I’ve never been a fan of Kris Straub’s work, to be totally honest. I always found his jokes not so funny, his characters, not so interesting, his plots, not so original. As a cartoonist, he seemed kind of mediocre. Perhaps my opinion was colored by the fact that my first exposure to him was the dreadful, clown-protagonisted Checkerboard Nightmare, back when it was still updating. But those were dark times, and all webcomics were bad back then, so it hardly seems fair to hold that against him. Even if he does strike me as an insufferable nerd-bro.
Not many people know this, but I used to have a webcomic of my own. It probably goes without saying that it was awful. One of the things I tried, and miserably failed, to do with this never-to-be-named comic was shade with brush pens, a technique I had seen other, better artists pull off with gorgeous results.
Remember the babel fish from A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy? The little psychic parasite that spacefaring peoples put in their ears to translate the people around them? You’ve probably read/watched/played dozens of stories with similar mechanics – some kind of magical or technological universal translator. It’s an interesting concept, but sadly one largely unexplored by the writers who employ it, and its use is generally limited to handwaving the question of “why do all these characters speak the same language?”