PvP

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PvP
Author(s) Scott Kurtz
Website http://www.pvponline.com/
Current status / schedule Weekdays[1]
Launch date May 4, 1998[2]
Genre(s) Video games / Fantasy / Office / Geek

PvP, also known as Player vs Player, is a webcomic, written and drawn by Scott Kurtz, which by 2005 was receiving around 100,000 unique visitors per day.[3] On February 1, 2007, it became the subject of its own animated series. In 2013, Dylan Meconis was added as a co-writer.[4]

Themes[edit]

The comic chronicles the adventures of a fictional video game magazine company and its employees. It features many running gags that are actually references to running gags from other media (television programs, films, games, cartoons, etc.). A popular but often controversial figure in the field of online comics, Kurtz is usually willing to share his opinions about comics and gaming culture in his blog, which is hosted on the same website as his comic strips.

Originally, PvP focused on video gaming and the larger "nerd culture" including comics and RPGs. 1UP.com described it as one of the first game-based comics, but not the original, saying, "neither Scott Kurtz's PvP nor Jerry Holkins and Michael Krahulik's Penny Arcade were the first gaming-themed webcomic on the Internet."[5] Over the years, the humor has broadened to include technology jokes, relationship humor, in-jokes about and mocking of the generation gaps between the different characters, with gaming increasingly taking a back seat. Kurtz occasionally comes under fire for his satire. Sometimes Kurtz will speak of his father's open disdain for the strip.[6]

In 2013, Kurtz created a spin-off comic, entitled Table Titans. It features the characters Andrew, Alan, and Valerie (who have appeared in PvP comics), and chronicles their adventures while playing Dungeons & Dragons.[7]

Characters[edit]

Cole and Brent in one of several Dukes of Hazzard scenes

Main characters[edit]

Cole Richards[edit]

The boss. Friends with Brent since high school, Cole started PVP magazine as the business manager with Brent responsible for the creative and graphical content. A committed family man, he has a rather loose grasp of new technology[8] and is often nostalgic for 1980s pop culture.[9] Cole is (relatively speaking) the straight man of the group and the one most likely to insist on actually making the magazine, though is not above joining the others' schemes.

Cole has a longstanding "rivalry" with Max Powers who runs Powerplay Games (formerly Powerplay Magazine); in reality Max has never done anything to Cole, but Cole is extremely jealous of Max's success. Cole for a brief time was forced to merge the two companies when he could no longer afford to run the magazine on his own.[10] However, when Cole came into a large sum of money from the World Wildlife Fund to house the giant panda that lives in the PvP offices (which attacks Brent throughout the series), he bought out Max's side of the partnership.[11]

Cole spent the majority of the series run married to Donna, though mentions having problems with his marriage in 2008.[12] This ended some time later with a divorce which he refers to in 2011, although it is not covered by the strip.[13]

Brent Sienna[edit]

Creative director of the magazine, Brent's name was originally inspired by the Crayola crayon color "Burnt Sienna." His full name is Brently Irving Sienna. Brent is a pompous, sarcastic, cynical intellectual snob, with a fanatical devotion to Apple Computer products. He drives a Mini Cooper as a "statement" and drinks Starbucks coffee, which he admits he drinks because it makes him cool. Brent tried unsuccessfully to give up coffee in a story arc during early 2005.[14]

A running gag in the strip is that whenever the words "Panda," "Panda Attack," or "Giant Panda" or any variation thereof are spoken, Brent is immediately mauled by the Giant Panda that lives in the walls of the PvP offices.[15] Brent got revenge in the August 6, 2005 strip when he mauled the panda in a parallel universe.[16]

Brent virtually always wears sunglasses in the strip—going so far as to pick up a loaner set of sunglasses while his were "in the shop"[17]—although later strips show Brent's eyes over the tops of his sunglasses. Brent claims he wears the shades because any woman that looks in his eyes falls in love with him.[18] Constantly wearing sunglasses made Brent's eyes extremely sensitive to sunlight – after removing his sunglasses at his wedding, he was (temporarily) blinded.[19]

Brent is an avid consumer of Apple computers and products. He refuses to use PCs and considers Microsoft to be evil, even forbidding the use of PCs in his house.[20] He is a founding member of an Apple fanatics group called The Honorable Order of Macintosh Operators (or H.O.M.O. – the name is a running gag in the strip).

