Penny Arcade is a webcomic focused on video games and video game culture, written by Jerry Holkins and illustrated by Mike Krahulik. The comic debuted in 1998 on the website loonygames.com.[2] Since then, Holkins and Krahulik have established their own site, which is typically updated with a new comic strip each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. The comics are accompanied by regular updates on the site’s blog.

Penny Arcade is among the most popular and longest running gaming webcomics currently online,[3][4] listed in 2010 as having 3.5 million readers.[5] Holkins and Krahulik are among the few and first webcomic creators successful enough to make a living from their work.[6] In addition to the comic, Holkins and Krahulik also created Child’s Play, a children’s charity; PAX, an annual gaming convention; and three games. (Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness episodes 1 and 2 with Hothead Games and episode 3 with Zeboyd Games).

Protagonists

Johnathan “Gabe” Gabriel

Mike Krahulik’s comic alter ego is energetic and free-spirited, but has a propensity to become extremely angry. He has a Pac-Man tattoo on his right arm,[17][18] as well as a tattoo in honor of the demise of SNK on his back.[19] His eyes are a shade of slate blue. He almost always wears a yellow Pac-Man shirt, and in one comic he mentioned having a glass eye as a result of an incident after Tycho beat him at Warcraft II, although no other references to it have been made.[20] He has a fascination with unicorns, a secret love of Barbies, is a dedicated fan of Spider-Man and Star Wars, and has proclaimed “Jessie’s Girl” to be the greatest song of all time. He practices line dancing with the Kansas City Hotsteppers.[21] He is a diabetic, though he continues to consume large quantities of sugar products.[22] He has an odd affinity for a cardboard tube which he had fantasies of wielding as a wandering samurai, often in feudal Japan. He was for a short time addicted to Tribes but soon grew out of it. He also has an obsession with his own genitalia and possible latent homosexual tendencies.[23][24][25][26] This theory can be supported by a recent recurrence of Gabriel’s “personal” interest in actor Patrick Swayze.[27] Despite this, his “son” is also present in the strip and appears alongside Gabe’s wife.[28] As a contrast to Tycho’s expansive vocabulary, Gabe usually speaks using only simple, common words. Krahulik named his son “Gabriel” in honor of the character.[29]

Tycho Brahe

Jerry Holkins’ comic alter ego (named after the astronomer Tycho Brahe) is bitter and sarcastic. His eyes are burnt sienna, and he’s almost invariably clad in a blue-striped sweater. Tycho enjoys books, role-playing video games, using large and uncommon words in conversation, and deflating Gabe’s ego. He is a rabid fan of Harry Potter[30] and Doctor Who.[31] He also plays Dungeons & Dragons often (the website’s previous banner illustrates him holding a 20-sided die), and adopts a wildly theatrical style when acting as a dungeon master. He occasionally makes reference to his scarring childhood, during which his mother physically abused him[32] and blamed him for the family’s abandonment by his father due to his body, “swelling with evil”[33] (in fact, his puberty). It has been mentioned that one of his aunts, believing him to be gay, regularly sends him homo-erotic material.[34] Tycho also has a drinking problem.[35] In one strip, after a dream, Tycho is shown to be host to an evil spirit, the presence of which is indicated by his eyes glowing with red light;[36] this theme is repeated over the course of the strip. Some strips appear to indicate that he has an unhealthy sexual obsession with long-necked animals such as giraffes[37] and ostriches.[38][39] In Poker Night at the Inventory, Tycho is voiced by Kid Beyond.[40]

Collected editions

  • Year One: A Penny Arcade Retrospective (Limited Edition) — ISBN 1-931195-07-2
  • Year One: A Penny Arcade Retrospective (Soft Cover) — ISBN 1-931195-11-0
  • Year One: A Penny Arcade Retrospective (Hard Cover) — ISBN 1-931195-12-9
  • Penny Arcade: Volume 1 Attack of the Bacon Robots — ISBN 1-59307-444-1
  • Penny Arcade Limited Edition Signed – Attack Of The Bacon Robots — ISBN 1-59307-650-9
  • Penny Arcade: Volume 2 Epic Legends Of The Magic Sword Kings — ISBN 1-59307-541-3
  • Penny Arcade: Volume 3 The Warsun Prophecies — ISBN 1-59307-635-5
  • Penny Arcade: Volume 4 Birds Are Weird — ISBN 1-59307-773-4
  • Penny Arcade: Volume 5 The Case of the Mummy’s Gold — ISBN 1-59307-814-5
  • Penny Arcade: Volume 6 The Halls Below (Limited Edition) – ISBN 978-0-307-29185-1
  • Penny Arcade: Volume 6 The Halls Below (Soft Cover) — ISBN 0-345-51227-8
  • Penny Arcade: Volume 7 Be Good, Little Puppy — ISBN 978-0-345-51228-4
  • The Splendid Magic of Penny Arcade: The 11.5 Anniversary Edition (Hardcover) — ISBN 978-0-345-51226-0

