Ryan North

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Ryan North
North with his dog, Noam Chompsky (left)
North with his dog, Noam Chompsky (left)
BornRyan M. North
(1980-10-20) October 20, 1980 (age 39)
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
OccupationComic writer, computer programmer
Literary movementWebcomic
Notable works
Notable awardsEisner Award, 2013 & 2017
SpouseJennifer Klug

Ryan M. North (born October 20, 1980) is a Canadian writer and computer programmer who is the creator and author of Dinosaur Comics, and co-creator of Whispered Apologies and Happy Dog the Happy Dog. He has been the writer of The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl for Marvel Comics since the series debuted in January 2015.

Personal life[edit]

North grew up in Ottawa, Ontario, where he studied computer science (minor in film) at Carleton University before moving to Toronto for his master's degree in computer science at the University of Toronto, specializing in computational linguistics; he graduated in 2005.[citation needed] He is a humorist, programmer and longboarding enthusiast[1] and also designs t-shirts. His parents are Anna and Randall North.[2] He has a younger brother, Victor North (b. 1982). He is married to Jennifer Klug.

North once tried to stop other people named "Ryan North" from using his name in a series of satirical emails.[3] He also got into trouble with authorities by sending prank emails.[4] In 2006, a group of teenage girls in Ravenna, Ohio were arrested after they created and distributed several cardboard boxes designed to look like elements of the video game Super Mario Brothers, inspired by a street art project initiated by Poster Child and following instructions for building the blocks posted on North's website.[5][6]

On August 18, 2015, North became stuck in a skate pit with only an umbrella, a leash, his phone, and his dog, Noam Chompsky, after rain made the surface too slick to easily climb with a dog in tow. He posted about his conundrum on Twitter, leading hundreds of Twitter users to reply with suggestions on how to combine the items in his "inventory" to escape, eventually leading to success.[7]

Comics and books[edit]

Dinosaur Comics, a fixed-art webcomic, has run for more than 2,700 issues and has been published by Quack!Media as The Best of Dinosaur Comics: 2003-2005 AD: Your Whole Family Is Made of Meat, among other compilations.[8] In addition to his comics, North has created three tools to aid webcomic authors: Oh No Robot, a webcomic transcription tool that creates searchable text databases for comics; RSSpect, a method of creating RSS feeds for websites; and Project Wonderful, a pay-per-day auction-based ad serving system. The first two are free, whereas the last took 25% of each sale. Before Dinosaur Comics, North created Robot Erotica.[9]

On November 8, 2006, Ryan North launched the site Every Topic in the Universe Except Chickens,[10] which purports to provide a solution to vandalism on Wikipedia, in that it encourages vandals to vandalize only the article on chickens: "...instead of vandalizing Wikipedia in general, we all just vandalize the chicken article." North reasoned that it was worth trading the reliability of the chicken article if it meant freeing the rest of the encyclopedia from the threat of vandalism because "Dudes already know about chickens." The site received considerable media attention.[11]

A collection of short stories titled Machine of Death was released October 2010 through Bearstache Books.[12] It reached #1 on Amazon.com, beating Glenn Beck and drawing criticism from him as exemplifying a "liberal culture of death".[13] It is co-edited by Ryan North and inspired by his December 5, 2005 comic.[14]

North is the writer of the Adventure Time comic book series, which launched February 8, 2012.[15] In 2013 the series won an Eisner Award (Best Publication for Kids)[16] and a Harvey Award (Best Original Graphic Publication For Younger Readers).

On November 21, 2012, North launched a Kickstarter project to fund a book entitled To Be or Not to Be: That Is the Adventure, a retelling of Shakespeare's Hamlet modelled on Choose Your Own Adventure novels. The project raised more than six times its $20,000 goal in less than a week, and closed on December 22, 2012 having raised $580,905, nearly thirty times their original goal,[17] and a record for a Kickstarter publishing project at that time.[18] The book allows readers to take the role of Hamlet, Ophelia or Hamlet's father and make their own choices throughout the story; the latter characters, as well as over 100 colour illustrations by a range of artists, were added to the book as funding increased.[19]

On January 21, 2013, Shiftylook.com launched Galaga, a comic written by North and illustrated by Christopher Hastings and colored by Anthony Clark, the creators of The Adventures of Dr. McNinja.[20] The comic is based on the 1981 arcade shooter of the same name.

On October 6, 2014, Marvel Comics announced that North would write the series The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, which debuted in January 2015.

