|Current status / schedule||Is updated 5 days a week|
GU Comics is a single panel webcomic written, drawn, and colored by William "Woody" Hearn. Established July 10, 2000 and launched August 15, 2000, GU is published, free, five times a week on its own web site. The comic focuses on a single video game such as World of Warcraft; but, it also comments on gaming industry and community news, often lampooning 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. In recent months Hearn has focused primarily on writing comics revolving around various pen-and-paper role playing games; it is unclear if Hearns actually takes part in these games or if he simply finds humor in D&D sourcebooks over PC MMO games.
GU Comics was first released to a small group of friends on July 10, 2000. Then known as "/gu ...", the original comics were set inside the MMOG fantasy world of EverQuest and centered on 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 15, 2000. The response was swift and significant. Since its inception GU has change hosts for various reasons. February 4, 2003, GU moved to TheSafehouse.org.
On February 5, 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 9, 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.
GU Comics had featured costume contests for its readers for Halloween, unofficial gatherings at various conventions, gaming trade shows, and the Texas Renaissance Festival. In addition, Hearn had been invited to review the development of and write NDA-approved PR pieces for 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.[better source needed] 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.
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- 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)"
- Origin of GU Comics (1st Strip) Posted July 10, 2000
- Launch of GU Comics Posted August 15, 2000
- 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")
- 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