|Author(s)||Rob Balder (writer), David Hahn (Artist, current), Xin Ye (Artist, former), and Jamie Noguchi (Artist, former)|
|Current status / schedule||Occasional updates|
|Genre(s)||fantasy, comedy, parody|
Erfworld is a story-driven fantasy/comedy webcomic about a master strategy gamer stuck in a wargame. The first book, The Battle for Gobwin Knob was written by Rob Balder and illustrated by Jamie Noguchi. It was recognized as one of the top 10 graphic novels of 2007 by Time Magazine. The second book, Love is a Battlefield is instead illustrated by Xin Ye. David Hahn will be the artist for Book 3. Erfworld is also currently being published as a bi-weekly mobile comic by Robot Comics.
Erfworld follows a graphic novel format, with a new page added with each update. The setting is Erfworld, a fantasy world that adheres to the rules of a fictional turn-based strategy wargame. The narrative focuses on a complex story about warring factions within this world, but most installments also contain humor about strategy-fantasy video games, role-playing games, and references to history or popular culture. There are frequent puns and side-gags, as well as letter changes in frequently used names, particularly replacing "r" with "w" (spidews, dwagons and twolls instead of spiders, dragons and trolls). The comic was originally started as an attempt to bring all of author Rob Balder's Fantasy-related strips from his other comic, PartiallyClips, into the same universe and tell a story with them.
- 1 Plot synopsis
- 2 Characters
- 3 The World
- 4 Recognition
- 5 Update Controversy and Recurring Tardiness
- 6 References
- 7 External links
Erfworld's premise is that overlord Stanley the Plaid is conducting a military campaign to quest for the Arkentools - artifacts of ancient power left behind by the Titans who created the Erfworld. Stanley controls one of these tools, the Arkenhammer, but his quest for the others seems to have been costly and unsuccessful; the story opens as his final living warlord is killed in battle. Stanley's chief adviser, Wanda Firebaugh, convinces him to purchase a "Summon Perfect Warlord" spell as a final attempt to prevent defeat. The spell summons Earth gamer Parson Gotti (whose name is an anagram for "Protagonist") into Erfworld, where he is to serve as chief warlord under Stanley.
Meanwhile, Prince Ansom of Jetstone is leading a massive coalition toward Stanley's capital, Gobwin Knob, hoping to destroy Stanley's side forever. Ansom's coalition has many members, but most prominent in the story are Jetstone (Ansom's kingdom), the forces of Transylvito (a vampire-like people) and Archons (hovering female fighters) he has hired from Charlie, a powerful overlord and mercenary.
Early in the comic, one of Ansom's officers, Jillian Zamussels, flies on a scouting mission, but is captured by Stanley's forces and taken to Gobwin Knob. Wanda interrogates Jillian and, having gained magical or emotional control of her, releases her to become an unwitting double agent. During this time, Parson has been learning the battle mechanics of Erfworld and has planned an attack on Ansom's coalition. He sends a force of dwagons to make hit-and-run raids on the coalition's siege units, then draws Ansom into various traps as the coalition pursues the wounded dwagons. Jillian eventually locates the dwagons but is unwilling to attack because she is under Wanda's mind-control spell. Wanda's spell ultimately fails, however, and Jillian leads an attack that destroys the dwagons. Stanley is enraged about Parson and Wanda's unsuccessful plans and decides to take his last stand back into his own hands. He takes the surviving dwagons, then departs his capital to start his side afresh on the uninhabited site of another capital he sacked some years ago. Stanley's departure is a major turning point in the story, as these events leave Parson in sole command of the limited forces remaining at Gobwin Knob, which he must rally in a final stand against Ansom's much larger coalition.
Parson quickly puts some defensive plans into action. Parson contacts Charlie, and asks him to switch sides; Charlie declines but agrees to sit the fight out. Also, as Ansom's forces scout the mining tunnels under Gobwin Knob to find weak points, Parson orders Sizemore, Stanley's dirtamancer, to ignore all but the scouts closest to the city, but to strike those with overwhelming force. This ploy tricks Ansom into thinking he has found an unguarded route to the main city garrison.
Meanwhile, Ansom has dispatched a force of air units, led by Jillian, to hunt down Stanley. They eventually rendezvous with forces from Transylvito (but without Charlie's promised Archons) and head Stanley off at a narrow pass. When Stanley and his flight of dwagons arrive at this choke point, an intense fight ensues, leaving him with heavy losses. Stanley escapes under a veil cast by his foolamancer and heads back toward Gobwin knob.
