Pokey The Penguin is an absurdist Webcomic created by Steve Havelka (aka "The Authors"), crudely drawn using MS Paint (or something similar). Irregularly updated since 1998, it chronicles the (mis)adventures of a bunch of penguins living in the Arctic, along with other creatures that usually don't live there, either. Oh, and a very British snowman. Everybody speaks in ALL CAPS.
In the first strip, Pokey The Penguin is described as "AN EDUCATIONAL CHILDRENS CARTOON!" in which "POKEY AND HIS PALS HAVE FUN AND LEARNING ABOUT THE HAZARDS OF THE ARCTIC CIRCLE!".
The main recurring characters are Pokey (the titular penguin), "little girl" (Pokey's little sister), Mr. Nutty (the ever scheming British snowman), Headcheese (a french-canadian female penguin, sometimes Pokey's "girlfriend", sometimes a victim of his random acts of violence), Skeptopotamus (a skeptical hippopotamus that denies being one), Gustavo (a mexican potato with long, prehensile moustaches named "Democracy" and "Stalin"), and the Italians, which often come to the Arctic in their ships to steal the penguins' "Arctic Circle-Candy". There's also a boxing glove (apparently posessed by the devil) appearing at random to deliver a flying punch to someone.
Most of the secondary characters are penguins identical to Pokey. A bear is depicted as a brown penguin, a dinosaur as a green one, and the devil as a red one with horns. Even "little girl" and Headcheese are just smaller Pokeys with ribbons. While, for example, Stephen Hawking is depicted as a penguin wearing a wizard's hat, and Superman is another penguin with a blue cape, others, like Batman and "Bobdole" are completely indistinguishable from Pokey. There are also variations of other characters, like Old Man Nutty (Mr. Nutty's grandfather, a smaller, gray-outlined snowman) and Nostrapotamus (a Skeptopotamus with a wizard's hat).
Pokey the Penguin contains examples of the following:
- Abandoned Warehouse: Pokey visits one in San Quentin Holds the Key.
- All Just a Dream: Parodied. At the end of Pokey and the Boxing Glove, the scene abruptly cuts to Pokey's sister telling him "IT WAS NOTHING MORE THAN A DREAM!!!!!", followed by a blank panel of the Boxing Glove with the words "OR WAS IT!" crossed out.
- Are We There Yet?: Pokey's sister asks this in Pokey in Ancient Scotland, and again (albeit crossed out) in Pokey Finds an Artifact.
- Blunt Metaphors Trauma: In Best Trip Ever, Little Girl offers to fire up the Time Canoe. Unfortunately...Little Girl: "POKEY I HAVE FIRED UP THE TIME CANOE!!"Pokey: "GOOD JOB!!! "
- Cereal Induced Super Powers: "Clot-Busting Megapower" in Pokey and the Breakfast Cereal. The ingredients are bread crumbs and caffeine.
- Chained to a Railway: The Italians do this to Pokey in Pokey and the Train.
- Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Little Girl manages this in a a single comic. note
- Cut and Paste Comic: Sometimes you can see the outlines around pasted characters.
- Cyberspace: Pokey is "learning handshakes from around the world" through VR in Happy Birthday Pokey. Also, Pokey the Penguin in Cyberspace
- Deal with the Devil: In one strip, The Devil successfully manages to trick Pokey into giving him his wallet after he summons a child that the latter finds annoying (because he doesn't like its hat.)
- Drowning My Sorrows: A Drink to Solve ProblemsLittle Girl: "POKEY IF YOU ARE SAD THEN YOU SHOULD HAVE A DRINK!!!!"
- Edutainment Show: Pokey the Penguin is an educational children's cartoon about the hazards of the Arctic Circle.
- Filler Strips: The comic features bonus strips from guest artists such as William Gibson in Pokey the Penguin in Cyberspace, the ghost of Claude Monet in The Waterfront on a Summer Day Mary Lou Retton in an eponymous strip and a propaganda strip from Laos: Our Glorious Leader.
- Gainax Ending: The last panel often has fuck all to do with the rest of the strip.
- Genie in a Bottle: Averted in Pokey and the Magic Lamp; upon being wiped off, it turns out that the lamp is merely dirty, much to the chagrin of the little girl but not Pokey, who considers the fact that it got cleaned to be magical instead.
- Global Warming: Something akin to it occurs in ''POKEY THE HIS FRIENDS.
- Halfway Plot Switch: Often. You're lucky if there's just one.
- Honest John's Dealership: Mr Nutty in some of his incarnations. In others he is a criminal or a Mega-Corp CEO.
- Pants-Free: According to the strip, it's called "doing it Chicago-style" and may increase your children's test scores.
- Polar Bears and Penguins: Pokey lives with his family in the Arctic Circle.
- Tertiary Sexual Characteristics: The little girl is identified by (aside from smaller size, of course) a bow on her head.