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Penny Arcade Makes Time 100 196

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the well-good-for-them dept.
Precision noticed that Mike Krahulik and Jerry Holkins of Penny Arcade fame have made the Time 100. The writeup talks about Child's Play and PAX and lavishes deserved adoration upon the pair. I've always envied their ability to maintain control over their brand and use it for appropriately portioned good and evil ;)
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Penny Arcade Makes Time 100

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  • Good for them (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Wyatt Earp (1029) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @11:43AM (#32031496)

    I'm a big fan of the brand and PAX, but I really have a hard time finding anything enjoyable about their writing.

    Perhaps 1 out of 10 comics are interesting and most often the writing drones on like I'm reading Moby Dick

    "I scrolled up and down my Steam library yesterday, listlessly, without so much as a remembered thrill; all I wanted to do was play Blur for some reason, something I hadn't picked up in weeks but whose thirsting fronds were reaching up through some mental fissure. After a few rounds to loosen up, quite organically I found myself in a Party discussing the events of the day. The conviviality and natural flow of the conversation began to disintegrate as the race progressed, slowing and then ceasing altogether, like the dwindling reports from a bag of microwave popcorn."

    • Re:Good for them (Score:4, Insightful)

      by iknowcss (937215) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @11:48AM (#32031600) Homepage
      "Tycho's" literary voice is one of my favorites. It flows well and sounds more like ironic Moby Dick than Moby Dick.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by wetdogjp (245208)

        I agree. I remember actually crying when I read the story he wrote [penny-arcade.com] for his newborn son.

        Every time a read a thoughtful, poetic post from him, I think, "That's how I want to write."

    • Re:Good for them (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Enderandrew (866215) <enderandrew@gmai l . com> on Thursday April 29, 2010 @11:49AM (#32031626) Homepage Journal

      The comics are often low-brow humor. The posts are often very high-brow diatribes. I love both and the contrast they portray. But to each their own.

      • by SEWilco (27983)
        Hey, this is a big f***ing deal.
    • by Rogerborg (306625) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @11:54AM (#32031704) Homepage
      NOTE: your post got cut off before you showed us how it should be done. Please repost, kthnx.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by spun (1352)

      Both men are trying to improve their art. Gabe has come a long way from his humble beginnings. Tycho's writing outside the comics is still an acquired taste. I think it is partly an affectation, he's the smart one, Gabe is the dumb one, but those are still personae they put on for the comic.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by spire3661 (1038968)
      IM sorry you cant appreciate PA writing. It is very wordy and convoluted sometimes, but thats part of the appeal. He doesnt dumb it down for the masses. Most of the time when im reading i can speed skim through articles, but when i read PA i stop and really process what is being said.
      • by retchdog (1319261)

        Wordy and convoluted isn't enough to be "smart".

        Their stuff reads like the slightly-less-funny nerd version of Dave Barry. Which is fine; I like Dave Barry at times, but the subgroup they're targeting isn't geniuses.

    • Re:Good for them (Score:5, Insightful)

      by donscarletti (569232) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @01:09PM (#32032986)

      "slowing and then ceasing altogether, like the dwindling reports from a bag of microwave popcorn."

      Any idiot can write a meandering tangle of pretentious and meaningless wank about a game that I will never care about, but only Jerry Holkins can finish it a simile so clever that I will be actually glad I read that drivel. That's why he's the one with a web comic and we're all posting on slashdot.

    • by billcopc (196330)

      I knew this would be one of the complaints, but upon thinking it through I realized I actually enjoy the writing, and the fact that it comes in tiny little morsels. The heavy masturbatory prose of most navel-gazing writers, I can't stand, but PA is just a tiny bit of flourish to liven up what would otherwise be "This game rocks, sucks, and/or eats babies. I (dis)liked it because of X, Y and that native-american allegory tomato."

      There are only so many ways to criticize the game industry and its excrement.

    • Re:Good for them (Score:4, Insightful)

      by GameMaster (148118) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @05:21PM (#32037128)

      Ah, but which Moby dick are you referring to? The original, or this one

      http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2010/1/15/ [penny-arcade.com]

  • As they should! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Pojut (1027544) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @11:44AM (#32031516) Homepage

    They are arguably among the most influential people in an industry bigger than Hollywood...I'd say they deserve a place on the list.

    Not bad for two nerdy dweebs who probably got swirlied in middle school.

    • Re:As they should! (Score:4, Informative)

      by Enderandrew (866215) <enderandrew@gmai l . com> on Thursday April 29, 2010 @11:50AM (#32031644) Homepage Journal

      Didn't Halo 3's launch weekend generate more revenue than the biggest Hollywood opening weekend of all time?

