Today’s Music: “0 – 4”, The Notwist
TODAY’S TOPIC: Webcomics You’re Not Reading: PVP, by Scott Kurtz
So, since this blog is recently finding it’s feet again, every now and then I’d like to do this little bit, “Webcomics You’re Not Reading”. And maybe some of you are, my soon to be loyal readership, but maybe some of you aren’t.
Today’s featured strip is PvP, a typically-four panel black and white comic drawn by Scott Kurtz. It has been around for something like ten years now, and maintains all the charm it had the day it started. I’ve been reading it daily since 2003 or so – it has become a staple of my daily internetting. The strip features characters who are all employees of an independant gaming magazine, “PvP”. Run by friends-since-forever Cole and Brent (the H.O.M.O.), it employees a handful of writers, including the girl gamers, the teenage gamer fanatic, and a troll. No, not the forum kind – an actual troll. With a mass of unique supporting characters, this comic is sure to offer at least one character each reader can relate to, and more whom the reader can say, “I know someone exactly like that!” (Ask me about any of my Mac friends and I will find Brent in all of them, and become Francis in my rabid defense of PCs.) Nor is the comic entirely about video games – it offers homage to tabletop RPGS, Star Wars, Star Trek, Starbucks addictions and all other things ultimately geeky. Kurtz even throws in the occassional non-gamer plotline.
While the script offers no daily, years-long storylines that must be followed religiously, a story arc will sometimes span a week or two. The beauty of it is that even in these story arcs comic strips stand alone with their own punchline. Take, for example, this comic. This gem from just last week or so really stuck out to me. Boy, you see, had quit WoW and was glad of it. While I never -quit-, we had a conversation very similar to this one. And, like Brent and Jade, now we too are playing together. It’s strips like that that keep me tuned in daily, even in the presence of one of my less-favorite characters, Shecky.
You’re probably thinking, good lord, ten years of comics is a lot to read all on a monitor. Won’t my eyes start on fire? Ah, I would say, yes it is, too bad, if only he was published. You’re in luck! Mr. Kurtz has the good fortune of being published by Image Comics. If you follow the comic for a while, and decide you’d like to read back, you can find issues of PvP in your local comic shop. You can also order them online directly off the PvP site.
There are very few cons I can identify with this comic. While it is a gamer comic, many references are easily accessible to most crowds. The comic is littered with pop culture references from nearly the last thirty years. So even if you’re not a rabid fan of video games, there will most probably be something for you in the comic. There are obviously some characters who are more (or less) likeable than others, and the occassional plotline that doesn’t QUITE make you laugh like another, or a comic where the punchline falls flat. Mr. Kurtz is the first to point these out, usually, with the attitude of, “Hey, one comic in one hundred isn’t bad.” And we, as always, forgive him with hopes of another laugh. He is a man who adores his readers and does his best to please him as frequently as he can.
In short, PvP is a gem of the internet, and definitely one worth adding to YOUR daily internetting. The perfect little pick-me-up to brighten that day that you’ve already ruined at 8 a.m. by spilling your Starbucks latte all in that shiny MacBook Pro.