Although Brent is not a gamer, unlike the rest of the staff, he does occasionally play World of Warcraft with H.O.M.O. (as well as with Jade), and played City of Heroes with Cole, Francis, and Skull as part of the City of Heroes special edition comic packed with the game, as well as its counterpart, City of Villains in a later strip seen on the site, but neither game has been referenced beyond those strips. Before he discovered Apple, Brent was a closet Amiga fanatic.[21]

Brent married his longtime girlfriend and co-worker Jade in a lavish ceremony marking the strip's ten-year anniversary.[22] The two began dating after Jade found out that Francis was pretending to be a woman named "Sasha" while chatting online with Brent.[23] Jade found out about it and decided to take over as "Sasha" to let Brent down easy,[24] but eventually fell in love with him. Brent proposed at the San Diego Comic-Con after a convoluted scheme whereby some stormtroopers "kidnapped" Jade and had her dress up as Princess Leia. Brent "rescued" her, dressed as Han Solo.[25]

Jade Fontaine-Sienna[edit]

A columnist, and Brent's wife. She plays MMORPG-style games such as EverQuest and World of Warcraft, and also chats online with friends she's made in the series.

Along with Cole, Jade often plays the straight-man of the group and is often the voice of reason compared to the rest of the cast. However, she was not always the good and moral figure that she appears to be. In high school, she and her friend Sam were caught stealing the answers to their chemistry final. Jade also took her stepfather's car without permission, and was subsequently charged with robbery by her stepfather in order to teach her a lesson.[26] Brent and Francis were delighted to learn this, since they tend to be the ones whose antics cause Jade to roll her eyes in contempt. Jade attempted to return to her old deviant ways after this revelation, but realized she didn't enjoy it as much as she once did.

Although considered a feminist, Jade's desire to be treated as an equal often comes into conflict with her natural maternal caregiver personality. She temporarily left PvP after Francis grabbed her breast, opening her own pro-woman gaming magazine called "Valkyrie". Later Valkyrie merged to PvP because Jade missed her PvP-family and had problems with her workers.[27]

Jade is often criticized for being "unrealistic", although Kurtz states that she is somewhat modeled after his wife.[28] In her first posting to the PvP blog, Angela Kurtz stated, "90% of the time, when you’re reading Jade, you’re reading about Scott’s feminine side, not about me."[29]

Although Jade and Brent dated since nearly the start of the series, they broke up for nearly a year, due to a combination of Jade's obsession with EverQuest, and her catching Brent dancing with the wife of another EverQuest player in Las Vegas. Although they both continued to work at PVP, they were often seen bickering and attempting to one-up each other. Jade ended up falling in love soon after with another gamer she met on another MMORPGs, named Xavier. She flew out to Las Vegas to meet Xavier in person, but began to feel reluctance and guilt returning to the place where she and Brent broke up. It was then revealed that Xavier had been Brent all along, and the two rekindled their relationship, eventually marrying in 2008. In 2014, she gave birth to her and Bret's daughter, Katherine Miranda Fontaine Sienna.[30]

Francis Ottoman[edit]

The youngest member of the staff. Technical support for the office (and also known to write the occasional review), Francis is immature, easily excitable and always eager to be on the cutting edge of fads and technology. He loves his PC and routinely argues with Brent over Macs. He rarely shows interest in anything besides computers or video games, though it has been stated that he owns a prominent collection of pony figurines.[31]

Francis' appearance in the comic has gone through more changes than the other characters. His first artwork was choppy and caused reader confusion due to readers mistaking a spot for his mouth and his mouth for a "jagged chin" or part of his hair,[32] so his design was drastically changed later. For a long time he sported a T-shirt depicting a human skull, and messed-up moussed hair (the mousse was originally, and may still be, Skull's phlegm).[33]

Due to his recent consummation of his relationship with Marcy as "predicted" in a previous comic[34] strip, he "leveled up", aging three years and developing chin scruff.[35] On January 13, 2011, Francis "leveled up" again due to the company leaving Dallas for Seattle (mirroring the real life move of Scott Kurtz) and Francis being pushed into living on his own as an adult. On February 2, 2011 it was revealed that Marcy broke up with Francis via text message after she had left for Savannah College of Art and Design. However, they later get married in Las Vegas.

