Webcomic / Checkerboard Nightmare

Hello TV Traps Wikipedia! It's me, Checkerboard Nightmare! You may remember me from my hit webcomic, Checkerboard Nightmare! What you may not know is that it's always been my dream to be on TV. In fact, I almost had my own series, but those executives were too small-minded to recognize the brilliance of my pilot script for Hard Action Squad and the Space Valkyries. And if you've read my comic, Checkerboard Nightmare, then surely you know that I'm all over the traps. All kinds of traps: booby traps, trap doors... booby traps...

What's that? TV Tropes? Is that even English? Oh, stab me in the face with lasers, I gotta go! Remember to read Checkerboard Nightmare!

Bad Chex! Back in your box!


Checkerboard Nightmare was Kris Straub's first webcomic. It tells the epic story of Checkerboard Nightmare and his Sisyphean quest to improve the readership of his webomic, Checkerboard Nightmare.

As you may have noticed, Chex is a bit of a Shameless Self-Promoter, and the comic likes to abuse the Fourth Wall. The premise, coupled with Chex's complete aversion to coming up with new ideas, gave the comic a platform for very thorough satire of webcomics.

Aside from the title character, the central cast consists of:
  • Lyle, the quintessential Straight Man and Chex's defense attorney.
  • Vaporware, the obligatory "wacky" cast member: a robot who dreams of killing all humans and enjoys choking people.
  • Polkadot Dream, the obligatory girl: the bona-fide star of her own webcomic, and Chex's unrequited love interest.

In 2005, the comic came to an end. Then Kris Straub revived it and retooled it as an irregularly-updated, strictly gag-per-day affair; the last strip of this incarnation was posted in 2014. Straub's ownership of the strip's site (checkerboardnightmare.com) lapsed in 2015, but its content is still available through the Internet Archive's WayBack Machine.

Vaporware went on to become a minor villain in Starslip. Chex made a brief cameo in Chainsawsuit, where he tried in vain to make one last comeback.

Provides examples of:

Chex: I've been thinking about the nature of the self-aware comicstrip lately.
Chex: Normally, whenever a strip runs out of ideas, it becomes self-referential.
Chex: I've been self-referential from the beginning.
Chex: I think I've been giving my readers the wrong impression.
Vaporware: I don't.