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Mike Leffel

Owlie by Mike Leffel

Biggie Panda: Old Skool Webcomics

One way to think of the history of webcomics is as the big bang of comics. At the beginning there were far fewer webcomic creators and they were (virtually) clustered together much more tightly (hence all the wistful talk of "webcomic community") and then, if the inflationary webcomicology theory is correct, those early webcomic exploded into the universe of comics online we have today.


OWLIE returned after a long absence by creator Mike Leffel. Also returning this week is Funny Farm by Ryan Smith.

What I Was Reading in July 2001

Sorry to inflict this on the world but I feared this blog wasn't fulfilling the required "Self-Indulgent" Content requirement for blogs. I was'ing my old site and pulled my daily webcomic reading list from roughly mid-year 2001. Here's the list with some comments on where some of them are today:

Absurd Notions: Creator Kevin Pease has moved the strip to and reduced the update schedule for this once daily strip but Absurd Notions is still one of the wittier comic strips on the web about young guys and gals of a computer/geek bent. The current story concerns a role-playing game the characters are conducting - it has been going on all year. Pease has also released a dead tree collection of AN: An Awful Lot of Absurd Notions.

Acid Reflux: This one appears to be dead (the old URL seems to have been grabbed by one of those lame squatter companies) although there is a Live Journal community about it. I never really got into this one but it was fairly popular.

Algernons Dilemma: Jim Alexander has been posting this daily strip since late 1999. I am under the impression that he has stopped making the comic but still posting this year because he had worked almost a year ahead. I couldn't find any status update on the website though so I'm not sure if that's still the case. I also think Alexander removed a large part of the archives - folks need to buy a CD-Rom from him to get those. I have read bits and pieces of AD in the past but I could never get past Alexander's unique take on the female anatomy to become a fan. A lot of old-school webtoonists are fans of his work though.

Alice!: is still one of the few GOOD PG comic strips on the web. A shame that McKay-Fleming isn't in your local newspaper.

Angst Technology: Barry was hot than stopped and now he's back again. I'm not as much into AT and the other strips on Inktank as I was pre-hiatus but it's probably more to do with the much more crowded field of webcomics than any drop in quality on Barry's part. There's just only so much time in the day!

A.P.E. Force: Nicely drawn - possibly gone from the web now. Couldn't find it this morning anyhow.

Aren't We Real: Case Yorke's webcomic before Gluemeat and I believe the archives are somewhere on Still my favorite Yorke project.

Arrogance in Simplicity: A funny comic, not always as funny as the creator thought it was but still a good read in its day. Definitely over according to the creator. Early pioneer in the "crap art but still a decent read" category.

Avalon: One of the original soap-opera-ish high school webcomics, Avalon is no more and Josh is now on to another comic.

BB of CS: Another comic that is done. Had to update the URL because the old was grabbed a URL squatter. Bad Boys of Computer Science was a pretty vulgar but sometimes painfully honest comic about college undergrad computer science students. It ran roughly from 2000-2002.

Bobbins: Bobbins is no more but Scary Go Round whirls on.

Bob N' Ed: Decent art, great parody riffs on Star Wars, Star Trek, X-Files, etc,but a horribly inconsistent update schedule probably has kept this comic from being more popular. Apparently he's actively working on it this summer.

BoxJam's Doodle: Original Blue Dude back after a brief hiatus this year.

Bruno the Bandit: Old School webtoonist still making the adventures of Bruno and filling in for Pete on Saturdays at Sluggy Freelance.

Burnt Dog Radio: Um this one would be mine. No comment....

Chopping Block: Herold updates less frequently now but still one of the rock stars of webcomicdom.

Clan of the Cats


Common Grounds: Corey Marie Kitley's last webcomic before Life's So Rad. She's still on Keenspot pluggin' away at being emo.

Cool Cat Studio: Gone but Giselle is working with T Campbell on a new comic somewhere in the Modern Tales family of sites.

Cyantia Chronicles: Syke makes a lot of comics some of them hosted on Keenspot now.

Deathworld: I've completely lost track of Rudy's comic but he is as old-school webcomic as they come. He probably also holds the record for most active participation in the Fright Night Project.

Diabolica: Burke's first comic before Grimbles. Diabolica was good but Grimbles is better. Sometimes he out-Gorey's Gorey.

Diesel Sweeties: Pixel Power Activate! Form of a robot-elephant! Form of an Ice cube!

Dr. Lobster: I hope they keep the archives for this one up - in its own way it was quite good.

