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Recap / Strong Bad Email E 181 Web Comics

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Airdate: Monday, October 8, 2007

Sender: Gunkiller, Standing Right Behind You

Strong Bad: Strong Bad Email goes down smooth and clean, like gasoline.

"Gunk-iller" ("Who are you? Gunhaver's evil twin brother? Well I won't be needing your services today; all my gunk is plenty ill already.") and his friends are planning on making a web comic, and they ask Strong Bad for suggestions on what it should be about. According to Strong Bad, coming up with a web comic is easy.

Strong Bad: They're all about video games, gamernerds, webgeeks, dorknerds, gamewads, nerdgames, webwebs, and elves. So just pick one of those and start tableting!

Strong Bad's suggestions include:

  • A comic about "slickly drawn college roommates [who] make nothing but video game inside jokes", with a sample strip of "Gamerj0x" that eventually degenerates into random PS3 tech specifications.
  • A comic based on input from readers ("What a cop-out!"), such as The Cheat's comics based on weird senders' names from spam e-mails, like "Colliding R. Reallying" and "Knowingest J. Drawbridges".
    Strong Bad: That stuff is totally messed up, The Cheat. That gunk is ill.
  • An overly-photoshopped fantasy comic, with an example of "Burn and Dodge", featuring the adventures of "Borgorroth of Coolswordoroth".
  • A sprite comic, with a demonstration starring Stinkoman, and the last-ditch advice "when your pixel comic's not funny, MS Paint your way to a non-punchline!"

Strong Bad then goes on a brief tangent about how "web comics are a better fate for video games than Saturday morning cartoons were." We see some clips from animated adaptations of Secret Collect, which pairs its cubical main character with a surfer dude teen and his talking dog, and Thy Dungeonman, where all the characters are anthropomorphic strings of text such as "Go North", "Get Dagger", his cousin "Take Dagger", and "Dennis", who is always trying to get "Ye Flask". Strong Bad eventually concludes that Gunkiller and his friends should not make a web comic.

Strong Bad: Why can't you just make a... comic? Everyone knows that putting 'web' in front of words automatically makes them crappier. Just look what happened to 'pages,' and 'cams,' and 'logs.' And who could forget the fall of the mighty 'isode.' Ohh, so tragic.
(New Paper comes down.)


  • Anti-Humor: Discussed and parodied with the webcomics Strong Bad shows. "Gamerj0x" has the punchline followed by the two gamers rattling off technical specs instead of an ending, while the sprite comic explicitly has Strong Bad suggest that you can "MS Paint your way to a non-punchline".
  • Anthropomorphic Typography: The characters in The Animated Adventures of Thy Dungeonman are all strings of text reading things like "Get Dagger", "Take Dagger", and "Ye Flask".
  • Calling Your Attacks: Parodied. During the "Photoshopped fantasy comic" segment, the wizard and Borgorroth call out different Photoshop effects that they use to "attack" each other.
    Wizard: LENS FLARE!
    Borgorroth: Uh... PLASTIC WRAP!
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: The list of spam emails the Cheat opens up, which includes "Lem Sportsinterviews" and "hooray4dolphins".
  • Gotta Catch 'Em All: The "Secret Collect" cartoon apparently involves Secret Collect and his friends trying to beat an evil wizard to collecting "secrets" in order to win some type of sweepstakes.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Strong Bad calls web comics that "ask for input from your viewers and rip that off for content" a "cop-out", even though this is what Strong Bad Email is. This remark is even punctuated by New Paper coming down.
  • Overly-Long Gag: An Easter egg features an extended version of the "Borgorroth of Coolswordoroth" segment, with Borgorroth and his evil wizard nemesis throwing out random Photoshop filters until the screen is completely illegible.
  • The Problem with Pen Island: This week's email comes from Gunkiller, whose name is almost certainly supposed to be read as Gun Killer. Strong Bad instead calls him "Gunk-iller" (as in "someone who makes gunk ill") and then "Gunky" for short.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Show Within a Show: Strong Bad shows off some clips from "Saturday Mornideo Games", a series of Animated Adaptations of Videlectrix games like Secret Collect and Thy Dungeonman.
  • Sprite Comic: The Stinkoman comic segment is a parody of these, using sprite art from the Stinkoman 20X6 Flash game.
  • Take That!: Strong Bad spoofs the ever-loving hell out of popular web comics (and their many imitators).
  • Techno Babble: The spoof of Two Gamers on a Couch style web comics devolves into Strong Bad and Strong Sad randomly spouting tech specifications for the PlayStation 3.
  • Viewers Are Geniuses: In-universe. The "Gamerj0x" comic assumes that the reader is intimately familiar with gaming terminology, with the joke being a pun on bricking a console, followed by a non-punchline of Techno Babble. Strong Bad's only comment is "Ah, I wish I knew what that means!"

(Cut back to Borgorroth and his foe. They continue to name Photoshop effects, which causes the screen to become more and more illegible.)
Borgorroth: FIND EDGES!
Borgorroth: Er... NUDGE! (the screen shifts a little to the left)