While Stanley is still away, the final battle for Gobwin Knob begins in earnest. Ansom first sends a large force of Jetstone units into the tunnels beneath the city, which are all destroyed by hidden traps and forces. Wanda animates the fallen enemies into an army of uncroaked soldiers, which Parson uses to protect the outer walls of Gobwin Knob. Ansom fails to breach the well-protected outer walls until he re-enlists Charlie's help at a high cost. Once the wall is breached, Ansom pours his units into the city and does a Dance Dance Revolution-style dance led by Charlie's Archons, which gives his forces a massive bonus and leads them to victory.
Parson does not admit defeat though, and uses a perfidy false surrender offer as a ruse to assassinate Ansom. Parson's twoll lackey Bogroll tackles Ansom from the parapet and both fall to their deaths. Parson then collapses his own city, killing most coalition forces within the walls, but even this leaves too many enemy units alive. Parson retreats with the casters into the isolated portal room to plan the desperate final attack that will be the story's climax. Gobwin Knob is built atop an extinct volcano, so Parson orders the casters to make it erupt. The casters use magic to link the minds of Wanda the Croakamancer and Sizemore the Dirtmancer, so that with their combined skill they can uncroak the volcano.
Parson and the casters flee though a portal to escape the resulting eruption, and return to find a ruin. The coalition is erased and the terrain itself changed. Sizemore shows Parson that he has discovered a fortune in gemstones exposed by the volcano, while Wanda finds the Arkenpliers (Ansom's former arkentool) and attunes to them. With the power of the Arkenpliers, Wanda is able to permanently reanimate dead units to their original strength. She uses them to "decrypt" the late Prince Ansom and most of the other fallen coalition forces as powerful new allies.
The first book concludes as Parson (also known as Lord Hamster) asks Maggie, Gobwin Knob's thinkamancer, to what extent his actions are his own doing, and to what extent they were forced by magical loyalty. She tells Parson he is himself mostly responsible for the death and desolation around him. Parson appears to be both disgusted with the actions he had to take, and also empowered by learning that he has control over his own destiny. He walks away and speaks angrily to the "Erfworld". He ends his monologue by shouting "I won't be a gamepiece. I'm a Player. Fuck You!!", apparently breaking the Erfworld's "censorship", and throws his sword into the lava, where it melts.
In the aftermath of this battle, Gobwin Knob is rebuilt. Wanda and Ansom lead the decrypted army on a campaign to conquer the world and convert all to the belief that attunement to the Arkentools, not royal origin, is the true source of divinely ordained rule. Book Two begins as this army confronts the forces of Jetstone, after the off-screen destruction of their ally Unaroyal. The decrypted Ansom attempts to persuade his still-living brothers to accept Toolism. They refuse, and a battle breaks out in which Ansom's brother Ossomer is captured. Ansom then makes another attempt to persuade him, only to watch Wanda order Ossomer cut down so she can decrypt him. The army then marches on Jetstone's capital city with intent to take the city, which according to the rules of Erfworld ends the side and causes the remaining cities to become "neutral." Wanda and Parson agree that they almost certainly have the forces to win, but then Charlie uses the Arkendish (which he controls) to intervene in the battle by ending Stanley's turn.
Also known as Lord Hamster, Parson serves as Chief Warlord or warlord of the side Gobwin Knob throughout the story, and as its protagonist, whisked away from Earth to Erfworld at the beginning of the first book. His name is an anagram of "Protagonist".
Prior to the story, Parson is depicted as having been the author of the webcomic Hamstard (actually created by the authors of Erfworld as a meta-background for Parson's character and as an "easter egg"). He spent months at a time designing strategy games for his own amusement as an escape from an unsatisfying job and life.
Parson questions whether Erfworld is real or just a coma dream of his, if his actions truly are his own (the summoning is supposed to put him under Stanley's command) and the ethics of his situation (his actions makes him responsible for thousands of deaths and he is serving what appears to be the evil side). Still, he chooses to tentatively accept the reality of the situation and the role he has been given. Parson is large by Erfworld standards (and fat by real-world standards), standing roughly twice as tall as Wanda Firebaugh. He does not conform to all the rules of the universe (for example, he doesn't have visible "stats" like the in-world characters). Janice has said that he is a Hippiemancer; whether this is true or not is unknown.
Stanley the Tool
Originally known as Stanley the Plaid, he started off as a piker unit under King Saline IV and eventually rose to the position of warlord. During his service, he came to possess the Arkenhammer, a mysterious tool of divine origin, setting himself apart as a warlord, and later, ruler. King Saline IV later paid to have Stanley promoted to Heir Designate. Thus, when King Saline IV was killed in an attack while Stanley was away, Stanley and his side were not dissolved and retook the city.
