Reviews: Roommates

A wonderful mix of humor, meta, and heartbreak

It all started when I saw a panel from Girls Next Door involving Aziraphale and Crowley (it was an obsession at the time) on Tumblr and followed in back to Deviant Art. I started from the beginning of Girls Next Door, but around the twentieth page, I decided to look at the comic it was a spin-off of. And thus I found Roommates. I soon found that while I absolutely loved both comics*, there was just something about Roommates that I loved so much more. I found around the Dark!Jareth arc that it was how deeply it delved into the tragedy of stories that made me love it.

Never before had I seen something that looked at how, because stories work a certain way, certain things must occur in that story. Most prominently though, it was how the villain must always fall that hit me the hardest. I already had a thing for villains at that point (I blame Loki), but this made me realize how tragic the role of the villain was. We always want them to fall, but there is no way that they can win because, as the villains of their story, that is all they can do. It made me look at all stories completely differently. I even went back and rewatched Pirates Of The Caribbean just to examine James' story differently. And it of course got me thinking about what would happen if the characters in a story realized that they were fictional and thus had certain roles to play. I'm getting off topic here.

Do I think it's a good comic and would I recommend it? I think that it probably the best webcomic that I have ever seen and I would most certainly recommend it. I do have to put out a warning to any potential readers. While it is highly amusing at most points, it is also very dark and will make you suffer from a massive amount of Mood Whiplash. No really, it has reduced me to a sobbing mess at points and that's saying something. But I digress. I do hope whoever is reading this will go and check out Roommates. I promise that you won't regret it.

How did I end up here...

My recommendation: WORTH READING. But:
1) The art can be off putting at the beginning, then Art Evolution kicks in,
2) This level of meta is not for everybody,
3) Dramedy.

OK now that this is done. Let's begin at the beginning. This will be a highly personal Wall Of Text anyway.

I found the Building-verse through TV Tropes (yes, it ruined my life), or to be precise Girls Next Door, but I was "lucky" enough to stumble upon it in a period of Series Hiatus (after the Risk game arc, if someone's wondering)... and I run out of pages and patience quickly. So I began reading the related series: First Down The Street and then (what I really want to write about) Roommates.

Quite frankly I didn't like it that much first... when you come from the hilarity that is GND, Roommates isn't that funny or pretty or or or. I really can understand why most people prefer that. But there was still something about it that spoke to me. I just couldn't place what... until the Dark!Jareth arc°. There I finally got what I found so irresistible. The Meta. There are not many (or at least I don't know many) pieces of fiction that deal with the inherent tragedy of fictionality, and what a terrible curse Medium Awareness can be, in the serious, respectful and poignant manner Roommates does in it's darker arcs. And also with the power of fandom / audience / us... as no art exists in a vacuum.

Stories are living words and can only survive if remembered... being forgotten°° means death. So being a fan is a responsibility we keep the stories and characters alive. Welcome to the Building-verse!°°°

° to be honest I did develop an insane fangirl crush on the Erlkönig a "bit" earlier, but that probably isn't on topic here.
°° Or becoming a "classic" that nobody reads/watches/etc. so poor works whole existence is reduced to bragging material of snobs for why they look down on popculture and/or to being dissected and analyzed by the academia again and again and again.
°°° And sorry for the Footnote Fever... and the Pot Holes! And now I feel like writing fanfic!