SpinnWebe

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SpinnWebe

SpinnWebe is the personal website of Greg Galcik, also known as "spinn." It gathered the most fame as the home of the Dysfunctional Family Circus, which ran in the late 1990s. Additionally, the site has been and continues to be the showcase for a number of Galcik's other projects, which generally have interactive humor as the unifying theme; in this respect, it anticipated the development of later sites such as Fark and Something Awful. The name SpinnWebe comes from an infamously bad machine translation of the German word for "spider web."

Origin[edit]

In March 1993, Galcik started an FTP site on a machine called "spider," named after the song Spider by They Might Be Giants. This site began as a way to serve files for various personal projects, including audio samples from TMBG songs. As the site continued to grow and as Web technology began to emerge, he began to phase out the FTP site in June 1994 and created "The Spider WWW Site."

Galcik later shortened the name to "SpiderWeb", but after receiving a letter from a company called Spiderweb Communications warning they carried a trademark on the name "Spiderweb", he changed the name of the site to "SpinnWebe" in April 1995. Galcik also derived his Internet alias, "spinn", from this word.

Dysfunctional Family Circus[edit]

In 1995, Galcik started the SpinnWebe version of Dysfunctional Family Circus (DFC), an interactive Family Circus parody where visitors were invited to submit alternative captions for the widely-syndicated Bil Keane comic strip. Galcik and a group of editors hand-picked the best captions for publication on the site. This curated approach is unusual, especially for a website with as much traffic as the DFC: the pool of submissions often exceeded a thousand captions per comic, and were generally edited down to around sixty. Fans of the DFC claim that this editing process helped maintain a higher standard of humor that other Family Circus parodies could not reach.

Bil Keane has stated that he was initially unbothered by the parody, but he began to become uncomfortable with it due to the prevalence of blue humor in the published captions, and because readers were complaining to him.[1] In September 1999, King Features Syndicate, the distributor of Family Circus, sent a cease-and-desist letter to Galcik. While the case could certainly have been contested on the basis of fair use, Galcik elected to honor the request out of courtesy toward Keane.[2]

Other highlights[edit]

SpinnWebe is home to many different features, some of which have their own domain names. Current projects include:

Notable past projects have included the Nipple Server (in which users rated pictures of Galcik's left nipple based on a rubric of panache, color, perkiness, and overall impression), and 1-900-ZWEBLÖ (an advice column in which web-submitted questions were answered by members of a fictitious secret cabal or shadow government).

References[edit]

  1. ^ Tobin, Suzanne, The Washington Post "Comics: Meet the Artist"
  2. ^ Glave, James, Wired "Family Circus Parody Folds Tent"

Further reading[edit]

Dysfunctional Family Circus controversy[edit]

External links[edit]