At the time of the story, Lord Stanley is involved in an ongoing war in an effort to find the other Arkentools, believing it is the will of the Titans he control them. At the beginning of the first book, this war has reduced his realm from eleven cities to only Gobwin Knob itself. He had Wanda summon "the perfect warlord" in an attempt to win the battle for Gobwin Knob, which yielded Parson Gotti. In Stanley's first meeting with Parson, Parson convinced him that "tool" was a term of honor. Drawing a connection between this title and his search for the Arkentools, Stanley declared that he should henceforth be addressed as "Tool". Stanley objects strongly to being called a "bad guy," and considers himself to be divinely favored by the Titans. Stanley's underlings often suffer from his unchecked ego and limited patience, as well as his limited intelligence. His name (and newly assumed title) is a play on Stanley Tools.
She is a patient and skilled manager, though she is ruthless in battle and not above using seduction as a means of manipulating others. She is skilled at many types of magic, but has stated that only Croakamancy (which she uses to animate fighters "croaked" in battle as "uncroaked") holds any interest for her. She has demonstrated some ability with Hat Magic, Dollamancy, and Thinkamancy (which are all Fate magics). By the end of book one, she controls the Arkenpliers, an Arkentool that allows her to perform feats of croakamancy that are normally impossible, such as raising corpses to create lifelike intelligent "decrypted" units.
During the first book, Prince Ansom serves as Chief Warlord to King Slately of the Jetstone and the leader of the Royal Crown Coalition fighting against Stanley, and the primary antagonist. His name is a play on "handsome" (cf. Prince Charming), while his initial outfit resembled the costume worn by Evel Knievel.
He was a skilled leader, warrior, and tactician but lacked modesty and was prone to reckless behavior when his pride was at stake. His crest was a radish. He carried the Arkenpliers, though he was not attuned to them, and thus could not use their full abilities. He had a history of personally riding to Jillian's rescue, and Wanda believes he was in love with her. While he apparently looked down on those not of royal or noble houses—Vinny correctly guessed that he despised Stanley not so much for his attacks on other peoples as for the fact he came to rule by regicide—he did, according to Jillian, honestly believe in the concept of noblesse oblige, and as a result often put himself in unnecessary danger to protect his troops.
He was croaked by Bogroll and decrypted (improved uncroaking) by Wanda at the end of the first book, and serves Gobwin Knob as Chief Warlord at the start of the second, prior to his capture.
A female barbarian and warlord, fighting for the army of Prince Ansom. She has been known to engage in combat even when directed to avoid it. She has an unrealistically oversized sword. Her personal relationship with Prince Ansom is initially unclear but evolves into a romance; she declined Ansom's invitation to join him in his tent, but later that night approached it, stopped, and walked away. Later, she professes her love for Ansom after breaking Wanda's spell, and it is suggested that they sleep together when she spends a night on his flying carpet. She chats casually with Wanda after being tortured and interrogated by her, but later suddenly breaks down and collapses. It is revealed that Wanda is able to influence her feelings and thoughts. She has stated that she was originally the heir of the kingdom of Faq, an isolated and peaceful Utopian kingdom visually modeled after Japanese feudal society, and the daughter of King Banhammer, a philosopher-king who disliked his heir for her violent and aggressive ways. Her name is an approximation of "jillions of muscles." During the intermission between books 1 and 2, she restores Faq with herself as queen, with assistance from Transylvito.
He is very curious and loves to study all types of magic, but is unskilled in any beyond his specialty, and knows little about military matters. When forced into combat as the battle reaches Gobwin Knob itself, he is very regretful about taking lives, but reluctantly accepts it as his duty to do so.
A one-eyed twoll who served as a guardsman in Gobwin Knob and lackey to Parson. He was loyal and typically good-natured, although a frequent target of the other guardsmen's pranks. Bogroll was croaked by Coalition forces, having sacrificed himself in a kamikaze attack on Ansom, and cannot be decrypted due to the grievous harm inflicted on his body. Bogroll was a character in the PartiallyClips strip, and is the only crossover between PartiallyClips and Erfworld. His name is a British English colloquialism for toilet paper.
A count of the Transylvito tribe who fights for the Royal Crown Coalition. Like other Transylvitans, Vinny has the appearance of a vampire, though sunlight apparently does not harm him. Vinny seems to be a close advisor and friend of Prince Ansom, to whom he has few qualms about speaking frankly. He has confronted Ansom with his opinion that Stanley's commoner origins, not his military aggressions against several coalition members, are at the root of Ansom's antipathy toward Stanley, while assuring Ansom that this issue would not affect his personal loyalty. As his name implies, he controls the coalition's bat scouting units. His name is a reference to Vinny Boombatz, a fictional character created by stand-up comedian Rodney Dangerfield.