Skull the Troll[edit]

A lovable troll who is assigned to be a mythological animal friend to Brent a lá Pete's Dragon. Nervous and childlike, he had an occasional girlfriend named Sonya, although Skull was exposed to be female in an early comic.[36] This was later revealed to be a joke[37] and Skull is typically portrayed as genderless. Brent and Francis do their best to figure out which gender he really is (on one occasion watching his reaction to a lingerie magazine they had left for him to find. Skull first acts like a typical male, whistling at the pictures, then wondered to himself if they had a piece in his size and color), though Skull has implied on many occasions that he is definitely male.[38]

Skull debuted in another of Kurtz's web cartoons called Tales by Tavernlight, which focused on the world of Ultima Online. Though he seems to be an utterly harmless, rather clueless and childish creature who doesn't even seem to understand the nature of violence, Skull has a dark underside[39] that the other characters sometimes see but blame on outside forces. He has actually threatened to eat Francis,[40] and doesn't always take Brent's abuse[41]—not to mention his epic battle with the crazed Emperor Blue.[42]

The comic's cast page states that, as a mythological creature, Skull's only real need is attention. The middle name "Theodore" was recently revealed to be the long form for "the" (as "Skull The Troll"). Skull was reassigned when Brent finally got married, much to Brent's dissatisfaction. His first assignment was a boy named Kevin with a somewhat sadistic streak, who lived near U.S. Route 422 in western Pennsylvania,[43] at least until his death due to a reckless wagon ride after four days (reader time) with Skull.[44] Since then, Skull has attempted to befriend parodies of the children in The Family Circus, who believed him to be a demon and tried to kill him. This escapade ended when Skull was rescued by Jason Fox. Thanks to Scratch and Shecky he returned to PvP and has apparently "retired" from his "mentoring" duties.

Max Powers[edit]

Arch-enemy and rival publisher of Cole, Max Powers runs Powerplay magazine. While seemingly jovial and outgoing, for some reason Max is generally despised by the PvP crew. While perhaps not as truly evil as Brent and Cole claim, he can doubtlessly be quite annoying. Eric Burns of the webcomic review site Websnark wrote an analysis of Max suggesting that he is actually "the good guy" of PVP. Burns points out that nothing Max does can be nailed down as overtly malicious.[45] (For example, he threatens to post a naked picture of Jade on the Internet unless she goes out with him, but it turns out to be a baby picture. He tells Cole about upcoming software audits, but doesn't actually report Cole to the authorities.) In the December 2, 2008 comic, four years after Burns's article, Cole admits to Max that part of the reason he finds him so irritating is that Max is a better person than he is. Powerplay merged withPvP to prevent PvP's certain financial ruin. Because of his narcissistic attitude, Max was unable to see Skull, and was unaware of the troll's existence. However, Shecky punched Max as an 'incentive to see the world beyond [his] nose', changing Max's perceptions. Unfortunately, Max now thinks Cole is letting the staff keep a pair of 'dogs' on the premises and says the 'yappy one' (Shecky) snapped at his face. (See March 13, 2006 blog entry.) As of December second in the strip,PvP and Powerplay have gone their separate ways, as Cole has come into a large sum of money which he will receive annually from the World Wildlife Fund, thanks to the near-constant attacks on Brent by a giant panda, and the fact that it appears the panda is now more or less living somewhere in the PvP offices. During a 2008 Thanksgiving Plot, it has been revealed that Cole believes that Max stole a "girlfriend" from him (they were not actually dating, but Cole believed Max made his move on her before he could). Max however adamantly denies it saying he only grew close with the girl so as to get closer to Cole and Brent. This has led Cole and Brent to the assumption that Max is gay, and was attracted to one of them. The former has been confirmed in a recent 2011 strip in which Max admits to Jade that he is in fact gay; he begs her not to tell anyone else, and she has so far complied with his request. During a conversation with his sister Sonya, it was revealed that Max had a partner named Chris.[46]

After a year's absence from the strip, during which he drove cross-country on a motorcycle doing good deeds, Max recently returned to the PvP offices to ask Cole for a job. He is now also able to see Skull, most likely because he is now "pure of heart" after a year of soul-searching. The new Max, after realizing the company was doomed in a few months, broke into Cole's office and went over the financial statements to confirm his fears. After a confrontation with Cole, after which Cole confessed the state of the company to Brent, Cole set Max off to find a new business plan and opportunities. After several weeks Max returns from Seattle, advising PVP to cease publication immediately, switch to a strictly online format (which was the only portion of the business generating a profit), and move the company from Dallas to Seattle. This reflects Scott Kurtz's real-life move of a year earlier in 2010.

