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Webcomic / Penny Arcade

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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.

The series has spun off multiple other projects, including:

  • PAX, formerly the Penny Arcade Expo, a convention featuring gaming of all kinds. There are now four (previously five) PAXes yearly: two general ones in the U.S. (West, formerly Prime as it was the original PAX event, and East),note  one in Australia, and an "Unplugged" one with a focus on tabletop games. There's also PAX Dev for game developers.
  • ChildsPlay, 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 Penny Arcade: The Series, a documentary shot in the PA offices, 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. ("PATV" as the various web series were called, shut down in 2013, although Mike, Jerry and associates now regularly stream on Twitch.)
  • 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.invoked
  • 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. Now officially part of the Forgotten Realms canon.
  • Reality talent search web series entitled Strip Search.
  • Tabletop game Eyrewood Adventures, spinning out of some of the strip's fantasy stories.
  • The Trenches, a webcomic about video game quality assurance testers, originally created in collaboration with Scott Kurtz of PvP. First announced to be on a hiatus in 2016, but links to it were removed from the Penny Arcade site in 2022 and the site domain expired in 2023.
  • The Penny Arcade Report, a section of the PA site for "serious" game industry news, reviews, and commentary which ran 2012-2013.
  • Lexcalibur, a series of children's books containing fantasy-themed poetry written by Jerry with accompanying illustrations by Mike. As of 2022, two volumes out of a planned trilogy have been released.

Krahulik and Holkins 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.

The Cardboard Tube Samurai was available as a promotional Survivor for CMON's Zombicide for backing the Kickstarter campaign or attending the PAX convention. Gabe and Tycho also appear as Kickstarter exclusive players for CMON's Kaosball.

This webcomic provides examples of: