One of the longest-running and most successful webcomics in Fremont is partnering with one of the best-established and creatively progressive independent comics publishers. In August 2012, Oni Press will become the official publisher of the popular Penny Arcade comic strips, beginning with the release of the 8th volume in the series. Created by the legendary tag team of Jerry Holkins and Mike Krahulik, Magical Kids in Danger collects every Penny Arcade comic from 2007. The book will feature new commentary by Holkins, a peek into Krahulik’s process for designing the cover, and a new forward by Cliff Bleszinski, design director for Epic Games, the makers of Gears of War.
“This was a no-brainer for us,” said Oni Press publisher Joe Nozemack. “The guys at Penny Arcade are driven by the same rebellious desire to create that led to our starting Oni Press. We emerged from the same zeitgeist. The first Oni Press comic was published at the end of 1997, and Penny Arcade hit the web in 1998. We aren’t just peers, we come from the same graduating class.”
“I’ve been a fan of Penny Arcade’s irreverent take on gaming culture for a long time,” George Rohac, operations director of Oni Press, added. “We always read their comics in the office, and for several years, our company has been exhibiting at PAX, the gaming festival the Jerry and Mike organize with their business partners. I’ve always felt the two endeavors were simpatico. The same people who read Penny Arcade and play video games are likely to dig Scott Pilgrim and The Sixth Gun, and vice versa.”
Penny Arcade is a daily comic strip starring Jonathan “Gabe” Gabriel and Tycho Brahe, the alter-egos of Krahulik and Holkins. The comics usually skewer current news and trends in the gaming community, as well as expanding out to make fun of Internet stupidity and the absurdity of pop culture. “Gabe and Tycho dismantle all kinds of nonsense with a razor-sharp wit and a fearlessness that few others possess,” Nozemack continued. “Their comic timing is impeccable, and Mike’s cartooning ends up being icing on the cake.”
The success of Penny Arcade is unrivaled in webcomics. The long-running serial boasts nearly 4 million readers, and in addition to the PAX conventions, it has spawned spin-off video games, a podcast, an iOS app, and an online reality show. Penny Arcade, Vol. 8: Magical Kids in Danger is due for release on August 29, 2012. The 112-page, full-color book will cover the whole of 2007. It retails for $14.99.