Recurring characters[edit]

Robbie and Jase[edit]

Originally, these two fat, beer swilling drop-outs sat in the break room on an old sofa and played sports video games endlessly. Old friends of Cole's, they were kept employed mostly out of pity and were only occasionally seen. After Robbie won the lottery, he bought a mansion and employed a butler named "Butler". He also quit the magazine so he and Jase could play video games together without being hassled to actually produce anything. For a short period of time Max Powers took away their sofa, games and beer, causing them to sober up, lose weight, and produce game reviews.

Following the lottery win, Robbie and Jase had a falling out when Jase started dating Robbie's gardener and had less time for him. Jase has since moved in with her, lost weight and no longer wears the hat over his eyes. This ended when Cole and Brent paid him a visit on behalf of Robbie and inadvertently sparked a row between him and his girlfriend who wanted to forbid him from playing console games ever again. As a result Jase moved back in Robbie's mansion, where his old friend gave him back his hat.

Recently, when Cole finally admitted that PvP was in danger of going under, he approached Robbie with a proposal to buy into the magazine. Robbie refused, seeing the investment as not profitable.[47] However, after Max Powers drew up a new business plan for PvP, Robbie accepted and moved to Seattle with the staff, claiming he thought he owned a mansion there.[48]

Marcy Wisniewsky-Ottoman[edit]

Another intern, Francis' long time FPS opponent and romantic interest. She was originally referred to as "Devilfish," as Francis only knew her as an online rival, and in fact he didn't even know she was a girl until Skull caused them to meet in person after substituting for Francis in an online fps tournament. She is an avid fan of anime and manga, most notably Sailor Moon and Read or Die.[49] Marcy has had multiple artwork changes. She started out geeky and tomboyish,[50] then changed to an average 16-year-old girl,[51] and then returned to geeky and tomboyish, much to Francis' displeasure.[52] When she consummated her relationship with Francis, she "leveled up", aging three years and developing a more voluptuous, feminine and less-tomboyish appearance.[35] She disappeared from the strip while attending Savannah College of Art and Design, where she wrote & drew a webcomic called "I Hate Your Face". The artwork from Marcy's fictional webcomic is taken from real life webcomic "Gunshow",[53] which is drawn & written by K.C. Green. She recently returned[54] to the strip as the company's web designer, with a new post-college art refresh featuring short hair, a more hipster style, and lacking glasses (though it's quickly revealed that she still needs them[55]).

Although she broke up with Francis while at school, they later reconciled and eloped while at a gaming tournament in Las Vegas.

Gwen Dawson[edit]

Acquaintance of Sonya's and a radio producer. Gwen had a crush on Jade and kissed her once at a party. Brent had a crush on Gwen before he knew she was a lesbian.

Miranda Fontaine[edit]

Jade's younger sister. She is a sly coquette who aims to seduce most of the men on the PvP staff just to irritate Jade, not necessarily because she wants male attention. She has attempted to seduce the "handsome, young, powerful, and rich" Max Powers who seemed either not interested or completely oblivious.[56] When Cole and Brent came to the belief that Max was gay, Miranda claimed to have been aware simply to ease her bruised ego. She had a mutual crush on Reggie and the two were—until recently—secretly dating one another. However, due to the discovery by and subsequent machinations of Brent & Jade, Miranda was dumped by Reggie and rebounded to a jock named Chet.[57] With PvP's recent move to Seattle, Miranda felt left out, and was subsequently hired by Robbie as his "fake personal assistant" and the first of his "entourage of inappropriately dressed hotties".[58]

Scratch Fury[edit]

Skull's cat. Francis attempted to give it to Brent to make the latter feel some Christmas spirit, but the ploy failed and Skull decided to take the cat in. Skull accidentally zapped him with his "genius machine",[59] granting him superhuman intelligence. Scratch is bent on global domination, but his evil plans for attaining it have so far been foiled by his feline foibles and proclivities.[60] He is Pinky and the Brain in the same body, and they're fighting for dominance. It is worth noting that while Scratch is still a genius – after Skull's departure, he was seen in the basement, working on a machine of some sort with a welding torch – he appears to be unable to communicate to the other members of the magazine. It has been suggested that the ambient magic surrounding Skull was what made Scratch's ability to communicate with humans possible in the first place. However, Kurtz has admitted that the lack of understanding Scratch was just a mistake, and changed the strip to have Scratch deliberately talking in cat-speak. Also, he becomes "Kringus" a Christmas tree-themed villain in numerous stories set in yule times.

