In June 2008, Tim Buckley, webcomic artiste, published the most famous four-panel comic in the history of the internet: "Loss." Without using any dialogue, "Loss" follows main character Ethan through his confusing, panic-filled journey through a hospital and toward the discovery that his girlfriend, Lilah, has suffered a miscarriage.
It's a minimalist masterpiece that would've been well-received had it been made for the high art crowd. "Loss," however, was not that. It was coming from Ctrl+Alt+Del, a webcomic about two guys who sit on a couch making jokes about video games. To say that the strip broke the comic's fanbase would be a massive understatement. The average Ctrl+Alt+Del update traditionally revolved around irreverent snark, mindless violence, surrealistic nonsense, and jokes about how girls who play video games are nigh-on mythical creatures. So "Loss" was the artistic equivalent of, well ... a miscarriage storyline in a joke-a-day gaming webcomic.
Bewildered, baffled, and bwhat-the-fucked-out, people responded in the only way that made sense: by memeing the living hell out of "Loss." And they (and the wider internet) have kept doing it for the last ten goddamn years, in increasingly abstract ways.
With the internet gearing up to celebrate the recent tenth anniversary of "Loss," Buckley decided to get in on this hot action, and so for the entirety of June 2, visitors wanting to see "Loss" found themselves staring at "Found," a reworked version of the strip with one notable change. See if you spot it.
Yep. Instead of being devastated at their loss, Ethan is looming over Lilah whilst sporting the world's biggest shit-eating grin, as if he spent the previous three panels worrying that he was missing out on some awesome misery. It's deeply unsettling, but kudos to Buckley for finally leaning into the fun, especially considering that he's spent the last decade being extremely pissed off at everyone for mocking his apparent artistic zenith.
With the anniversary at an end, the strip was reverted to its original sad self, and "Found" was lost forever, except in the hearts and minds of the people who bore witness to its beauty -- which can include you, thanks to this archived version. Frankly, we can't wait to see what Buckley lines up for the 2028 anniversary, although he's going to have to up his game. It's going to be hard to top stuff like this:
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