On July 21, 2017, two of North's projects were awarded Eisner Awards: "Best Publication for Teens (ages 13-17)" for The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl (with Erica Henderson), and "Best Humor Publication" for Jughead (with Chip Zdarsky, Henderson, and Derek Charm).[21][22]


  • Author, The Best of Dinosaur Comics: 2003-2005 AD (April 15, 2006, Quack!Media) ISBN 0-7560-0518-3
  • Author, Dinosaur Comics: Dudes Already Know About Chickens (2010, TopatoCo) ISBN 978-0-9824862-6-9
  • Editor, Machine of Death: A Collection of Stories About People Who Know How They Will Die (October 13, 2010, Machines of Death) ISBN 0-9821671-2-1
  • Author, Everybody Knows Failure Is Just Success Rounded Down: Dinosaur Comics (2011, TopatoCo) ISBN 978-1-936561-90-2
  • Writer, Adventure Time Issues 1-35 (2012-15, KaBOOM!)
  • Author, To Be Or Not To Be: That Is The Adventure (2013, Breadpig) ISBN 978-0-9828537-4-0
  • Editor, This Is How You Die; Stories of the Inscrutable, Infallible, Inescapable Machine of Death (2013, Grand Central Publishing) ISBN 978-1455529391
  • Writer,The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Issues 1-50 (2014-19, Marvel)
  • Author, The Midas Flesh Vol. 1 (2014, BOOM! Box) ISBN 978-1608864553
  • Author, The Midas Flesh Vol. 2 (2015, BOOM! Box) ISBN 978-1608867271
  • Author, Romeo and/or Juliet: A Chooseable-Path Adventure (2016, Riverhead Books) ISBN 978-1101983300
  • Writer,Jughead Volume 3, Issues 9-14 (2016-17, Archie Comics)
  • Author, How to Be a T.Rex (2018, Dial Books) ISBN 978-0399186240
  • Author, How To Invent Everything: A Survival Guide For The Stranded Time Traveler (2018, Riverhead Books) ISBN 978-0735220140


  1. ^ "Jenn's longboard has a Story To Tell". Retrieved 2009-06-01.
  2. ^ "Ryan North's web page at the University of Toronto". Archived from the original on 2006-10-26.
  3. ^ "Madhouse: Ryan vs Ryan". Retrieved 2007-01-19.
  4. ^ "Madhouse: Madhouse Takes On City Hall". Retrieved 2007-01-19.
  5. ^ "Tall Poppy interview with Ryan North". 2006-05-17. Retrieved 2007-01-19.
  6. ^ "Girls attempt real-life version of video game". Archived from the original on May 22, 2006. Retrieved 2016-05-13.CS1 maint: unfit url (link)
  7. ^ "Twitter combines everything in man's inventory to help him escape pit". 2015-08-19. Retrieved 2015-08-19.
  8. ^ "qwantz.com - dinosaur comics - books!". Archived from the original on 2007-01-16. Retrieved 2007-01-19.
  9. ^ "Madhouse: Robot Erotica". Retrieved 2007-01-19.
  10. ^ "EveryTopicInTheUniverseExceptChickens DOT COM: Save Wikipedia! Promote accuracy at the expense of chickens". Retrieved 2007-01-19.
  11. ^ Tossell, Ivor (2006-11-17). "An earnest target of digital vandals". Globe and Mail. Archived from the original on 2008-07-24.
  12. ^ "Machine of Death » About". machineofdeath.net.
  13. ^ "Indie Sci-Fi Anthology Steals Glenn Beck's Thunder - Entertainment". The Atlantic Wire. 2010-10-28. Retrieved 2012-12-04.
  14. ^ "Machine of Death Press Kit". Machines of Death. Retrieved July 22, 2019.
  15. ^ "'Adventure Time' Comic Series Coming From Boom! in February - ComicsAlliance | Comic book culture, news, humor, commentary, and reviews". ComicsAlliance. Archived from the original on 2013-02-10. Retrieved 2012-12-04.
  16. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20140306115430/http://comic-con.org/awards/eisners-current-info
  17. ^ "To Be Or Not To Be: That Is The Adventure". Kickstarter.
  18. ^ McMillan, Graeme (December 20, 2012) "Ryan North's 'To Be Or Not To Be' Sets New Kickstarter Record" Archived 2013-02-28 at the Wayback Machine, Comics Alliance, accessed December 21, 2012
  19. ^ Hudson, Laura (December 21, 2012) "Record-Breaking Kickstarter Turns Hamlet Into a Choose-Your-Adventure Epic", Wired, accessed December 21, 2012
  20. ^ "Galaga launches today!". ShiftyLook. Archived from the original on 2013-04-06. Retrieved 2013-03-26.
  21. ^ "Eisner Awards Current Info". 17 December 2014.
  22. ^ "Eisner Awards: The Complete Winners List". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2017-08-03.

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