Kirby[edit]

Cole's pet basset hound. Scratch, feeling that he needed an archenemy of his own stature, used Skull's "genius machine"[61] to grant him one thousand times the intelligence of a normal basset hound. As it happens, "a thousand times as smart as a basset hound" is still pretty stupid, but at least now he can talk (when he remembers it). Kirby also recently had a seizure.[62] Scratch blamed himself and decided to make Kirby his minion and friend instead of his enemy. In a rare moment of affection for the slow-witted dog, Scratch actually hugged Kirby. Named after Kurtz's own basset hound, who had also previously appeared in the strip.

The real Kirby died at the age of 11 on April 10, 2009.[63]

Valerie Bronzebottom[edit]

Skull's romantic interest. She is first introduced as being on a team of Magic players who are playing in Francis' tournament. She also believes herself to be descended from dwarven kings, and believes that trolls are her mortal enemies. When she first meets Skull, she attacks him with a warhammer and they fight. However, when her friends call her a freak, Skull demands that they apologize to her; in return, she kisses Skull.[64] They begin to go out but get in a fight because she believes Skull will eat her pet goat. Later, she reconciles with Skull and tells Skull that "dwarves love trolls."[65]

She is one of the main characters in the spin-off comic Table Titans, which chronicles her adventures of playing Dungeons & Dragons.[66]

Sonya Powers[edit]

Skull's ex-girlfriend. She does not seem to mind that Skull is apparently genderless. However, after a long absence, Sonya recently returned to reveal she now has another boyfriend who is human and looks quite similar to Skull. Sonya is also the little sister of Max Powers, Cole's nemesis. She works as a cashier in the cafeteria in the PvP ex- office building. They share a dislike of Max, although Sonya's dislike is at the level of sibling rivalry, instead of the blind, vindictive hatred of Brent and Cole.

Reggie Dixon[edit]

Reggie is a blind friend of Brent's. He is very assertive, and is very forthcoming about his disability. He was later hired by Max Powers when he started Powerplay. After the merger he began working at PvP. He is immune to Miranda's sexual advances because he is blind, but would remark that she smelled good whenever she would pass by him. He and Miranda were dating, initially keeping it a secret from Jade and Brent since Reggie works with them. (He said that it wouldn't be too difficult since he is a "third string character", an allusion to the fact that he doesn't appear in the comics on a regular basis, and breaks the 4th wall.) However, after being discovered by Jade and Brent in a New Year's liplock, Reggie confessed to Miranda that he wanted to break off their relationship (just as Miranda was about to profess her true love for Reggie). Miranda immediately rebounded to a jock named Chet, whom Reggie warned that Chet "might have bitten off more crazy bitch than [he could] chew". Based on a friend of Kurtz's.

Donna Richards[edit]

Cole's ex-wife. Seldom seen in the more recent strips. She was married to Cole on February 24, 1996, which is the same date as Angie and Scott's wedding. Recently, Cole has admitted that the couple has divorced.

Kurtz's Dad[edit]

Although not a part of the official PvP Universe and therefore not normally seen with the other characters, Kurtz's dad, a German immigrant, occasionally appears in the comic to share his views on profanity, modern American culture, or whatever else happens to strike his fancy. According to Kurtz, everything the character says is transcribed from his real father's words. Kurtz's dad usually says something quirkily funny[67] or talks about things which he does not know much about, which is followed by Kurtz himself saying "This is so going in the strip!". He often complains about his son not being in the newspapers and wants him to be more like his vision of perfect cartooning, Charles Schulz. Additionally, he represents the community of older PC users and gamers (at least in the comic, Kurtz and his dad play World of Warcraft together,[68] with Kurtz's dad as a pink-haired gnome, an example of his lovable crankiness).