Down to Earth: Keenspot, indendent, quit and now back again I belive. Still kicking.

Dregs: This one was kind of bad. Doesn't look like it's still updating. I'm not sure I actually read this now that I'm looking at the site.

Elf Life: Some day Carson will complete enough of his tale to make this a coherent epic in comic format. Until than it's sort of the Similarron (I probably spelled that wrong) of the webcomics world. I just hope it doesn't take Carson's son to edit and publish it in a final format.

Everything Jake

Exploitation Now: Done and onto Errant Story. Poe is growing as an artist.

Frankenstudent: Gone.

Fat Jesus: Horribly Inconsistent. Went from Keenspace to Keenspot because clearly Leffel is talented. Just a shame that not much work has actually been published. Owlie (his other comic) is still one of my sentimental favorites.


Funny Farm: I lost track of this one. Hard to catch up with everything I guess. Reportedly going to "end" but Smith seems to be a bit cagey about what that means.

GPF: Still kicking although more serious now than before.

Ghostz: Read the archives. Funniest copyright violatin' comic from the old school days around.

Goats: Rosenberg can actually draw now. It's always been funny though.

Greystone Inn: Why Guigar is not syndicated more broadly is beyond me. A fine work in the comic strip tradition.


Hang & Catch Fire: Terrance Marks does a gamer comic. Not sure if it exists anywhere online anymore.

Hobnob Inn: Now hosted on the Reuben (Awards for Comic Strips) website - this was a kind of wannabe Bloom County when basically everyone was a wannabe Bloom County. Haven't read it in a long time so I have no idea what it's like now.

Hotendotey: Right now the website says "PLEASE BEAR WITH US AS WE ARE PLANNING FUTURE ATROCITIES. THANKS." That sums up Hotendotey alright...

Hosers: Hosers got to do a cross-over with GPF. Less frequent updating lately although much better art than in the old school days.

Hound's Home: Brillant satire, erratic updating schedule.

Help Desk: Still making fun of Microsoft.

In2it: Scott Kurtz's buddy is no longer making webcomics I guess.

It's Walky!: Premarital Hanky Panky.

Jackie's Fridge

JoBeth!: Lost in space, alas...

Joe Average: It all went downhill after he got a girlfriend... :)

Just Another Vice: Back in a hazy cloud of dust..

Just Cheese: Just gone I guess.

Kevin& Kell: Furry goodness. (I can't believe I just said that...)

Ko Fight Club: Eclectic goodness.

Krazy Larry: It's alive I tell you. ALIVE!!!!

Lemont Brown: Used to be on Toonville. Not anymore I guess. Probably somewhere out there on the Internet but too tired to Google.

Limpidity: I don't remember this one.

Living In Greytown: Phil is Dead.

LWIBH: Still gross.

Lost & Found Investigations: Dog Detective as opposed to Basil Flint who is also a dawg detective.

Merlin's Crew: A 2001 comic that survived Keenspace's many meltdowns since. Not sure if it was any good or not.

Mr. Chuck Show: Jon Myers just quit one day in 2003 never to return. Or will he?!??!!

Nerdz: I've met Screwball McGoo sir and you're no Screwball McGoo!



No Outlet: I liked this one - too bad I can't find the archives anymore.

Nowhere Man: An angry comic that seems to have stopped in 2003.


Penny Arcade

Pentasmal: Now is the time for men to wear hats! Pentasmal is now locked away behind Keenspot's premium wall.


? (Ashfield Online)

Randym Thoughts: I think this was done by Howard Shclock Tayler's brother but I can no longer find the archives.

Real Life

Renegades: Not only does the url I had no longer work I can't remember even one thing about this webcomic.

Schlock Mercenary


Sluggy Freelance

Soap on a Rope

Soup: Surprisingly this comic is still plugging along.

SporkMan: Four prongs of justice!

Stripped Again

Suburban Jungle


Tikaboo Peak

Together We Fall: Another one that seems to have slipped off the web and I can't recall anything about it.

Tonja Steele: still updating.

Too Fat to be a RockStar: Well the domain still points at Keenspace but it appears the site may have been wiped in one of Keenspace's mighty might meltdowns.

Tsuduku...: Although Ken's comic appears to have URL-hopped a bit I found it out there. Has to be experienced to understand..

Ubigod's Hurricane: It's Ubi's world and you're just living in it.

Unlike Minerva: Unlike active.

Unnatural, but true: Gone like the schwin.

