This is the official Ctrl+Alt+Del FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions). If you have a question that you feel should be on this list, email it to me at (absath at ctrlaltdel-online dot com).
Are your characters based on yourself and your friends?
Originally Ethan and Lucas were very, very loosely based on my best friend Toby and myself in physical appearance. They are not us, but they are stylized versions of us, you might say. At this point the characters have developed their own personalities though, so in a sense they have become unique individuals, their own people. The other characters are mixes of other people I know, I've met, or stereotypes I am familiar with.
Why did you decide to make an online comic?
I've been an artist my entire life. Drawing makes me happy. I was looking to work on some sequential art for my portfolio (ie, a comic), and figured I'd throw it up online to see if other people enjoyed it.
How long have you been drawing?
Since the beginning of time! Also, since I was a little kid.
What program do you use to make the comics?
I do the initial artwork by hand with pencil and paper, but all of my computer work (inks, colors, etc) is done in Photoshop CS2.
How long does it take to make a comic?
Anywhere from 3 to 5 hours, depending on how long it takes me to script the comic, and the complexity of the artwork involved.
Is it true you STOLE MY SLAVE GNOMES!?
Slavery is a horrible, horrible practice and you should be ashamed of yourself. Besides, they like me better than they like you.
Has the comic affected your life much?
This comic has completely changed my life. I now have a daily responsibility to the site, that I didn't have before. Much of my free time that I used to spend playing video games and such is now spent working on the comic strip. But it has affected my life in good ways as well. I not only get to do something I love every day, but have started a community around it, and met many new people because of it. I'm very proud of the comic, and it's a great feeling to see it grow.
Do you have a job?
Yes. Ctrl+Alt+Del and all related ventures constitute my full-time job.
How did Ctrl+Alt+Del get so popular, in such little time?!
A little Energon, and a lot of luck. And by "Energon" I mean "word of mouth."
What is the best bit of doing Ctrl+Alt+Del?
Knowing that I'm creating something that thousands of people enjoy on a regular basis. Second best would be spending the work day in my pajamas if I feel like it.
What is the worst bit?
Losing the free time for other projects can be pretty frustrating sometimes. Long hours are not uncommon... it's not like I can pass the work off to some other shmuck and clock out.
Do you get hatemail?
You can't put your work in front of hundreds of thousands of people and expect every single one of them to like it. Even though I create a comic that is free to read or not to read, some people feel the need to voice their negativity anyway.
Still, negative emails constitute less than 1% of the email I receive.
What is the weirdest email you have gotten from a Ctrl+Alt+Del reader?
Too many to choose from. I love you guys, but some of you are seriously bizarre.
Can I be in the comic?
Do the main characters have jobs?
Yes. Check the bios page for more details. Or... you know... read the comic.
Would you ever consider sponsorship in comics - like product placement?
Never in the comic itself. I would feel like I was selling out. But I do sell advertising space on the website, to help finance the hosting costs.
Are the Ctrl+Alt+Del characters ever going to leave their house?
They do, but they don't particularly enjoy it.
What is your personal experience with gaming that helps you with writing about it in sketches?
I've grown up playing video games. I begged my first NES for christmas when I was a child, and have been hooked ever since. I've owned almost every console known to man (yes, including an Atari Jaguar), and have been heavily into computer gaming for more than half of my lifetime.
I consider myself an avid, perhaps even hardcore, video gamer.
What program do you use to make your website?
Given that I know very, very little about websites design and coding, I pay and/or blackmail people to create my websites for me. This particular website was masterminded by Pierre-Luc Brunet, a good friend and business partner of mine.
What is your artistic background?
I have a background in art, as well as computer and film animation, including stop-motion animation, such as Claymation.
Have you ever been enrolled in a drawing college or school that the purpose was to better your artistic skill?
Yes, I have on occasion taken some official art classes, but mostly I am self-taught. Practice, practice, practice, and all that.
Is a web comic just the beginning phase of a nationally distributed comic book?