A Thinkamancer in the employ of Gobwin Knob. She is very skilled in her specialty and amoral in its application. She can send thinkagrams (telepathic messages) and link multiple casters together to combine their powers. She controlled a link with the Foolamancer Jack Snipe and the Lookamancer Misty, then later a link with the Croakamancer Wanda and the Dirtmancer Sizemore. When she broke the first link, she protected herself from the backlash at the expense of the other two. Parson planned to punish her by explicitly ordering her to break the second link and protect Wanda and Sizemore. She would probably have died from the backlash while doing so, but Parson decided against it at the last moment. She bears a passing physical resemblance to Margaret Thatcher.
The Overlord of Charlescomm. Charlie has consistently remained offscreen, interacting with other characters via remote communication. The character of Charlie, his archons, and his penchant for mystery are likely drawn from the titular character of the 1970s television series Charlie's Angels. However, his Eyebook handle, CharlsNChrg, refers to the 80s TV show, Charles in Charge.
Charlie was first contracted by Prince Ansom during the first book to supply a group of Archons to reinforce the expedition sent to rescue Jillian Zamussels. Later, after Ansom broke off the alliance in the expectation that Charlie would make a new alliance with Transylvito, Charlie instead took advantage of his release from his contract to begin dealing with Parson. Charlie shows no real commitment to either side, but does value his reputation as a mercenary who "stays bought".
Prince Ansom's brother and chief warlord of Jetstone after the Battle for Gobwin Knob. He was captured by Wanda and then killed and 'popped again'; executed and resurrected by the Arkenpliers. However, he appears to have broken the loyalty to the pliers and became a Jetsone unit again. His name is an approximation of "awesomer".
Four Arkentools have appeared in the comic so far, but only three have been drawn.
A hammer resembling a toy croquet mallet. Owned by and attuned to Stanley the Plaid/Tool, the Arkenhammer has the power to control dwagons, glow brightly, levitate itself and its wielder, generate multiple lightning bolts, "rock out" (play heavy rock music to the benefit of combat units) turn approximately 20 percent of walnuts cracked with it into pigeons and turn some bird-like units into walnuts. Stanley claims the Arkenhammer has chosen him for divine reasons, and uses this, and Wanda's beckoning, as rationale for his quest to obtain the other tools.
A sword-sized pair of needle-nose pliers. Previously owned by but not attuned to Prince Ansom, they served as a close combat weapon and had the power in his hands to "turn most Uncroaked to dust". Stanley believed that Ansom's attack on Gobwin Knob was divinely directed to bring the Arkenpliers to him. Seen in the hands of the Unaroyal Warlord Lady Sylvia Lazarus of the Coalition immediately prior to a volcanic eruption, the Arkenpliers were recovered by Wanda from the aftermath of the explosion, and have attuned to her. They give Wanda the ability to "decrypt" corpses, restoring them to life (or at least a close approximation thereof) with nearly intact intellect, memories, and abilities - though their loyalty is to the Croakamancer that raised them rather than their previous side. Wanda can also decrypt units that normally can not be uncroaked. These abilities are unparalleled in the discipline of Croakamancy.
An object resembling a satellite dish. Owned by and attuned to Charlie, it gives him a mastery of Thinkamancy, allowing him to hack into Stanley's communications systems and communicate with Parson via his Eyebook. Parson uses the fact that Charlie is not a Royal but still attuned to it to further provoke Ansom. Parson later learns from Wanda's Decrypted Archons that the Arkendish grants Charlie many additional abilities, some of which are unknown even to them: he can handle an unlimited number of Thinkagrams, and extend some of his abilities to his personal guard of Archons. With the dish, Thinkamancer links can exist over distances, and appear to be able to be broken with little repercussion. Any commander in the world is able to contact those Archons by concentrating hard enough and long enough - this allows Charlie to contact and hire out to any side in the world. The Arkendish may also be the reason Charlie can produce Archon units.
A pair of red slippers, they give an attuned wearer unlimited move. The other mentioned ability is that they can send their wearer "home", depending on what home means to the one wearing them. As Overlady Judy's use of them in Book 0 has shown, can send you to a place where the concept of ruler does not apply (as that position was passed to Dame Branch)
The laws of nature governing Erfworld are similar to the rules of a turn-based strategy game. Forces are divided into "sides" each of which is controlled by an overlord or monarch; overlords and monarchs have powers over their units that are similar to those of a player in a strategy game.
Turns and movement
Battle takes place in turns; each side is able only to attack on its own turn, and no turns occur during the night. Each unit (a term that encompasses both various creatures and sapient beings) has a certain amount of "Move," which governs the maximum distance it may travel during its side's turn. Thus, units may only travel to other locations during their turn, but at other times, they may move around within the bounds of the hexagonal region, or "hex," where they ended up after their own turn.
