Surviving the World

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Surviving The World
Author(s) Dante Shepherd
Current status / schedule Actively Running
Published Daily
Launch date May 31, 2008
Genre(s) Life/Literature/Love/Philosophy/Politics/Science

Surviving the World (STW) is a daily webcomic[1] which has been running daily since May 31, 2008.[2] The comic's tagline is "Daily Lessons in Science, Literature, Love and Life".[3] It is authored by professor Lucas Landherr[4] under the pseudonym Dante J.T. Shepherd, and was started when he was a graduate student at the falsely-named Fred Paulson Institute.[5] The site takes a novel approach to the webcomic genre in that it features a photograph (or a series of them) with text, graphs and sometimes comics drawn on a chalkboard and expressively framed by the author. This novelty is discussed in the comic itself as an intentional decision. The webcomic is approached as a continuing college class, including recitations, homework, and supplemental material, even going so far as to label the individual comics as "Lessons" and the authors as "Faculty". The strip consists already of over 2,000 lessons (including recitations), as of January 2014. There has been an argument on whether STW is a webcomic due to its minimal artistic content.[6]


The comic grew out of another project of Shepherd's, a script for a television show about college life. It was to be about a professor teaching at a YMCA, with the show focusing on the professor's "distinct lessons about how to survive and prepare for life and college", as well as the lives and interactions of students whom the professor was using as examples. Entitled 101, the script garnered little interest, prompting Shepherd to contemplate rewriting it as a one-act play. He then asked "around on the Internet to see if anyone would be willing to draw it as an off-beat comic book". He received no satisfactory responses and decided to create a webcomic himself. He eventually did so, basing the first hundred comics on the script of 101. The form of the comic is a result of Shepherd having little artistic ability, as well as his desire to do something with a "unique style". The title 101 was already being used on the site that the comic was originally published on, forcing the name change to Surviving the World.[7]

The Shepherd Principle[edit]

The Shepherd Principle is a fictitious principle created by Shepherd. The principle states that "If you do anything long enough, it becomes creepy". This ties in with one of the comic's unspoken central themes of "how to creep people out".[8]

Reviews and Interviews[edit]