Adverbly verbed by Mike ShapiroThe Adventures of Joe the Circle
was an early Science Fiction Web Comic
by Mike Shapiro. Originally printed in Shapiro's college newspaper in the early '90s, it first appeared online in 1995. It followed the adventures of Joe
, a violent, gun-toting circle, along with his companions: Ronnie
, an even-tempered triangle; Bob the Boobian
, a dimwitted . . . thing
with a gaping maw and limited vocabulary; Franko
, a clairaudient flying fish; and Bert Smert
, a laid-back gearhead who provided the crew's transportation.
The comic was rather crudely drawn, but made up for it with freewheeling storylines, goofy humor, and extremely quotable dialogue. Most of the comics can be found at www.joe-the-circle.com
, with a few older issues accessible through archive.org
Incidentally, you may have encountered Shapiro's work in another form. He's a composer
in Real Life
, providing music for films and Video Games
, at least one of which
can be found on This Very Wiki
This webcomic provides examples of:
- The Ace: Joe sees himself as this. Others, not so much.
- Adventurer Archaeologist: Mattock Blork the Hexagon.
- Ancient Artifact:
- The Pickle of Power.
- Later, the Soulwhomper of Klaaaarr.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: "Action! Adventure! Excitement! Geometry!"
- Bag of Holding: Bob, whose stomach is composed of an entire dimension, is a living example.
- Bavarian Fire Drill: "Hey, wait . . . why were we assuming that this guy is on our side?"
- Big Eater: It would be quicker to list the things Bob won't eat. See Bag of Holding.
- Bigger on the Inside: Bert's car.
- Calvinball: Zorgellian Mega-Poker requires various Noodle Implements, as well as a working knowledge of the laws of thermodynamics.
- Casual Interstellar Travel
- The Conscience: Ronnie and Franko try (and usually fail) to be this to Joe.
- Couch Gag: For a large part of its run, the comic had a different alliterative byline (such as "Arthritically Ascribed by Mike Shapiro," "Raptly 'Ritten by Mike Shapiro," etc) on every page.
- Deadpan Snarker: Ronnie.
- The Ditz: Franko.
- Doomy Dooms of Doom: The Planet of Unmanageable DOOM.
- Fan Community Nicknames: The message board was called the "mOb" ("m" for "message," "b" for "board," with Joe's silhouette in between). Posters sometimes referred to themselves as "mObsters." "Circlefriends" was also sometimes used.
- Kick the Dog: Invoked and lampshaded by the commander of the Anti-Joe Armada, who drops an anvil on a subordinate to demonstrate his evil.
- Kudzu Plot: Lampshaded and averted at the beginning of Volume 3.
- Lampshade Hanging: One of the comic's primary sources of humor.
- Missing Episode: Everything before the "Joe Dies" storyline is lost to the mists of time.
- Mohs Scale of Science Fiction Hardness: Definitely a 1 on the scale. Rule of Funny trumps Science every time.
- My Beloved Smother
- Noodle Implements: Besides the normal cards and chips, Zorgellian Mega-Poker is played with a compass, tidal chart, and anvil.
- Only Sane Man: Ronnie.
- Paper-Thin Disguise: Joe makes it past the AJA with nothing but a beard, an accent, and a Suspiciously Specific Denial. Not that he needs anything better, since all circles look more or less the same.
- Schedule Slip: It was not uncommon to go weeks, months, or even years between updates. In fact, the series never officially ended - it just hasn't updated since 2007. Lampshaded in Shapiro's bio:
"Mike continues to produce Joe to this day, pausing only for occasional three-to-four year stretches of indolence and ennui."
- Self-Deprecation: Often showed up in the Couch Gags. The rest of the comic (and the site itself) is positively dripping with the stuff as well.
- Space Is Noisy: Averted and lampshaded early on. Otherwise played straight.
- Stuff Blowing Up: Joe's preferred problem-solving method.
"Deep within every problem is a solution involving explosives."
- This Isn't Heaven: It's Purgatory.