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GU Comics is a single panel webcomic written, drawn, and colored by "Woody" Hearn. Established July 10, 2000 and launched August 15, 2000, GU is published, free, five times a week on its own web site (hosted by the SafeHouse). The comic focuses on a single video game such as World of Warcraft; but, it also comments on gaming industry and community news, often lampoons gamers in general through the adventures of Hearn and his fictional roommate, Ted, and occasionally parodies contemporary social, political, and personal issues related to the online and general video game world.
GU Comics was first released to a small group of friends on July 10th, 2000. Then known as "/gu ...", the original comics were set inside the MMOG fantasy world of Everquest and centered around the in-game antics of the artist and members of his guild (Purifying Light on Vallon Zek). Intended only as a hobby, the comic's link was passed around to various Everquest related community sites (Evercrest.Com being chief among them). On July 25, GU was contacted by the GameFan/Game Answer Network with an offer of affiliation and a proposal to go "live". Now hosted on the GameFan/Game Answer Network, GU was released for wide public consumption August 15th, 2000. The response was swift and significant. Since its inception GU has change hosts for various reasons. February 4, 2003, GU moved to its current home: the Safehouse.
On February 5th, 2003, signifying the move to the Safehouse and a shift in interest to the wider gaming world rather than focusing specifically on Everquest, the slash and ellipses were officially dropped from the GU logo. As of April 9th, 2007 the format of the comic was shifted from 300x465 to 600x450. Along with the format shift the logo, and comic type sub-text was removed from the strip. Over the years Woody has gotten, for reasons unkown, angrier to anyone who criticies his work. This sometimes alienates some of his fans and he has since lost many of them.
- SOE Boycott - In May 2004, GU Comics became the center of attention when Woody Hearn posted a comic satirizing the Omens of War expansion for Everquest. In the attendant forum writeup, he called for a boycott by EverQuest players against the Omens of War expansion in an effort to force Sony Online Entertainment, who produces EverQuest, to correct the numerous issues players had with the game rather than release another expansion so quickly on the heels of the previous one. The call to boycott was rescinded after SOE held a summit to address player concerns, improve (internal and external) communication, and begin correcting issues within the game
GU Comics has featured costume contests for its readers for Halloween, unofficial gatherings at various conventions, gaming trade shows, and the Texas Renaissance Festival. In addition, Hearn has been invited to review the development of and write NDA-friendly reviews of various games, including Vanguard: Saga of Heroes. GU Comics has been featured in many online webzines and print media, including Gamespy, Joystiq, GamePolitics.com, MMORPG.Com, MMORPGamer, Computer Games Magazine, Der Spielekurier, and the film Avatars Offline. Several GUComics relevant to World of Warcraft were referenced in the official Community News of World of Warcraft Europe.
Hearn has been invited to visit the studios of Sony Online Entertainment, Sigil Games, Mythic Entertainment, and NetDevil, was a yearly press attendee at E3, was invited as a guest of honor to Blizzard Entertainment's BlizzCon to serve on a panel with the creators of Penny Arcade and PvP, and is a yearly participant/guest of honor ConnectiCon.
Gu Comics contains profanity, sexual references, and discusses many mature subjects (including content rated mature).
- Planet EQ: "Kwill's Interview with Woody Hearn of GU Comics"
- The SafeHouse: "Woody Hearn Interview"
- TenTonHammer: The Vanguardian #3 - "Woody of GU Comics, A Man of Many Loves"
- Tux and Bunny: "A little bit of Insanity five days a week:"
- Avatar's Offline: "MMOG Documentary (2002)"
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Origin of GU Comics (1st Strip) Posted July 10, 2000
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Launch of GU Comics Posted August 15, 2000
- ↑ GU record of the summit
- ↑ IGN article: EverQuest: Omens of War Review October 13, 2004
- ↑ Sigil Games News Archive
- ↑ Gamespy.com's Stratics MMOG Weekly: Volume 29 A Laugh A Day Keeps the GM Away, Feb 2002
- ↑ Joystiq: GU Comics grants wishes: Hsu vs. Moore
- ↑ GamePolitics.Com "Web Comic Lampoons Miami Contempt of Court Case"
- ↑ GamePolitics.com "Web Comic Riffs on Pope's Video Game Criticism", Thursday, February 1st, 2007
- ↑ MMORPG.Com Humor: Comics
- ↑ MMORPGamer Issue #65, July 4, 2006
- ↑ Computer Games Magazine Issue 167 (page 69 "The Acute Angler" and page 73 "Get Peso for Plat")
- ↑ Der Spielekurier October 2004 (page 15 "Online Comics")
- ↑ 14.0 14.1 Avatars Offline (Documentary 2002)
- ↑ World of Warcraft
- ↑ WoW Community News Archive 2006
- ↑ Sigil Games: E3'06 Overview of Day 1
- ↑ SlashDot: Blizzcon Writeup
- ↑ Penny Arcade BlizzCon Announcement: Heartfelt Sentiment
- ↑ PVP Online BlizzCon Report: Let's Talk Blizzcon
- ↑ GamingReports: ConnectiCon 2003 Press Release
- ↑ Planet EQ: Interview
- ↑ The SafeHouse: Interview
- ↑ TenTonHammer: Interview
- ↑ Tux and Bunny: Interview