So the comic was late today and that’s my fault. You may have seen on the news that a good chunk of Seattle was without power over the weekend thanks to a massive wind storm last week. Parts of the city are actually still dark today but juice in our office is back even if the heat isn’t.
Last week Next Generation released a list they call “the top 25 people of the year”. They had actually contacted us a few days before the article went live asking for a publicity photo so we had an idea that we might have made the list. It turns out we didn’t have any classy head shots lying around. We just don’t have any use for them and also, as people on Fark love to point out we look exactly like beeker and Dr. Bunsen honeydew. It’s always been our policy not to subject you our dear readers to real life photos of ourselves. We simply like you too much. But they needed a photo and so we asked Kiko to take one.
The fact that Tycho and I are on a list with people like Reggie, Peter Moore and Iwata is almost too much to wrap my head around. I know it’s just a list on the internet but to be mentioned with all those people is a real honor. What’s even crazier is that there would be no Penny Arcade if Next Generation magazine hadn’t told us we suck eight years ago.
Back when they were a print magazine they mentioned that they wanted a comic strip about games. I wrote a few by myself and showed them to Tycho. He had some ideas of his own and so we wrote a bunch together. They ended up being really good and so we sent them off to Next Generation. Weeks went by and we didn’t hear anything so we kept sending them comics. Eventually they mailed us back not to tell us that we got the job but to tell us to stop mailing them comics. They told us they had already filled the position and we needed to stop bothering them. Now we looked and we never saw a gaming comic appear in Next Generation so we’re pretty sure they lied to us.
We still had all these awesome comics lying around and we figured people should see them. So we shopped them around to all the big game sites back then. We hit up all the old giants like Blues News, Stomping Grounds, Telefragged, and a new site called Looney Games. If I remember right Jason over at LG responded pretty much right away. He said he wanted to run the comics and he asked if the strip had a name. Well it didn’t of course. So I looked over at Tycho who was sitting at his computer on the other side of our shitty little apartment and said “hey, what should we call the comic?” He stared at the wall above his monitor for no more that thirty seconds and then said “Penny Arcade you know because it’s just cheap thrills”.
After Looney games had run the three our four comics we gave him, Jason asked for a new comic every Monday. We had never intended to keep doing them, we just wanted people to see the ones we’d already created. Jason was a nice guy though and we didn’t want to be rude so we kept making comics. Eventually it became clear that people were actually coming to Looney Games specifically for Penny Arcade and when Jason starting saying things like “the word fuck just isn’t very funny.” We knew it was time to leave. We started our own site and ended up keeping almost all of the twenty thousand or so readers that were reading us on Looney Games.
It’s been eight years now and we’ve come full circle. From being asked to stop bothering them with our stupid comics to being recognized on their “top 25 people of the year” list. Thanks Next Gen, we couldn’t have done it without you.