Scott Kurtz[edit]

Creator of PvP. Scott Kurtz is an American cartoonist who began his career with his daily strip, Captain Amazing, which appeared for four semesters in the University of North Texas college paper. His first work to appear on the internet was Wedlock and Samwise, which he began in 1998. His latest and longest-running project, PvP, has been appearing daily since May 4, 1998.

Francis Robot[edit]

Also known as the Ottobot. Originally a robotic girlfriend built by Francis, the Robot was rebuilt and reprogrammed into a robotic clone of Francis, which took his place in front of a theater camping out for Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. However, at some point between the time the robot was placed at the theater and the release date for Episode III (Francis tried to make national news by camping out for Episode III before Episode II came out), the theater was turned into an antique store. When Francis returned for the robot, it handcuffed him to a pipe and took his place at the office. It was discovered that the robot was not really Francis when it shorted out while making out with Marcy. Scratch Fury has now turned the robot into a machine to disguise himself as a human and attempted to take over the town by attacking the Mayor. The plan failed and the robot was taken as evidence after Scratch Fury escaped.

The Panda[edit]

In a long-running gag, Brent is occasionally, suddenly and inexplicably attacked by a giant panda.[69] Brent brought The Panda in as a replacement for Skull after the troll ran away, but Brent quickly discovered that the Panda wouldn't take the kind of abuse Brent usually heaped on Skull.[70] At one point, Brent was temporarily blinded[71] and the panda refrained from attacking him,[72] suggesting either that it prefers to maul Brent through surprise attacks, which Brent had foiled this one time unknowingly due to improved senses from losing his vision, or that it figured he had suffered enough and refrained from attacking due to sympathy. Once, the tables were turned.[16] The panda has been a topic for multiple guest strips.[73][74] A story arc entitled "Pandamonium"[75] saw a visit from an agent of the World Wildlife Fund, which is paying PvP for having the panda on its premises. A follow-up thread, "Pandora's Box",[76] revealed that the Fund wishes to mate the panda living at the offices (which is claimed to be a male) to a female which is to be brought to the PvP offices, much to Brent's terror. Recent strips show the panda and Brent having made an uneasy sort of peace.

Ricky "Turtle" Tuttle[edit]

Was formerly a student at Francis's school. Tuttle hero-worshipped Francis, and annoyed Francis by following him around and imitating him. It turned out that by imitating Francis, Turtle became one of the most popular kids at Francis's school.[77] His imitations ultimately resulted in Tuttle's death in a bungee jumping accident.[78] Tuttle has since returned as a ghost; Francis finds him no less annoying.[79]

Sheckles "Shecky" Montgomery Troll[edit]

Skull's "baby cousin".[80] He is in fact an adult con artist by the name of Shekels Montgomery Troll. Soon after his appearance he attempted to steal Brent's wallet with a hug and farewell advice but was caught. He has returned on several occasions, most notably to help Scratch retrieve Skull from his "new assignments" with other children. Based loosely on W. C. Fields.

Samantha "Sam" Woods[edit]

Jade's High School best friend,[26] with whom Jade rebelled and spent some time in Juvenile Hall. She appears to be a born again Christian, as during an all women Dungeons and Dragons she is shown reluctant to play, due to the fact her character must choose a non-Christian deity. She gave the game another chance, however, after Jade printed out rules for incorporating Christianity into the game.

Butler[edit]

Butler (his real name) is the butler for Robbie and Jase, two millionaire ex-jocks. He often uses Robbie and Jase's slang terms, although in a much more sophisticated manner. He is typically capable of solving any problem in the other characters' lives (in a manner similar to Jeeves), nearly to the level of deus ex machina, and has skills ranging from massage to ordained ministry. He is also the LOLBAT, a superhero who, as a memetic conduit, specializes in leet speak. This was revealed recently [1] and has thus integrated LOLbat into the PVP continuity.

The Weird Gaming Store Witch[edit]

The owner of a weird little gaming store which stocks some actually magical items, such as the twenty-sider Knuckle of Ka'Pua Pua.[81] He (or possibly she) insists that he is an "actual" witch, not a Wiccan. He has a strict policy of "No refunds."

