Yeah. Waid says in the blog post accompanying Cthulu Calls: "THIS is what gets me charged. THIS is why Thrillbent exists. To show what digital comics can do and to pass along to others what we learn as we go." If this is meant to show what digital comics can do, then I think it fails at its primary purpose.
But with all this criticism, I don't want to sound too harsh either. I appreciate Waid's mission here and I think he will learn and improve this process as it goes. I hope that he gets criticism like we've posted in this thread (as I doubt he'll read this - and if he does we'll all be eating through straws for the rest of our lives) and is able to use it to improve, because I do believe that the industry needs people like him who are willing to put their name behind products that try to be innovative in the digital world.
I just read Cthulu Calls on my macbook screen, and I think this is a definite improvement. For one thing, on the laptop screen, you can get the entire image on the screen at once and so you don't need to scroll around to see the whole image and read it. This allows the technique of altering small parts of the panels and adding and subtracting elements to function much more naturally. In action like that, it is much more impressive (and I also think it's used more effectively here than it was in Insufferable, perhaps because it is used more).
I do notice what you called incentivized clicking, which detracted from the experience on Insufferable because you're likely to miss stuff because you're clicking through it too fast. Here, it's not perfect by any means, but a little better because the "scene" will stay on one panel for a while, and clicking might change a character's face or change the speech bubbles, I think it's better because you're able to take in the art on one panel for the entire time you're clicking through that panel's transitions. I think creators who are really willing to experiment with that idea could do something cool with it, so I can see an inkling of the potential of this design, but if it's done just for the sake of proving you can do it without adding anything, it does nothing for me, and this has a long way to go before someone is using it effectively.
It's like synthesizers, you had to get through a good two decades of shitty Yes albums before people learned how to use the things.
So it's used better, but I also just realized that I have absolutely no idea what the story is about. I read the whole thing, but completely, subconsciously, ignored the story. So I just read it again and had to will myself to pay attention to it - and then I realized my lack of comprehension may have been because it was a four panel webcomic joke drawn out to 60 frames of "Thrillbent," so I had an incentive to click to receive the reward of new frames, but no incentive to pay attention to what I was seeing because the story was uninteresting. So you need both to work.
It still needs a fucking fullscreen mode, on the laptop and on devices. For fucks sake, it's 2012.