Units and stats
All people in Erfworld appear fully formed as adults. Any side is able to "pop" new units each turn at each of its city sites. Units can learn new skills and gain promotion at a cost of time and money, or these abilities and ranks can simply be "popped" along with the unit. Each unit has an "upkeep" cost, paid by the overlord of its side out of the treasury. At the start of their side's turn, each unit receives rations, heals back to full health, and experiences minor maintenance such as personal cleanup.
Units have various battle stats associated with them. Each has a "level" as would a unit in a strategy game. Level determines power in battle and increases with successive victories. Certain units can also offer bonuses (temporary boosts in level) to the forces they are leading; warlords give a bonus to the troops they lead, as do certain casters. One of the stranger bonuses available is "dance fighting," a bonus earned by dancing while fighting.
One of the more unusual features of the Erfworld universe is that it appears to be censored. When Parson is summoned to the world, he discovers almost immediately that whenever he attempts to use a word that could be considered a profanity it comes out as "Boop". Parson's reaction shows that this is an in-universe mechanic.
The natives of Erfworld apparently understand that the word represents profanity, but it is unclear whether they understand each boop as the word Parson had intended to use. Sizemore and Wanda are the only characters to have responded appropriately to a word that was "booped out," but it is possible they determine the word's meaning from the context.
There is one notable exception to the general censorship. "Crap" has been used by the natives of Erfworld, both before and after Parson is summoned there. Only Jillian Zamussels' use of the word has been other than literal, though the earliest use by Lady Firebaugh could have been taken as both a literal observation and a curse word. Artist Jamie Noguchi has stated that he does not believe the word "crap" to be profanity.
On the second night after Stanley the Tool leaves Gobwin Knob, Parson overhears the Gobwin troops singing drinking songs which work around the restriction by alluding to—rather than explicitly describing—deficiencies in manhood among the Jetstone and Transylvito factions. For instance, he is surprised to learn that Erfworlders can use the word "testes". Other characters seem to have figured out their own loopholes; for example, one of Ansom's allies remarks that "the Sofa King is Sofa-King finished here" on page 117.
Artist Jamie Noguchi once stated that Boop was originally supposed to be "meep".
In the final page of book one, in an act of defiance and anger Parson yells an uncensored "Fuck you!!" directed at Erfworld itself. Since then, none of Parson's swearing has been censored by Erfworld. The authors explained the page as pointing up the difference between censoring words (harming nobody) while simultaneously depicting or glorifying acts of mass violence (harming many).
Magic can be performed in Erfworld by units called casters. Each caster has a specialty in one of twenty-four magical disciplines, but can theoretically cast in any discipline. These specialties can be combined by mentally linking casters together using the magical discipline of "thinkamancy"- a process that increases magical power but sometimes harms the casters involved when their link is broken.
It is explained in the second Parson's Klog, that three fundamental elements (Life, Motion, and Matter) are combined in all possible combinations to get eight major classes of magic. Magic within each class can be further aligned to any of three axes (Erf, Fate and Numbers), thus dividing each class into three disciplines. This gives a total of twenty-four disciplines, which are described - along with any known details - in the tables below:
|Hocus Pocus||Findamancy||Predictamancy||Mathamancy||Findamancy and Predictamancy were used to summon Parson; Predictamancers have been indicated to be akin to seers.
Mathamancy is described as: "Analyzing probabilities... predicting outcomes" and "the raw calculations of that work". Mathamancy's primary use is to determine battle odds.
|Spookism||Turnamancy||Dollamancy||Weirdomancy||Turnamancy can increase the rate cities produce new units, turn captured enemy units to your side, and (when linked with another unknown magic class) even force the end of another side's turn. Dollamancy creates Moll and Doll units, and can be used to create magic items. Twolls also have the 'fabrication' special, which is a form of natural Dollamancy, as is the formation of livery emblems. Weirdomancy can grant or remove special abilities to units.|
|Stuffamancy||Dirtamancy||Changemancy||Dittomancy||The Dirtamancer, Sizemore Rockwell, has been shown to be able to animate different types of rock into golems, to be able to dig through solid rock, and to deal with Gobwin Knob's night soil in ways up to and including animating it into "crap golems". Dirtomancers can upgrade cities cheaper than normal. Dittomancy can multiply combat bonuses, and the number of creatures and objects. Dittomancy has been shown quadrupling a volley of arrows and even duplicating an overlord.|
|Eyemancy||Lookamancy||Thinkamancy||Foolamancy||Lookamancy has only been shown as a form of scrying. Thinkamancy has been shown to deal with telepathy, including creating a mind link with other casters that allows spells that normal casters cannot even comprehend, Thinkagrams, and suggestion spells. Foolamancy creates illusions, to disguise troops. The Eyebooks used by the main characters in Chapter 1 are made through a combination of all three disciplines of Eyemancy.|
