Sinfest

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Sinfest
Sinfest logo.gif
Author(s) Tatsuya Ishida
Website http://www.sinfest.net/
Current status / schedule Daily
Launch date January 17, 2000
Genre(s) Comedy, satire

Sinfest is an American webcomic by Tatsuya Ishida. Updating every day of the week Sinfest started as a black comedy strip in January 2000. Ishida's webcomic jumps from topic to topic and covers issues related to American politics, organized religion, and feminism.

Overview[edit]

Sinfest was originally a four-panel comedy strip relying primarily on dark humor aimed at pop culture, though the webcomic slowly evolved into a larger criticism of American exceptionalism.[1] Following the lives of the characters Slick, Monique, pig-person Squigley, and various supporting characters (including religious figures such as God, the Devil, Buddha, and Jesus), Sinfest covers many social issues, such as slut-shaming, misogyny, and street harassment.[2] Wired.com stated that Sinfest "takes a very irreverent view of organized religion."[3]

Ishida uploads a new black and white strip of Sinfest every day of the week, and publishes a larger, full-color page every Sunday.

Development[edit]

In an interview with Publishers Weekly, Ishida stated that he knew he wanted to become a comics author ever since he read a Peanuts paperback as a child, saying that "something about the simplicity and solitary nature of the medium appealed to me." Ishida became a penciller for Dark Horse Comics' G.I. Joe Extreme series for a short time in the early 1990s, but Ishida said that he botched this job, noting that "several [of his] pages were so poorly drawn they had to get another guy to redo them entirely." Lateron this decade, Ishida attempted to work in animation, but this path did not pan out either. In 2000, Ishida taught himself HTML, put together a Geocities web page, and started uploading Sinfest strips seven days per week. Ishida stated that he managed to sustain this strict schedule during the first seven years purely through "coffee and revenge."[4]

Ishida views his older works as an indicator of his emotional state during this period, describing his early Sinfest strips as "unhinged, totally off the chain." In 2009, Ishida claimed his strip was "still pretty wild, but there's also more warmth, more tenderness," citing 2005 as a turning point. During the 2008 United States Presidential Election, Sinfest became much more politics-heavy. This was in part because of the "collective anxiety" regarding the Financial crisis of 2007–2008 and the magnitude of the $700 billion emergency bailout proped by the United States Congress.[4] Ishida stated that he switches between characters and situations in is webcomic "pretty much on a whim," claiming that the longer storylines of his webcomic help to tie it all together. In 2011, Ishida started to produce colored strips as well, giving readers "something extra fun and engaging" on Sundays. Ishida remains rather private and interacts little with his readership.[5]

Ishida self-published three volumes of Sinfest in print between 2002 and 2005. Two volumes of Sinfest have been published in print by Dark Horse Comics. The first of these was released in mid-2009 and reprints the entire first year of the webcomic. The second volume, titled Viva la Resistance, covers the webcomic's run from 2003 to 2004, featuring over 600 pages that were previously uncollected.[5] Sinfest has also appeared in the Norwegian comic magazine Nemi.[6]

Reception[edit]

PC Magazine listed Sinfest among the best webcomics of 2015.[7] Sinfest has been nominated for various Web Cartoonists' Choice Awards.[8]

Characters[edit]

Primary cast[edit]

Slick A short blond male and self-proclaimed pimp, despite his extremely limited success with womanizing. His reflection has become a demonic doppelganger that sows chaos at every opportunity. ...
Monique Confident and sexy, for much of the comic's history she enjoyed using her looks to toy with boys, but she eventually underwent a feminist awakening, and is now dating the devil-girl Absinthe. [9]
Squigley Fatwater An anthropomorphic pig with a frat boy mentality. Watches pornography, eats junk food and smokes pot. While high, he's able to fly his couch. [10]
The Devil Usually seen in a suit, he deals directly in souls, but also runs a vast business empire that produces any number of harmful products. He is often accompanied by a three-headed Hellhound [11]
Lily / Li'l Evil Currently known as Lily (a mondegreen of "Li'l E"), he was previously known as "Li'l Evil", a young wicked boy who trying to get closer to his idol The Devil. After losing his memory to the River Lethe; he has since become kind-hearted and vulnerable, and now goes by "Lily". He is actually the son of The Devil and Lilith and is now best friends with Tangerine. [12]
Seymour A Christian fundamentalist with an unimpressive halo who hoards novelty religious paraphernalia and harbors homoerotic feelings towards his savior. [13]

