Comedy And TrageD’oh!

Do me a favor, if you enjoy this comic, please check out my store, my shirts on Sharksplode, and my wife’s geeky jewelry on Etsy. It would help us out a great deal.

I will be at Denver Comic Con THIS WEEKEND with Cyanide & Happiness June 13-15, 2014 at booth 734!


It’s always been hard for me to equate the things I make and the things my friends make with the “REAL” things (books, movie, TV) that I consume. For the longest time I suffered from this ridiculous mental block where I thought characters and stories created by my friends (or by ANY webcomic artist) just weren’t as real as the characters on TV or in movies. Something about the fact that I KNEW these people and KNEW what went into the making of a webcomic removed the mystique and delegitimized their art to me. I also thought I was protected from this delegitimizing effect because I wasn’t TRYING to tell a real story. I was only making observational pop culture jokes, and webcomics were the perfect place to do just that.

In retrospect, I’m not sure how I was so dumb about this whole thing for so long. Perhaps it was fear of failing at telling a decent story with an online comic that got me into thinking it wasn’t a valid medium for that kind of creative endeavor.  Whatever the reason, I was wrong. Dumb and wrong. Just a big ol’ wrong, dumb wrong-guy.

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  1. I used to think the same about the comics I read (particularly when a lot of them were "here's some stuff I doodle between classes in college"). What flipped it for me was when I started listening to Writing Excuses ( ). Howard Taylor sitting at a table with people who write REAL stories, and he's actually useful to the conversations!

  2. Demeaning another medium because it is new or different from what has been established is bad and wrong. So much so that a new word should be invented like badwrong or badong. Yes. Demeaning another medium is badong.

    • Lol, 'Badong' was the brand name of a fan / airduct device for your CPU fan in a custom computer case. The packaging and marketing materials for it were done in such bad ChinEngrish that we laughed about it for YEARS.

      "When tornado meets a tunnel turns Badong!"

  3. There's never been any question in my mind as to whether webcomics count as "real" fiction. Comic Joel and Jamie McJack and Hastings Kilgore and Marten Reed are just as legitimate as Jay Gatsby or Ned Stark or Louis Wu or Clark Kent.

  4. so Hi Joel,
    I enjoy reading pretty much everything you do and I often end up quoting you to others the same way that I do for movies and tv shows, so yeah, it's all equivalent.
    Also, here's my random not related comment for you:
    somewhere back in the archives you drew malcolm reynolds and han solo sitting on the tops of their ships all awesome-like. if you were to ever get around to say doing a similar one of River and Leia, I would buy the crap out of those prints.
    (need a matching set, please!)

    just thought you should know.

  5. Hey, I saw you at Denver Comic Con but already ordered shirts over the internet, so I just watched you draw for a while. Funny, that was awesome! Gave me the warm fuzzies, like seeing Clark Kent.

    I hope you enjoyed Denver! I loved that Con – my first since 1990 and very family-friendly!

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