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Eric: The Simpsons are going to Delaware!

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(From User Friendly. Click on the thumbnail for sitcomish wackiness.)

I try very very hard to not be the kind of snarker/critic/commentator/reviewer/whatever the Hell this thing is who disdains the popular and embraces the obscure. I like what I like, and I try to tell everyone why I like it, and I don't like what I don't like, and I try to do that too.

That's the problem with snarking User Friendly. It's on my "Why Do I Read This Webcomic, Again" list, and I have less and less of a good answer to that question. Take this strip. It's perfectly fine. There's nothing wrong with it. Only... meh.

Part of the problem is User Friendly never really adapted after the ascendence of tech comics gave way to a broader spectrum of geek comics. Oh sure, A.J.'s a gamer and they did a whole sequence on his having to upgrade his machine so desperately so it could play Doom III, but it's ground Penny-Arcade trod better. Hell, I got more of a laugh out of /usr/bin/w00t!/'s take on the subject. That was more about Doom III having enough of a copy protection that poor people couldn't pirate it easily. That was more interesting than yet another "our hero eats cardboard rather than spends money on food because he's all about teh gamez" strip.

And now we have this strip, inaugurating another in that long line of "urban/tech types find themselves in natural/nontech situations," snow covered variant. And gosh, it was all because those damn marketing types like Stef are such jerks! But no, wait! He has to go too! And then Miranda and A.J. will get jobs in the candy factory, only the assembly line will go too fast, and they'll be overwhelemed, and they'll have to try to cram candy in their mouth so it doesn't go all over the floor....

I'm sure Illiad will do a workman's job with the story. And he'll bring the funny his fans expect him to bring, but while it's the funny, it's not going to be the Funny. And that's just kind of sad.

Posted by Eric Burns-White at August 28, 2004 12:41 PM

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