Webcomic: Sinfest

Sinfest in its early days. From left to right: Percival, Pooch, Criminy, Monique, Squigley, and Slick.

Sinfest is a webcomic by Tatsuya Ishida, an outgrowth of a strip he originally created for the UCLA college newspaper. It's one of the longest-running webcomics around, with over 5,000 strips as of fall 2014.

Sinfest started out as a lighthearted comedy revolving mainly around the goofy antics of Slick, a Calvin-esque teenaged "pimp" who was always trying to look cool and pick up chicks, and his hot friend Monique, who spent her days flirting with hot guys (of whom Slick never qualified). Other prominent characters included God, the Devil, Jesus, Buddha, and the Dragon, an embodiment of Eastern religion; Seymour and Li'l Evil, raging fanboys of God and the Devil respectively; Squigley, a stoner pig who is one of Slick's pals; The Artist, a comic artist and Ishida's Author Avatar; Percival and Pooch, the Artist's cat-and-dog duo; and Criminy, the sheltered bookworm.

In its early years, Sinfest was mainly a gag-a-day comic with little regard for continuity. In addition to the humor based on the cast's foibles, it routinely played with Black Comedy scenarios, drug- and sexually-themed humor, and featured subversive pokes at the nature of religion and morality, among other topics and Running Gags. Slick and Monique's odd friendship/rivalry/something was the foundation of the comic and focus never strayed from it for long, but after a few years, other storylines became prominent, such as Criminy's chaste romance with one of the Devil's succubi, the Devil becoming a more serious antagonist, and revelations about Li'l Evil's backstory, as well as politically-themed gags and overall development for many characters.

However, in October 2011, Sinfest began a huge shift in theme and focus with the introduction of the Sisterhood. This was the first step in the comic ditching almost every aspect of its old nature and turning toward a radical brand of second-wave feminism. In the current setting, society is brainwashed by a Matrix-like Patriarchy controlled by the Devil, and the comic's world is connected to an alternate reality where greed, lust, and other traits fueled by the Patriarchy are the norm. The Sisterhood have almost taken over as the main characters, while Slick and Monique have been moved to secondary status and long-time favorites such as the Dragon, Buddha, and even Criminy are barely seen. Due to the Sisterhood's influence, Monique's personality has done a complete 180, and her ties with Slick are all but erased. Several new characters have been introducednote , and the comic is now focusing on extended storylines that can run for weeks at a time, with once-regular gags now only occasionally showing up. These changes, plus complaints about the seeming invincibility of the Sisterhood and structural issues with the storylines, as well as Ishida using the comic to take potshots at its critics, have led to a severely Broken Base and made Sinfest one of the most controversial webcomics around. Ishida's Reclusive Artist nature hasn't helped, as outside of a cryptic hint dropped by the Artist, no one knows what prompted the changes.

This webcomic provides examples of:

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