      Video Games are just as influential and big as the movie indudstry.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Saishuuheiki (1657565)

        I think that's a false comparison. Theatres are limited it the number of people that can fit in at any time, however games can manufacture the cd's ahead of time so they don't have an upper limit in the same amount of time.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by spun (1352)

          Well it may be a false comparison, but the video game industry is now larger than the film industry in terms of revenue. The film industry made around 10.5 billion in revenues in 2008, while the video game industry made around 11.5 billion. This is counting movie and game sales and rentals. The film industry may hold more cultural cachet and influence, and more people consider films to be true art, but that is changing as well.

          • by jaymz666 (34050)

            Box office revenues I could find for 2008 say they were about 10 billion, the home video revenues were around 22 billion. That was after a 5% decline.

          • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

            by Wyatt Earp (1029)

            No, the video game industry is not bigger than the film industry.

            Film Industry in the US employs 361,000

            http://www.bls.gov/oco/cg/cgs038.htm [bls.gov]

            All software publishing in the US employs 263,700

            http://www.bls.gov/oco/cg/cgs051.htm [bls.gov]

            Globally video games are worth 40 billion

            http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/Investing/Extra/VideoGameSalesOvertakingMusic.aspx [msn.com]

            US film revenue is 42 billion, total box office gross is 10-11 billion, but that's only a piece of the US film industry.

            http://www.allbusiness.com/media-teleco [allbusiness.com]

            • by spun (1352)

              Okay, you've got better sources so I must admit to being mistaken. Still, it's clear which way the trend is going, film keeps losing entertainment market share while video games keep gaining. It may yet be a while before games are accepted as real art, look how long it took for comic books.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        Halo 3 did make more than most hollywood movies in its first day than they do in their first weekend. Over the course of a few months though I believe most movies catch up.

        While I would agree that video games are a big industry, I wouldn't go as far as to say they are as influential as movies. Video games (especially new releases) usually cost about 5 or 6 times as much as a movie ticket. If you consider the amount of sales and not the dollars earned as influential (which I have come to take its meaning), t

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Enderandrew (866215)

          A video game costs $60. Avatar tickets cost me $15 a pop. Even assuming a standar movie ticket is only $10, a video game is more expensive. So for the same money, more people are seeing movies. I'll give you that. But if I buy one copy of Mario Party and invite my friends over to play, then multiple people are playing on the one purchase.

          But you often watch a 2 hour movie onec, and you're done. Video games you spend more time with. Video games are often played multi-player, or online. You aren't supposed to

          • "Recentering globalization: Popular culture and Japanese transnationalism" is a study by Koichi Iwabuchi published by Duke University Press that was done in the 90's and shows that the character Mario is more recognizable to American youth than Micky Mouse. If there's better support for your contention, I think you'd be hard pressed to find it :)
      • by jaymz666 (34050)

        How did Halo 3 sell the next weekend, and the next, and the next? How were the DVD sales? How about the TV rights?

        • Not bad at all, Halo Legends is, in fact, out on DVD and Blu Ray, and wait for it. The book sales are all good, too.

          • by jaymz666 (34050)

            Halo Legends is not Halo 3, it's a different thing. That's like adding sales of The Black Freighter DVD onto the Watchmen Boxoffice sales report.

            • Well, wouldn't you? It gets awfully metaphysical. I've got the Ultimate Watchment blu-ray thingy, which includes TotBF. I don't know that they're splitting up that price.

              Besides, isn't merch and spinoffs usually counted in with the rest of the franchise?

    • Does your definition of “the world” only include “Geeks, mostly only from the US” again?

      I don’t think in all of Europe more than a few geeks have ever heard of Penny Arcade. I used to create web pages that were (willfully) read by 13 million people every day. So am I now also influencing the world? (Hint: No.) ^^

      • by h4rr4r (612664)

        You don't have a charity that takes in a million dollars either. Don't be jealous. In European nations were most of the kids speak English PA has an audience. In Eastern Europe probably not so much. For my purposes Eastern Europe begins were the wall was.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Gamer_2k4 (1030634)

      I'd say they deserve a place on the list.

      Perhaps...but any entry on a list that puts Lady Gaga as the top artist of the year should be taken with a grain of salt.

  • by 0racle (667029) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @11:44AM (#32031524)
    Honestly, congratulations. It's nice when good work gets recognized.
  • And the fact that "Fruit Fucker" is in it with them.
  • Popularity contest (Score:5, Informative)

    by Enderandrew (866215) <enderandrew@gmai l . com> on Thursday April 29, 2010 @11:47AM (#32031586) Homepage Journal

    Kudos to them, but sadly this was a popularity contest where the likes of Justin Bieber and such were receiving votes.

    I'd rather a wide-range, rational panel try to offer their opinions rather than open up a massive internet vote.

  • Really, Time? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by moosesocks (264553) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @11:56AM (#32031734) Homepage

    I was impressed until I read the rest of the list, particularly this love letter [time.com] to Glenn Beck........ written by none other than Sarah Palin herself.

    Really, Time? Sure, he's pretty influential, and a demagogue to be certain. But casting him as an intellectual and a history buff? Have they ever even watched his program?