|Hippiemancy||Flower Power||Signamancy||Date-a-mancy||Flower Power creates plant units, poisons, and can prevent units from engaging. Time perception crumbles in the presence of Flower Power. It can also be used to "quiet" a battle, though the precise meaning of "quiet" has not been revealed. Natural Signamancy affects a character's appearance, matching their roles and nature. Date-a-mancy deals with interpersonal relationships.|
|Shockmancy includes the aggressive use of shock images and stunning spells, while Croakamancy includes the raising of the dead, or "uncroaking." Deletionism was a jab at Wikipedia; following a continuity snag, Retconjuration is now a theoretical discipline reserved for the Titans alone.|
|Stagemancy||Hat Magic||Carnymancy||Rhyme-o-mancy||The hat employed by Jillian for sending messages to Ansom is likely a product of Hat Magic. Carnymancy is the ability to "rig the game". Singing is considered Rhyme-o-mancy, though the actual abilities of Rhyme-o-mancy have not been revealed.|
|Clevermancy||Luckamancy||Healomancy||Moneymancy||Clevermancy consists of none of the Elements, and is described by author Rob Balder as "raw magic dealing with raw magical forces". Luckamancy is used for the purpose of increasing the odds of a desirable outcome in the user's favor, but does so by lowering the odds of future desirable outcomes. Healomancy deals with healing units. Moneymancy creates shmuckers and gems for use in trade and upkeep.|
Webcomics authors such as Howard Tayler of Schlock Mercenary and Mohammad "Hawk" Haque of Applegeeks have posted reviews and comments about Erfworld, and it has been cited on the webcomic site Fleen, by authors outside the webcomic field such as Time-Blog and Time author/journalist Lev Grossman in his articles "Webcomics are the New Blogs" and "Erfworld: It's a Boopin' Good Webcomic!" Grossman also listed Erfworld as one of the Top 10 Graphic Novels of 2007. The addition of Erfworld to GiantITP was noted in "First Watch," Dragon Magazine's monthly section on new developments in gaming and entertainment. Additionally, Erfworld was reviewed by Webcomic Overlook, receiving four stars out of five, and had an online article about it published by NPR.
Following on the success of the Order of the Stick Kickstarter project, in February 2012, author Rob Balder launched the Erfworld "Year of the Dwagon" Kickstarter, seeking funding for a motion comic project. The Kickstarter was extremely successful, resulting in funding of almost $85,000, making it the fourth-largest comics category Kickstarter project as of May 2012.
Update Controversy and Recurring Tardiness
Shortly after the successful funding of the Erfworld "Year of the Dwagon" Kickstarter project in March 2012, author Rob Balder announced a hiatus on updates for the text-only prequel story, Book 0: "Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower)" until June 6, 2012, as well as the return of the Erfworld Book 2 comic updates on the same date. This announcement caused significant controversy among his fans, especially since Balder had indicated during the Kickstarter that any hiatus was unintentional, and that "Inner Peace" updates would be continuing shortly. After several days of back-and-forth among fans on the Erfworld forums, and among fans and Balder on the Erfworld Facebook page, all discussion regarding the issue of Erfworld updates was deleted from both places. These deletions were confirmed as policy by Balder shortly thereafter.
Starting with the return of comic updates on June 6, 2012, Erfworld updated regularly, with one comic page and one text update per week, for almost six months. Unfortunately, due to illness on the part of the artist, Xin Ye, there were only two comic page updates for the month of December 2012, along with five text updates by Balder, while January 2013 has also been sporadic. There have not been any formal announcements regarding a revised regular update schedule.
The current delays come as part of recurring tardiness issues for Erfworld, a problem which is not uncommon to webcomics. For example, Issue 2 of Book 2, "It's Raining Men," was announced for pre-order in October 2011, for release prior to Christmas 2011. As of May 13, 2012, Issue 2 of Book 2 still has not shipped, although a new "guarantee" date of June 6 appears to have been promised. Issue 1 of Book 2, "Meet the Jetstones," was announced for pre-order in May 2010, for release in September or October 2010. After numerous delays, "Meet the Jetstones" was finally shipped in May 2011. Book 1, "The Battle for Gobwin Knob," was announced for pre-order in November 2011, for "guaranteed" release by March 1, 2011. After numerous delays, "The Battle for Gobwin Knob" was finally shipped in May 2011, although due to apparent customer service representative issues for which Balder apologized, some customers still had not received their orders as of October 2011 and January 2012.
Book 3, "Hamsterdance vs. the Charlie Foxtrot" launched on July 24, 2014 with regular updates being posted on Mondays and Fridays along with backer story updates on some Wednesdays. A news item was posted on the site late December announcing a holiday break that lasted from December 22, 2014 to February 27, 2015. During that span, only backer stories continued to be posted regularly once per week. Since February 27, 2015, updates have maintained their regular Monday/Friday schedule.
