I'd have to respectfully disagree. As someone who draws petty webcomics, I like it when my readers come up with theories, but I don't like it when they try to change the story on me. In a way, it kinda makes it look like the readers think they can do a better job at writing than the actual author. Of course, this only applies when the author doesn't want the story interpreted differently, which very often isn't the case.
Of course, you have a point. Tom Fulp also told me the game was open to interpretations (technically, he answered 'it could go either way' for a bunch of my questions, but that's pretty much the same thing), but most of us aren't looking for interpretations more than we're looking to discover the secrets of the actual story.
Yes, some consumers of art find genetic or author-centered interpretations to be more convincing than formalist or affective interpretations, and while I have no quarrel with them, I also have no quarrel with other interpretive dispositions. I try to apply a healthy dose of relativism to my own considerations of such matters, meaning that everyone's interpretation is correct, but only from their own point of view. This means that someone whose evaluative criteria for an interpretation are compatible with the assumptions that attend a bias towards genetic criticism will find the author's intent to be quite useful. But it is also true that once an artist publishes his or her work, it in some sense becomes the intellectual property of the consumer, though not in any legal sense; what I mean is that the consumer asserts his or her right to contribute to the act of interpretation, without which the work ceases to have any meaning whatsoever (an unread text is meaningless, and it is only in the act of engagement with that text that the text has a meaning). And the consequence of this joint ownership between author and consumer is that the dichotomy between "looking for interpretations" and "looking to discover the secrets of the actual story" is revealed as a false dichotomy. All meanings, including the author's, are interpretations. There are many "actual stories," and the author's version of the artwork's meaning is only one of these. Take Milton's poem Paradise Lost, for example. Milton wrote it thinking that he was going to "justify the ways of God to man," but anyone who reads that poem immediately realizes that Milton's God is an overbearing tyrant, and the poem ends up justifying the ways of Satan. Milton's intent is a minor afterthought, because the poem simply doesn't do what he wanted it to do, or what he thought it did. The poet William Blake was the first to announce that Milton "was a true poet and of the Devil's party without knowing it," and no one has been able to convincingly refute that in the 200 years since it was written. The history of art is teeming with similar examples, in which artworks take on new life with each new interpretation, many of which directly contradict the author's announced intent. We're not always fully aware of what we're doing when we make art, and sometimes we find that we've done something far different from what we thought we were doing. That's not a comforting thought for those of us that are actively creating artworks, but not all truths are comforting.
I will say that if an interpretation can't be supported with examples from the artwork, I'm unlikely to find it convincing. So, for example, if someone said that CC was about the history of basket weaving or the collapse of the Soviet Union, I'd be resistant to those interpretations. But the original poster points to some compelling pieces of textual evidence to lend legitimacy to his reading.
So yeah, in the end our viewpoints might be incommensurable, but look at how much fun it is to debate this! Not as much fun as actually crashing castles, of course, but fun in its own way. Best of luck on the comics, by the way.
I must agree, but then disagree. I'm Gilgamesh101, remember me? Well, I mean I added you, or whatever. But you remember me, right?