    Jon Stewart had a great point last week: The Daily Show is as absurd and farcical as it's been since Day 1. However, the "real news" media are slowly inching their way toward the realm of absurdist comedy and entertainment.

  • by DRAGONWEEZEL (125809) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @12:03PM (#32031874) Homepage

    When they commented that they have a bigger voice than Roger because the last time they checked they where above Oprah on the Time top 100 list.

    I was like "NO WAY!" so I went, did some fact checking, and then voted to put them up to #1!!

    Click the link here http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1972075_1976159,00.html [time.com]
    To vote for them!

  • by antifoidulus (807088) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @12:03PM (#32031882) Homepage Journal
    All they need is a decent web comic. Seriously the quality has dropped considerably in the last couple of years as it seems the comic is just an afterthought, they occaisionally put their heart into it and make a brilliant comic but for the mostpart I don't even chuckle anymore.
    • by Seakip18 (1106315)

      Agreed. I feel like, while their brand has taken off(PAX, Rain-Slick Precipice, Child's Play), the comic quality has diminished to the point where it's hit or miss...more often being miss.

      Same goes with Tycho's diatribes.

      Honestly, I think that we're used to reading their stuff when they were bachelors. Now they are married and have kids, growing a gamer family. It'll probably click when I'm in the same situation they are, but right now it ain't.

      Then again, this is only how I feel. I'm sure a lot of folks ar

      • Honestly, I think that we're used to reading their stuff when they were bachelors. Now they are married and have kids, growing a gamer family. It'll probably click when I'm in the same situation they are, but right now it ain't.

        I think that's a legitimate comment on pretty much any observer/commentator/etc. As their life changes, so does their viewpoint.

        Now that I'm married, and have my first child, I'm looking at Penny Arcade and appreciating the viewpoints of individuals who make gaming a way to bond with their kids more. If I weren't in this situation, as you rightly point out, their viewpoint might be a little too distant from my own to really click.

        Such is the nature of influence - you need to have some common ground to rea

    • All they need is a decent web comic. Seriously the quality has dropped considerably in the last couple of years as it seems the comic is just an afterthought, they occaisionally put their heart into it and make a brilliant comic but for the mostpart I don't even chuckle anymore.

      "Internet message boards were funnier 10 years ago. I've kinda stopped reading their new posts" - Simpsons writer Matt Warburton

  • I've always envied their ability to maintain control over their brand and use it for appropriately portioned good and evil ;)

    From what I've understood from their past posts and various interviews, they owe a lot to their business manager, Robert Khoo.

    They like explaining how they actually sold their brand and rights away before Khoo came aboard. Luckily, the buyer disappeared into bankruptcy and nobody else has since claimed that ownership. I'm not too sure of the details and current veracity of this :)

    • by jandrese (485)
      Wasn't that the book rights? Way back when nobody took Webcomics seriously they basically signed away their rights to a scuzzy publisher and paid him to start publishing. He then took the money and fled to the Alaska wilderness or something and then promised to sue them if they ever tried to do something with their IP. Basically IP blackmail. After several years of court battles they got the rights back and that's when they partnered up with Dark Horse for the current books.

      Of course I can't help but
  • by Tei (520358) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @12:48PM (#32032620) Journal

    It seems is easy to be a guru on the internet. You can make lots of weird predictions, and some will be right.

    Like this 2006 comic:
    http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2006/05/01/ [penny-arcade.com]
    And this today news:
    http://ve3d.ign.com/articles/news/54532/Activision-Bungie-Sign-Ten-Year-Publishing-Partnership [ign.com]

    And this part of the reason Penny Arcade is still relevant.. theres a lot of predictions, and some are right.

  • Interesting, how they struggle to stay important, by judging others, and sucking the cattle into their reality.
    Unfortunately, in actual reality, they are long fallen into irrelevance. Or has anyone of you ever bought a issue of the Time magazine? I honestly don’t know a single person. And I don’t know a reason why I should. (Hello Time marketing? *nudgenudge*)

    It’s not that I don’t wish them all the best. It’s just, that maybe finding a new business model and purpose would be a

  • CmdrTaco writes:

    I've always envied their ability to maintain control over their brand and ...

    That reminds me of the time they signed away their book publishing rights and nearly lost the rights to their intellectual property and the name Penny Arcade [wired.com]. Except for that, I agree.
    I'm a big PA fan, but they totally needed a business manager. And since I'm writing about him, I love this anecdote about Robert Khoo [penny-arcade.com].

  • Last I checked the list was full of Korean Pop stars and Figure Skaters.

    I would say that somehow S. Korea folks were really aware of this, and/or no one else cared.

    I would say that "Time" hasn't quite figured out this thing called "Cyberspace" and perhaps their "Time" has long since passed.

    I mean how many years ago was it when Stephen Cobare would join just about any internet voting thing, nominate himself, plug it on his show, and get bridges, space station equipment, and a variety of other crap named afte

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