World of Webcomics: ‘Ctrl+Alt+Del’

World of Webcomics is a series devoted to exploring the world of online comics and their target audiences, as well as their art styles, storylines, and the general enjoyment that they provide.

There are several “gamer” webcomics on the Internet, referencing in-jokes and memes that have become so pervasive in the online community that they’ve seeped into the culture of those who don’t identify as gamers (such as myself), but very few comics have the kind of draw that Ctrl+Alt+Del does. Originally centered on the day-to-day interactions of two retail-working gamers, the strip has progressed to become very imaginative and full of comedic (and sometimes dramatic) enjoyment. Though there have been some changes recently to the overall storyline of the main characters, I still consider this comic to be one of my all-time favorites in the vast sea of strips I have read over the last 10+ years. Ctrl+Alt+Del updates Mon-Wed-Fri at


Art Style

The artwork has certainly evolved over the years to become a very colorful, attention-drawing design. There is great attention to detail, in both the foreground and background settings, but Tim Buckley does not spend too much time on excessive overkill, preferring to show what is needed without giving a sense of overexposure. Certainly, the artwork and style has become pretty standardized over the last few years, making it easy to connect from story to story, though the original style when compared to the new does show some lacking.

Writing and Dialogue

Throughout most of the comic, the plot and dialogue has been focused on Ethan and Lucas, beginnings when it was just the two of them and then expanding when new characters were introduced, but always in relation to these two main ones. The storytelling has gone back and forth between actual plotlines and gag-of-the-day strips, but with all things done beforehand, having a potential impact on stories later on. While the character of Ethan is truly a wonder to behold, he’s at least kept somewhat stable by Lucas’ forthrightness and Lilah’s romantic interventions; even so, I’m not sure I’d want someone of Ethan’s caliber to ever be responsible for something important, especially a business venture.

The focus of the comic changed near the end of 2012, in which a huge shift caused the main characters to no longer be around for our reading enjoyment. Since then, the comic has focused on gag-of-the-day strips relating to gaming culture, gaming news (such as the new stage of the Console Wars), and specific games, often giving colorful commentary in relation to how well or how awful a game is in specific interactions. While this does take away from a sense of enjoyment of not having a continuous plot, it is still a very funny comic to read.


The best audience to enjoy this webcomic would certainly be people who are very much into gaming, especially those who are more than just the casual once-in-a-while players. A lot of the humor and commentary revolve around specific titles and news, making it hard for someone who isn’t versed in the gaming community to understand what is going on. That being said, however, the humor is still hilarious and most likely enjoyable for anyone who even has a limited knowledge of the games referenced.

Last modified on Thursday, 27 December 2018 16:30

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