While I’m sure there are a lot of fans who enjoy the more surrealistic aspects to Starline X Hodge’s college webcomic Candi, I have to admit I find Hodge is at her best when she focuses on Candi’s strength: the interactions and relationships of her characters, both among the primary and secondary cast. Oh, don’t get me wrong; I’ve been amused by the odd love story with the telekinetic ferret Menjou and his intelligent squirrel girl Coco (who is apparently pregnant with the ferret’s children which thankfully mystifies the cast members as much as the readers). But I rather enjoy watching Candi slowly recover from her breakup (from the previous semester) with her long-term boyfriend while her friends drift in and out of relationships of their own.
The pairing I rather enjoyed was between Candi’s best friend Jon and Rebecca; unfortunately, this relationship had been on the rocks of late, due in part to the fact Jon has had a crush on Candi forever, which Rebecca was savvy enough to pick up on. The sad thing is, she had nothing to fear from Candi, seeing that Jon is the unfortunate victim of an extra-strength Friendship Zoning Ordinance (to the point Candi recently described him as like a brother, which believe you me is only topped when the girl realizes she’s lesbian). Unfortunately, a combination of jealousy over Candi (despite the fact Jon had visibly distanced himself from her to try and salve his girlfriend’s feelings) and learning he was… um, indulging in (solo) web-porn has kind of torpedoed that relationship.
Amusingly enough, it may be one of the more surreal elements of the comic (with Coco’s pregnancy) that ends up fixing things between Jon and Rebecca, seeing she wants Candi’s financial assistance for the squrrets (or whatever you would call the mutant offspring of a genetically-engineered ferret and squirrel). In all likelihood, it was Rebecca’s ignorance of Candi that caused the jealousy to build in the first place. And while some fans who pair Jon and Candi on the forums may feel let down that once more Jon doesn’t get the protagonist… I’m enough of a sentimentalist that I’d love to see his relationship with Rebecca survive. What’s more, it would say something about the importance of the friendship Candi has with Jon; the strongest relationships are not always romantic. Sometimes friends can mean a lot more than lovers. It would be nice to see this be the case in Candi.