24

XX

November 14, 2022 by Tim

Are you ready for this? I am now in my twentieth year creating this comic strip.

I’ve been here for every second of it, and even I can hardly believe that statement. Twenty years. Four generations of consoles. Somewhere over four thousand pages of comics and art. Countless treasured memories.

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It’s safe to say that I make this comic, but in a lot of ways, this comic has also made me. Where my life is now can be directly traced to moments that would not have happened without Ctrl+Alt+Del. I met my wife at the very first convention I ever attended as a comic creator. From there we would get to know each other, start dating, get married and begin a family together. Most of my friends now are people I’ve met through the course of my work over the years.

Ctrl+Alt+Del isn’t the same comic it was when it started twenty years ago, nor am I the same person. How could I be? When I started the comic I was just a kid with a lot to learn. Now I’m an adult, a husband, a father… still with a lot to learn. Twenty years, and I don’t feel the slightest bit of fatigue creating this comic strip, day in, day out, because there’s always something new to discover. New things to try with the art, the writing, new perspectives to explore and experiment with.

It’s impossible to really sum up two decades of my experience with Ctrl+Alt+Del. But if you’ve read the archives, I don’t really have to. You’ve already borne witness to my journey thus far; the entire trajectory of my growth as an author and artist, my corresponding successes and failures, are all laid bare in the archives. I’m often so busy, there’s very little work you don’t see, very few projects not subjected to the light of day. It’s basically all there, for better or worse.

And if you’re here, I’d like to believe it’s because on some level, in some way, I’ve managed to entertain you. Made you laugh, made you think, made you excited to see what happens next. Perhaps I can do it often, perhaps it only happens once in a while, and I am under no impression I am much more than a blip in your morning route. But while I find it healthiest to follow my own compass in regard to what content I put out, I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t important to me that I brighten at least someone’s day in the process.

I’m celebrating two decades of producing Ctrl+Alt+Del, and all of the work I’ve put into it, but I’m only able to do that because of you. I love creating these comics and stories so much, I’d like to imagine I’d do it even if you all disappeared; you’ve never made me put that to the test. You have had my back for twenty years now, this ever-changing-yet-ever-constant sea of faces I can’t see, who has supported me and my work both financially and emotionally.

You’ve allowed me to turn my passion into a career I love, and that I can support my family with. Your kind comments and emails have carried me through times of self-doubt and uncertainty, and given me such a sense of honor and pride in the work I am so fortunate to do.

I have tried to regularly voice my gratitude for your support, and though even when I am not actively doing so, for fear of the words losing their meaning, please trust me that for the past twenty years, I have endeavored to never take your support for granted. Thank you for all you’ve done to get us here.

And I’m nowhere close to being done. How far does the road go? Thirty years? Forty years? I have no idea. I just know I’ve got a head full of stories left to tell. And I’m up for the ride if you are.

If you do enjoy what I do here, your help in continuing to make it happen is eternally appreciated. While the online advertising industry isn’t quite as reliable as it used to be, choosing to whitelist us in your adblocker does help as a passive way of supporting the site.

Mostly I have tried to shift more towards more direct reader support, and Patreon has been a big part of that. Becoming a Patron at even the $1 level gets you the daily comics sent directly to your email (if you’ve opted in to Patreon’s emails). If you sign up for the year, you get two months free, meaning for $10 you are supporting the roughly 156 comics I make here in a year. That’s $0.06 a comic. Higher tiers also net you early and high-resolution versions of the comics, and exclusive content each month (including access to all previous exclusives).

To celebrate our twentieth anniversary, I’ve also marked down our latest round of books, currently in stock and ready to ship to North America! Our books contain extra content and remastered versions of comics, making them the definitive collection of the comics. And for those watching their shelf space, we have digital versions as well.

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Malex
Malex
16 days ago

Man, when then page loaded and I my first thought was ‘it’s just like the first strip!’

Thanks for all the years. I think I joined sometime during the first year, still a teen back then. More than half my life by now. One of the few things on the web that’s stuck for me.

Thank you for everything. An amazing journey. I’m -so- here for 20 more!

TomB
TomB
5 days ago
Reply to  Malex

Well said, Malex.

I’ve been amazed at the journey Tim has taken – in the flashes of his family life (or drawn from that anyway), in the growth and depth of the storylines, the interesting advancements in art skills and style, and for the humour.

