Writing problems and inconsistencies aside, I think there’s something to be said about the way bbr was going to deal with depression and the consequences of extreme passivity. Ichor’s ending was ugly and painful and kind of undeserved, but it felt justified somehow. Like it just felt cathartic for her to finally have to face the grief and loss after pretending it didn’t exist for so long. It was just frustrating that she wasn’t able to learn from this or grow in any way. I don’t know. Even if bbr was crumbling under its own weight, there are parts of it that will be missed. Oh, and yeah, I’d say that bbr was definitely tied with CQ for Most Adorable Webcomic.
but pastel bunnies are clearly superior
Ichor’s backstory is weirdly one of my favourite things in this, just because of how massively she’s managed to fuck up her life and everyone else’s by doing literally nothing and still staying relatable and sympathetic, practically pitiful. She’s also a very personal character to me, I almost wrote her to spite myself.
But you’re totally right, it’s still more of the torture porn than a proper character arc. And since we’re talking about this, I’d like to address the shyamalan twist properly.
The original timetravel bullshit was fairly simple. It was one single loop, from start to finish. Dolly wakes up, tries to discover who she is, finds out she’s a Witch, uses those rediscovered witch powers to erase her memory once again and play the violin, creating the storm and travelling in her house back in time to accidentally kill Pepper. That’s it.
And while it may be a fine twist ending for the short story BBR was going to be, once the universe started blowing out of proportion, I sat down and said to myself, boy that’s a downer of an ending, especially if you’re familiar with all the backstories. You spend all this time getting to know everyone and hoping for some satisfying conclusion, only to end with this neverending loop of misery. Dolly is just stuck in a limbo, being punished for trying to learn about her past.
I tried to wave this off, but it started bothering me so much that I was forced to rewrite the ending when the comic already started updating. I just felt like after all the work I was willing to pour into BBR, I couldn’t present this kind of ending. Like it would be the cheapest and most anti-climactic thing ever. Like people would read it and look me in the eyes and say “Xam, are you even serious? You’ve wasted our time for this?”.
So instead I chose another hack ending.
To be fair, I’ve already dug my own hole with the Deaths. They were already a big part of the story, so I figured I couldn’t make things worse. I just wanted Ichor and Dolly to find a way to break the loop and end up somewhere different, so that it would at least resemble some sort of character arc. And I’ve accomplished that, I suppose? But I’ve just exchanged the misery loop for convoluted timetravel rules and an extremely confusing asspull.
I mean, I can only imagine what kind of collective “what” would follow this ending. And if I actually started making the prequels afterwards, only one half of the “what” would get explained (Ichor’s backstory), and then I’d have to start some Deaths saga to give the context to the rest. Move over, Star Wars cinematic universe, I’ve had my stuff planned for the next three decades in advance.
I’m actually kinda curious about the sort of reaction the original ending would get and how correct I was in my assumption. But in any case, both endings certainly leave an unpleasant taste in my mouth.