Logo with the two main characters, Leo (left) and Aeris (right)
|Launch date||September 1, 2001|
|Genre(s)||Video game, parody|
VG Cats (short for Video Game Cats) is a webcomic written and drawn by Canadian cartoonist Scott Ramsoomair. Published on its own website, it features the adventures of a pair of anthropomorphic cats, who often play the roles of characters in popular video games that are parodied in the strip. Strips are usually presented in a large format and in full color. The author generally set Mondays as days for updating the comic; however, the update schedule has a reputation of being incredibly sporadic; he frequently mocks his tardiness in updating in various strips due to personal reasons and frequent convention appearances. As of November 2012, the site had approximately 298 comics listed in its main archives. Based on this archive alone, VG Cats averaged 25 comics a year while it was at its peak.
The VG Cats website also hosts Adventure Log, a Final Fantasy XI webcomic written and drawn by Ramsoomair, and Super Effective, a webcomic parody of the Pokémon game series. Adventure Log has not been updated since 2008.
Ramsoomair said that he began the strip due to boredom at work; he created comics during his lunch breaks. The first VG Cats strip was released on September 1, 2001. (His answer on the FAQ page said it was bad timing, probably in reference to the September 11 attacks that happened that same month) Prior to taking the VGCats.com domain, the comic was hosted at www.vgcats.cjb.net. For a period, VG Cats was affiliated with BuzzComix. During April 1 (April Fools' Day), Ramsoomair replaces the regular home page with fake pages, like a "Krug" page in 2003 or a Myspace profile for Solid Snake in 2007.
In 2006, Ramsoomair made a strip depicting creatures from Maxis' videogame Spore, and Maxis created a version of the strip replacing all the drawn characters with in-game versions, and sent him custom figurines of the creatures.
Ramsoomair said that VGCats is "basically ... along the lines of Penny Arcade." The comic originally focused on 2 gamers; Ramsoomair said by 2006 that within the preceding one to two years he began focusing upon parodies of video games instead of the two gamer format.
VG Cats is not a plot driven comic, though there are several characters that are staples of the comic. Ramsoomair said that all of his characters "relate" to him "at some point."
Aeris is blue-eyed female cat with pink fur. She has a hot temper and lashes out at Leo frequently. Aeris was introduced on September 4, 2001 in Strip 2, "Pika?".
Leo Leonardo, The Third
Leo Leonardo, The Third is a green-eyed male cat with grey fur. Leo was named after one of Ramsoomair's real cats; Ramsoomair describes the association as "in name only." Ramsoomair euthanized the real-life cat Leo on July 19, 2010. Leo was introduced on September 4, 2001 in Strip 1, "Feelin' Gassy".
The alter ego of Scott Ramsoomair, Pantsman is an incompetent superhero who conceals his identity by wearing trousers and sometimes underpants on his head. His greatest weakness is vodka cooler, which causes him to drop his trousers and transform into "Peter Pantsless". He also wears a pair of jeans around his neck, to provide a two tailed cape. He was introduced in Strip 37, "I Like Bunnies", to help explain the inconsistent updating of the comic.
Chris Boe, a friend and associate of Ramsoomair, created an animated version of VG Cats. Only the first half of the first episode, "Episode 1: A Tale of Two Kitties", has been produced, and was released on January 21, 2006. Boe wrote and animated the episode.
Super Effective, also done by Ramsoomair, began in April 2008 as a comic parody of the popular game series Pokémon. It is also hosted on the VGCats website. It is currently updated infrequently.
In 2003, Ramsoomair designated CafePress as the provider of the VG Cats store; Ramsoomair soon ended the relationship with CafePress. On June 16, 2004 Ramsoomair announced that he established his store on Hyperion Press. Afterwards ZeStuff hosted the VG Cats Store. As of 2008 Shark Robot hosts the VGCats store. As of 2008, Ramsoomair is no longer affiliated with CafePress, but it still sells VG Cats merchandise on its website.
VG Cats has been nominated for several Web Cartoonist's Choice Awards, winning 2 awards in 2005 and 1 in 2006.