It is always interesting to see a creative truly bloom and become what their potential always was waiting to be.

It’s been a honour to witness that growth. And I thank Tim for keeping the forums an open, yet decent place for people to share thoughts and experiences.

‘Bravo Zulu!’

leduk
leduk
16 days ago

Oh, I feel old now.

Matt Braddock
Matt Braddock
16 days ago
Reply to  leduk

You and me both, pal.

Whatever
Whatever
16 days ago
Reply to  leduk

Yep, we are getting old. 😔

MC_13
MC_13
16 days ago

Been here ever since I was in college. Which is now a good 10 or so years ago. Love the style, love the gags, love the themes. Would love it if you kept going man, the comics with your name on my shelf have your back 😉

Acher4
Acher4
16 days ago

omg, 20 years!!! 😀

SO much Congrats on this milestone! Many wishes for someday reaching…. I dunno… 100?! 😉

Yours words are really heartwarming.
Truthfully, this is genuinely an amazing/fun day-by-day journey, with so much interesting rides.

20 years…. O.O
Now I feel so old. 😛

The Legacy
The Legacy
15 days ago
Reply to  Acher4

Me too!

Jonbob
Jonbob
16 days ago

Wow. I know I’ve read every comic you’ve published, but didn’t realise how long it had been going for! Congratulations! Such a great comic to celebrate the milestone too.

I still get chills thinking about the end of the last run of comics ending with Ethan’s sacrifice. Actually felt devastated when it did happen, but that’s how much power your comics have.

Here’s to 20 more years!

GUNnibal
GUNnibal
16 days ago

if you all disappeared

Now, I don’t presume to speak for everybody here, but I’d just like to respond by quoting a certain memorable character, whose words I find fitting:
“Fret not, fret not. My feet are here firmly planted.” (c)

Tim
Tim
16 days ago

Grats on the 20 years!
Ive looked forward to each positive blip in my morning and will continue to do so.
Keep up the great work!

Gonfrask
Gonfrask
16 days ago

Whoah! As a reader it feels weird to be old enough to see the favourite webcomics celebrate these anniversaries or finallly get cancelled.
Is always a reason to joy that it be the first situation.
I would lie if say I have read you from the beginning, I discovered you work late and for a good bunch of years it was “jum…I don’t check the webcomic about videogames in a while” and had to use internet searchers to find your URL (I didn’t remember the name usually).
Hope we can continue celebrating another anniversaries, and thank you.

Urainkhali
Urainkhali
16 days ago

Heh, congrats and my heartfelt thanks for all that enjoyment.

Robert
Robert
16 days ago

Oh the memories… ! I have been here for almost the entire 20 years… It has been an amazing trip so far! Looking forward to the next 20 years!

Eleni
Eleni
16 days ago

May you have another 20 awesome years ahead of you! Thank you for all your work.

RblDiver
RblDiver
16 days ago

Wow, 20 years? And I probably started about 19 ago. Did seriously consider leaving after Ethan Ark 1 died, glad I didn’t.

Saixak
Member
Saixak
16 days ago

20 years of epic stories, how time flies. I forgot when it was that I first started reading. It was the summer, I was a kid, and I was on my uncle’s computer using AOL. Visiting this site is a part of my daily routine, either checking out the new issue or randomly jumping through the archive. From the bottom of my heart Tim, I thank you for the fond memories and great stories I’ve been able to enjoy over the years. I look forward to what you bring in the coming times.

chris
chris
16 days ago

20 years has it really been that long seems like it was just yesterday but happy cad day to you and us all old like me or newcomers

MasterofBalance
MasterofBalance
16 days ago

I for one have enjoyed the majority of it. Thanks for having us along for this crazy ride we call gaming Tim ☺️

John Swift
John Swift
16 days ago

Wow, it has really been 20 years? I know I joined in way after the start but its been atleast 7 for me. Probably under 10 years for me.
This series has been great for a long time, enjoyed the ride and still looking forward to whats still to come.

Jacob Keller
Jacob Keller
16 days ago

Haven’t missed a comic in 15 years or so. Had a classmate my freshman year of high school that was reading the comic and turned me on to it and I’ve been hooked since. I’m here for another 20 out more. As long as you have the ideas, my eyes will look at it!! Thanks for all the laughs through the years, Tim!!

Vynian
Vynian
16 days ago

Hi Tim,

Even if you are a blip in my morning routine, you’ve been a steady blip I’ve really enjoyed in the last 15 years or so.