Other cast[edit]

Criminy A bespectacled youngster who acts as the strip's voice of reason, often found under the tree of knowledge reading. [14]
PX A female pleasure robot, formerly owned by Slick.
Full name: "MODEL PX1-F600 SERIAL NUMBER FBXC-44-020-718-184-63-661-90-542"
[15]
Assassin Bot Trio Three weaponized fembots who managed to escape from DevilTech. [16]
Freebot A fembot who managed to liberate herself by escaping to the Reality Zone. [17]
Fembot Trio Three fembots rescued by the Assassin Bot Trio. [18]
Absinthe A green-haired succubi and "booth babe". Also known as Abby [19]
Baby Blue A harsh and cruel succubus who enjoys tempting men, auditing sins and tormenting the damned. [20]
Fuchsia Previously a stereotypical succubus, Fuchsia fell in love with the kind-hearted Criminy. [21]
Tangerine An innocent young country girl who was turned into a succubus by the Devil who remains steadfastly loyal to Lily. [22]
Clio Mirembe African-American member of the Sisterhood who sabotages sex-based industries. [23]
Nana The elderly owner of a bakery and coffeehouse that doubles as a base of operations for the Sisterhood, who is also both a broom-riding witch. [24]
Xanthe Justice The most prominent member of a group of juvenile Big Wheel-riding feminists called the Sisterhood . [25]
Ariel and Ezekiel Cheerful cherubs who pose as door-to-door evangelists and taunt The Devil during his angel hunts. [26]
Buddha A holy man who rarely speaks and floats around on a tiny cloud. [27]
The Dragon Representation of Eastern philosophy and the "Middle Way". [28]
God A giant hand in the sky. Often uses puppets to parody other characters, most often the Devil. [29]
Jesus A thin, bearded ascetic. Enjoys playing sports and always makes sacrifice plays. Very rarely, he turns devils back into humans. [30]
Father Time Father Time begins each January as the infant Baby New Year, then re-appears around December as the wizened old man being hunted by the Grim Reaper. [31]
Grim Reaper The anthropomorphic manifestation of death. Has the job of a typical hitman. He slays Father Time at the end of every year. [32]
Uncle Sam The personification of America, and former partner of Lady Liberty. [33]
Lady Liberty The long-suffering ex of Uncle Sam, frustrated by his infidelities and imperialism. [34]
Lilith Mysterious white-haired woman, assumed to be Li'l Evil's mother. [35]
Vainglorious A mysterious devil artist who dresses in black. He has a silly side and can generate force fields. [36]
Master Ishida's in-comic avatar: a cartoonist and owner of Percy and Pooch [37]
Percy and Pooch A sullen, independent cat and a cheerful, dimwitted dog who both reside with the Master. [38]

Landmarks[edit]

The Sinfest universe houses some peculiar landmarks, constant fixtures in many strips of the comic.