Ctrl+Alt+Del is now available in book form, both in special collector's editions available online, and in a line of books available at retail (Barnes and Noble, Borders, etc).
We've also released a comic book featuring Ethan and Lucas as video gaming super heroes. It's good stuff.
Will you have my babies?
This is a physical impossibility. However, in the event of a medical miracle which will allow the males of our species to bear children... the answer is still no.
Will you link me if I link you?
Nope. I don't do link exchanges. However, you are welcome to drop me the address of your website, and should I happen to like it immensely, I may end up linking it.
How often do you update the main comic?
I am currently updating on a Monday, Wednesday, and Friday schedule.
How often do you update the sillies?
The sillies are updated on no set schedule, but a lot of the time they are updated daily.
Hey, I've got an awesome idea for a comic, wanna hear it?
I have some artwork that I'd like your opinion on... can I show it to you?
Sure, I'd be glad to critique your work and offer some pointers. The easiest way is to email me the artwork embedded in the letter. I'm not a fan of strange attachments
Do people ever run up to you on the streets to give you praise and ask for your autograph and other such bs that goes along with being famous?
I think you and I have different definitions of the word "famous." Being a webcomic artist isn't really a profession that is conducive to being "recognized on the street", but it has happened on a few occasions.
Are you surprised that CAD has done so well? and Did you expect CAD to fail when you created it?
I was absolutely surprised. I didn't expect it to "fail", per se, because I wasn't doing it to be successful in any way other than telling the jokes and stories I wanted to tell. I was never in it to make money. I did the comic for myself, and put it online in case anyone else wanted to read it.
The characters in CAD seem to favor the Xbox. What console do you prefer?
I actually prefer my PC, I think. If I had to choose a console, I'd say I like my Xbox 360 the best.
You made fun of Macs today. Why do you hate Macs so much?
I don't hate Macs. I personally have no use for them, but that doesn't mean I hate Macs. I do, however, dislike fanboys who can't take a joke, and I enjoy seeing them get all bent out of shape.
I do a comic strip here. I make jokes about stuff I love just as much as I make jokes about things I don't like. Don't automatically assume I dislike something just because I make a joke about it.
I love Ctrl+Alt+Del!
That is not a question, but thank you for the compliment. I'm glad you enjoy it.
I hate Ctrl+Alt+Del!
Don't read it then, genius.
Why do some of the storylines take so long?
When I write a storyline I have to consider not only the day to day entertainment of each strip, but also the story as it plays out through the big picture. A comic is brand new for one single day, and then after that day it's in the archive for all of eternity. A storyline may take a few weeks to play out while it's updating, but from then on out it takes five minutes to read. Day to day is important, but I have to care more about how a well storyline will read when read from start to finish then how quickly it moves while updating.
Where are Scott and Ted or [insert random character here]? We haven't seen them in a long time!
I can't include every character in every strip. Nor do I try to give every character equal "screen time". I write the storylines as they come to me, and I use the characters I need for said stories. Some characters are just supporting roles in the comic, and they don't appear often. It's just how it is.
In the comic strip "Swirly Sensation", why are the characters wearing eachother's clothes?
If you'll look at the date, you'll see it was an April Fool's comic.
What happened to Zeke's 360 arm? It was silver/white and now it's not!
He spray-painted it in this comic so it would match the rest of his body.
Is Ethan ever going to finish making Zeke into an Xbot 360?
Zeke is already a 360. All of his internal parts have been converted to 360 hardware. Ethan only had enough plastic material from the 360 to re-construct the one arm casing, which Zeke painted over.
Whether or not Zeke's outer shell will ever be upgraded, only time will tell.
How can Ethan marry Lilah when he's already married to Windows XP?!
This may come as a complete shock to someone of your obviously vast intelligence, but a marriage to an operating system is not legally binding here in the United States...
I miss the random arrows!
Go read the old comics with them.
I mean I want new random arrows gags!
No, that joke is retired.
Is there any place I can download a .zip file of all the comic strips?
Yes. If by "download" you mean purchase, and by ".zip file" you mean book. Otherwise you have to save all of them individually. Good luck.