Tuesday, August 5, 2008

A Word On The Perry Bible Fellowship

Update, 12/21/2008: Alas, the Perry Bible Fellowship site is down, seemingly permanently. This is a great loss for webcomics in general. So the links below do not work. I found other copies of all but one of the comics that were on here.

Hey there, webcomic fans. I have some thoughts today.

The jokes are usually brilliant, the drawings are actual art and it's often wonderfully dark. See how good the drawing is? My blog looks classy just embedding it. Maybe you knew all this already. That's ok, it's not the point.

The point is that a few months ago, there were a whole bunch of fairly shitty (by PBF standards) comics. For example, this one:

Still not sure on what the point is there - preacher tries to be cool, preacher is clearly lame, preacher gets hurt. O.....k. And up till this point, PBF only very, very rarely missed. It was simply a very high quality comic.

Anyway the point is that after 10 or so fairly lame comics, PBF just stopped. Nick Gurewitch just stopped drawing it. It was getting too hard, he didn't want to always have to be thinking of jokes (not to mention the huge time committment his drawing was) and so he stopped, rather than dilute the quality of his work.

I think of all this because he recenly posted a new comic, apparently the first in five months, and it's just kind of eh (except its third panel, which is terrifying).

I have a lot of respect for the decision to stop. This is what I think xkcd should do. It's tough, because it means admitting that you are out of ideas, but honestly, if we keep getting this "guys you should kiss people!" shit it's basically admitting it anyway.

Anyway I'll leave you with one of the first PBFs, a great commentary on fighting in general:


  1. Careful there, Carl. Ghostbusters is great, too, and we saw what xkcd can do to that!

  2. I was sad to see PBF unupdated for so long (mostly because it stopped updating... /right/ after I started reading and finally got through all the older ones. Sob.), but I agree that it's better to stop than to churn out mediocre comics.

    Except that Randall seems to take an odd sort of pride in updating "without fail" every MWF. Maybe that's why he's not stopping?

    And also, well, he's still got a pretty large following.

  3. True, he does seem to take pride in that "without fail" thing, which had always been bugging me in the back of my head. I think part of that is he probably made some spiffy program where he feeds in comics when he's done with them and it posts them at exactly midnight on the right nights, but yeah. I mean he has to stop eventually, even if it's due to fanboy related suffocation.

  4. The links and the images are dead, I think the reason is PBF changing the format of the archives.

    (you don't have to publish this comment, just take it as a "bug report" or whatever)

  5. Yeah, the pbf site has been down for a few weeks now. I've been meaning to say something about it. I could probably find the comics elsewhere and put those up. But yeah, it's a shame.

  6. It's back up

  7. @Carl - "I think part of that is he probably made some spiffy program where he feeds in comics when he's done with them and it posts them at exactly midnight on the right nights, but yeah."

    It's odd, because ComicGenesis does exactly that for everyone, and has for years now (I think). You just dump your comics on their FTP server and it posts them, creates the HTML pages, updates the indexing on the archives, et cetera. Drunkduck does it too, although not as smoothly as CG.

    Actually, when I tried my first comic, I went to both CG and DD for hosting, and since they both had automated updating software, I kind of wondered how sitebuilders did it. Actually manually making a new page every MWF at midnight seems like a terrible way to do it.

  8. Perry Bible Fellowship sucks. I don't see anything worthy of reading in that comic and you should be ashamed of yourself for reading that crap. Let's take a closer look at the first comic that you put up in this post.

    So this fat person in the first panel is yelling, "Food fight!". Then, a person in the second panel put his hand against his face. The third panel shows a bunch of people at a table with what appears to be children.

    What is that supposed to mean? It makes no sense.

    I don't even want to evaluate any more of this crap, but I'll go through with one more. Let's take a look at the last comic that you have posted.

    So you have two people standing facing each other. Each of them is wearing a shirt with a nonsensical word on it. Then, they start fighting.

    Okay, I can't even go on. This comic is crap. Complete and utter crap.

  9. With sons of the most high - it always looked to me like the precher wasn't actually trying to be cool; note the kid chasing the skateboard in the first panel. More like accidental awesome, followed by its natural consequence.

  10. IrregularWebomic!, which has over 2000 strips, is updated every day and is still funny. It uses language, geeky humour, computer jokes, pop culture references and plain stupid scenes. The man behind it also runs a multitude of other webcomics AND has a Doctorate in physics. Plus, he does it all for a loss, there are no ads and until very recently no shop.

    So he doesn't use romance. He still can write, day in, day out, arresting plotlines and laugh-out-loud strips. http://irregularwebcomic.net/ because geeks need laughs too.

  11. I have to disagree with you on this one. Actually, I disagree with you on almost everything you post here since I don't get the point in putting so much effort in trashing people who are actually trying to be creative and make us laugh, but I guess if you can't find anything better to do with your time and energy...

    Either way, the PBF "Sons of the Most High" webcomic is one of my favorites. I think the commentary he is making here is how idiotic it is when when older people try to make stuff "hip" and "cool" to appeal to the younger generation. It never works out and the older people just end up looking like they are trying to hard.

  12. "Sons of the Most High!"

    I loved that one and I do think it was by far one of his all time best best.