Master's House Home to Percy, Pooch and Master ...
The Devil Booth Homage to Lucy's booth in the Peanuts strip, it's a simple booth where the Devil, and later the succubi, try to buy and sell souls. Feminists have also been seen operating booths, offering free refreshments. [39][40]
The Devil's Mansion A lavish mansion, housing much high-tech surveillance gear to keep all Sinfest's characters in check. [41]
Hellholes Since Hell in Sinfest is stereotypically placed below Earth, digging far enough may create portals to Hell. [42]
McDebil's A parody of McDonald's, presumably owned by The Devil, who owns most of Sinfest city. [43]
The Tree of Knowledge Based on the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil from the Biblical Garden of Eden, this tree always bears a single apple which when eaten gives characters uncomfortable revelations about themselves. ...
The Reality Zone Located in the woods around the town, it's a place where characters gain realistic proportions and qualities (for example, Squigley becomes a mere pig, Slick becomes taller and more proportioned). Imaginary creatures and anthropomorphized items like Hell's pitchforks (flying pitchforks with their own minds) can't survive in the Reality Zone: [44]
The Friend Zone Located in the public park, it's a reference to the platonic relationship of the same name. [45]
The Trans-State A section of the woods where the characters become gender-bent versions of themselves. [46]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Required Reading: 40 of the Best Webcomics". Paste Magazine. 2016-11-11. Archived from the original on 2017-02-02. 
  2. ^ Polo, Susana (2013-08-14). "40 Webcomics You Need to Read". The Mary Sue. Archived from the original on 2017-07-07. 
  3. ^ Orndorff, Patrick (2009-08-10). "10 Great Webcomics You Should Not Share With Your Kids". Wired. Archived from the original on 2016-12-22. 
  4. ^ a b Hudson, Laura (2009-06-09). "The Wages of Sinfest". Publishers Weekly. Archived from the original on 2009-06-15. 
  5. ^ a b Carlson, Johanna Draper (2011-01-24). "Tatsuya Ishida Speaks on Sinfest, Jesus, and Fans". Publishers Weekly. Archived from the original on 2017-02-04. 
  6. ^ Garvik, Bodil (2005-01-14). "Debuterer i Tommy og Tigeren". Bergens Tidende (in Norwegian). Archived from the original on 2011-06-11. 
  7. ^ Griffith, Eric (2015-02-14). "The Best Webcomics 2015". PC Magazine. Archived from the original on 2017-10-09. 
  8. ^ "2004 Results". Web Cartoonists' Choice Awards. Archived from the original on 2014-10-27. 
  9. ^ 2000-02-03: Beat Poet 3
  10. ^ 2004-09-18: Campaign 20
  11. ^ 2001-10-13: Everyone's Questioning God 3
  12. ^ 2011-09-25: Who's That 3
  13. ^ 2000-07-12: True Image 7
  14. ^ 2000-04-24: A Spiritual Matter
  15. ^ 2014-02-18: Name
  16. ^ March 1, 2015: Search 15
  17. ^ 2013-10-20: March 2, 2015: Search 16
  18. ^ February 21, 2016: Roboticize 12
  19. ^ 2013-05-26: Day In The Life 16
  20. ^ 2009-04-25: Convert
  21. ^ 2009-03-07: Time To Get Busy
  22. ^ 2014-03-02: Tangerine
  23. ^ 2014-02-04: Black Utopia Fantasy Story
  24. ^ 2012-11-13: Nana Senses
  25. ^ 2013-03-04: Feminist Utopia Fantasy Story
  26. ^ 2000-05-04: Angel Hunting 4
  27. ^ 2007-04-18: Elusive
  28. ^ 2000-09-15: Calligraphy 5
  29. ^ 2000-01-23: Hand of God
  30. ^ 2006-10-15: Faith-Off
  31. ^ 2009-12-28: MMIX
  32. ^ 2008-08-24: Hitman
  33. ^ 2008-10-21: Uncle Sam Puppet
  34. ^ 2013-05-03: Porn Sex 2
  35. ^ 2013-12-15: Lilith
  36. ^ 2014-11-26: Vainglorious Puppet
  37. ^ 2010-11-14: Day in the Life 12
  38. ^ 2004-07-31: Another Day Seized
  39. ^ 2000-01-17: Devil Booth
  40. ^ 2014-02-21: Was It You Guys?
  41. ^ 2013-04-11: Mansion
  42. ^ 2009-11-11: Portal to Hell 2
  43. ^ 2009-07-08: McDebil's
  44. ^ 2010-07-22: Reality Zone
  45. ^ 2012-08-23: Friend Zone
  46. ^ 2011-11-03: Trans State