- 2003: Outstanding Anthropomorphic Comic
- 2004: Outstanding Character (Visual), Outstanding Use of Color, Outstanding Anthropomorphic Comic, Outstanding Gaming Comic
- 2005: Winner: Outstanding Use of Color, Outstanding Comedic Comic, Outstanding Short Form Comic, Winner: Outstanding Gaming Comic. Honorable mention: Character Art & Artist
- 2006: Outstanding Anthropomorphic Comic, Winner: Outstanding Gaming Comic
- 2007: Outstanding Use of Color (finalist), Outstanding Anthropomorphic Comic (finalist), Outstanding Gaming Comic (finalist).
- 2008 Outstanding use of the medium (finalist)
- FAQ. VG Cats
- "All About the Site", VG Cats
- "Internet provides new way to get daily dose of funnies" The Rocket page 2
- Maragos, Nich (November 7, 2005). "Will Strip For Games: Gaming Comics Online". 1UP.com. p. 3. Retrieved December 6, 2006.
- "#234: Humiliation Tube", VG Cats
- "#246: Left behind", VG Cats
- "Super Effective", VG Cats
- "Geeks' favourite Web comics". New Straits Times.
- "Interview: DC's Web Comics Imprint", IGN.
- "NYCC 2008 VG Cats Interview", Tokyopop.
- "#01 Bad Bushrooms", VG Cats
- "Archive of the home page of" BuzzComix
- "welcome to kgug!", VG Cats
- "Main.htm", VG Cats
- "April Fool's Alert #8: VG Cats gets a makeover ... Metal GEAR?!". Joystiq.
- "About the Site." VGCats. October 17, 2006. Retrieved December 7, 2010.
- "Gonzo Gaming: An Interview with Scott Ramsoomair of VG Cats". ComixTalk.
- "VG Cats tackle the next-generation of consoles". Joystiq.
- "#02: Pika?", VG Cats
- "#97: Behind the Scenes, Part 1", VG Cats
- Ramsoomair, Scott. "." Twitter. July 20, 2010. Retrieved July 25, 2010. "Put Leo down yesterday."
- "#01: Feelin' Gassy", VG Cats. Retrieved February 13, 2009.
- "#87: It's Lightish Red", VG Cats
- "#37: I Like Bunnies", VG Cats
- "Reeeeeeally Old Entries", VG Cats, (see entry for Thursday, January 19, 2006)
- "VGCats.htm", Chris Boe
- "VG Cats: The Animated Series Episode 1 part 1 & 2". SheezyArt. Retrieved February 16, 2009.
- Adventure log, Vg Cats
- Smith, Kyle. "Top 10 Comics Inspired by Video Games". Explosion.
- "Main Page", VG Cats
- "VG Cats Items", Hyperion Press
- "VG Cats" ZeStuff, January 8, 2007
- VG Cats: T-Shirts, Prints, Buttons and More! Shark Robot
- "VG Cats online stores on CafePress:
- Krug Keel: http://www.cafepress.com/cp/store.aspx?s=krugkeel
- Pac Cat: http://www.cafepress.com/cp/store.aspx?s=paccat
- Pantsman: http://www.cafepress.com/cp/store.aspx?s=pantsman
- Snowy Day: http://www.cafepress.com/cp/store.aspx?s=la_snowyday .
- Grr Baby/Kitty Thong: http://www.cafepress.com/cp/store.aspx?s=grrbaby.
- "2003 ceremony of Web Cartoonists' Choice Awards". Retrieved May 15, 2008.
- "The 2004 Cartoonists' Choice Awards". Retrieved May 15, 2008.
- "Outstanding Use of Color". ryanestrada.com. Retrieved January 30, 2008.
- "Outstanding Anthropomorphic Comic". ryanestrada.com. Retrieved January 30, 2008.
- "Outstanding Gaming Comic". ryanestrada.com. Retrieved January 30, 2008.
- "The Web Cartoonists' Choice Awards – 2008 Winners & finalists". Retrieved May 15, 2008.
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