A1. Comic Life checks for newer versions on launch and if the computer is connected to a network but not the Internet it can pause for a few minutes until the attempt to connect times out and returns. You can disable the check in the Preferences to prevent this from happening every time you start Comic Life.
A2. Comic Life thinks there is a video capture device connected when there isn't. It tries to grab a video frame and freezes because there's nothing to grab. This is caused by a particular QuickTime component called "Scalar Microscope USB Component" in the /Library/Components folder. Removing this component should allow Comic Life to start up as expected.