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Moonlighting Syndrome and the modern webcomic.

(From General Protection Fault. Click on the thumbnail for full sized annoying little brothers.)

I honestly don't know what it is. I enjoyed the whole redux of the Fooker vs. the Brotherhood. I enjoyed Yoshi and Trudy's meeting. And there's absolutely nothing wrong with this plotline. It's lined up to bring the Story while bringing the Funny. It's got hijinks built into it. It has classic situations (though I get so tired of "immigrant parents who get offended when the American doesn't conform to every detail of their culture upon entering" as a riff -- I know it has some reality to it, but to be perfectly blunt my inner ugly American crops up and says in its most snarky voice "you moved here, boychick. We didn't move there. Burden's not on us to learn your ways"), is well drawn, updates on time and is really trying.

And it's a total burden to read. I just don't care about Nick and Ki any more.

I used to. I cared a lot, before they got together. I cared a lot when Trudy was in the mix. I cared a lot when the relationship was just beginning to form. I cared a lot when they finally looked like they were about to seal the deal. I cared a lot when the whole Mr. Pookel thing threatened to sink the deal.

Maybe this is yet another casualty of Surreptitious Machinations for me, but I couldn't possibly care less about either of these people. Give me a Sharon plotline, or another Fooker plotline. Or go check in with Trudy again. Or Dexter. Dexter deserves some long running plots. Any of those would at least keep me interested.

I think it has to be Moonlighting Syndrome. America loved Moonlighting when the sexual tension was thick and the romantic tension was thicker. And then one day it exploded, and David and Maddie humped like rabbits in heat. America rejoiced!

And stopped watching the show. They got to the sex, rolled over and went to sleep, then didn't call the next day. And Moonlighting died.

Nick and Ki haven't had sex, but honestly, so what? The point is they got together. They're involved. Even if Ki's father absolutely refuses to accept Nick, we know that Nick and Ki are going to get married at some point. It's boring.

I rolled over and went to sleep on these two sometime back in 2002. Get them married and get them offscreen, and let the unresolved characters back out to shine.

Oh, and let Trent, Dwayne and those fucking slime molds go with them. They can set up a little office somewhere while Fooker, Sharon and Dexter foil Trudy's new schemes, or something. Every so often, Sharon can phone up Nick and ask him a question or two, whenever Darlington has a yen to draw Nick again.


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Heck, I just wish they'd sleep together. It's like they've descended into boring married couple land without the marriage; if they'd do something out of character for that, I'd be interested again.

I don't pretend to put L&F in the same league as GPF but I'll say this: It's been a conscious decision to have Frank and Beth flirt around but never get together. There's even an L&F strip that references the Moonlighting/Cheers syndrome here: http://www.lostandfoundcomic.com/d/20021227.html (Cheers, however, narrowly escaped the full syndrome by eliminating Diane completely and replacing her with Rebecca.)

For the record, M. Milligan? The sequence when Beth kissed Frank twice in a week and he still decided she couldn't be interested in him? Brilliance.

So yes, it's been noticed and appreciated.

Actually, I find I HATE when a romance is dragged out for viewer interest. It's a cheap tactic.

I also hate when a story fizzles after a romance is resolved.

But the two are not mutually exclusive.

You can resolve a romance and get two people to finally hook up and not drop the ball, it's just HARD.

Okay, I stopped reading GPF a long time ago, so forgive me if I'm a little behind on things...


They started dating at least four years ago! They were already an item when I discovered the strip! I know the cartoonist is kind of a prude, but this is inhuman. Even T Campbell eventually arranged for his characters to get married so they could score some nookie.

This, my friends, is a symptom of a far deeper problem. The collective balls of the webcomics community are an unhealthy shade of blue, and I, for one, can tolerate the dull ache no longer. Down with sexual tension! Down with Puritan morality! I hereby resolve to get every major character in my strip laid by this time next year!

Except the gerbil.

Hey -- we never saw Dana's body. She could have survived the drowning. And Artie has access to Dave's MP3 collection, which no doubt has any number of Barry White songs....

Shaenon: Well, they get points for consistency.

A tacky, sludgy sort of consistency. But consistency.

Okay, this whole scene freaked me out so badly that I went and looked things up. Nick and Ki's first kiss was on June 9, 2000. Even given that they implausibly share an antipathy to premarital sex, this is way too long for a couple to go without goinking. At the very least, they should be married by now.

On the plus side, it may just be the color rendering, but it looks like abstinence makes boobs get bigger.

For the record, virgins by choice do still exist in this world, no matter what TV will tell you. Overly-traditional? Maybe. Repressed? Arguable. But mythical? Hardly.

Maybe these two will crack before the big day a la Joyce and Walky, maybe they won't. Maybe Nick will pull out the ring at the first opportunity; maybe he wants to be absolutely sure he'll be able to tolerate the in-laws first (and this was his first chance to meet them, most likely). Maybe you find this entire relationship boring as hell. Fair enough; this type of relationship can be pretty accurately described as "safe and boring". But I don't think it's unrealistic.

I don't personally think it's a question of virgins by choice versus not... like I said in the snark proper, it doesn't matter, because the tension of their relationship wasn't sexual but romantic. That's what was lost with their connection.

There was a half-hearted attempt to add sexual tension when Ki's womb went twinge (though it wasn't really sexual tension but breeder tension -- whole different animal), but there's just no sexual chemistry going. That's fine. I honestly don't mind (or care) about that.

It's just... there's no other tension either....

The collective balls of the webcomics community are an unhealthy shade of blue, and I, for one, can tolerate the dull ache no longer. Down with sexual tension! Down with Puritan morality! I hereby resolve to get every major character in my strip laid by this time next year!

Except the gerbil.

Oh my god.

My thoughts exactly, Paul. I don't remember Mell getting a roll in the hay at all. Though we don't exactly know what she and Caliban have been up to.

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