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My Defense and Penny Arcade Day

June 20, 2008

I got my first “You’re an idiot” comment this week. Since it is the first one I thought that I’d respond to it and then we’ll break into the Penny Arcade review.

My Defense: So I’ll cover three little bits with this one straight from the comment I received.

A – I admittedly left out some information that should have been included in the original post. Chris Crosby is the founder of Keenspot, a website that allows amateur or even professional cartoonists to put their comics online. Now, I did Google Bobby Crosby and Chris Crosby individually. For Bobby the first five pages all talk about Bobby Crosby the Oakland A’s player, not the Bobby Crosby the cartoonist. I found 3 references to Bobby Crosby in those 5 pages and they were all related to the comics I mentioned in my earlier post. 

Then I looked up Chris Crosby, found the Keenspot info, and found 2 articles relating to Bobby Crosby. Those articles solely mentioned that Bobby Crosby was putting comics onto Keenspot. That doesn’t really say brothers right there. In my final attempt I googled them together and it took another blog reviewing Last Blood for me to find information that even hinted that they were related. So, no, it was not an “easy” Google search away.

B – In the comment Crosby says that I got all my credits wrong for the other comics that I mentioned in the post. If you want the truth, what I did was go on Wowio and do a search of Chris Crosby, then Owen Gieni, and finally Bobby Crosby. I wrote the comics that turned up as comics that they had contributed to, mostly because, you know, THEIR NAMES WERE LISTED ON THEM. I suppose that’s besides the point though. By the way, the review on that other blog is much better than the one I did, I recommend you check it out. While you’re there check out the comments under the post. I am inclined to believe that Bobby Crosby is insane after reading those things. 

Anyway, that’s my defense of myself. I could be wrong, and as Crosby implied I could be a disgrace to college students and journalists everywhere. I’ll let you be the judge of that because I will admit that I am learning right now. I’m trying to make these blog posts interesting and informative without lieing. So, if I do screw up I’ll admit to it. However, lets try to keep it constructive, no one learns from negativity.

Background: Penny Arcade is written by Jerry Holkins and Mike Krahulik of Seattle fame. Of all the web comics out there Penny Arcade has become the most famous and expansive one to date. They have 4 collections of their comics out currently, they also just recently released episode one of their game, On the Rain Slick Precipice of Darkness. Beyond that the two are responsible for one of my favorite charities, Child’s Play and the biggest consumer gaming expo in the country, PAX, now that E3 is for industry types only. They’ve been writing the comic since 1998 when they were being featured on another gaming website. Since then they’ve worked on their own website and have offices in Seattle. Holkins and Krahulik, in spite of their fame, are still very accessible people. They attend many cons on the west coast including Sakura-Con, Emerald City Comic Con, Comic Con in San Diego, of course, their convention PAX.  Over the years they have kept Penny Arcade consistent with updates every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. 

The Comic: Krahulik and Holkins don’t really believe in continuity and there are several examples of this in their blog entries on comic days. However, they do occasionally have little “plots” that last a week or so. The longest that I’ve seen them do was a Cthulhu Christmas story a couple of years ago. Usually, their comics are stand alones that have something to do with video games, card games, or computers. Being a gamer is almost a prerequisite for reading their comics. Although, even if you don’t all the references and inside jokes their comics can still be pretty funny. If you like crass humor they have plenty of that stuffed in as well. 

While most artists get better over there years at making their art more realistic, Krahulik has gotten better at making Tycho and Gabe (Holkins and Krahulik’s alter egos in comic form respectively) look more cartoonish. He has a very distinct style that I think is a lot of fun to look at and Holkin’s ridiculous vocabulary is also a bonus for you linguists out there. 

Penny Arcade has stayed pretty much the same since the beginning. The art has improved immensly and the jokes change daily as most of their humor topical which keeps the comic pretty fresh. Also, I think between all their events, the comics they’ve made, and the games they continue to play you can really see how much they love what they’re doing. 

My Recommendation: If you haven’t already heard of these guys you need to go and check them out. However, I will admit that if you are not a gamer or do not enjoy crass humor you will probably not enjoy this comic. Me? I love both topics. So, this gets the rare 5 out 5 from me. Really, do check out Penny Arcade.

♣ ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣

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