What the hell is Penny Arcade doing?

If you read Penny Arcade, maybe you know what I’m talking about. If you don’t, do me a favor. Click this link, read the comic, and then click this next link and read that comic. Those were sort of back to back – the first from a Friday, the second on a Monday.

Neither appears to have a joke.

Neither is comprehensible to me.

As far as I can gather, in the first comic, two men – probably Allied soldiers – have dug a hole in the woods. Now they sit there, in the rain, and one of them brings up raccoons apropos of nothing (to turn a phrase, if I may). And the other is, uh, offended by this?

Because, as we might learn from the second comic, one man is a furry? Or something? He believes he is part-raccoon? And then he wants his buddy to call him by his furry name.

Horus: the only good furry name?

I am wondering what I’m looking at here. I know Penny Arcade has moved way beyond its beginnings of “video game comic” and become an internet powerhouse. Their website has a ton of features I never use. I drop in to check out the comic.

Still, I think the core aim of their comic remains the same – to entertain. Often I find myself looking at media designed to entertain someone with a very different mindset than me. Even then, I can attain some small measure of understanding of why a person like that might be entertained by a certain form of presentation or punchline.

These “One-Oh-Furst” comics are so totally incomprehensible to me that I cannot even imagine a target audience. Help me, I guess?

Nevermind, I found the target audience and they are terrible. Though, to be honest, wearing pants with “Wulf” on them is hilarious.

My point isn’t that this comic is bad, or that I miss the ‘old’ Penny Arcade. I know how hard it is to create something good. You’ll get more misses than hits. But damn. I know how good Penny Arcade can be. I want them to be that good all the time, which is likely impossible. Maybe skip an update or two, you know? Rally your strength or whatever.

Just, not this.


Whoops wait, I was just about to post this as I was looking through the Penny Arcade archives. I was looking for a strip I always remembered as funny. Gabe leaves to ‘find himself’ and Tycho predicts he’ll be raped by a hobo. Later, Gabe thanks Kenny Rogers for killing a hobo.

Here is the strip that immediately precedes the comic I just linked you to:

So, there’s that. Maybe the “One-Oh-Furst” is the story of that hobo, and how he became so deranged as to want to rape people who look like raccoons to him. I legitimately can’t tell if that is better or worse that what we’ve already got.



About seansynthetic

"...so I says the the guy, I says to him, 'No, YOU ain't allowed back into this Chuck-E-Cheese.'"

Posted on October 8, 2012, in Ramblings of an Unbalanced Mind and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. whatevers going on there… the two blog entries that go with the comics sooooo dont make anything clearer. Some of the links in them seem to imply the text came from a twitter that posts random tumblr quotes? still… kind of feels like im reading penny-time-cube.

    • Yeah, and in general for a webcomic, if I even have to read the attached blog post to understand it, then it isn’t a very good webcomic. Here, we have an inscrutable comic with no attached information that clarifies. Just baffling!

      • Im sorta baffled that you didn’t get it, no offense. its just about how in the modern world of “teh interwebz” we have discussions about “strange” gender identifications and how in other time periods, this discussion would be totally batshit nutso. The comic is talking about a WW2 soldier who is an ” otherkin ” someone who identifies as an
        animal. The tumblr link is a aggregation of posts from “trans-sexual” tumblr blogs.

  2. I know this is awhile later but Jerry even states in the news post accompanying the first comic “In our inimitable way, we tried to imagine our polymorphic, highly granular, identity performance culture occurring in or at any time but now. ” The thing Jerry seems to have forgotten is that there have always been weird people into weird things. It’s just now people get to be those weird things and not have to put up with as many people condemning them for it. At least as long as they’re not hurting anyone because of it.

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