Brick 3621 here. As soon as I recently realized that I stopped reading EGS regularly sometime in Februrary (during the "New and Old Flames" story arc), I found out that this would be a great opportunity to reread the series entirely and gain a fresh new perspective on the comic.
First Comic (1/21/02): There is absolutely nothing here to suggest that this comic will become more than just low-grade newspaper comic jokes and talking heads, but at least Dan had the good sense to lampshade it and remind us in the later-added commentary that it gets better. Incidentially, this would make a really clever film teaser:
Oink (1/22/02): Why did Sarah put the bikini on in the first place?
He Deserved That, Folks (1/23/02): More lampshading. And more reminding the reader that this is just an introduction and no reflection on the quality of the comic as a whole. By the way, was that a Hyperspace Mallet Sarah used, or did she actually hit Tedd?
A Noble Cause (1/24/02): Ehhhh... more newspaper humor, but I like the little caption showing the author's support of our heroes' endeavor.
Where DID that come from? (1/25/02): The "horny male teenager" behavior I would expect from both Tedd and Elliot (as well as... well, any other male teenager in real life, myself included), but Tedd's the only one that would be that indiscreet about it. Granted, writer who values their sanity would try to establish their characters' personalities in such a short period of time, but in hindsight, this is a very Out of Character moment for Elliot. That's all I have to say for this strip, so - wait, wasn't it implied that they did already get Sarah to wear the bikini, but she just wouldn't appear on-panel with it on?
Full-color Sunday strip no. 1: Even more lampshading. To an outsider, the comic to this point seems to be based on somewhat clever, yet totally immature humor. I leave it to you to decide whether or not that is a bad thing.
In Conclusion: I would not seriously recommend anyone who would "judge a book by its cover", as it were, to begin reading El Goonish Shive from the introduction.