I enjoy both the comics and reading your thoughts about topics i sometimes haven’t even realised yet are non trivial.

As long you keep making content I’ll be happy to at least send an (ad supported) pair of eyeballs your way!

smiley
smiley
16 days ago

Woah, 20 years! I think I joined about halfway through, via a mention in mspaintadventures/problemstuck. Been hooked ever since!
Looking back, the reboot and how well it’s going just shows how much you’ve grown as a storyteller (and artist). Massive kudos to you Tim!

Andreas
Andreas
16 days ago

Big Congrats Tim! I’ve been following and reading your comic since high school which is 15 years ago.
I’ve always enjoyed clicking onto the page and never knowing what todays comic will be. Even though a story arc is happening, I’d never know when Chef Brian will appear with total madness and nonsense. I hope that I will get to read your work for another 20 years and I’ve no doubt you will continue to amaze me.

Casper
Casper
16 days ago

Congratz! Keep up the outstanding work. The I do miss the “classic” series with the story line in the old household and the “strips”.

But all the series have been great!

I started reading the comic during a cashiers job in a computerstore, when there was no customers around on a terminal with Win NT 4.0 and very limited ressourcers.

Fuck I have been tagging along for 15 years.. I feel old..

Andhaka
Andhaka
16 days ago

Congratulations, Tim!

And thank you for all these years of hard work!

Albertica
Albertica
16 days ago

Woaah, it’s been so long! I’ve been on-and-off reading your comic when I was a teen, so maaaybe for about +-15 years? It’s been amazing to witness your growth in all aspects: skill in art and storytelling, growth as a person when the early comics had iffy or even offensive humor. While still maintaining a regular schedule!

Thank you for the comics you’ve created! These recent years they have offered much entertainment and a relief from life’s messy moments.

Minya
Minya
16 days ago

Ngl. When the page loaded I was clicking the latest button a bunch of times cos I thought it actually was the first comic ever. Then I read it haha.

Frank
Frank
16 days ago

I’m not the type of user that usually writes comments below comic strips, but with this one I feel like I want to express myself. I’m not sure when I first landed here, but it’s quite some years now. I’ve read so many story arcs so far and every one of them was a bright light in my morning routine. The things to do every morning before starting to work is to fetch a fresh hot cup of tea and open up my favourite sites, with ctrl-alt-del way on top. I laugh when nintendos and xboxes fight at The Console… Read more »

evilleet
evilleet
16 days ago

From all the “morning blips” that i might have. Yours is the first one i check. 🙂 Thank you Tim, for your work, your humor and your ability to entertain a gamer like myself and keep me around. Even if i might not be your target audience, i still enjoyed 99% of all your strips. And the last 1% are “allright”. 😉 While it had been said and discussed at the time and time and time again with the new story arc. I do miss the old “married with lilah, hanging out and break into a room shenanigans” from ethan.… Read more »

Thorongil BlackHeart
Thorongil BlackHeart
16 days ago

If only all webcomics had the undiminished quality of CAD through their lifetime.
Many congratulations and many thanks for making our lives a little more fun.

Giraldi
Giraldi
16 days ago

I think I’d even argue that CAD has aged like a fine wine, the longer it goes on, the better it gets.

Jack0r
Jack0r
15 days ago
Reply to  Giraldi

Totally! I re-read some of the old stuff, and the difference is huge.

Javier
Javier
16 days ago

Wow 20 years. Thanks for everything so far!

no thanks nintendo
no thanks nintendo
16 days ago

This comic needs more melon 🤔

I still have that print on my wall of the original first strip next to a version of the first strip redrawn in what was the latest style at the time. And now here’s a 3rd version in a newer style.

Thanks for 20 years of entertainment!

Taylor
Taylor
16 days ago

I’ve been reading this comic for about 7 years and about once a year, sometimes twice, I go back a read it all again and I think it’s time to do that again.

Pedro Silva
Pedro Silva
16 days ago

Great achievement!
Congratz Tim on the success!

4553l\|
4553l\|
16 days ago

Where is the watermelon?