Publication[edit]

Online strip[edit]

The first online strip was posted on Monday, May 4, 1998.[2] Kurtz normally updates the strip every day but has occasionally missed updates since the comic's inception, less so after the PVP 2.0 revamp. In April 2005, Kurtz changed to a Monday through Friday schedule, with Friday's strip in color and sketches on Saturday and Sunday, in response to the mounting work he had taken on as a monthly comic at Image and associated side projects. On June 4, 2005, Scott Kurtz posted on his blog that he was returning to the daily schedule. On May 6, 2008, Kurtz reaffirmed the strip to a Monday through Friday schedule.[1] Although the strip was initially formatted 2×2 to fit on 800×600 resolution screens, it switched to "widescreen" (1×4) on February 3, 2003.[82] The strip celebrated its 10th anniversary on Sunday, May 4, 2008 with the wedding of two of PvP's main characters, Brent Sienna and Jade Fontaine.[22]

Occasionally single strips or short series have been presented drawn by guest cartoonists, such as KC Green.[83]

Print versions[edit]

Previously, Dork Storm Press printed 6 issues of original content as well as a trade paperback of online strips. The Dork Storm issues were collected into a trade paperback entitled "The Dork Ages."

In March 2003, Image Comics began publishing a monthly print comic book collection of the strip that combined old strips with new material. Publication of single issues and the Image partnership ended in March 2010 after over 7 years and 45 issues. In addition to publishing single issues Image released a 16-page primer (numbered as #0), and seven trade paperbacks (each collecting 6 issues) – "PvP: At Large" (#1–6), "PvP: Reloaded" (#7–12), "PvP Rides Again" (#13–18), "PVP Goes Bananas" (#19–25), "PvP Treks On" (#25–30), "PvP Silent But Deadly" and "PVP Levels Up". A 10 year anniversary collection, Awesomology Deluxe, was also published by Image in 2009. After the ending of the Image partnership Kurtz switched to self publishing the print editions but only in collected form.

At the 2004 San Diego Comicon, Kurtz announced that he would offer to newspapers the entire PvP series to reprint for free,[84] but only if the strips were reprinted without any changes made. Kurtz said he made this offer because of his dissatisfaction with the terms offered to cartoonists by syndicates. As of 2011 no major American newspaper has agreed to regularly pick up his strip, even though it is free. One newspaper, The Kansas City Star, briefly ran one PvP comic per week in the fall of 2004.

PvP: The Series[edit]

Kurtz announced on November 27, 2006 that from February 2007, a traditionally animated cartoon series would be available over the internet via a subscription service, produced in conjunction with Blind Ferret Entertainment. Episodes will be 4–6 minutes in length and released on a monthly schedule, co-written and co-produced by webcartoonist Kristofer Straub.[85] A total of 12 episodes were produced, and have since been released on DVD as "PvP: The Series Season One DVD".

The announcement of the series was marked with some interest on video game forums due to Kurtz's previous criticism of Tim Buckley when he announced CAD Premium, an animated series based on his own web comic, particularly when both Buckley and Kurtz used the same animation studio for their respective ventures.[86]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Kurtz's work for Image Comics was nominated for a 2005 Eisner Award for "Best Writer/Artist—Humor."

PvP won the Eisner Award for Best Digital Comic on July 21, 2006.

PvP won the Harvey Award for Best Online Comic Work on August 28, 2010.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Kurtz, Scott (May 6, 2008). "Moving forward". PvP Blog. Retrieved March 11, 2009. 
  2. ^ a b Kurtz, Scott (May 4, 1998). "Mon May 04". PvP. Retrieved March 11, 2009. 
  3. ^ "PvP". eXTReMe Tracking. 
  4. ^ "PvP Brings on Co-Writer Dylan Meconis". Comics Worth Reading. 
  5. ^ Maragos, Nich (July 11, 2005). "Will Strip for Games". 1UP.com. Retrieved March 11, 2009. 
  6. ^ Kurtz, Scott (May 13, 2008). "State of the union: post Seattle". PvP Blog. Retrieved March 11, 2009. 
  7. ^ http://www.tabletitans.com
  8. ^ Kurtz, Scott (January 22, 2004). "Thu Jan 22". PvP. Retrieved March 12, 2009. 
  9. ^ Kurtz, Scott (May 11, 2005). "Wed May 11". PvP. Retrieved March 12, 2009. 
  10. ^ Kurtz, Scott (April 1, 2005). "Fri Apr 01". PvP. Retrieved March 12, 2009. 
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