References

  1. Holkins, Jerry; Krahulik, Mike (November 18, 1998). “The SIN Of Long Load Times”. Penny Arcade.
  2. “Check out our first original comic strip!”. loonygames (loonyboi productions) 1 (13). November 16–20, 1998. Retrieved July 26, 2009.
  3. Maragos, Nich (November 7, 2005). “Will Strip for Games”. 1UP.com. Ziff Davis. p. 4. Retrieved December 13, 2006.
  4. “The 2010 TIME 100 Poll: The Penny Arcade Co-Creators”. Time. April 1, 2010. Retrieved April 4, 2010.
  5. Geddes, John (April 2, 2010). “‘Penny Arcade’ a testament to the power of gaming culture”. USA Today. Retrieved October 12, 2011.
  6. MacDonald, Heidi (December 19, 2005). “Web Comics: Page Clickers to Page Turners; It’s like manga five or six years ago”. Publishers Weekly, p. 24.
  7. Holkins, Jerry; Krahulik, Mike (November 13, 2010). “Tycho/Jerry”. Penny Arcade. Retrieved May 21, 2010.
  8. “Alumni Profile Robert Khoo”. Foster School, University of Washington. Retrieved May 19, 2009.
  9. Holkins, Jerry; Krahulik, Mike (March 13, 2006). “The Gambler, Part Three”. Penny Arcade. Retrieved July 6, 2006.
  10. Holkins, Jerry; Krahulik, Mike (November 14, 2005). “Seven Years!”. Penny Arcade.
  11. Diabolicious! Penny Arcade, 2001-07-11
  12. Wow Penny Arcade, 2002-02-11
  13. FF2K @ CES2008 Penny Arcade, 2008-01-14
  14. Holkins, Jerry; Krahulik, Mike (October 19, 2001). “An Honest Mistake”. Penny Arcade. Retrieved July 6, 2006.
  15. Holkins, Jerry; Krahulik, Mike (February 17, 1999). “A VERY Special Penny Arcade!”. Penny Arcade. Retrieved March 27, 2008.
  16. “Instruction”. Penny Arcade.
  17. Holkins, Jerry; Krahulik, Mike (March 17, 1999). “pa one – from calvin klein”. Penny Arcade. Retrieved November 25, 2008.
  18. Holkins, Jerry; Krahulik, Mike (April 23, 1999). “Chicka-Wow Chicka-Wow Wow”. Penny Arcade.
  19. Holkins, Jerry; Krahulik, Mike (November 5, 2001). “Much Love”. Penny Arcade.
  20. Holkins, Jerry; Krahulik, Mike (July 10, 2002). “Son Of True Story”. Penny Arcade.
  21. Holkins, Jerry; Krahulik, Mike (September 8, 2004). “Undisclosed Propensities, Part I”. Penny Arcade.
  22. Holkins, Jerry; Krahulik, Mike (April 7, 2003). “Hello Panda”. Penny Arcade.
  23. Holkins, Jerry; Krahulik, Mike (May 6, 2002). “What, Indeed”. Penny Arcade.
  24. Holkins, Jerry; Krahulik, Mike (August 22, 2005). “Purge 2: The Purgening”. Penny Arcade.
  25. Holkins, Jerry; Krahulik, Mike (February 10, 2006). “They Are Among Us”. Penny Arcade.
  26. Holkins, Jerry; Krahulik, Mike (March 29, 2006). “A Blatant Disregard For Canon”. Penny Arcade.
  27. Holkins, Jerry; Krahulik, Mike (May 30, 2007). “The Time Of His Life”. Penny Arcade. Retrieved August 26, 2007.
  28. Holkins, Jerry; Krahulik, Mike (October 15, 2008). “The Breaking Point”. Penny Arcade.
  29. Holkins, Jerry; Krahulik, Mike (September 10, 2004). “Undisclosed Propensities, Part 2”. Penny Arcade. Retrieved August 26, 2007.
  30. Holkins, Jerry; Krahulik, Mike (November 16, 2005). “Representing Hogwarts”. Penny Arcade. Retrieved November 29, 2011.
  31. Holkins, Jerry; Krahulik, Mike (October 17, 2011). “The Heresiarch”. Penny Arcade. Retrieved November 29, 2011.
  32. Holkins, Jerry; Krahulik, Mike (January 13, 2003). “Sweet and Sour”. Penny Arcade. Retrieved August 26, 2007.
  33. Holkins, Jerry; Krahulik, Mike (January 17, 2005). “Cha Cha Cha Changes”. Penny Arcade. Retrieved August 26, 2007.
  34. Holkins, Jerry; Krahulik, Mike (January 1, 2003). “You Know How It Is”. Penny Arcade. Retrieved August 26, 2007.
  35. Holkins, Jerry; Krahulik, Mike (August 1, 2005). “Just When I Get Out”. Penny Arcade. Retrieved August 26, 2007.
  36. Holkins, Jerry; Krahulik, Mike (August 6, 1999). “Perchance to Dream”. Penny Arcade. Retrieved August 26, 2007.
  37. Holkins, Jerry; Krahulik, Mike (January 18, 2006). “Savannah Heat”. Penny Arcade. Retrieved August 26, 2007.
  38. Holkins, Jerry; Krahulik, Mike (October 20, 2006). “Advertising In The Future”. Penny Arcade. Retrieved August 26, 2007.
  39. Holkins, Jerry; Krahulik, Mike (August 9, 2010). “In Too Deep”. Penny Arcade. Retrieved August 19, 2010.
  40. “PAX 2010: Poker Night at the Inventory”. GamePro. September 6, 2011. Archived from the original on 2010-11-12.

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