- Time Magazine "Top 10 Graphic Novels of 2007."
- "'David Hahn is the new artist for Erfworld'". Retrieved August 20, 2013.
- Robot Comics "Ohio Geek Gamer Transported To Fantasy World Inside iPhone and Android Mobiles!"
- Balder, R; Swordsman: Commentary, PartiallyClips, 06-02-2009, Retrieved June 21, 2009.
- Balder, R; Fan Content Guidelines, GiantITP Forums, 7 December 2006. Retrieved 29 June 2007.
- "The Webcomic Overlook #52: Erfworld " The Webcomic Overlook". Retrieved 2009-11-09.
- Balder, R; Noguchi, J; Erfworld: The Battle for Gobwin Knob (page 14)
- Balder, R; Noguchi, J; Erfworld: The Battle for Gobwin Knob (page 16)
- Stanley: I have a higher calling! I am a Tool! / Wanda: I see, Lord. / Stanley: Not Lord. Tool. From now on, everyone addresses me as "Tool!" Balder, R; Noguchi, J; Erfworld: The Battle for Gobwin Knob (page 20)
- Balder, R; Noguchi, J; Erfworld cast of characters, GiantITP. Retrieved June 29, 2007.
- Per Sizemore's narration of past events. Balder, R; Noguchi, J; Erfworld: The Battle for Gobwin Knob (page 79)
- Wanda: You're using the Arkenhammer to crack walnuts? / Stanley: Yeah. / Wanda: But it's divine. A tool of the Titans. Balder, R; Noguchi, J; Erfworld: The Battle for Gobwin Knob (page 4)
- Supercoolstuff.com; Squeaky Hammer - #NV680 (Internet Archive link)
- Wanda: Since you began questing for the Arkentools we have not won a battle. We once held 11 cities. Now, we hold only the capital. Balder, R; Noguchi, J; Erfworld: The Battle for Gobwin Knob (page 5)
- Wanda: I thought we agreed I was looking for the perfect military mind. [...] / Stanley: I want that too! Balder, R; Noguchi, J; Erfworld: The Battle for Gobwin Knob (page 17)
- Parson: [...] I always did like playing the bad guys, which we obviously are. [...] / Stanley: (menacingly) I'm curious, Hamster... What makes you think we're the "bad guys?" Balder, R; Noguchi, J; Erfworld: The Battle for Gobwin Knob (page 31)
- Stanley: The Titans left [The Arkenhammer] here for a reason. It chose me for a divine reason. Balder, R; Noguchi, J; Erfworld: The Battle for Gobwin Knob (page 32)
- Narrator: [...] And that made a bad day considerably worse...for Lord Stanley's Chief Croakamancer: Wanda Firebaugh. Balder, R; Noguchi, J; Erfworld: The Battle for Gobwin Knob (page 2)
- Balder, R; Noguchi, J; Erfworld: The Battle for Gobwin Knob (page 54)
- Stanley: Uncroaked. They each fell in battle and Wanda... whatchacallit... / Parson: Animated them? / Stanley: Animated them. Balder, R; Noguchi, J; Erfworld: The Battle for Gobwin Knob (page 27)
- Sizemore: [...] I'm good at nothing beyond my specialty. But I do love to study everything. / Wanda: [...] I can manage quite a number of magicks outside Croakamancy, but I have little interest in them. Balder, R; Noguchi, J; Erfworld: The Battle for Gobwin Knob (page 13)
- Balder, R; Noguchi, J; Erfworld: The Battle for Gobwin Knob (page 21)
- Ansom: I wield the Arkenpliers. But I am not attuned to them, as Stanley is to his artifact. Balder, R; Noguchi, J; Erfworld: The Battle for Gobwin Knob (page 22)
- Wanda: [...] "Ansom, with his long history of personally riding to [Jillian's] rescue, flies his air units out to escort her back to the column." Balder, R; Noguchi, J; Erfworld: The Battle for Gobwin Knob (page 45)
- Wanda: I know [Ansom's] entire battle plan. [...] As for his weaknesses, he is in love with our prisoner. And I control her mind. Balder, R; Noguchi, J; Erfworld: The Battle for Gobwin Knob (page 43)
- Ansom: AVOID any engagements if you can! / Jillian: Oh, I am. Balder, R; Noguchi, J; Erfworld: The Battle for Gobwin Knob (page 9)
- Ansom: [...] She's not just scouting; she's apparently hitting targets of opportunity. Balder, R; Noguchi, J; Erfworld: The Battle for Gobwin Knob (page 10)
- Balder, R; Noguchi, J; Erfworld: The Battle for Gobwin Knob (page 8)
- Balder, R; Noguchi, J; Erfworld: The Battle for Gobwin Knob (page 36)
- Balder, R; Noguchi, J; Erfworld: The Battle for Gobwin Knob (page 39)
- Balder, R; Noguchi, J; Erfworld: The Battle for Gobwin Knob (page 82)
- Klog: Sizemore and I have been talking magic theory. [...] He's about as knowledgable a guy as I could want for a teacher. Balder, R; Noguchi, J; Erfworld: The Battle for Gobwin Knob (Parson's Klog #2)
- Klog: It's harder to get information about this stuff that it was about magic. Sizemore barely knows the basics. Balder, R; Noguchi, J; Erfworld: The Battle for Gobwin Knob (Parson's Klog #4)
- Bogroll: My Lords! I am reporting as Lackey retainer to Lord Hamster, by the order of my Lady Firebaugh. Balder, R; Noguchi, J; Erfworld: The Battle for Gobwin Knob (page 29)
- Bogroll: Mung, why do the other henchmen pick on me? / Mung: Because it's fun. Balder, R; Noguchi, J; Erfworld: The Battle for Gobwin Knob (page 28)
- Balder, R; Bogroll the Cyclops, PartiallyClips, 09-08-2002. Retrieved June 29, 2007.
