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CSBG Archive

365 Reasons to Love Comics #246

Webcomics Week continues with the most deliciously demented strip on the internet. (Archivez.)

9/3/07

246. The Perry Bible Fellowship

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Apodaca knows what’s cool.

The Perry Bible Fellowship, the funniest, most twisted comic strip found on the web, is the product of cartoonist Nicholas Gurewitch’s mind. It started as a strip in Syracuse University’s newspaper, the Daily Orange, and made its way onto the glorious interweb, though it does appear in several print publications as well, including the Philadelphia City Paper, the Guardian, and Maxim.

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The strip’s sense of humor is gloriously deranged, ranging from savagely ironic to whimsically absurd and surreal to snickeringly clever to hilariously morose. It has the ability to come across as immensely intelligent and completely dumb at the same time. The one constant, however, is its relentlessly bizarre tone. Honestly, the PBF is truly hilarious. It’s a gut-buster for sure. I can’t do it justice with but a few example strips.

PBF 2.jpg

PBF 1.gif

Then we’ve got the art. My Lord, the art is amazing. Gurewitch is a stylistic chameleon and releases strips mimicking everything from Edward Gorey to the 8-Bit Nintendo, and producing work resembling epic fantasies or wacky cartoons. We’ve got the sheet-white, simplistically-featured recurring characters, but we’ve also got pirates and gnomes and all sorts of other stuff, drawn in classic fantasy styles, or fully-painted panels, or day-glo cheery storybook art, or a million other styles. Really, you’ve got to see it to believe it. The artistic range is truly extraordinary, and even the simplest strips are crammed with detail and infused with rich coloring.

PBF 4.jpg

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The PBF is cool, smart, and wicked; it easily makes the cream of the webcomics crop. Check out the site for yourself! What do you think?

20 Comments

What I love about PBF is how you sometimes have to stare at it for a few seconds, confused, before you get it and burst out laughing. Gurewitch’s willingness to complicate the narrative shouldn’t pay off, but it does. For instance, look at that first strip: it would be easier to follow if the last panel, with the T-shirt plainly visible, was actually moved to the beginning. And it would still be funny. But saving the reveal of the shirt for the last panel adds that bizarre PBF sensibility, and is still hilarious. It just delays the humour while your mind plunks the pieces into place.

It’s published in print once a week by the Guardian in the UK. We’ve got a strip pinned up somewhere in the house ….

Excellent stuff.

Delightfully demented and just downright hilarious.

I’m amazed that his work hasn’t hit the big leagues like Dilbert or Penny Arcade.

I agree — this is my favorite comic strip anywhere by a huge margin. His creative and attention to detail (and not just the artistic) simply stuns me.

I read through the entire archive of this in a day once. It’s simultaneously inspiring, disturbing and hilarious to read. In other words, it’s genius.

…so where’s the link to the strip’s website? I want more!!! Great choice.

I don’t know how popular it is, but consider spotlighting Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal (http://smbc-comics.com)

Single panel absurdity that misses a little more often than PBF (which is great, how could you not post the Mimes strip?) but is still a worthy read. Just go to SMBC’s website and click random and you’ll be amused for an hour straight, at least.

Avengers, it’s http://www.thepbf.com

I’ve always admired how PBF can make you both laugh hysterically while feeling really creeped out at the same time.

I actually prefer SMBC, particularly because it updates more often. PBF can be really disappointing sometimes too. Sometimes the wait just isn’t worth it. Still, PBF has some of the absolute best art of any webstrip out there. Gotta give it that.

Great strip.
There’s no logical reason that funny strips like this aren’t in newspapers.

(well except for the fact that newspaper comic strip editors are morons, IMO)

LanghorneFats: Thanks!

While I don’t know every webcomic, I think this is the best one I’ve seen.

“Great strip.
There’s no logical reason that funny strips like this aren’t in newspapers.”

Given the number of complaints editors get over relatively inoffensive strips like “The Far Side” or “Pearls Before Swine,” I can hardly blame mainstream newspapers for not running “PBF,” much as I love it.

Yeah, “PFB” is pretty cool… seems like the only way to get original, challenging comics like that is on the interwebs…

But you have to dig for them, it seems. I usually find out about them here or at Dave’s Long Box, or other blogs…

A strip I’ve been enjoying is Opey the Warhead. (Granted its by my brother but check it out…

http://www.webcomicsnation.com/ninjacat/opey/series.php?view=archive&chapter=18178&name=opey

Its a bittersweet sentimental tale set after civilization has crumbled into a depressing dystopia… Share it with your kids!

I freakin love PBF. You Anti Skub bozos better not come near me when I got my Pro Skub shirt on…or else!

[…] The blog 365 Reasons to Love Comics reviews Perry Bible Fellowship. […]

I can’t believe I missed the entry where I get a shout-out.

I love the PBF so much. It’s my favorite comic strip currently being made. I think my all-time favorite strip is the one with all the baby animals playing the game, and poor little Scorpy, the scorpion.

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