I’m a late convert to PvP, which has been online since, god, like 1998 or something. I’ve always been a big Penny Arcade fan, and Tycho made fun of PvP in his newsposts, and I just never got around to reading it. Then I realized that they’re all pals, and Tycho was just taking the piss, and that PvP is actually funny.
PvP is set at a financially troubled gaming magazine. Our hero is Brent, a funny, cynical office monkey who never takes his sunglasses off. Having read PvP every day for a year and a half, I still don’t know what he does. Also, he sometimes gets attacked by pandas. Brent is dating Jade, one of those unreasonably good-looking comic strip dames, like Dennis the Menace’s mom (come on, you know what I’m talking about). Other characters include Brent’s boss, Cole, a solitary voice of reason at the office, and Francis, an obnoxious game-addled teenager (he happens to be my favorite character). Oh, and there’s a big, semi-imaginary (?) blue troll named Skull.
I think PvP was originally supposed to be a comic about gaming, but it has strayed from its core mission and just generally become a strip about the workplace, and dating, and general geekery. And the car from the Dukes of Hazzard. Which is fine. It’s occasionally semi-serious, and amusingly vicious, and thoroughly marinated in the kinds of pop-culture references 30-something dorks like myself get. The whole thing is infused with the jovial spirit of its creator, Scott Kurtz, who seems like one of those people who can’t really stop being funny. It’s also updated every day, like clockwork, which I find pretty impressive.
Of late Kurtz has launched an animated version of PvP, which I haven’t seen, because you have to pay for it, but I probably should. The thing that first got me into the comic was actually its early experiments with animation. Crude, but effective.