- Vinny: You know I gotcher back no matter what. But what I can't figure out is, why are you leading this fight? [...] / Ansom: Can't it just be that I want to end a great evil? / Vinny: It could be. [...] But your beef is he's not royal, right? Balder, R; Noguchi, J; Erfworld: The Battle for Gobwin Knob (page 34)
- Balder, R; Noguchi, J; Erfworld: The Battle for Gobwin Knob (page 126)
- Balder, R; Noguchi, J; Erfworld: The Battle for Gobwin Knob (page 18)
- Sizemore: This...is called a "chamber pot." / Parson: Magic item? / Sizemore: You wish. / Parson: Boop. / Sizemore: Exactly! Balder, R; Noguchi, J; Erfworld: The Battle for Gobwin Knob (page 35)
- Erfworld: The Battle for Gobwin Knob page 6 (Lady Firebraugh)
- Erfworld: The Battle for Gobwin Knob page 13 (Sizemore)
- Erfworld: The Battle for Gobwin Knob page 95 (Jillian Zamessels)
- Post in Erfworld forums by Jamie Noguchi.
- Erfworld: The Battle for Gobwin Knob page 101
- Post in Erfworld forums by Jamie Noguchi.
- Post in Erfworld forums
- http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0091.html Erfworld, chapter 1: The Battle for Gobwin Knob page 82. Jillian: "His [Banhammer's] Predictamancer told him that his precious toy kingdom would fall someday."
- Erfworld: The Battle for Gobwin Knob page 54
- Erfworld: The Battle for Gobwin Knob page 53
- Page 84, Parson's Klog 7
- Erfworld: The Battle for Gobwin Know page 35
- post by Rob Balder in the Erfworld Forums
- "What, exactly, is an “Erf?”", Howard Tayler, Schlock Mercenary blog, January 14, 2007. Retrieved June 29, 2007.
- "Erfworld Launched", Mohammed Hoque, Applegeeks blog, December 7, 2006. Retrieved June 29, 2007.
- "What on Erf do you mean, "My Language"?" Gary Tyrrell, Fleen, January 19, 2007. Retrieved June 29, 2007.
- "Webcomics Are the New Blogs: The Order of the Stick", Lev Grossman, TIME.com, January 31, 2007. Retrieved June 29, 2007.
- "Erfworld: It's a Boopin' Good Webcomic!", Lev Grossman, TIME.com, April 10, 2007 Retrieved June 29, 2007.
- "Top 10 Graphic Novels (#6: Erfworld)", Lev Grossman, TIME.com, December 10, 2007. Retrieved December 11, 2007.
- "First Watch." Dragon Magazine, Issue #354 March 2007: 16.
- "NPR - Intern Edition » Blog Archive » An Award-Winning Graphic Novel… On the Web". Retrieved 2009-11-09.
- Kickstarter Most-Funded Projects in the Comics Category
- http://www.erfworld.com/category/site-news/page/6/ Return Date for Book 2 Set
- http://www.erfworld.com/category/site-news/page/13/ Hiatus Unintentional, Part 2 Soon
- http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=13163316&postcount=771 Giant in the Playground forum post
- http://www.erfworld.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=6225 Erfworld forum post
- http://www.erfworld.com/category/site-news/page/24/ Free the Decrypted Red Dwagons!
- http://www.erfworld.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=6206 Erfworld forum post
- http://www.erfworld.com/category/site-news/page/66/ Book 2 Issue 1
- http://www.erfworld.com/category/site-news/page/53/ Update on Books
- http://www.erfworld.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=5099 Erfworld forum post