Ducky
Ducky
15 days ago
Reply to  4553l\|

Rupert had a NAME, you monster

4553l\|
4553l\|
14 days ago
Reply to  Ducky

My memory is not what it used to be 20 years ago 😉

Alex
Alex
16 days ago

It took a second or so to recognize the banner and I realize, I’ve been following a web comic for about 20 years straight. That seem to be my longest lasting hobby activity ever, so you can be very proud of all the time, effort and sweat you had put into this page and the small cosmos around it. I’m glad the books stand in my bookcase to also bring some kind of joy and interest to the many topics your comics address to my children, and maybe even their grandchildren and tell a story about all of the mankinds… Read more »

Last edited 16 days ago by Alex
Prime_pm
Prime_pm
16 days ago

Don’t forget Chef Brian!

El_
El_
16 days ago
Reply to  Prime_pm

Gods yes! Hope to see him back one day.

Lt. Bungle
Lt. Bungle
16 days ago
Reply to  Prime_pm

Chef Brian scripts are like just letting your phone auto predict text if your phone was a homicidal maniac. Would be a cool one-off return.

Stefan
Stefan
16 days ago

Congratulations on the anniversary!

Edgaru
Edgaru
16 days ago

Congratulations Tim!
Thank you so much for all these years. I think the reboot is the best proof of what a great storyteller you are: it changed everything we knew for years and years and you built something new and amazing that got us just as hooked as before, if not more. Bravo.
Although I do miss the true theme of the comic: the fight between man and penguin.
Here’s to twenty more.

Hunter
Hunter
16 days ago

Hey Tim. So at the thirty year mark, that would make it comic XXX. You’ll have to make that a super spicy comic :p

Kyle
Kyle
16 days ago

Must be about 17 years I’ve been reading and about 14 of those where I have known when they were being released… For at least 3 years I checked daily and didn’t notice the M/W/F pattern.

Thank you!

nenlso
nenlso
16 days ago

Been reading since about 2004 while at uni and have loved virtually every minute of it. I bought the bound edition of the original strips (which I sometimes do actually pull out and read) and I hope to continue reading for another 20 years, which I assume will be jokes either about the metaverse, or how the metaverse never became a thing.

RoL
RoL
16 days ago

Holy shit, I started reading your comics in MIDDLE SCHOOL. I jumped in way back when you first introduced Lilah.

Congrats, Tim! I love what your comics have evolved into!

MacDaddy
MacDaddy
16 days ago

I’m so very proud of you brother. Congrats!

El_
El_
16 days ago

As soon as I read the first panel I just knew this was the 20th anniversary. I’ll start by saying thank you, you have given me a constant source of entertainment and laughs ever since I discovered the site 19 years ago. At the beginning I went back to the first comic and read the back issues and would absolutely do it again if I had time one day to re-read 20 years of comics. It’s grown up as I’ve grown up and I’m thrilled it’s still around and your enthusiasm for it is still going strong. You mentioned about… Read more »

David
David
16 days ago

Congrats!

J.D.
J.D.
16 days ago

Amazing.
thank you for the laughs.

Peosea
Peosea
16 days ago

Congratulations. You’ve come a long way since the random arrow days!

Tim Nelson
Tim Nelson
16 days ago

I really like your comic Tim. I have set it as my homepage for 20 years now. Now when I was a kid, it was IGN. But for 20 years I have looked at your comic as my home page. You have entertained me for years, and educated me on varius topics. Tim your comic has actually had an effect on my life. I’m 37 now and I have evolved with this comic. You are amazing. Well done for 20 years.

dokoboe
dokoboe
16 days ago

20 years, and iv been here for every single one of them. Keep it comin!

Aaron Morano
Aaron Morano
16 days ago

Gratz.

Paula
Paula
16 days ago

Thank you for all this! I admit I still miss the first incarnation of Ethan, Lucas and Lilah. Not the animation style, that is secondary to me. I miss their lives. They meant a lot to me. I had Lilah’s as my avatar in some forums for years. The new version has not been so emotional to me, but I still cared for them. I am invested in what is currently happening with Zeke and all that. You gave me a lot of good moments, and I thank you for it. I also thank you for being so constant with… Read more »

Tim M.
Tim M.
16 days ago

Gods, it feels like just yesterday a friendly watermelon was joining the crew and Ethan was being killed by random ninjas every other comic. Its hard to believe that 20 years have flown by, but I’m to glad to have been here since the beginning. I remember discovering your comic and then being inspired to try my hand at making my own (which I did not have the commitment to keep making, unfortunately) It has been quite the journey, watching the story, the art, and the community evolve over the last two decades. The occasional updates of your own life… Read more »