps if I’d started reading later in the comic’s history I’d not miss it as much. But I remember the early days when things were far more lighthearted and miss them dearly. Still, today’s CRfH, in particular the final panel, had me feeling sympathy for one of the cast, something I’ve not felt for them in quite some time.

We’ve not seen a lot of Marsha since Mike’s death. This is actually a good thing. Considering the amount of pathos and angst the comic has degenerated into (with characters who probably write in their Live Journals at every opportunity declaring how unloved they are and how they should drink bleach), if we’d come across Marsha (who has a legitimate reason for grief) earlier, no doubt things would have been overblown. But we’ve seen only a few glimpses of Marsha… with a flashback of Mike’s last moments of life, and the note he entrusted to Marsha to give to Margaret.

What I find so powerful in this moment is the silent nature of Marsha’s grief. We aren’t being treated to tears and admonishments. She’s not all over her so-called friends or trying desperately to link up with Blue, the only other person Mike loved (and who, ominously enough, is trying to contact her, no doubt to learn what Marsha knows). Instead, she’s sitting on her bed, listening to tapes of Mike’s voice, tapes from when she and Mike had bugged their apartments to learn the secrets their roommates were hiding. In some ways this is more desperate and horrifying than any amount of tears… as she clings desperately to the last thing she has of Mike: his voice.