Waiting for Bob: At one point this comic was popular, well thought of and doing cross-overs with all of the future "biggies" of webcomicdom. But it's been inactive since 2002 and I guess never to return. It's too bad - some of the most well written characters...

Wandering Ones

When I Grow Up: This was Jeff "WIGU" Rowland's first webcomic. I guess he lost the domain name though - I think he has the archives on his site for WIGU, his new webcomic.

You Damn Kid


Me Need Sleepies!! An interview with Owlie's Mike Leffel

Mike Leffel burst onto the webcomic scene in 2000 with the colorful, hilarious, and slightly controversial Fat Jesus. He later created Owlie! (with help from Bob Scott), a semi-daily strip on Keenspot about a really cranky owl and other forest animals.

Paying for It: Webcomics Are Still Cheap Thrills

There are plenty of webcomics you can read for free, but a growing number of sites are beginning to charge for some or all of the webcomics they publish. Now that you may have to hand over your hard-earned cash to read your favorite webcomics, it’s important that you know what you’re getting so you can decide where to hand over your hard-earned cash. This article is part one in a series that will review sites where you pay for webcomics. We will tell you the costs of joining such sites.

News for April 1, 2003

Dateline: April 1, 2003
All the News That Fits!

  • Keenspot Servers Rated #1 by J.D. Power & Associates
  • Everyone Agrees with Latest Scott Kurtz Rant
  • Buddy Cop Movie: Serialize This! to feature Joey Manley & Chris Crosby
  • Carson Fire Has Completely Glitch-free Week
  • Eight Announces His Return to Road Waffles: Death of All Main Characters Just a Dream the Squirrel Had in the Shower.
  • Tang Changes Direction with new Cute Fluffy Bunnies and Ponies webcomic.


War in Iraq Validates Sprite Comic

Daniel Bergmann, creator of the sprite-based webcomic ChocoBot, believes the tensions brought on by the military action in Iraq not only justify his creation, but deem it necessary.

"Let's face it," Bergmann noted, "The world desperately needs heroes right now, and there are no greater heroes than ChocoBot the Robot Chocobo and his merry band of woodland friends. And Cammy from Street Fighter."

While Bergmann will not directly mention the war in his webcomic, he plans to combat terrorism via the parody character Osonic bin Hedgehog.


Bruno and Bruno the Bandit Mini-series

Ian McDonald and Christopher Baldwin announced plans to feature a cross-over storyline in the near future. Bruno, the neurotic writer, will imagine Bruno, the anachronistic bandit, into scenes of the new novel she is writing. Like a cheap harlequin romance novel (or the movie Somewhere in Time), Bruno will leap from the pages to win Bruno's heart.

After the series, Baldwin plans to shift the focus of his Bruno strip to a gag-a-day comic and do away with the strip's extensive background artwork. "I want people to be happy. Oblivious and happy. Oblivious and happy sheep... wait, no. Just happy. Yes. Happy."


Sinfest No More: Go In Peace to Serve

Tatsuya Ishida announced in his latest Keenspot Newsbox for Sinfest that he has become a born again christian and as such the comic strip will now solely feature his characters Dog and Cat.


Is that a Rocket in Your Box or Are You Just Happy to See me?

After completing a ten step program, Barry T. Smith, creator of Angst Technology recently renounced all forms of gaming and caffeine.

He than exploded.


Shocking Expose on Greg Dean!

Greg Dean the creator of the comic strip Real Life admits, "Yeah, sometimes I just make s@$t up."


Mike Leffel Named Most Prolific Cartoonist of his Generation

After producing two daily comic strips (Owlie and Fat Jesus) for six years without missing a day, Mike Leffel recently took his first break, but only for a solitary Saturday. "I have to get back to work - can't let my fans twist slowly in the wind waiting for an update like some other cartoonists I won't mention."

"I only wish I was as consistent as Mike Leffel," said Chris Crosby. "Sure my strip, Superosity, has run for four years straight without missing a day but Leffel's like a god. Or like Alf. But really, what's the difference?"


Bizzleman7 Announces New Webcomic

Bizzleman7, the creator of the widely acclaimed webcomic about Mohammed Ali and his pet camel, When We Were Kings, announced his plans for a new hip-hop inspired webcomic to be called Schnizzle, Dizzle, It's All About the Bah-fizzle.

Scott McCloud immediately praised it as a classic. "Incorporating gangsta rap imagery into webcomics is the next natural step in reinventing comics. I've always thought the infinite canvas would be necessary to portray the complexities of musical personas such as Busta Rhymes and Redman."