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Webcomic / Penny Arcade

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Yeah, it's kinda like that.
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Penny Arcade is a Gaming Webcomic, created by Mike "Gabe" Krahulik (art) and Jerry "Tycho" Holkins (writing) and updating on a Monday-Wednesday-Friday schedule. From its humble beginnings in late 1998, the comic has inspired countless imitators and grown into a veritable household name; the franchise has its own convention (PAX) and charity (Child's Play), as well as several commissions.

Although most of the comics are connected to Video Games in some manner, it is not exclusively a gaming comic; much of the humor is drawn from real-life experience, as well as character interaction, both with the authors' alter-egos and with their friends.

Notable for being one of the few webcomics to actually divide up art and writing duties between an artist and a writer, with the pretty obvious result that both the art and the writing are far better than most webcomics, which tend to be solo affairs. While the benefits to dividing up the duties are obvious, the pitfalls keep most webcomics from following suit: mostly, it is really really hard to get two people to agree on how their ideal comic should look and feel, and in the rare cases where they do, wildly successful comics can generate enough money to cause problems between them. Gabe and Tycho make it work, even while enjoying wild success.

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Also notable for a relentlessly professional update schedule in a medium notorious for falling victim to Schedule Slip. Penny Arcade will update every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday — even when Gabe gets swine flu or cuts his thumb to the bone.

The series has spun off multiple other projects, including:

  • The Penny Arcade Expo, aka PAX, a convention featuring gaming of all kinds. There are now five PAXes yearly: three general ones in the US (West, East, and South), one in Australia, and an "Unplugged" one with a focus on tabletop games.
  • Child's Play, a charity that seeks to fight negative gamer stereotypes by providing gaming equipment to children's hospitals.
  • Episodic video game Penny Arcade Adventures: On The Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness.
  • Various video series, including DLC PodShow, which shows Mike drawing the comics featured in the podcasts; Livescream, which shows the office cowards playing scary games; You're Gonna Love It, which is where employees show terrible games to each other; Play Date, where employees show each other their favorite titles; and First 15, which show Gabe and Tycho playing through the - you guessed it - first fifteen minutes of a game neither has played before.
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  • Song of the Sorcelator/Epic Legends Of The Hierarchs. This one's complicated, but the gist is that Jerry set up a Fanfic Magnet and told the internet to go to town with Stylistic Suck. And then he threw a fake Fandom Rivalry into the mix.
  • Acquisitions Incorporated, a Dungeons & Dragons podcast/video series that's a collaboration between PA and Wizards of the Coast; with additional players such as Scott Kurtz of PvP, Wil Wheaton, Morgan Webb of X-Play and fantasy writer Patrick Rothfuss.
  • Reality talent search web series entitled Strip Search.
  • Tabletop game Eyrewood Adventures, spinning out of some of the strip's fantasy stories.

The two were chosen for TIME Magazine's list of Top 100 Influential People for their 2010 issue under the "Artists" category.

Tycho has starred along with Strong Bad, The Heavy, and Max in a poker game named Poker Night at the Inventory, and the Fruit Fucker 2000 appeared (renamed Juice Bot) in the Steam version of Monday Night Combat. The Merch is now an unlockable pet in the game Fire Fall.


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