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Stuff To Stop Sucking; Concerns About Music Remain

So Stuff Sucks is wrapping up; we expect a formal epilogue shortly, but that’s pretty much it for the story. At first it seemed sudden, and while Greenfield’s vagabond existence and inconsistent access to network/hosting may have hastened the end, but it looks like the story was winding down anyway.

Daniel sits at the center of this semichromatic Amsterdam, but the story comes from him being buffetted by things out of his control. With Zemi now dealing with her attraction to Daniel (and no longer actively screwing his life up), Tony (a reliable source of hi-jinks) heading out on the road after the shop burning down (foreshadowed by the cursed toaster, record, etc), Mike gradually slouching towards maturity (or at least realizing that chicks don’t dig the BOOBZ cap), and the possibility of winning back the wicked Nicole dead and buried, what is there left for Daniel but to settle into a life devoid of wacky circumstance?

And in a comic like Stuff Sucks, a life devoid of wacky circumstance would make for boring comics. Pretty, but boring.

The more I think about it, the more I’m convinced that the comments I’ve been reading about the abruptness of the ending are merely because it wasn’t announced in advance. When a creator lets the audience know, I’m wrapping this up, expectations change and perceptions of the work shift. Although modern books & strips tell us comics go on forever, there was a time when they had a beginning, middle, end, and then the creator moved onto another project; perhaps playing off this idea, Brian Bendis recently remarked that he knows how he wants Powers to finish, and hopes that he can get away just running a last issue and never publishing another without saying so.

And in times of loss like this, it helps to find hopeful thoughts. Me, I’m taking comfort in the fact that Greenfield is young — younger even than the career of her spirit animal, John Cusasck; she’s got plenty of creativity left in her and many stories to tell. Me? I hope she does more of her diary-ish comics.

While it’s a shame as I’d only just read the archives and started watching for updates in the last couple of weeks, I also anticipate what is to come.

A title for her next comic: Stuff Blows?

I think Stuff Sucks was heading into a third act, but there was still a lot of important stuff that got resolved too quickly. I got whiplash in the transition from the third-to-last to most recent strip, where Daniel says “My whole adult life I’ve been jumping from one relationship to another! That’s got to stop!” before… jumping right into another relationship. Not sure whether we’re supposed to believe that he and Zemi will have a happily ever after or not. A promised wacky anti-Nicole prank never materializes, and the record shop in flames reminds me of how my dad used to end a wild story: “AND THEN A TRUCK RAN OVER THEM ALL.”

Also, Greenfield didn’t simply say “that’s it,” she said “Stuff Sucks is ending due to Internet access issues.” I’m pretty sure I would have interpreted her departure as abrupt in any case, but that announcement encouraged that interpretation.

Still, as you say, Greenfield is young and promising, with an interesting take on life and plenty of time to refine both art and storytelling. I look forward to seeing more from her too.

Internet access issues can be worked around. Extended downtime could be used to create or extend a buffer. And from the newsbox below the strip selector:

This story of Stuff Sucks is reaching an end because of certain cultural differences.

It really seems to me that no more story to tell is the reason for this ending.

Just curious, but what are you referring to when you say that there was a time when comic creators focused on telling stories with beginnings, middles and endings before moving on to other projects? Sure there have always been people that have done that, but with comics in the west I don’t think it’s ever been a norm.

(shrug) I wasn’t sure HOW to read “certain cultural differences,” really, but it seems like an odd way to say “because I’ve resolved it the way I wanted it to” or “because there’s just no more story to tell.” There’s got to be more of a story behind those three words. But I guess that’s one more thing we’ll have to wait for Greenfield to bring us.

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